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Three Local Public Broadcasters Join Together to Combat High School Dropout Crisis as Part of “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen”

Efforts Include a Teacher Town Hall with WAMU 88.5’s Matt McCleskey on June 5


In response to the national dropout crisis, local public media stations WETA, WAMU and WHUT have joined a significant national public media initiative — “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen” — made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and aimed at improving our nation’s high school graduation rates. Local community engagement includes a June 5 Teacher Town Hall at the WHUT studios, moderated by WAMU 88.5’s Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey, to serve as a catalyst to generate new conversations about education today and the realities faced by local teachers. WETA is also working closely with local partners including Double the Numbers, the College Success Foundation, and DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation.

Managed by WETA, local hub website is a gathering point for the collective work of the three stations and provides information including the following:

  • further details about the Teacher Town Hall;
  • volunteer opportunities to encourage community members to get involved in helping local youth stay on the path to graduation;
  • WAMU 88.5 News education reporter Kavitha Cardoza’s nine-part series on the dropout crisis;
  • a snapshot of education and youth development organizations in D.C.;
  • classroom resources built around public media assets.

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The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations – locally owned and operated – reach 99% of the country over the air and have deep connections in the communities they serve. More than 600 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Visit American Graduate on Facebook, Twitter or


WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving Greater Washington. WETA Television productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal, and films by Ken Burns. Embracing the educational mission of public broadcasting, WETA manages leading public service websites such as,,,, and WETA’s headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO.

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