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What we stand for: College Readiness

College & Career Readiness


Every student, regardless of where they live, their gender, or the color of their skin, deserves access to a high school education that prepares them for success after graduation. For certain students, this success will be going to a 2-year or 4-year college. For others, it is some type of certification. And for some graduates, success means entering the workforce right after high school, with options for continuing education and on-the-job training.

However, in order to be college and career ready, students must first graduate high school with enough credits and real world skills to set them up for success.


  1. Create research-backed, state-wide college and career readiness standards that are proven to provide opportunity for all children, including a well-developed plan for supporting English Language Learners.
  2. Help states and districts establish an early way to identify students who are at risk of not graduating on time. This includes giving these students access to the courses and support they need to help guide them to graduation and success.
  3. Improve state accountability measures to ensure states, school districts, and schools are making progress in college and career readiness for all children.
  4. Maximize Career and Technology Education opportunities for students across states and districts.
  5. Ensure states, districts, and schools focus on preparation for post-secondary success, in particular, lowering the rates of college remediation that is needed.
  6. Advocate for states and districts to adopt Academic Acceleration policies where students who are having success in their coursework are automatically enrolled in the most rigorous courses available.


  • Students who are on track to graduate by the end of their ninth grade year are four times more likely to graduate than their off-track peers.
  • 1.3 million students drop out of school every year, with Black and Latino students dropping out at higher rates than their peers.
  • Of the students who do graduate, more than one-third require remedial education when they enter a public college.• Counseling, mentoring, and extra class time have been proven to be highly effective in boosting graduation rates.
  • Students enrolled in early college programs at the high school level are more likely to be on-track by the end of ninth grade to graduate from high school and to enroll in college than other students in comparison.
  • Only 28% of students from schools that are predominantly African American and/or Latino complete college within six years after high school graduation.
  • Increasing the national graduation rate to 90% would create 65,150 new jobs, boost GDP by$11.5 billion, increase annual earnings by $7.2 billion, increase annual spending by $5.3 billion, and increase federal tax revenue by $1.1 billion.
  • 1 in 4 recent high school graduates—from a broad cross-section of income ranges—on average must pay an extra $3,000 and borrow nearly an extra $1,000 for remedial coursework in their first year of postsecondary education that does not count toward a college degree.

Why Stand?

A message from Stand Leadership Center board member John Legend.

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