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A high school diploma can’t be the end of the story — not when only about 9% of children from low-income families go on to complete college.

That’s why America’s top charter school networks launched a revolutionary campaign to continue supporting students long after they leave high school. Richard Whitmire’s The Alumni goes inside these efforts — and for the first time publishes new data that reveals a college graduation breakthrough. New chapters every Wednesday.

Noble Network of Charter Schools: It’s Not Just About Going to College, It’s Also About Leaving to Learn Outside Chicago

Noble’s college success rate is at least double that of Chicago Public Schools generally, and probably far more than double the comparable rate for similar low-income minority students within CPS.

King & Peiser: College Completion — Charter Schools as Laboratories

As is true in any laboratory, the learning never ends. New approaches are constantly tested. And life-changing innovations are just around the corner.

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Woodworth: Behind the Data — Communities Must Hold School Boards, Authorizers Accountable to Ensure Quality Education

The results from CREDO's recent study align strongly with The Alumni’s findings in graduation rates.

Q&A With UNCF CEO Michael Lomax: We’ve Got to Garner More Resources for Low-Income Kids for This Journey “To and Through” College

Federal decision-makers who support charters are not seeing the connection between supporting charters and enhancing the K-12 opportunities for low-income kids and understanding what it’s going to take to get them college degrees.

IDEA Public Schools: ‘Proving the Impossible Is Possible in South Texas’ by Striving for Both Bigger and Better

“We have to remember that if IDEA had not opened its doors, a lot of our students who are now committing to going to the local college would not have even applied, much less gotten in, much less committed to attending the local college."

Gilchrist: My Charter School Saved My Life

As I write this story I am not attributing my friend’s life and death circumstances to the fact that we made different educational choices. Rather, I hope I am illustrating how a school that is intentional in its approach to investing in its students can make all the difference.

‘The Alumni’ in the New York Daily News: What Some NYC Charter Schools Do Better Than Any in the Nation

A proud distinction for Uncommon, KIPP and Achievement First

Achievement First: Where Just Doing Better Than Its Peers Isn’t Enough, Network Sets Its Sights on Lofty 75% College Success Rate

“We hope to raise our college graduation rate to 60 percent in the next three to five years.” Long term, the goal is 75 percent — a rate that matches students from high-income families.

Mark DiBella: Track Students Beginning in Ninth, Rather Than 12th, Grade for Clearer Picture of Long-Term College Success

In 2010, only 34 percent of our founding sixth grade class went on to graduate from our campus. This unacceptably low persistence rate, a symptom of a “no-excuses” culture, needed to be addressed to align with our mission of increasing the number of students from underserved communities who graduate prepared to lead.

‘The Alumni’ in the WSJ: Charter Grads Get a Leg Up In College

The NAACP and NEA have chosen the wrong time to double down on failing traditional schools.

LOOK — Picturing Success: Student Artwork Captures Vivid College Dreams

Student artists from IDEA Public Schools illustrate their futures

Uncommon Schools: Against Common Schools of Thought, a Focus on GPA, SAT Scores, and One ‘Dirty Little Secret’ Boosts Network’s College Success Rates to 50%

What happens early on in grades 5–12 is far more likely to boost college graduation rates than any after-the-fact outreach initiative to monitor students in college.

WATCH: At Newark’s North Star Academy, 100% of the Class of 2017 Is Going to College

“Our students are evidence that Newark students can and will go on to college and graduate.”

Barth, Feinberg, Levin — Measuring Outcomes Beyond High School: Why Schools Must Raise the Bar in Helping Students Attain Choice-Filled Lives

While there is much public debate around the merits of a college education, we do believe that in America today, young people with college degrees have better odds at leading choice-filled lives

WATCH – The Alumni Tell Their Stories: College Gave Jadah Quick Upward Mobility

“As a black woman I need to be 10 times better than the next person.”

Emilio Pack — Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal: How STEM Prep Is Preparing Its High Schoolers for the 21st-Century Economy

Looking beyond college graduation, these Los Angeles charter schools stress STEM majors as pathways to success.