Saturday, September 25, 2010

D.C. Chancellor Deserves Much Praise

My hat's off to chancellor Michelle A. Rhee for her untiring and focused work to improve the D.C school system. From most outside and objective observers, she made significant improvements and laid a solid foundation for the future.

With the recent election results that saw Mayor Fenty lose, it is perhaps only a matter of time before Ms. Rhee moves on. And of course Ms. Rhee will be just fine. Her career is only just beginning. The real victims here are the children of the D.C school system.

It is past time for parents and community leaders truly interested in education excellence to wise up. Rhee and Fenty were not in a popularity contest. Grownups should have known the educational ship was sinking and it needed strong and sometimes bitter corrective action.

Good luck and best wishes to Ms. Rhee and may you never compromise your principles where a child's education is concerned.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Black Male Graduation Rates

Our local Black newspaper, The Shreveport Sun, recently reported some results and conclusions published by The Schott Foundation for Public Education regarding graduation rates for Black males.

For example, it was reported that "...the overall 2007/8 graduation rate for Black males in the U.S. was only 47 percent." By any measure, it is unacceptable for only 47 Black boys out of 100 to graduate from high school.

However, some additional context for this statistic is needed, particularly as it may relate to local performance.

The 47% national rate for black males compares to a 78% national rate for white males for a 31% gap.

The black male rate in Louisiana is reported at 39% compared to white males at 59% for a 20% gap.

And, our own Caddo parish rate for black males is 38% compared to 57% rate for white males for a 19% gap.

Again, all unacceptable.

You may view the entire report on line at:

We appreciate the Sun for bringing this matter to the attention of our community. Clearly we have significant work to do locally to aid our children, and especially black boys not only improve graduation rates, but also to gain an appreciation for high academic achievement.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Black Academic Achievement (Stopped)

This site has attempted to foster understanding and conversation regarding the challenges that face the black community from an educational perspective.

Although slow to catch fire here, we shall nevertheless continue to voice our concerns and point to good material that helps us better understand our problem.

So it is with a new report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The report called The Black-White Achievement Gap (When Progress Stopped) is a must read for any who seek clarity on the issue.

Not all material in nor conclusions reached by any one report should be taken as definitive on almost any subject. However, I like this document and believe it could easily service as a working document for the black community.

Now get ready to read about some painful facts. Such as the unacceptably high births to unwed/uneducated black women; and the consequences to children who find themselves in these fatherless homes.

For example, the report documents some of the consequences as follows:

  • Less academic success
  • Behavioral and psychological problems
  • Substance abuse and contact with the police
  • Sexual relationships at earlier ages
  • Less economic well-being as adults
  • Less physical and psychological well-being as adults

The complete document may be viewed at WWW.ETS.ORG and click on RESEARCH, then select "Progress Has Stalled in Closing the Black-White Achievement Gap."

Look forward to your comments.

Visitors to the Site