By: Krystle Crossman
Dr. Ivory Toldson is the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He is trying to garner attention to his latest crusade to increase the enrollment of black males at colleges and universities around the country. He wants to help these men succeed and achieve the things that they want to achieve without being held back by a lack of money or a poor education.
Toldson is not a fan of statewide testing that is required and says that the scores are used as scares tactics against students. He feels that when used properly the tests can be very useful but at this point feels that they are being used to shame parents, students, and even the schools. This does not put much confidence in the students who are trying to aspire to so much more.
Toldson is part of a group called SchoolSeed, located in Memphis, which is an organization that works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is the recipient of a $90 million educational grant. The purpose of SchoolSeed is to support members of the community and find new ways to inspire students so that they can reach their full educational potential.
Recently Dr. Toldson visited a high school in Memphis to speak with the students about their education. One of the students said that where he comes from he is lucky to even be in high school because that is usually not something you get to do too often. He also met with town officials to talk about the gap in academics between black male students and other races as well as about the testing and scores that students were getting.