Educational Attainment

To advance economic, racial, and educational justice in the United States, educational attainment must improve. The evidence for focusing on educational attainment is unambiguous. Some of the most persuasive research in the social sciences draws straight lines between attainment and longer lifespans, better health outcomes, increased lifetime earnings, reduced incarceration rates, more frequent participation in democratic and civic activity, and successive generations of children with higher levels of educational attainment. In essence, attainment is instrumental to the strength of our nation’s health, economy, democracy, and social fabric.

While high school graduation and postsecondary success have risen over the last 20 years, deep inequities persist, particularly for Black, Latinx, Indigenous students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing poverty and/or homelessness. These inequities were significantly exacerbated by the pandemic, which limited student access to in-school services and supports.

Carnegie is a founding member of the Grad Partnership Initiative that seeks to dramatically increase rates of secondary completion and postsecondary entry for underrepresented students nationwide. Carnegie is building an improvement infrastructure for scaling evidence-based tools and resources that support student progress in secondary and postsecondary schools. Led by the Everyone Graduates Center, the Grad Partnership also includes the American Institutes of Research, BARR Center, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Network for College Success, Rural Schools Collaborative, Talent Development Secondary, and the Schott Foundation.