The Promise of Education: Reversing the Dropout Crisis for Young Men of Color

Rhonda Bryant
December 12, 2013

The Promise of Education: Reversing the Dropout Crisis for Boys and Young Men of Color examines the high school dropout problem and recommends strategies for identifying and providing in-school and out-of-school supports to boys who are likely to drop out. These supports are vital for dropout prevention and academic success.

Today’s youth are the future of America. They are the future workforce – teachers, scientists, architects,  teachers, scientists, architects, inventors, nurses, and entrepreneurs – that will make us competitive in a global economy. They are the future mothers and fathers who must provide for their own children. And they are the fu­ture political minds who will shape our nation for genera­tions to come. The outlay we make today for the educa­tion and development of young people is an investment in assuring a bright future for the United States.

A solid education is a stepping stone to improved overall health and well-being. By staying in school and gradu­ating, youth are better positioned to have career readi­ness skills, be employed, be self-supporting, and able to contribute to their families, communities and society. Currently, boys and young men of color lag behind edu­cationally and far too many fail to complete high school. As America becomes increasingly diverse, we cannot continue to ignore the barriers that prevent boys and young men of color from succeeding in school. We have to be attentive to the education and development of all of the nation’s young people. In 2011, more than one-half of babies born were children of color.1Imagine if that many children grew up and failed to complete their edu­cation. Greater attention must be given to the outcomes of boys and young men of color, and ensuring they have the supports and resources needed to complete their education.

The good news is that we know early and targeted in­terventions work to keep kids in school. Using existing school data, we can identify the students that need help and be proactive about providing solutions. Schools can provide learning supports that remediate and accelerate learning, social-emotional supports that build students’ development and self-esteem in ways that positively af­fect learning, and bridge the worlds of home and school by partnering with community organizations and other systems to provide wrap-around services that support families so that boys of color can remain focused on learning.

Find the full report below (in PDF format).