The Chicago school district enrolls more black males than any other district in the country except for New York City. And yet, a new report suggests that the school system and neighborhoods are failing these young men.In further reading this article there is one reason why young black men aren't doing well enough to graduate high school in Chicago:
"Fifty years after Brown (v. Board of Education), less than 50 percent of African-American males are graduating high school," said John Jackson, President Schott Foundation.
Young black men are having a harder time graduating high school than their white counterparts, according to a national study released Friday by the Schott Foundation.
While the numbers of those heading off to college are slowly increasing, only little more than a third of African American males finish high school.
In the 2005-2006 school year, the Chicago school district graduated only 37 percent of the total number of black males enrolled versus 62 percent of white males.
While the numbers are similar to other large urban centers, they are quite unfavorable when compared to Prince George's County in Maryland, for example, which includes the Washington, D.C. area. There, for that same year, nearly the same number of black and white male students graduated.
But the problem is not just with schools. Pamela Sherley is on the front lines of that battle as assistant principal of Robeson High School in Englewood, where the graduation rate was about 47 percent this year. She says the main problem is a lack of attendance.Attendance? Well family issues are understandable and I hope that the schools can somehow work things out with these students where this won't hurt their marks. I don't know about neighborhood issues. Those who don't want to be in school will need an excuse to not show up. To me neighborhood issues might suggest criminal activity, that is they're either involved in criminal activity or it's not safe to go to school on a given day.
"Because of family issues, because of neighborhood issues - that has a lot of impact. When they're the ones really taking care of their younger brothers and sisters, they have that parental responsibility," said Sherley.
Christopher Sesson is on Robeson's football team and one of those who is planning to graduate next year. He's very clear on what made the difference for him.
"I have a mother and father at home. That's what's helped me a lot," Sesson said.
That other quote, it's in there for a reason. I want to ask this question. Where are the men?
We need you guys! The older guys who've either made it or who've struggled in their lives. These young men need your advice, encouragement, and wisdom. Or better yet, leadership!
I'd like to note it's easy for women to get together and push each other. Women thrive on that, more so than most men. I would suggest that young men need something from older men. A man has to be there to guide his children in the right direction. Unfortunately in some homes it's the women as head of the household. Perhaps the man of the house is the older brother who still doesn't know a lot about the world.
In any event, I'm not the only one with the answers. Perhaps some of you out there can offer some comments.