According to a new study commissioned by the Council of the Great City Schools (CGSC), the achievement gap between young black men and their counterparts continues to grow. The 120-page study released on November 9, 2010 highlights the continuing problem that black males face in lower education, college, and when entering the workforce. Calling the crisis for black men a “National Catastrophe”, the study highlights 6 major components of the problem facing our youth. Below are some of the key findings of the study.
In relation to readiness to learn, the study says that in 2008 a black child is twice as likely to live in a house where no parent had full time employment. The study also stated that 1 out of every 3 black children lived below the poverty line. Related to black male achievement at the national level, the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) stated that on the 2009 4th-grade reading assessment only 12% of the black male students scored at a level of proficient or above. The study also showed that young black men were twice as likely to drop out of school compared to white males, they score over 100 points lower on the ACT than white males, and they are less likely to participate in academic clubs than their white peers. Based on the above statistics it is no surprise that the study states that the black unemployment rate of 20 year old blacks is 17.3%, which is twice as high as their white counterparts.
This analysis clearly demonstrates that young black males continue to fall further behind in education, which is the ultimate key to financial and social success for this generation and the generations to come. As vast numbers of blacks fail to achieve a quality education, the cycle of hopelessness, poverty, crime, and government assistance will only continue. As bad as the problem is today, the real tragedy is that the problem is only likely to worsen as the tolerance level in the US continues to diminish related to the spending of government dollars to help anyone, especially uneducated black men.
Currently Congress (primarily the Republican faction) is blocking the extension of unemployment benefits. As young black men disproportionately fill the unemployment rolls they of course will be disproportionately affected. Without an education and the subsequent degrees that follow, these young unemployed black men have very little options for income which of course leads to money making through criminal activity or other questionable methods.
The recent Republican victories in Congress, largely influenced by the Tea Party, usher in a regime that is much tougher on social programs for the poor and underserved. Many Republicans already feel that education is overfunded and all over the country budget debates are raging with Republicans looking to further cut education funding. The CGCS study clearly shows that local and national help is needed to fix the educational issues for black men, but the political will of the Republicans and the country as a whole does not support the introduction of new programs to help.
Finally, there is a large focus in this country to reduce the deficit. Both Democrats and Republicans alike are looking for any way to reduce spending and education (due to its large percentage of the federal budget) is a likely target. Although the defense budget dwarfs the education budget, education is much more likely to get cut as the education lobby is not nearly as powerful as the large corporations that lobby for defense spending. The outlook for long term education spending at current levels is not good and unless Democrats drastically change the political landscape in 2012 the hope of increased education spending is simply just a dream.
Return to All About Education