JCPS has joined with 59 other large urban school systems in a first-ever collective commitment to improve education for young men of color.
The Council of the Great City Schools, the primary coalition of the nation's urban school systems, asked districts to boost efforts to help males of color succeed academically, to better prepare them for college and careers, and to reduce the disproportionate number who drop out of school. By signing A Pledge by America's Great City Schools, the council's urban school systems committed to several specific actions, including the following:
- Ensuring that preschool programs better serve males of color and their academic and social development
- Adopting and implementing elementary and middle school efforts to increase "the pipeline" of males of color who are on track to succeed in high school
- Increasing the number of the students who participate in Advanced Placement (AP), honors, and gifted-and-talented programs
- Keeping data and establishing protocols to monitor the progress of the students and intervene at the earliest signs of problems
- Reducing the disproportionate number who are absent, suspended, expelled, or placed inappropriately in special education classes
- Working to transform high schools with low graduation rates among males of color
- Striving to increase the number of the students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Collectively, the school systems that are members of the Council of the Great City Schools educate at least a third of the nation's African-American and Latino students.
Michael Casserly, executive director of the council, says, "We are pleased to join forces with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and other partners in an unprecedented shared commitment to improve the educational and social opportunities of our young men of color."