Opportunity and Equity: Enrollment and Outcomes of Black and Latino Males in Boston Public Schools

by Anne Marshall; Christina Mokhtar; Dan French; Helena P. Miranda; Ray Ward; Rosann Tung; Sarah McAlister

Nov 13, 2014

Boston Public School (BPS) leaders commissioned this study to examine patterns of enrollment, access, engagement, and performance of Black and Latino males from School Year 2009 to School Year 2012. This quantitative analysis constitutes Phase I of a larger study that will ultimately include qualitative case studies examining promising practices in BPS schools in which Black and Latino males perform well.

  • Student enrollment in Boston Public Schools is increasingly diverse, not only by race but also by ethnicity, culture, country of origin, and language, particularly among Black and Latino students.
  • From 2009 through 2012, overall attendance, language arts and math proficiency, and graduation rates improved, while dropout rates declined. Yet substantial disparities by race and gender persist.
  • Most troubling is the inequitable access of Black and Latino male students to more rigorous programs and schools, which perpetuates unequal outcomes.
  • In addition to changing district level policy and practice, engagement from the Boston community – community organizations, business leaders, health care providers, and institutions of higher education – is needed to rectify inequality of access and outcomes.