Successful Students

Questions About Impacting Black Youth

By Cynthia Kain

We rarely miss/pass up an opportunity to network with other public education advocates. And this week, dozens of educators, school board members, after school program directors, administrators, foundation officers, etc etc attending the Congressional Black Caucus annual legislative conference came together to share ideas and strategies around Transforming Public Education for African-American Youth.

The challenges facing African American students and in particular black male youth is well documented. At we received yet another reminder this summer. The Schott Foundation said out of 50 states one half have grad rates below the national average.  No one at the gathering needed to be reminded of the consequences of inaction.

Instead the focus was what’s working that could be scaled up?  What are the right policies states/school districts should adopt.  What needs to happen at individual schools? What role do parents play? What can students do to take charge of their own education?

The central question for the Priority Schools campaign? Can our work in Priority Schools make an impact with black youth? Can what educators in schools that some would rather write off turn things around for black youth?  Big question. What do you think?

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PSC Superhero Keith G. Pemberton

Keith G. Pemberton is a social worker at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, N.C., where he has built a strong and steady pipeline for parental involvement, specifically among fathers and male mentors. Check out his Classroom Superhero profile and leave some words of encouragement.

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