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April 11, 2006

National Campaign to Address America’s Education Crisis

National coalition calls on all Americans to STAND UP for excellent high schools that prepare every student for success. [SANTA MONICA, CA] – 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." 1

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.) ### 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. Public Interest,, 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 attached)


STAND UP COALITION MEMBERS Asia Society Los Angeles, CA Anthony Jackson (213) 613-9934 Aspire Public Schools Oakland, CA Laura Noss (510) 251-1660 x112 Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools Oakland, CA Steve Jubb (510) 208-0160 x307 Center for Collaborative Education Boston, MA Dan French (617) 421-0134 x227 Center for School Change Minneapolis, MN Joe Nathan (612) 625-3506 Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN Susan Nelson (317) 791-5928
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Chicago Charter School Foundation Chicago, IL R.J. McMahon (312) 455-7890 Chicago High School Redesign Initiative Chicago, IL Ernestine Key (312) 616-8000 x165 Chicago Public Schools Civitas Schools Chicago, IL Ellen Kennedy (773) 478-3655 Coalition of Essential Schools Oakland, CA Brett Bradshaw (510) 433-1926 Colorado Children's Campaign Denver, CO Amber Minogue (303) 839-1580 x234 Commonwealth Corporation (Diploma Plus) Boston, MA Ephraim Weisstein (617) 727-8158 x1229 Communities Foundation of Texas / Texas High School Project Dallas, TX
STAND UP Coalition Press Contacts Confidential Page 2 4/12/2006 / Laurey Peat / Matt Kagan (214) 871-8787 / (310) 234-8787 / Communities in Schools Cristo Rey Network Newton, MA Jeff Thielman (781) 316-1727 E3: Employers for Education Excellence Portland, OR Charlie LaTourette (503) 595-7615 EdVisions Cooperative Henderson, MN Doug Thomas (507) 248-3738 Envision Schools San Francisco, CA Ann Hill (415) 491-5904 Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound Garrison, NY Rebecca Kennedy (845) 424-4000 x227 Georgia Governor's Office of Student Achievement Atlanta, GA
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Nancy Haight (404) 463-1166 Great Maine Schools Project at the Mitchell Institute Portland, ME Steve Abbott (207) 773-0505 High Tech High Foundation San Diego, CA Brigid Avery (619) 243-5004 IDEA Public Schools Rio Grande Valley, TX Tom Torkelson (956) 464-0203 Institute for Student Achievemnet Lake Success, NY Erika Freed (212) 699-3696 Internationals Network for Public Schools New York, NY Claire Sylvan (212) 868-5180 Jobs For the Future Boston, MA Carmon Cunningham (617) 728-4446 x133
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Knowledge is Power Program San Francisco, CA Justin Barra (415) 874-7391 KnowledgeWorks Foundation Cincinnati, OH Emily Hedrick (513) 929-1132 Linking Education and Economic Development Sacramento, CA Kate Fisher (916) 231-5333 x19 Mapleton Public Schools Denver, CO Damon Brown (303) 853-1040 Middle College National Consortium Long Island City, NY Michael Rhoads (718) 609-2049 National Association of Street Schools Denver, CO Denise Lechtenberger (720) 935-6742 National Council of La Raza Washington, DC
STAND UP Coalition Press Contacts Confidential Page 5 4/12/2006 Delia Pompa (202) 785-1670 NC New Schools Project Raleigh, NC Linda Quarles (919) 608-1630 New Leaders for New Schools New York, NY Kathy Padian (646) 792-1064 New Technology High School New Visions for Public Schools New York, NY Samira Ahmed (212) 645-5110 NYC Department of Education New York, NY Jeneen Garcia (212) 374-7696 Partnership for Regional Education Preparation of Kansas City Kansas City, MO Susan Wally (913) 219-8748 Replications, Inc. New York, NY Teresa Weber
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(212) 714-3543 Rochester City School District Rocehester, NY Tom Petronio 585.262.8373 San Diego - American Institute for Research San Diego, CA Maria Guasp (619) 491-3133 See Forever Foundation Washington, DC David Domenici (202) 797-8250 Small Schools Project (Coalition of Essential Schools Northwest Center) Seattle, WA Rick Lear (206) 812-3156 St. HOPE Public Schools Sacramento, CA Adrianne Hall (916) 649-7900 Talent Development High Schools Baltimore, MD Mary Maushard (410) 516-8810
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Technical Assistance & Leadership Center, New Vision Milwaukee, WI Abby Schumwinger (414) 270-7596 The Big Picture Company Providence, Rhode Island Sarah Staveley-O'Carroll (401) 752-2641 The College Board The Pre-School-College (P-16) Department of the University System of Georgia Atlanta, GA Candace Sommer (404) 463-1756 University of Chicago Urban School Improvement Chicago, IL Timothy Knowles (773) 702-2797 West Clermont Local School District Cincinnati, OH Sue Showers (513) 943-5046 Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Princeton, NJ Robert Baird (609) 452-7007 x181

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Youth Build USA Somerville, MA Charles Clark (617) 741-1288

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