Successful Students

How Educators Can Help Black Males Succeed In School

By Lance Fuller

Three high-profile research studies released in 2010 documented the academic struggles of Black youth. According to these reports, less than half of Black male students graduate from high school on time (although many eventually complete a GED) and are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their white peers.

The studies, conducted by the Schott Foundation, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys, stirred national debate on the academic prospects of Black males.

As grim as these reports are, public schools and teachers have the resources and tools to help Black males achieve in school, says Dr. Ivory Toldson.

Dr. Toldson is an associate professor of counseling psychology at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education. He is also the author of the Breaking Barriers, a two-part report detailing how educators can reach out and help Black males succeed in school.

Recently, Toldson spoke at the National Education Association and outlined his ideas and findings about Black student achievement. Toldson recounted how the media’s overly negative portrayal of Black males’ problems in school drives much of his research.

Read the full story, Breaking Barriers to Black Student Achievement, at

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