By kindergarten, 1 out of 4 African American boys in California is convinced he will fail in school, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a report by an Assembly select committee. By fourth grade, 60 percent of black and Latino children score below proficient on reading tests; by eighth grade, 1 in 4 are chronically absent.
Oakland Unified is implementing many of the report’s recommendations, including “full-service schools with health centers, discipline policies that keep students in school and programs to support at-risk youth,” reports the Chronicle.
For example, the district has an Office of African-American Male Achievement, which supports manhood development classes at middle and high schools and other programs for black males.
The manhood classes offer black male students positive African American male role models who encourage the young men to focus on their education and future and offer a curriculum that includes everything from how to tie a tie to an analysis of historical black figures.