As our country continues to move forward with providing education for our children, it seems that our young black males are being left behind. According to a recent report from the Yes, We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males, only 47 percent of African American males graduated from high school in 2007-2008. In the state of New York, 25 percent of young black males graduated which is considered the lowest rate in the entire country of the United States.
Another low percentage from the report states that 2 percent of 8th grade black males in Milwaukee and and 5 percent from Mississippi and Nevada are reading at grade level. This proves that many young black males are unable to read.
The report also shows that only 1/2 of black males who graduate on time are not college bound or ready to pursue a career. More than likely, 3 out of 5 black males will go to prison after dropping out of high school.
In the report, it gives a list of conditions of failures in schools which includes “watered-down curriculum for disadvantaged students in school, insufficient access to well-planned and high quality pre-school education, and little or no state accountability to ensure student achievement.”
So, the biggest question still remains,”How can this be fixed?” Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, explains four things that must happen which is “extending school days, investing in teacher training, investing in more resources, and universal Pre-kindergarten.” Jeff Johnson, Journalist and Social Activist stated that this is a “national educational crisis” and this makes “all children at risk” for the future of their education.
As we are living in a society of change, we must be aware that a change must be made to uplift our young black males to stay in school. An urgent cry for help is needed. According to the U.S. Labor Bureau of Statistics, there are only 2 percent of black male teachers out of 4.8 billion teachers in this country. This proves there is a lack of black male teachers and role models that can serve as mentors. There is a need for more male role models to step up and strengthen the confidence level for young black males.
In order for children to have a brighter future, education is necessary. There are too many states and districts who are ignoring this important issue. While focusing on funding schools who have enough resources, other schools who are critically in need of help will continue to fail. Let us come together as a community to reach out to all children where no child will be left behind.