To award competitive grants to eligible partnerships to enable the partnerships to implement innovative strategies at the secondary school level to improve student achievement and prepare at-risk students for postsecondary education and the workforce.


Getting Retention and Diplomas Up Among Today's Enrolled Students Act or the GRADUATES Act - Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to authorize the Secretary of Education to establish a Secondary School Innovation Fund program awarding competitive matching grants to partnerships, which must include at least one state or local educational agency, for the implementation of innovative strategies to improve the achievement of at-risk students in secondary schools. Permits partnerships to award subgrants to schools for the implementation of such strategies.

Lists activities, one or more of which grantees or subgrantees must implement, that include: (1) creating multiple pathways that offer students a range of educational options aligned with their needs and interests and preparing them for postsecondary education and the workforce; (2) creating expanded learning time opportunities, such as arts, service, higher, and work-based education; (3) improving student transitions from middle school to high school or from high school to postsecondary education and the workforce; (4) increasing the autonomy and flexibility of secondary schools; (5) improving rural education through educational technology; (6) redesigning middle schools; and (7) improving teaching and increasing academic rigor at the secondary school level.

Requires the Secretary to disseminate best practices in improving secondary school student achievement.

View comments | (Close Window)