The nation's education system currently does an uneven job of preparing students for college and careers. High-poverty and high-minority high schools in particular lack the rigorous education and support elements necessary to prepare their students. This report examines the inequities faced by African-American male students and makes policy recommendations that address these inequities.
- College readiness encompasses: 1) cognitive strategies (e.g., intellectual openness, analytic skills); 2) content knowledge in core subject areas; 3) academic behaviors (e.g., study skills, ownership of one's own learning); and 4) contextual skills and awareness (i.e., understanding how college operates as a system and as a culture).
- Data show that schools with high percentages of students of color are less likely to offer higher-level college preparatory courses than schools with low percentages of students of color.
- Novice teachers are more likely to be placed in schools with large minority student populations, which can result in lower quality learning environments and experiences.
- High school students of color have fewer opportunities for support from school counselors, who are pivotal in the college preparation process.
- Policy recommendations include creating accountability in high schools for graduation rates and college and career readiness; prioritizing the appropriate number of school counselors, particularly in schools with the largest numbers of students with significant needs; and expanding community involvement and support.