College & Workforce Readiness

Study: Fewer Than Half of Black Males Graduate on Time

By Dakarai I. Aarons — August 17, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Only 47 percent of America’s black males graduate from high school on time, according to a new report from a philanthropic organization.

The report is the fourth such biennial accounting by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Schott Foundation for Public Education.

Based on federal, district, and state data, the foundation reported that 53 percent of African-American males did not graduate with their peers in the 2007-08 school year. In contrast, 78 percent of white males graduated from high school on time, an increase of 3 percentage points since the foundation’s last report, in 2008. (“Schott Foundation to Step Up Advocacy for Black Males,” August 5, 2008.)

The findings closely mirror those in a June report from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. That report, using federal data from the 2006-07 school year, found that just 46.7 percent of African-American male students graduated that year, compared with 73.7 percent of their white male counterparts.

The Schott Foundation’s report takes a closer look at districts and states to examine graduation trends.

Some states with the smallest populations, such as Vermont and North Dakota, have graduation rates for black males that are higher than the national average for white males. New Jersey, at 65 percent, has the highest graduation rate among states with more than 100,000 black male students, while New York’s graduation rate, at 25 percent, is the lowest of any state, the report says.

The New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago districts were among those with large black male enrollments that posted the lowest graduation rates, while the school systems in Newark, N.J.; Fort Bend, Texas; and Baltimore County, Md., posted some of the highest graduation rates for African-American males.

John H. Jackson, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer, said the low national graduation rate for black males is something the country cannot afford to let persist if it is to reach President Barack Obama’s goal of leading the world in the percentage of college graduates by 2020.

“It just seems to be that the U.S. is systemically failing black males,” he said, yet policymakers and educators “aren’t making the choice and the tough decisions to provide all students the opportunity to learn.”

“It’s absolutely a lack of political will,” he said.

Mr. Jackson said the fortunes of students and, by extension, the nation, can be improved by providing access to early childhood education, highly effective teachers, a college-preparatory curriculum, and equitable financial resources to schools in every community.

The success in New Jersey, he said, which followed through on a promise to give higher funding to higher-need schools through its Abbott plan, is a model others can follow.

“I don’t think we are going to program our way out of this,” he said. “It has to be about systemic change.”

A version of this article appeared in the August 25, 2010 edition of Education Week as Study: Fewer Than Half of Black Males Graduate on Time

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says The State of Career and Technical Education, in Charts
New federal data shows more than 8 in 10 high school graduates completed at least one course in a career-education field in 2019.
2 min read
Young girl working on an electrical panel in a classroom setting.
iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can Mastery-Based Learning Replace Seat Time?
Developing better assessments and getting buy-in from practitioners will be key to replacing seat time as a proxy for mastery.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Are Real-World Problem-Solving Skills Essential for Students?
Ensuring students' career readiness is a top priority for districts.
2 min read
Photograph of culturally diverse students and Black female teacher discussing mathematics problem at a whiteboard
E+
College & Workforce Readiness What’s More Important to Students and Employers: Skills or Credentials?
At the Reagan Institute Summit on Education, leaders discussed the evolving value of college degrees versus career skills.
4 min read
Reagan Institute Summit on Education panelists discuss career-connected education at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2024.
Reagan Institute Summit on Education panelists discuss career-connected education at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2024.
Annie Goldman/Education Week