Providing equal access to opportunity for all Americans is among the defining issues of our time. We here at Eagle Rock believe one of the most direct and powerful ways to accomplish this is to dramatically improve education and employment prospects for teens and young adults.
With that in mind, one of the things we’re excited about and supportive of, is the Opportunity Nation Plan that is focused on restoring opportunity for young people across the United States.
For the last three years, Opportunity Nation — a bipartisan, cross-sector,
national campaign to expand economic mobility and restore the American Dream — and its partners have been working to correct the fact that today, our nation’s youngsters face enormous levels of unemployment and disconnect. In late February, staff from Eagle Rock and nearly 300 other organizations joined arms at the National Opportunity Summit in Washington, D.C. to discuss these and other important issues.
A day prior to the summit, we met with a staff member of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) and U.S. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) to talk about how Eagle Rock is moving the Opportunity Nation Plan forward. We also met with U.S. House of Representatives member Jared Polis (D, Colo.), who’s previously visited Eagle Rock and is a fan of our work.
We pointed out to our members of Congress that in order to reach the objective of a national 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020, the focus has to be on dropout prevention and the re-engagement of recent dropouts and over-aged and under-credited students.
On that note, the current draft of the Opportunity Nation Plan seeks to create an alternative accountability system for non-traditional high school students and programs, and improve and expand credit recovery programs. Examples of work in this area include: flexible schedules; a reduction in seat time barriers through adaptive models; and, increased work-based learning time and competency/mastery-based credit award.