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Baltimore Schools To Mentor Black Boys To Increase High-school Graduation Rates

By Victor Trammell

In Baltimore, Maryland’s public school system, there are challenges with increasing the high school graduation rates for a sizable amount of the district’s black and Hispanic male students.

To curb that problem, Baltimore County school superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance (pictured) has announced plans to start a district-wide male mentoring program for minorities in the school system’s public high schools. “Now, what we are not going to do is to change course,” Dance told WBALTV 11 News, a local news station.

Earlier this week, a luncheon was held by the school district, which attracted a number of Baltimore County’s business  leaders. These business people have donated money to support improving the area’s public school system. More is being done today to prevent the academic failure of young men, which is reaching an all-time high.

“In grades seven-12, 40 percent of our African-American students, male students in general, and 31 percent of our Hispanic males have been suspended, compared to 23 percent of their white male counterparts,” Dance also told WBALTV.

Dance also pledged to improve the district’s ability to deliver English language studies for the district’s growing number of non-English speaking youth. “We will strengthen our welcome center for English learners and explore a high school academy that will ensure college and career readiness for all of our students,” Dance said in his news interview.

According to WBALTV, Baltimore County’s taxpayers will be contributing around $500 million to help launch this new initiative. Dance also said government assistance and more private donors will be needed to fully fund the district’s elaborate plan to improve graduation rates for minority males who come from low-income neighborhoods.

Starting in the fall, a new free breakfast and lunch program will be implemented in Baltimore County’s schools located in low-income neighborhoods as well, according to WBALTV. Urban school districts in major U.S. cities across the country are failing. It is good to see a community like the Greater Baltimore area do something to prevent failure.

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