For years, we have known that a small set of high schools drive the nation’s dropout crisis, costing society too much in terms of money and wasted young minds. About 2,000 high schools produce half of the nation’s dropouts. Students in those schools disengage and fall off track as early as sixth grade. Those schools are currently not designed to help them succeed because there are too many needy kids and not enough resources.

We know exactly which schools are driving the problem and exactly which students are dropping out. But until now, school administrators in the toughest schools, overwhelmed by the scale of need, all too often have adopted a triage approach and had to choose from a menu of narrowly tailored school intervention programs. In addition, despite heroic efforts, administrators did not have the research, the data, the extra adult support, the technology and the tools they needed, often leading to limited results and wasted resources.

Diplomas Now is based on research by Johns Hopkins University professor Bob Balfanz, the nation’s leading dropout expert.

Diplomas Now identifies students early and works to eliminate the problems that lead to dropping out: poor attendance, poor behavior or course failure in English or math.