black boys in school

Got Boys? Concerned for their School Success? – You Should Be.

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy, Raising Children of Color, School Me on Research

Got Boys? Concerned for their School Success? - You Should Be.

Who doesn't like to place a “My Child is an Honor Roll Student at ____fill in the blank___”, on the back of their car (especially since these signs are mostly magnets now and not stickers)?  As my grandma used to say, ‘It’s poor frog who doesn't praise its on pond’.
While it may seem like all we have to do is keep up with homework and meet with teachers to ensure our kids get honor roll magnets, I know it’s much trickier than that. We are parenting two African American girls and one boy. Realistically I know the stakes are high for all of our children, but particularly our son.  Statistically in school he, more than my girls, is:
  • more likely to be disciplined,
  • more likely to be recommended for evaluation for a learning disability and
  • least likely to obtain a master’s degree.
Girls are soaring right now in education. On just about every level girls are outperforming boys in reading, high school graduation and college attendance rates. The gender advantage in education is even more prevalent in communities of color. In 2010 women earned 66% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to African Americans, 61% for Hispanics, 60% for Native Americans, 55% for Asians and 56% for Whites.
black boy in classroom success
Fortunately, DiPrete and Buchmann offer suggestions for boy’s success in school.  They found that most boys in school succeed (and most definitely girls too) when:
  • They live in households that attach a high value to academic success
  • They have parents who help them understand that those who are successful in school are not magically smart.  But rather, just like training for sports of any kind, excellence in school requires engagement and takes time to develop.
  • They live in household with a biological father present *[I would add: or share a close relationship with father/father figure]
  • Have highly educated parents *[I would add: or have access to those, either through church or in community, with high education background]
Until boys in school statistically start to soar with the girls we aim to follow DiPrete and Buchmanns suggestions for success. And hope and pray for future days of lots of pond praisin’.
  •  *Note: Research has shown the power of children having access to natural mentors, i.e. neighbors, relatives, extended family who offer can offer brief or long-term mentorship.


What concerns do you have for your son in school?


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