New Reengagement Book Offers Strategies to Help All Young People Graduate

WASHINGTON—The National League of Cities' (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, in partnership with Rowman & Littlefield publishers, today released "Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America's Schools," a comprehensive new book that provides a rich trove of new ideas and strategies for how to reduce dropout rates and help all young people graduate from high school.

Released during the 2016 graduation season, and prior to the summer professional development period for educators, "Reengagement" describes nationwide activity in the burgeoning field of dropout reengagement. Written by practitioners, policy analysts, and young people, the book captures up-to-the-moment experience and unresolved issues in the reengagement field.

"Alongside support for schools, this book illustrates that every city can benefit from a reengagement program for out-of-school youth – and explains how to get there," said Clifford M. Johnson, executive director of NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. "Ensuring that all young people have a clear path forward to resume and continue their education is both an economic and a moral imperative."

Key elements in the reengagement process are outlined in the book, include how to reach out to young people who have left school for a myriad of reasons, and how to provide individualized support and services from successful re-enrollment to graduation.

The book describes the impressive early accomplishments of reengagement efforts in cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon and Dubuque, Iowa. It also provides practical advice from a variety of perspectives for those seeking to launch or formalize local reengagement programs, and describes how reengagement strategies could help solve the crisis of unfulfilled potential represented in America's millions of young people without high school credentials.

"The recent development of dozens of coordinated citywide efforts to re-engage out-of-school youth on positive educational pathways spurred the effort to document practice and policy," comments lead author and volume editor Andrew O. Moore, who also is the Program Director of Youth and Young Adult Connections at NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. "A total of 28 co-authors came forward to provide local perspectives and help grow the field."

Readers will come away with an understanding of results to date, such as how reengagement programs moved more than 13,000 young people back to school in the 2014-15 school year, as well as a sense of the variety and continuous improvement and innovation underway.

"If there's one value I've seen strong communities share, it's that they offer everyone a chance to reach their potential and make their contribution. A caring community leaves no one behind, and a smart community wastes no one's talents. That's why I am so heartened by the movement growing in Boston and in America, to bring high school dropouts back to school. It no longer makes sense, ethically or economically, to give up on young people," said Boston Mayor Martin M. Walsh, in an excerpt from the book's Foreword.

With expertise in early childhood success, education and expanded learning, health and community wellness, and economic opportunity and financial empowerment, the YEF Institute serves as the go-to place for city leaders seeking to improve outcomes for children and families.  Support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and others enabled Moore to form and support the Reengagement Network and to write and edit the Institute's first book.

More information about "Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America's Schools" may be found on the publisher's website.  

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.