Issue Brief: Focus on Education

by Kisha Bird; Rhonda Bryant

Jun 10, 2014

This brief focuses on education of boys and young men of color and was prepared for the, "Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity," briefing held on June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. The brief includes data providing the national context, promising program models, and strategies for moving forward.
  • Latinos and American Indians have the highest percentage of youth, ages 16 to 24, dropping out of high school (14 percent and 13 percent respectively), far above the national average of 7 percent.
  • Harsh school discipline policies often undermine the ability of young men of color to remain in school. While African-American boys make up 9 percent of the student population, they account for 24 percent of those suspended and 27 percent of those expelled from school.
  • Interventions to prevent high school dropout and support student recovery and reengagement include: establishing early warning indicator systems; providing academic supports; creating multiple pathways that blend education, training, and postsecondary education support; and ensuring wraparound supports are available to youth in high-poverty communities.
  • Strategies to ensure young men of color are college and career ready include: creating measures of college and career readiness for high schools; closing the gaps in course offerings, enrollment, and completion; and ensuring all high schools have culturally and linguistically proficient school counselors and lowering the counselor-to-student ratios for schools with many high-needs students.