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Foreword by President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter
We first met Bill Milliken and Neil Shorthouse more than 30 years ago when they came to us in Georgia with an innovative response to the loss of so many young people from the public school system. We supported the fledgling program, then called EXODUS, from the governor's office. Upon entering the White House in 1977, we helped Bill take his work to a national level and have continued our interest in the years since.

Having helped get Communities In Schools off to a good start, it has been a joy to watch it become an important force for change. Our affection for and commitment to Bill Milliken and Neil Shorthouse have never wavered - they are truly life companions for both of us. Bill's faithful insistence that "Programs don't change people - relationships do" has been a constant reminder and inspiration for us in all of our endeavors.

This extraordinary account tells how Bill and Neil and their colleagues developed the insights that have meant so much to communities across the country. The publication of The Last Dropout could not be more timely. Americans are waking up to the truth about how we do - or don't - serve our children through the public school system. About one third of all young people and 50 percent of poor and minority youth fail to graduate with their peers. Dropping out of school is economically disastrous for the dropout, who is crying out for social justice, not more discrimination. That poor people bear the burden of our failure to create an equitable public education system is one of the major themes of this work. Anyone who hopes to reverse the economic injustices of our society must confront this reality.

The dropout epidemic is costing America too many children, too many tears, too many futures. The Last Dropout is a declaration of hope and a call to action, showing how we can change schools and communities, one student and one family at a time. It is also a book of wonderful human stories from a deeply caring and spiritual individual.

- President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter


Praise for The Last Dropout
More than 20 notable leaders, including a former U.S. President, education leaders, corporate CEOs, a governor, two senators, major philanhtropists and prominent figures in the sports and enterntainment industries have lent their names and endorsements to this powerful new book.

Herb Alpert Richard C. Harwood Jim Senegal
Wally Amos Kenneth D. Lewis Patty Stonesifer
Burt Bacharach Senator Richard G. Lugar Thomas J. Tierney
Noah benShea Pam and Pierre Omidyar Jim Wallis
Senator William E. Brock Governor Tim Pawlenty Reg Weaver
Joel Klein Jerry Rice Steve and Elaine Wynn
Deepak Chopra Billy Shore
Thomas J. Donahue Russell Simmons