Monday, December 18, 2006

What's Good for Maryland Males is Good for Others Too

Last week the Baltimore Sun published an article on Baltimore youth--black and male. Liz Bowie writes that a task force of 45 educators, business leaders, and union officials that had met for two years discussed their proposal for Maryland's black male youth. Their proposal is worth reading about and included ideas and strategies (proposed policies) that should be considered for all students struggling academically, not just boys--a study and emphasis like this risks understating other at-risk groups like low income minority girls.

Pay particular attention to the panel's recommendations that suggest schools cannot shoulder the entire moral responsibility of raising a child--a popular urban chord, but often unheard by all types of education ideologues. Suggestions like single sex classrooms; more mainstreaming of special education students; and more rigor in the curriculum, college prep, and PSAT test taking have positive effects for many types of struggling students. The gist here is that more attention to high schools is needed: there are a lot of creative and committed people out there who know that a child's last chance needn't come when he is eight years old.


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