Foundation Tackles Black Males’ School Woes
When Rosa A. Smith took the helm of a small Massachusetts foundation a few years ago, she commissioned a study to help the philanthropy better target its work to close the scholastic gaps between boys and girls.
The message that emerged from the data was not the one she expected. But it was so compelling that it altered the path of the Cambridge-based Schott Foundation for Public Education. It has replaced its gender-gap work with a new focus on how schools can better meet the needs of African-American boys and young men.
The foundation’s work in two other areas, fiscal equity and early-childhood education, continues. But the data showing that most educational gender gaps are closing—while black boys and adolescents still struggle on many scholastic indicators, from graduation rates to test scores—were too striking to suggest that the Schott Foundation should continue to conduct business as...
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