Saturday, August 05, 2006

Editorial: Some schools are eliminating graduation gap of black males

School choice would eliminate the problem below. But teachers unions and the legislators they elect refuse to allow school choice. This is a form of oppression for the minority and the poor. Keep them in their place, keep them needing social welfare programs and than tell them the democratic party is the only people who care about them. If legislators and unions really cared they would go to a true choice or market system allowing minorities and all students to get the best education possible. Teachers more than the taxpayer public as well as legislators send their children to private schools but they will not release their iron grip on the public education system. So that all parents can choose the right school for their children. Jessie Jackson and Jessie Jackson Jr. send their children to private schools but will not give choice to the people they "serve." This way the people can serve legislators and the public educations system. The following story appeared in Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Editorial: Some schools are eliminating graduation gap of black males
Thursday, August 03, 2006
America now has more black, male college graduates, professionals and other success stories than ever before, yet the numbers at the other end of the spectrum are growing, too. Check out just about any index, and black males are at or near the top of the "worst" lists: unemployment, poverty, arrests, incarceration, health problems — all tend to hit them harder.

Some of the problems have been exacerbated by racism and discrimination. But many of them stem from missing out on a good education. Nationally, an estimated 45 percent of black males graduate from high school, compared with 70 percent of white males.

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That disturbing gap must be closed. If black male teens continue to fall off the basic education cliff at these rates, they will pull a part of American prosperity along with them.

To reverse that trend, the Schott Foundation for Public Education focuses research on black males in public school. Its 2006 report, based on the most recent data from the National Center of Education (2003-04), shows that more than half (55 percent) of black teens do not graduate from high school on time.

The study offers a state-by-state report card on the status of black males in public schools. Wisconsin has the worst record: 38 percent of black males finish high school compared with 84 percent of whites — a 46 percentage point gap. In Texas, 52 percent of black males get diplomas on time, compared with 71 percent of whites.

The Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation is doing more than just reporting data; it mines the numbers for success stories — both to reward those programs with scholarship funds and to share their successful strategies with other districts. They have found, for example, that several schools in Ohio and Maryland have practically closed the graduation gap. In studying those programs, they learned that while parent and community support are important, schools can also have an influence.

Difficult family circumstances can be overcome when educators establish goals, set high expectations, track progress and offer immediate help when pupils start falling behind.

Promoting economically integrated schools also helps.

Interviews with high-achieving students confirmed the importance of expectations. They said black male friends at other schools had limited course offerings and were not treated as if they could be good students.

The foundation recommends that schools, school boards and state education departments target resources to improve achievement among black males — and the successful methods they have examined provide a road map. Because the problems young black men encounter have such serious consequences for society, and for the young men themselves, it is important to help them succeed educationally.

Those who fail in the classroom — regardless of race — are more likely to grow into the ones who use guns, break laws and create conditions for neighborhood decay. Without the skills to become contributing, productive citizens, it is easier for them to turn to lives of crime and dependency on the state.

It's in everyone's best interest to keep black teens in school and succeeding at their studies. The Schott Foundation's work has potential to help more graduate at the same or better rates as their white peers.

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