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United Way releases 2011 Community Assessment Project (CAP): Action Report on Education - the


Anchorage, AK Recent survey results reveal that 72% of Anchorage adults believe the current low graduation rate is a serious problem. Most believe it takes the child, the family, and the entire community to improve that rate.

United Way of Anchorage is calling for community action in support of our youth. The 2011 Community Assessment Project (CAP) Action Report on Education focuses on educational outcomes such as an increased high school graduation rate, and the things youth need from their community to be successful.

This report details:

· The importance of graduation for an individual and a community,

· Research on who drops out,

· The assets young people need to succeed, such as access to relationships with adults

beyond their parents, and a community that values youth, and

· What we’re doing to increase high school graduation to 90% by 2020.


“The point of tracking data is to drive action,” said Michele Brown, President, United Way of Anchorage. “We verify that our actions lead to results. We use what we’ve learned from the data to build on our past work, scaling up our efforts where we know it’s working, or to readjust efforts that are not proving up results.”

The 2011 Education Action Report is the latest data report in the series of Community Assessment Projects undertaken by United Way and its partners, Providence Health System of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage. We have been keeping our finger on the pulse of Anchorage since 2006 by collecting data on key measures of our quality of life. Data is tracked in 6 areas: Economy, Public Safety, Health, Education, Natural Environment, and Social Environment. Data includes national, state, and local statistics, plus local phone and face to face surveys.

The report also highlights what individual people can do to make a difference. We know what is at stake. We know what helps. We’ve set a goal of 90% by 2020, and we need everyone’s help to get there.  The CAP Education Action Report is an important tool for the public to learn about the issue.

Some standout data points from the 2011 CAP Action Report on Education include:



· According to a recent Ivan Moore poll, 72% of Anchorage adults believe current low graduation rate is a serious or very serious problem

· When asked about responsibility for improving graduation rates:

o 41% believed it was a community responsibility

o 44% felt it was the families’ responsibility

o Just 11.5% listed the school system


· Only 74% of 9th graders were on track for graduation last year

· Only 42% of high school students reported having at least 3 adults (other than their parents) in their lives to turn to for help

· Only 55% thought they mattered to people in this community



· 40% higher income for graduate, $210,000 public benefit (higher gov revenues + lower gov spending over lifetime of graduate)

· Decreased likelihood of criminal activity and/or jail time (61% of nation’s inmates have no diploma)



· Youth need guidance, support, and positive life lessons to develop the maturity, judgment, and life skills to help make good choices.  These supports are called developmental assets, and they consist of factors within families, schools, and communities that are necessary for youth to succeed, such as positive relationships with adults other than parents, friendly neighbors, and access to out-of-school activities.

· Kids with at least 21 assets are half as likely to engage in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and sexual activity as kids with 10 or less assets in their lives.

· Kids with at least 21 assets are over 25% more likely to exhibit leadership skills, and 50% more likely to succeed in school and maintain good health as those with few or no assets.


The PDF of the 2011 CAP Action Report on Education is attached to this press release. Additionally, this report and previous CAP reports are available online at LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.ORG.


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About United Way of Anchorage


United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all in the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create long lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.ORG.

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