Think you know the dropout rates for Black males? You’re probably wrong (part 3 of 3)

October 3, 2014

2014-10-03 12_31_48-Miltimes 10-2-14 issue.pdf - Adobe ReaderThe often stated notion that more than half of black males drop out, or do not graduate, is not true. Cohort graduation-rate calculations miss students who graduate late, graduate early, obtain a GED or transfer to schools outside their district. None of this information should be construed to minimize the importance of collective action to promote black male achievement. Putting this information in perspective, we should acknowledge that completion rates for black males continue to lag behind white males.
I have described how widespread recitals and simplistic representations of very complex calculations of the dropout rate and graduation rate are creating more problems than solutions for black males. People who do not understand how any given statistic is derived simply should not use the statistic. And people who know the truth but continue to distort and sensationalize the problem through statistics because they want people to pay attention to them are a part of the problem.
Earlier this year, Adam Eugene, a sophomore at Destrehan High School in New Orleans, told me, “Dr. Toldson, we have been hearing negative things about ourselves all of our lives. This is the first time that we are hearing that the news about us isn’t all bad. A lot of times, when children hear negative things, they start to believe they can’t learn and give up. So my question is, what are you doing to make sure children much younger than us hear the truth about themselves?”
What are we doing?