Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males

Schott Foundation for Public Education
2010

While its title sounds hopeful, this report’s findings are not very auspicious. The Schott Foundation for Public Education takes an in-depth look at the education of Black males across the US (and state-by-state), analyzing several areas related to performance, such as graduation rates and reading proficiency.

Overall, the results are pretty grim.

In 2007-2008 the national graduation rate for Black males was 47 percent. The variation in graduation rates across states is also shocking: States such as Texas and Florida, which have a relatively comparable Black male population of 341,219 and 313,887 respectively, have drastically different graduation rates.  Texas has a graduation rate of 52 percent for Black males and New York has a graduation rate of 37 percent. With a majority of Black males not graduating, it’s clear that federal and state leaders must step up and ensure that all students are given equal opportunities. 

Another alarming statistic that this report examines is the percentage of Black males reading at or above a proficient level (as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or the “nation’s report card”).  The national average for reading proficiency among eighth-grade Black males was nine percent.

Results for Black males in Ohio mirror the grim national results. Ohio’s graduation rate for Black males in 2007-08 was 41 percent, six percentage points below the national average. In Cleveland, a city with 18,419 Black male students, this number was just 27 percent.  Cleveland is also behind in the percentage of Black males that can read at a basic level.  In Cleveland 61 percent of Black males are below even a basic level of reading on the eighth grade NAEP.

Overall, the report’s findings don’t live up to its title. Both nationally and in Ohio, this report makes evident that the educational system is not providing Black males with the necessary skills and tools they need to succeed. 

To check out the complete report and how your state ranks, click here.

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