The reason so few Black males graduate from high school
By Roger Caldwell
As you walk the campuses of colleges and universities, it is evident that there are more young Black females strolling around the campus. Young Black males are not attending, or graduating from college at the same rate as Black females. Marjorie Valbrun of America’s Wire says, “The national college graduation rate for Black men is 33.1 percent compared with 44.8 percent for Black women, according to the U.S. Department of Education. While this troubling trend is most acute among Blacks, young men of color in general are underrepresented in colleges and universities.
In order for Black males to get into college they must graduate from high school, and this is not happening. When Black boys step into their first day of kindergarten, they usually have a problem with the authority figure, who is a white female. The majority of Black boys from a Black community cannot write their full name, or understand basic sounds for starter words.
From the very first day in school, Black boys are put at a disadvantage, and they are subjected to special education. In some inner schools 80 percent of the Black boys by the second and third grade are relegated to these special classes, and they have been identified as slow learners and the pipeline to prison is initiated.
It is very easy to start the blame game and identify the single parent household as the problem. But, by the eighth grade only 10percent of the Black boys can read proficiently according to the Black Star Project, and many of the Black boys are starting to think about dropping out of school.
If the Black boys graduate from the eighth grade, and start high school in an urban area, there are no programs or resources to address their deficiencies, and they just become a number in the system. As the young Black males are pushed through the school system, they continue to fail and their self-esteem is destroyed.
In 2012, the Schott Foundation for Public Education issued a report that said, “Black male graduation rate from high school was 47 percent compared to a white rate of 78 percent, and Latino rate of 58 percent. In New York in certain urban schools the graduation rate is 29 percent and in certain D.C. schools the rate is 38 percent. Some Black educators dispute these numbers, and they say they are too low, but we all agree that the state of young Black males in the educational system is deplorable.
The education gap virtually ensures that Black men will continue to have low-paying jobs and less earning power. If Black males are not able to read in the second and third grade, there is no way they will be able to graduate from high school.
It is time to sound the warning bells that there is an emergency in education for Black males and they are dropping out of school, because they cannot read, write, nor do math. Everything starts with the Black family, but where is it hiding? If the Black community wants more Black males to graduate from high school, there is a need for a major public relations campaign to get them to read.