Equity & Diversity Opinion

Some Welcome Attention for Minority Males, but ...

By Richard Whitmire — January 11, 2010 2 min read
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On January 26 the [College Board Advocacy](http://professionals.collegeboard.com/policy-advocacy/about) and Congressional TriCaucus will sponsor a conference on how to steer more minority males into and through college. Although the press release wisely links that goal to President Obama’s goal of boosting college graduation rates, the groups miss something: There’s *something in common* about the boy problems, something shared between inner city black and Latino males and their suburban counterparts and that commonality involves literacy skills.

The difference: one group has the flu, the other a mild cold.

Discovering that shared issue (and at this point the U.S. Department of Education appears the least likely player to be the pioneer here) will produce the key to getting *everyone* interested in a solution. Think about this issue in the way Social Security is discussed. If you eliminate benefits for the better-off it will become a welfare program that the powerful won’t care about, which could lead to its demise. Same here. Get those upper middle class parents involved and you’ll arrive sooner at a common goal.

For details, see my book, Why Boys Fail.

For a report that gets at the breadth of this issue, [see this from the American Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.](.[](http://www.aplu.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1390))

The seminar press release:

> The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color
> January 26, 2010
> 9:00 - 10:30 am
> Sponsored by College Board Advocacy & the Congressional TriCaucus
> Capitol Visitor Center
> Congressional Meeting Room South
> Washington, D.C.

> Is the educational system failing minority males? If the United States is to achieve President Obama’s goal to produce 8 million college graduates by 2020, we must improve access and simultaneously ensure the academic success of minority boys and young men. The Educational Crisis Facing Young Men of Color --a new report from College Board Advocacy--explores the challenges facing young men of color in secondary and postsecondary education and identifies promising programs that accelerate achievement for this group of students.

> On January 26th, College Board Advocacy and the Congressional TriCaucus will convene educators, policymakers and advocates to discuss the report’s findings and call on leaders and communities to address this national crisis.

> Distinguished panelists will include:
> · Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
> · Gaston Caperton, College Board President
> · Lee Bitsoi, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
> · Roy Jones, Project Director, Call Me MISTER Program, Clemson University
> · Luis Ponjuan, Assistant Professor, University of Florida
> · Hal Smith, Vice President Education & Youth, National Urban League
> · Robert Teranishi, Associate Professor, New York University
> · Ronald Williams, Vice President, The College Board

> Space for this free event is limited. To register, please email mcushman@collegeboard.org with your name, affiliation, and email address

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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.