Education Gap

It should come as no surprise that Connecticut still has a huge gap between the rates at which blacks and whites graduate from high school. Eighty-three percent of white males graduate, compared to 60 percent of black males. The report by the Schott Foundation for Public Education and the Courant’s story focus exclusively on the chasm between males of each race. More about that below.

As I’ve mentioned before (See “Unrealistic Expectations“) the wealthiest state in the country has been trying to overcome inequities in education for years. The Courant’s story omits noting that change is possible, but PRNewswire observes: “The report highlights the success of New Jersey’s Abbott plan, which demonstrates that when equitable resources are available to all students, systemic change at the state level can yield significant results. New Jersey is now the only state with a significant Black population with a greater than 65 percent high school graduation rate for Black male students.” Based on that information, I’m not sure where HuffPo’s Rev. Romal J. Tune gets the idea that success means blaming teachers. He cites no evidence.

The PRN story notes, also, that some states with small populations of black males graduate at a higher rate than their white counterparts. I would love to see an analysis of the reasons for that disparity. Those stats would tend to contradict Rev. Tune as well. Some of the places with dreadful rates for blacks had subpar rates for whites, too. Authorities in Pinellas County, Florida, which ranked last with a twenty percent rate, defended themselves by saying the statistics were outdated. Did anyone bother to ask why only forty-two percent of white males graduate? That figure is below the national average for blacks.

Since the study dealt only with males, someone should do a comparable study for females of each race. For a variety of reasons, girls have higher graduation rates generally, but it would be interesting to see how much they skew the numbers. The study will have to come from somewhere else, though. The Schott Foundation has made it is mission to focus exclusively on males, or as the web site said of its then-president Rosa A. Smith: “Her visionary work around framing the educational vulnerability of young Black males as the litmus test for the No Child Left Behind Act has drawn national attention. Looking at the issue of gender with a racial lens, this new area of Schott’s work has caused school districts across the country to re-examine how they educate and measure the outcomes of their students who are most vulnerable to school failure.” It’s a shame no comparison numbers are available.

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2 Responses to “Education Gap”

  1. Redux, Redux IV Chapter 2 « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] high school graduation rates need help. See “I Don’t Get It ”and “Education Gap.”  The first story focused on changes in the way school districts track students: 79 percent, […]

  2. Education Gap Encore « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] The state’s gap between black males and their white counterparts has received national attention. “Education Gap.” […]

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