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National Campaign to Address America’s Education Crisis – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

National coalition calls on all Americans to STAND UP for excellent high schools that prepare every student for success.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
206-709-3400
Sean Walsh
Phone: 1.866.303.7457

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Amid mounting national concern over the state of America’s high schools, more than 50 education organizations, districts, and schools across the country have joined together to create STAND UP, a community-based national campaign demanding change for great high schools that educate all students well. The coalition includes educators, community activists, and parents in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods who are already working hard to improve the nation’s high schools.

The campaign was mentioned on The Oprah Winfrey Show today as part of a two-day report: “American Schools in Crisis,” on which Bill and Melinda Gates, the founders and co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were featured. The Oprah Winfrey Show teamed up with Time magazine, which devoted its April 17th cover story, “Dropout Nation,” to the problems in U.S. high schools.

As a new Time/The Oprah Winfrey Show poll reveals, ordinary Americans are increasingly troubled by the state of the nation’s high schools. Nine in 10 adults in the survey called the dropout rate a serious problem. Today, about one in three high school students do not graduate with their class. Those who do graduate need more education than their grandparents just to maintain the same standard of living, yet only one in three ninth graders actually leave high school in four years ready for the rigors of college and the working world. The problem is not limited to big cities: It affects young people in every community – the suburbs, rural areas, and small towns.

Robert L. Hughes, president of New Visions for Public Schools, a STAND UP coalition member that works in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education to develop successful public high schools, said, "A strong education is a civil right that we must extend to every student. It is important that we stand up to make that right a reality in classrooms across America. Unless we help every child succeed, be they in rural schools in Kansas or suburban schools in Maryland or urban schools in New York City, we cannot succeed as a nation. The goal of this campaign is to mobilize communities across the country to stand up to help their high schools provide students with an education that prepares them for college, work, and citizenship."

STAND UP will build on the growing momentum around high school reform to engage parents, teachers, principals, community leaders, concerned citizens, business leaders, policymakers, and philanthropists in all 50 states.

The STAND UP coalition includes a diverse network of public school districts; nonprofit organizations that create or support networks of new schools; developers of alternative high schools and early college high schools; model schools; and many others. They include the New York City Department of Education; Chicago Public Schools; the National Council of La Raza; the Colorado Children’s Campaign; Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP); the Texas High School Project; and St. HOPE Public Schools in Sacramento, California.

“We have supported many schools and school districts in their efforts to redesign and create new high schools that ensure all young people graduate prepared for college and success,” said Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is supporting the STAND UP campaign. “But it will take more than these efforts to get the job done. STAND UP seeks to provide all Americans – parents, teachers, community leaders, and others – with information they need to take action so our high schools prepare all young people and our country for a strong future.”

To help mobilize Americans to demand change, STAND UP has launched a Web site which provides valuable information, guidance and tools for parents, guardians and concerned citizens to support students and excellent high schools in every community.

The Web site also provides information about the state of the nation’s high schools and offers specific ways for people to become a part of the solution. Visitors to the Web site can:

  • Send an email urging governors to support high schools that serve all students well;

  • Download a parent toolkit, which provides information and tips about how to make a difference in a teenager’s education;

  • Download a community action toolkit, which provides information and guidance on how to mobilize a community for change; and

  • Purchase a unique, wearable STAND UP medallion to show support for the hopes and dreams of the nation’s young people. (Proceeds from the sales of the medallion will go to a new fund, the STAND UP Scholarship Fund.)

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STAND UP is a national, multi-year community-based campaign for excellent high schools that prepare all students for future success. Comprised of more than 50 organizations throughout the country, the effort is committed to enlisting the support of the American people in tackling America’s education crisis. The multi-pronged effort will include print and television advertising, a Web site with resources for parents and concerned citizens to become engaged in education improvement efforts, and local campaign events around the country. STAND UP is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other national organizations.

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Public Interest, www.publicinterest.tv, the not-for-profit creator of powerful messaging for good causes, conceived and executed STAND UP to provide America with a platform to STAND UP and demand that kids in this country get the education they deserve. With headquarters in Santa Monica and newly opened offices in Washington, DC, the Emmy Award-winning Public Interest works with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, including MTV, the National AIDS Fund, the Allstate Foundation, Rock the Vote, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, Teach for America and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Public Interest will unveil creative elements that will be delivered to the American public in phases over the next year and beyond.

STAND UP Coalition Members

Asia Society
Los Angeles, CA
www.internationalstudiesschools.org
Anthony Jackson
(213) 613-9934
tonyj@asiasoc.org

Aspire Public Schools
Oakland, CA
www.aspirepublicschools.org
Laura Noss
(510) 251-1660 x112
laura.noss@aspirepublicschools.org

Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools
Oakland, CA
www.bayces.org
Steve Jubb
(510) 208-0160 x307
sjubb@bayces.org

Center for Collaborative Education
Boston, MA
www.ccebos.org
Dan French
(617) 421-0134 x227
dfrench@ccebos.org

Center for School Change
Minneapolis, MN
www.centerforschoolchange.org
Joe Nathan
(612) 625-3506
jnathan@hhh.umn.edu

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
http://cell.uindy.edu
Susan Nelson
(317) 791-5928
snelson@uindy.edu

Chicago Charter School Foundation
Chicago, IL
www.ccsfonline.org
R.J. McMahon
(312) 455-7890
mcmahon@ccfsonline.org

Chicago High School Redesign Initiative
Chicago, IL
Ernestine Key
(312) 616-8000 x165
ekey@cct.org

Chicago Public Schools

Civitas Schools
Chicago, IL
www.civitasschools.org
Ellen Kennedy
(773) 478-3655
ekennedy@civitasschools.org

Coalition of Essential Schools
Oakland, CA
www.essentialschools.org
Brett Bradshaw
(510) 433-1926
bbradshaw@essentialschools.org

Colorado Children's Campaign
Denver, CO
www.coloradokids.org
Amber Minogue
(303) 839-1580 x234
amberm@coloradokids.org

Commonwealth Corporation (Diploma Plus)
Boston, MA
www.commcorp.org
Ephraim Weisstein
(617) 727-8158 x1229
eweisstein@commcorp.org

Communities Foundation of Texas / Texas High School Project
Dallas, TX
www.cftexas.org  /  www.cftexas.org/thsp.html
Laurey Peat  /  Matt Kagan
(214) 871-8787  /  (310) 234-8787
lpeat@lpapr.com  /  matt.kagan@gmmb.com 

Communities in Schools

Cristo Rey Network
Newton, MA
www.cristoreynetwork.org
Jeff Thielman
(781) 316-1727
thielman@bc.edu

E3: Employers for Education Excellence
Portland, OR
www.E3Oregon.org
Charlie LaTourette
(503) 595-7615
charlie@e3oregon.org

EdVisions Cooperative
Henderson, MN
www.edvisions.coop
Doug Thomas
(507) 248-3738
doug@edvisions.coop

Envision Schools
San Francisco, CA
www.envisionschools.org
Ann Hill
(415) 491-5904
ann@ahcommunications.com

Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound
Garrison, NY
www.elschools.org
Rebecca Kennedy
(845) 424-4000 x227
rkennedy@elschools.org

Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement
Atlanta, GA
www.gaosa.org
Nancy Haight
(404) 463-1166
nhaight@doe.k12.ga.us

Great Maine Schools Project at the Mitchell Institute
Portland, ME
www.greatmaineschools.org
Steve Abbott
(207) 773-0505
sabbott@MitchellInstitute.org

High Tech High Foundation
San Diego, CA
www.hightechhigh.org
Brigid Avery
(619) 243-5004
bavery@hightechhigh.org

IDEA Public Schools
Rio Grande Valley, TX
www.ideapublicschools.org
Tom Torkelson
(956) 464-0203
ttorkelson@ideaacademy.org

Institute for Student Achievement
Lake Success, NY
www.studentachievement.org
Erika Freed
(212) 699-3696
erika@0to5.com

Internationals Network for Public Schools
New York, NY
www.internationalsnps.org
Claire Sylvan
(212) 868-5180
claire.sylvan@internationalsnps.org

Jobs For the Future
Boston, MA
www.jff.org
Carmon Cunningham
(617) 728-4446 x133
ccunningham@jff.org

Knowledge is Power Program
San Francisco, CA
www.kipp.org
Justin Barra
(415) 874-7391
jbarra@kipp.org

KnowledgeWorks Foundation
Cincinnati, OH
www.kwfdn.org
Emily Hedrick
(513) 929-1132
hedricke@kwfdn.org

Linking Education and Economic Development
Sacramento, CA
www.leed.org
Kate Fisher
(916) 231-5333 x19
kfisher@leed.org

Mapleton Public Schools
Denver, CO
www.mapleton.us
Damon Brown
(303) 853-1040
brownd@mapleton.us

Middle College National Consortium
Long Island City, NY
www.laguardia.edu/mcnc
Michael Rhoads
(718) 609-2049
mrhoads@lagcc.cuny.edu

National Association of Street Schools
Denver, CO
www.streetschools.com
Denise Lechtenberger
(720) 935-6742
denisel@streetschools.com

National Council of La Raza
Washington, DC
www.nclr.org
Delia Pompa
(202) 785-1670
dpompa@nclr.org

NC New Schools Project
Raleigh, NC
www.newschoolsproject.org
Linda Quarles
(919) 608-1630
lquarles@newschoolsproject.org

New Leaders for New Schools
New York, NY
www.nlns.org
Kathy Padian
(646) 792-1064
kpadian@nlns.org

New Technology High School

New Visions for Public Schools
New York, NY
www.newvisions.org
Samira Ahmed
(212) 645-5110
sahmed@newvisions.org

NYC Department of Education
New York, NY
http://www.nycenet.edu/default.aspx
Jeneen Garcia
(212) 374-7696
jgarcia36@nycboe.net

Partnership for Regional Education Preparation of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
Susan Wally
(913) 219-8748
swally@kc.rr.com

Replications, Inc.
New York, NY
www.replications.org
Teresa Weber
(212) 714-3543
tweber@replications.org

Rochester City School District
Rocehester, NY
www.rcsdk12.org
Tom Petronio
585.262.8373
Tom.Petronio@rcsdk12.org

San Diego - American Institute for Research
San Diego, CA
www.air.org
Maria Guasp
(619) 491-3133
mguasp@air.org

See Forever Foundation
Washington, DC
www.seeforever.org
David Domenici
(202) 797-8250
ddomenici@seeforever.org

Small Schools Project (Coalition of Essential Schools Northwest Center)
Seattle, WA
http://www.smallschoolsproject.org/
Rick Lear
(206) 812-3156
rick@cesnw.org

St. HOPE Public Schools
Sacramento, CA
www.sthope.org
Adrianne Hall
(916) 649-7900
ahall@sthope.org

Talent Development High Schools
Baltimore, MD
www.csos.jhu.edu/tdhs
Mary Maushard
(410) 516-8810
mmaushard@csos.jhu.edu

Technical Assistance & Leadership Center, New Vision
Milwaukee, WI
www.talcnewvision.org
Abby Schumwinger
(414) 270-7596
schumwinger@talcnewvision.org

The Big Picture Company
Providence, Rhode Island
www.bigpicture.org
Sarah Staveley-O'Carroll
(401) 752-2641
sstaveley@bigpicture.org

The College Board

The Pre-School-College (P-16) Department of the University System of Georgia
Atlanta, GA
http://www.usg.edu/p16/
Candace Sommer
(404) 463-1756
candace.sommer@usg.edu

University of Chicago Urban School Improvement
Chicago, IL
http://usi.uchicago.edu
Timothy Knowles
(773) 702-2797
tknowles@uchicago.edu

West Clermont Local School District
Cincinnati, OH
www.westcler.org
Sue Showers
(513) 943-5046
showers_s2@westcler.org

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Princeton, NJ
www.woodrow.org
Robert Baird
(609) 452-7007 x181
baird@woodrow.org
Youth Build USA
Somerville, MA
www.youthbuild.org
Charles Clark
(617) 741-1288
cclark@youthbuild.org

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