Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Regrets of a School Dropout

Half of Black Males Fail to Graduate With Their Class

...Statistics show that more than 50 percent of black male students fail to graduate with their class each year. In some urban jurisdictions such as New York and Chicago, upwards of two-thirds of them leave high school before graduation, according to a study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education.

In Maryland, 46 percent of black male teenagers dropped out during the 2003-04 school year, compared with 22 percent of white males. In Virginia, 47 percent dropped out, compared with 27 percent of white male students, and in the District, the dropout rate for black males was 51 percent, compared with 5 percent of white males, the report said.

Experts said the implications are stark: Dropouts struggle to find good jobs; they become teen fathers, get arrested and abuse drugs and alcohol at a much higher rate than that of their counterparts who graduate from high school.

Alvin Thornton, a Howard University administrator and author of the study that led Maryland to pump more than a billion additional dollars into its schools, blames a number of factors, among them the lack of early learning opportunities, absent parenting and a shortage of programs to engage these students in school.

"I think if we ever had any other community that found its male children suffering as they are in our community -- they would institute programs and demand that others, like government, help to address the problem," Thornton said.

Many dropouts, he said, experience problems as early as the elementary years. "It's called the fourth-grade syndrome, and it's the time when schools move away from them and they become lost and alienated."

This from the Washington Post.

No comments: