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Report about racial achievement gap cites 'willful neglect' as part of the problem




A new foundation report that tracks state-by-state data has concluded that the high school graduation rates of  Black and Latino males continue to lag significantly behind Whites. It calls the problem a result of "willful neglect" and argues that it imperils the country's global competitiveness.

The report, by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, found that among males, just 52 percent of Black and 58 percent of Latino 9th graders nationally graduate from high school four years later, compared to 78 percent of Whites.

Pennsylvania is among the states with large gaps in male graduation rates, according to the report: a 28-point gap between Whites and Blacks and a 26-point gap between Whites and Latinos. However, the state's graduation rates are above the national averages.

"Too many Black and Latino young boys and men are being pushed out and locked out of the U.S. education system or find themselves unable to compete in a 21st-century economy upon graduating," said John H. Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation.

Jackson called these numbers a result of "willful neglect, unequal resource allocation by federal, state and local entities, and the indifference of too many elected and community leaders."

The report says that Black and Latino males are systematically shut out of equal opportunity in education, from preschool to AP courses to postsecondary attainment -- and most often confined to under-resourced schools. .


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Dale Mezzacappa

Dale is a contributing editor at the Notebook. She has reported on education since 1986, most of that time with The Philadelphia Inquirer.