College & Workforce Readiness

Success Graduating Black Males Earns Ohio Schools Praise

By Catherine Gewertz — October 11, 2005 2 min read

Three Ohio high schools are being honored this week for outstanding work in fueling the success of African-American male students.

E.L. Bowsher High School in Toledo, Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, and Charles F. Brush High School in Lyndhurst, near Cleveland, were to receive awards from the Schott Foundation for Public Education at an Oct. 10 meeting of the Ohio state board of education. All three have shown unusually high graduation rates or academic performance by black male students, the foundation said.

The foundation, based in Cambridge, Mass., conceived of the awards as part of its work to reverse national patterns showing that young black men graduate on time less often, are expelled or suspended more often, and referred for special education placements more often than their nonblack or female peers. (“Foundation Tackles Black Males’ School Woes,” Aug. 31, 2005)

The Schott Foundation and the Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks Foundation will give $4,000 to each of the three high schools, to be used as a freshman-year college scholarship for a graduating black male student. This is the first year the awards have been given. The Schott Foundation hopes to recognize three high schools in each of seven states next year, and expand to 40 states by 2008.

“We want people everywhere to know what’s possible,” Rosa A. Smith, the Schott Foundation’s president, said in an interview. “These awards demonstrate that regular schools working hard every day with children can make it happen.”

With the help of the Ohio education department, the Schott Foundation analyzed graduation, achievement, enrollment, and socioeconomic data for the state’s high schools. They looked for schools where, among other results, large proportions of black males graduated at greater rates than the national average and scored at the “proficient” level in reading and mathematics on state tests.

Three finalists were selected, and Schott officials visited those schools and interviewed students, teachers, and administrators.

Roads to Success

At Charles F. Brush High School, where the graduation rate for African-American males is nearly 100 percent, foundation officials noted two programs that could serve as models for other schools. One, inspired by a program in nearby Shaker Heights, is a minority achievement club that supports high-achieving black male students.

Brush High’s ArcTech Academy offers computer-based instruction, small-group mentoring, and individualized help for students who are not flourishing in traditional classrooms. Most students in the program are African-American males, and 93 percent of the program’s students graduate on time.

At Toledo’s Bowsher High, where 80 percent of the black male students graduate in four years, Schott officials found that many of the young men cited two factors as important to their success: a strong discipline policy that created a good environment for learning, and the presence of several African-American male role models on the staff. Both students and staff members reported a culture of universally high expectations, backed up by a wide array of college-preparatory classes.

Nearly all of the African-American students at Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills High score at the proficient level in both reading and mathematics, and very few of its black male students drop out. The school, which admits only students who score at grade level on a nationally normed test, was cited by the philanthropy for its varied, high-level course offerings, and teachers’ insistence on strong performance.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2005 edition of Education Week as Success Graduating Black Males Earns Ohio Schools Praise

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
The Social-Emotional Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on American Schoolchildren
Hear new findings from an analysis of our 300 million student survey responses along with district leaders on new trends in student SEL.
Content provided by Panorama

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

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
College & Workforce Readiness Whitepaper
Prepare Students with Work-Based Learning
Download this toolkit to learn how your school or district can build community partnerships to provide students with access to real-world...
Content provided by Naviance
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read