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Study shows minority students graduate at lower rates than white counterparts

Study shows minority students graduate at lower rates than white counterparts

Minority students graduate high school at lower rates than their white counterparts. A new study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education that tracks students’ performance throughout their high school career found that only 52 percent of black males, and only 58 percent of Latino males, graduated from high school while 78 percent of their white counterparts did. In Arkansas, the difference wasn’t quite as stark, but the results do show a significant gap. In 2010, the male graduation rate for black students was 59 percent, while nearly three out of four white students graduated high school.

The racial gap is narrower in Arkansas than the national average as black male students in Arkansas in 2009/10 graduated at higher rates, and white male students graduated at lower rates, than the national averages for each, as they had in 2007/8. The report suggests the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens supports for the teaching profession, and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms.

You can find out more about the “achievement gap” and some of the great work that’s being done to correct it by taking a look at the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign. Also, a recent report¬†from AACF and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation talks about steps being taken to narrow the gap in Arkansas.

From the Schott press release:

According to The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males, the national graduation rate for Black males has increased by ten percentage points since 2001-02, with 2010-11 being the first year that more than half of the nation’s ninth-grade Black males graduated with a regular diploma four years later. Yet, this progress has closed the graduation gap between Black male and White, non-Latino males by only three percentage points. At this rate, it would take nearly 50 years for Black males to achieve the same high school graduation rates as their White male counterparts.

The report cites the need to address what the Schott Foundation calls a “pushout” and “lockout” crisis in our education system, in part by reducing and reclaiming the number of students who are no longer in schools receiving critical educational services and improving the learning and transition opportunities for students who remain engaged. Blacks and Latinos face disproportionate rates of out-of-school suspensions and are not consistently receiving sufficient learning time – effectively being pushed out of opportunities to succeed. Many who remain in schools are locked out of systems with well-resourced schools and where teachers have the training, mentoring, administrative support, supplies and the facilities they need to provide our children with a substantive opportunity to learn.