Less than half of young black male students graduate from high school on time, and while there are discrepancies in local and state dropout rate reports, it’s clear too many young black males never graduate.
In some high-poverty areas, less than one in three appear to earn a diploma.
The result: “Black males have consistently low educational attainment levels, are more chronically unemployed and underemployed, are less healthy and have access to fewer health care resources, die much younger, and are many times more likely to be sent to jail for periods significantly longer than males of other racial/ethnic groups.”
That conclusion from Given Half a Chance, the 2008 report on black males and public education by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, begs the question: What do school board members do to help this troubled group of students?
That’s a question I’m still trying to answer.
Actually, these days, I’m in the middle of researching an article about the academic challenges facing young black males for the Urban Advocate, a publication of NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). Urban school leaders are looking to discuss the issue at the NSBA Annual Conference in Chicago this spring.