The Promise of Education: Reversing the High School Dropout Crisis for Boys and Young Men of Color

by Rhonda Bryant

Dec 4, 2013

As America becomes increasingly diverse, we cannot continue to ignore the barriers that prevent young men of color from succeeding in school. This report describes the high school dropout problem for young men of color, offers key lessons, and provides examples of successful programs.
  • Currently, little more than half of Latino, African-American, and Native-American students who begin high school will graduate.
  • Students' pattern of attendance, history of behavior issues, and track record for completing coursework are the keys to identifying their risk for dropping out.
  • It is important to consciously address perceptions and stereotypes, especially given the history of low teacher expectations and disproportionate disciplinary treatment for boys of color. Equally important to explore are definitions of masculinity and gender roles.
  • Targeted interventions should include school-wide reforms that support a philosophy of preventing school dropout; academic supports to remediate and accelerate learning; student supports that build character, leadership skills, and cultural identity; and community and cross-system collaborations.