Graduate Ready sets four strategic priorities for the Mobile community:
Priority #1: Support high-quality teaching and learning
Education research is very clear that the single greatest factor for improving student achievement is the quality of the teacher. Students can never graduate ready for college and careers without having consistent, high-performing teachers throughout their school years. Mobile County has many excellent teachers. But we need an effective teacher in every classroom. To help all teachers, we also need high-quality instructional leadership in every school. And our students need high-quality academic and enrichment out-of-school supports to extend their learning and growth before school, after school and in the critical summer months.
Priority#2: Create middle and high schools that prepare students for the 21st Century
Mobile County has made significant progress with its elementary school performance, providing students a solid foundation for middle and high school. However, in middle and high school, student engagement and motivation drops off sharply. While our graduation rate is increasing, it’s still not high enough. Furthermore, many students who receive a high school diploma in Mobile do not have the skills they need to be successful in college and careers. To ensure that every student in Mobile County is ready for the challenges they face after high school, we must put the same energy and resources into transforming our secondary schools that we put into our elementary schools.
Priority #3: Invest in student success after high school
A strong K-12 system is the foundation for college- and career-ready young Mobilians. But simply graduating with a high school diploma is not enough. Many students still need support and guidance to get into college and to persist in addressing the challenges they face in achieving their college and career goals. In Mobile County, we lack a coordinated network of supports for students after high school. Such a network can help students access postsecondary opportunities, apply for and receive the financial aid they require, and get the mentoring and advice they need to persist in their goals and, ultimately, to attain gainful employment and promotable opportunities.
Priority#4: Support Graduate Ready by investing in MAEF
MAEF is the premier community-based, non-profit organization focused on improving preK-20 public education in Mobile County. For nearly 30 years, MAEF has helped to change local policy, transform local schools and engage countless citizens in efforts that have increased student achievement and narrowed the achievement gap for deserving students. MAEF has a proven track record of stewardship and performance and serves as the fiscal agent for all county-side activities related to ensuring that Graduate Ready goals are met.