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Baruch College Will Host Feb. 23
Summit on High School Dropout Prevention

On Friday, February 23, Baruch College will host a summit of government officials and educators seeking ways to combat the high incidence of New York City students not completing high school. A nationwide crisis, students leaving high school before graduation is an acute problem in New York, where an estimated 20,000 teenagers a year give up on formal education.

The summit is being convened by the New York City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus in conjunction with Directions for Our Youth, an education advocacy group, and presented in partnership with the United Way of New York City and the national Dropout Prevention Center. Baruch President Kathleen Waldron leads off the program at 9 am, with a welcome and introductory remarks.

Jonathan Kozol, National Book Award winner, educator and advocate, and Pedro Noguera, director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and professor at NYU, will deliver dual keynote addresses. Other participants and speakers include City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Augusta Kappner, president of the Bank Street College of Education.

Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, will make a special appearance to introduce the National Dropout Prevention Act of 2007. There is little doubt that dropping out of high school is associated with high levels of unemployment, crime, and illiteracy and negatively affects both the young people who abandon the school system and their families.

The summit will examine the roles played by individuals and institutions and seeks to create a common language and framework for measuring and responding to the dropout crisis. Participants will also look at best practices and exchange information about successful programs. Summit organizers will then proceed to a list of recommendations for the mayor, the chancellor and the City Council on how to increase New York’s high school graduation rate and will use these findings to launch a dropout prevention campaign.

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