The Promise of Education: Reversing the High School Dropout Crisis for Boys and Young Men of Color

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.1 Imagine 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. 

To learn more, read the full paper by Rhonda Bryant.