This week National Public Radio is featuring a series called “School”s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis” in which it looks at the dropout crisis through the stories of five people, three of whom have already dropped out and two who are at risk. The series overview can be found here. Today’s broadcast features the story of Patrick Lundvick, a Black teenager from Chicago who left school in the ninth grade, and has returned to a special charter school for dropouts after spending time in prison.
The national statistics on Black male high school graduates are devastating. Yes We Can: The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education reveals that the overall 2007/8 graduation rate for Black males in the U.S. was only 47 percent. Half of the states have graduation rates for Black male students below the national average. New York City, the district with the nation’s highest enrollment of Black students, only graduates 28 percent of its Black male students with Regents diplomas on time. Overall, each year over 100,000 Black male students in New York City alone do not graduate from high school with their entering cohort.
Check out this NPR series which focuses on the human element of this national crisis. We cannot afford to be anything less than laser focused on the issues concerning the education of our boys and the educational reforms which are critical for their future.