The Achievement Gap and Graduation Rates

Less than half of  black males–47%–graduated from high school in the 2007-08 academic year, according to “Yes We Can: The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education,” a new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education.
The report gives a state-by-state look at which U.S. school districts and states. It concludes that without targeted investments to provide the core, evidence-based resources to help Black male students succeed in public education, they are being set up to fail.

The report’s Massachusetts evaluation shows that even though the state has a  graduation rate for black students higher than the national average, the graduation rate for black males is 52% compared to 78% of white males. In Boston, the graduation rates are lower, with 47% of black male students and 60% of white male students graduating from high school in 2007-08. Boston and Massachusetts as a whole both showed slight improvement from the 2005-06 academic year data.

The states with black male student enrollment exceeding 100,000 that have the highest graduation rates for black male students are New Jersey (69%), Maryland (55%), California (54%) and Pennsylvania (53%).

For more information:

  • Read the full evaluation of Massachusetts here

The Economic Benefits of Reducing Dropout Rates

The Alliance for Excellent Education released a study estimating the benefits of reducing the dropout rate among students of color in the country’s 50 largest cities. According to the study, the most recent estimate shows that high school graduation rates for African American, Latino, and American Indian students is slightly higher than 50%. This is more than 20 percentage points lower than that of their white peers.

If the dropout rate in Boston–estimated at 10,400 students in the class of 2008– were cut in half, the study estimates that this single class of new graduates would likely earn the following amounts of combined income in an average year:

  • African American: $6.9 million
  • Latino: $9.5 million
  • American Indian: $200,000
  • Asian American: $5.7 million

As a result of their increased wages and higher levels of spending, state and local taxes in Boston would likely grow by as much as $2.3 million in an average year. The country would benefit as a whole as well; the study says that if half of the nation’s 600,000 dropouts graduated, the benefits would likely include:

  • increased earnings of $2.3 billion in an average year;
  • increased home sales of an additional $5.9 billion in mortgage capacity over what they would spend without a diploma;
  • an additional 17,450 jobs from the increased spending in their local areas;
  • an increase in the gross regional product by as much as $3.1 billion;
  • an additional $1.6 billion spent and an additional $636.6 million invested each year;
  • an additional $158.6 million spent on vehicle purchases; and
  • increased tax revenues of $249.7 million.

Follow the Alliance for Excellent Education on Twitter: @All4Ed

Summer Break Begins for Boston

KidsBoston Public Schools have wrapped up the 2009-10 academic year and students are on their way to enjoying the summer. In an end-of-year message, BPS Superintendent Carol R. Johnson commended students and teachers and pointed out some gains made during the past school year:

  • Boston Public Schools’ graduation rate rose to its highest level ever
  • The drop-out rate fell to its lowest level in more than two decades
  • BPS’ new Re-engagement Center assisted more than 500 teenagers who had left the classroom in their return to school

With that said, City Connects wishes all BPS students and staff a wonderful and safe summer!

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