Civic Marshall Plan Planks

Plank 6: Transition Supports

Research has shown that transition years, when students move from the elementary to middle grades, and then from the middle grades to high school, can be particularly perilous. Without sufficient support, students can disengage from school and start on the path toward dropping out. We should scale best practices, which show that caring, knowledgeable and committed adults who set high standards and assist students in meeting them, coupled with supportive school conditions, are critical to helping students make successful transitions.1

  1. In the aftermath of the Civil War, only two percent of the U.S. 17-year old population graduated from public and private high schools. Thirty years later, at the turn of the century, though high school participation had increased it was still low, only six percent of 17 year olds graduated. But then the tide changed. By 1920, nearly a third of 17 year olds had completed high school, and by 1940 the figure was 50 percent. A record high of 76.9 percent was reached in 1970, followed by two decades of stagnation and decline to a modern low of 67.5 (1997-1998). From “High School Graduates, by Sex and Control of School: Selected years, 1869- 70 through 2019-20.” National Center for Education Statistics: Digest of Education Statistics. (2010, August). Table 110: High school graduates, by sex and control of school: Selected years, 1869-70 through 2019-20. Retrieved from 

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