In her new blog as Public Editor for the National Education Writers Association, [The Educated Reporter](http://www.educatedreporter.com/), Linda Perlstein wrote a Top Ten list of education stories of 2009. (Okay, I’m a little tardy reporting this.). But [this article by AP higher education writer Justin Pope](http://diverseeducation.com/artman/publish/article_12432.shtml) is worth repeating.
> An Associated Press analysis of government data on the 83 federally designated four-year HBCUs shows just 37 percent of their Black students finish a degree within six years. That’s 4 percentage points lower than the national college graduation rate for Black students.
> One major reason: the struggles of Black men. Just 29 percent of HBCU males complete a bachelor’s degree within six years, the AP found.
> A few HBCUs, like Howard University and all-female Spelman College, have much higher graduation rates, exceeding the national averages for both Black and White students. But others are clustered among the worst-performing colleges in the country. At 38 HBCUs, fewer than one in four men who started in 2001 had completed a bachelor’s degree by 2007, the data show. At Texas Southern University, Voorhees College, Edward Waters College and Miles College, the figure was under 10 percent.
Think about that: 29 percent. Does that mean the “boy troubles” are only about minority males, as some claim? With twice as many black women as men earning degrees -- and with many colleges showing a better graduation rate for black women than white males -- it shows just the opposite: this is as much about gender as race.
Crude accountability measures such as No Child Left Behind, which isolate minority and low-income students for independent accountability, miss half the problem, the half that involves gender. Something’s amiss with the guys.
The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.