Monday, December 22, 2014

CHAVOUS: An Open Letter to Black Elected Officials

Kevin P. Chavous, an attorney, author, national education reform leader, and former Democratic Party politician in Washington, D.C., makes the case for school choice and charter schools. 

Each year, various social service organizations issue reports relating to the state of black America. While issues such as affordable housing, jobs, crime and challenging family dynamics are generally discussed, the poor quality of the education received by far too many African-American children continues to be a focal point found in these reports. The facts don't lie. According to John Hopkins University, 32 percent of African-American students drop out of high school nationally — 15 percentage points higher than their white counterparts. In urban school districts with a high concentration of low-income and minority students, the gap is widened and graduation rates are even lower. 

According to the Schott Report on Black Males in Public Education, African-American males have the lowest graduation rates out of any other race in 38 of our nation’s 50 states, a 76 percent majority. For over a decade, African-American students have been the least likely to obtain a high school diploma out of every racial or ethnic group in the United States. Additionally, the achievement gap between African-American and white students has consistently grown or stayed stagnant nationally with white students outperforming their African-American peers by up to 30 points on standardized tests. Not only are African-American students struggling in high school, but they are ill prepared to succeed in higher education. Nearly 63 percent of African-American students enrolled in a full-time, four-year college institution fail to graduate.

Read complete article here