Eric.ed.gov – Task Force on the Education of Maryland’s African-American Males

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On June 9, 2003, the Task Force on the Education of Maryland’s African-American Males was convened by the Maryland K-16 Leadership Council (chaired by the University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan, former Maryland Acting Secretary of Higher Education John A. Sabatini, Jr., and Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick) to evaluate Maryland’s progress in addressing persistent academic achievement problems imperiling African-American boys and men. This Task Force was co-chaired by Vice President Dunbar Brooks, Maryland State Board of Education and Treasurer Orlan M. Johnson, Board of Regents, University System of Maryland. The task force evaluated the successes and failures of Maryland’s public schools with regard to African-American males’ school readiness; reading, math, and science achievement; attendance, graduation, suspension, and expulsion rates; participation in advanced academic programs; and college and career preparation. The Task Force did, indeed, address these topics, but because many found it difficult to sever what they consider the inextricable connection between a child’s emotional well-being and his academic success, many topics are substantially influenced by the social context in which they occur. All Task Force members–without exception–felt that school, itself, is an at-risk environment for African-American male youth, and they wanted this report to justify fixing it–whatever the cost. This report contains 18 specific recommendations centering in the areas of skilled, culturally competent teachers, high standards and academic opportunity, in-school support, family and community support, prevention and intervention services, and college preparation and financial assistance. The report names the logical group or groups who should take the lead in implementing the recommendations. (Contains 200 endnotes.) [This report was produced by the Task Force on the Education of Maryland’s African-American Males.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

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