Educational systems throughout America are systemically failing African American male students. As reported by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, African American males are least likely to graduate from high school (www.blackboysreport.org). In some large urban areas in this nation more than half of black males drop out of high school. The poverty rate for African American males is three times higher than the rate of white children and the unemployment rate for African American males over the age of 20 is twice that of white males (ETS and Children's Defense Fund).
We must find solutions to this national dilemma. Therefore, in the spring of 2011 Guilford County Schools established the Achieving Educational Excellence for African American Male Students project to focus efforts on improving academic achievement for African American male students. This project supports the goals and objectives outlined in the following areas of the GCS Strategic Plan 2012:
I. Improving Academic Achievement
II. Supportive Family & Community Involvement
III. Strategic Human Resource Management
IV. Safe Schools & Character Development
V. Clear Baseline & Equitable Standards
The project team's work will include a needs assessment of qualitative and quantitative district data, participation in shared experiences to reach common understanding of the challenges and barriers that African American males face, and a thorough review of input received from students, parents, teacher, principals, and the community at-large (Your Voice). An advisory committee of young African American males will provide valuable input as the project team works to establish a common goal throughout Guilford County Schools to significantly improve the yearly academic progress of African American male students.