A Call for Change: Providing Solutions for Black Male Achievement

by Candace Simon; Michael Casserly; Moses Palacios; Renata Uzzell; Sharon Lewis

Dec 1, 2012

Council of the Great City Schools understands that reforms work best when implemented in tandem; it urges urban school districts to develop a unifying vision with multilayered strategies for addressing the academic needs of African American males. This e-book is a compilation of solution briefs, representing educational and noneducational strategies. Ranging from reading and math to mental health, school discipline, and public policy, the essays have in common a belief in the potential of African American male students.
  • Some urban school districts need to develop better strategies for identifying African American male students who possess the ability for gifted education. The underrepresentation of this group in gifted and talented programs is often overlooked, when in fact cultural biases and socioeconomic barriers are preventing many from realizing their full academic potential by excluding them from these programs.
  • Chicago Child-Parent Centers, which serves primarily Black American low-income students through 3rd grade, is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful early childhood initiatives. The model aligns preschool and early elementary curriculum and provides significant parent education and support.
  • Effective teachers have high expectations of their students and hold them to clear and attainable academic and behavioral standards. Unfortunately, both White teachers and teachers from marginalized communities themselves often have low expectations and reinforce deficit thinking in black male students.
  • School partnerships with community-based organizations can potentially draw the attention of school leadership to specific problems, garner resources, lead to more innovative strategies, create opportunities for parent engagement, and effectively advocate for public policy change.