There are plenty of challenges in public schools, but the greatest crisis we face in education today is that of black male learners: The national high school graduation rate for black males is a shocking 47 percent.
Although that national rate is extremely low, when it is disaggregated by large school districts, the statistics become even more alarming. In many districts across the country, the high school graduation rate for black males ranges from 19 to 30 percent.
When you couple this graduation data with the percentages of black males who are suspended, expelled, and referred to special education—which is the highest referral rate in the nation—it becomes increasingly evident that this population is in great crisis. In fact, I would venture to say that, regarding the black male learner, we are in a national state of emergency. There is a direct correlation between these percentages and the number of