There's a new way to look at data released earlier this summer on the challenges young men of color face in school. Earlier this summer, the College Board released a new report that offers more detailed insight into what holds many of these young men back in school. The association, which is made up of more than 5,900 educational organizations that sell standardized tests like the SAT, studied four different groups: African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans. The research spans the course of their journeys and detours from kindergarden to college.
Sadly, the results weren't surprising. It found that nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school in the U.S. will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead. Of the five groups studied, Native American males with high school diplomas were the least likely to be enrolled in secondary education programs.
"At a time when our nation is committed to reclaiming its place as the world leader in higher education, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our young men of color," said Gaston Caperton, College Board President, shortly after the report was released in June. "As long as educational opportunities are limited for some, we all suffer."
The good news it that the report offers detailed data on how to help curb the problem. It's got a host on initiatives that are already in the works. Below are some new ways to look at the data.
In 2008, over 3.3 million 15- to 24-year-olds were employed. Of those employed, 1,667,000 (49.3 percent) were male and 1,717,000 (50.7 percent) were women. (It should be noted that postrecession numbers are worse for men, yet 2008 was the only year that data across all pathways were available.)
The report also provides detailed data within specific racial groups. For example, in 2007 the six percent dropout rate for Cuban males is well below the Latino average of 19.9 percent, while the Salvadoran dropout rate is much higher at 25.8 percent.
Looking again at Salvadoran students, the report found that foreign-born Salvadoran dropout rate is 41.1 percent, versus a much lower dropout rate of 10.1 percent for native-born Salvadorans.
"At a time when our nation is committed to reclaiming its place as the world leader in higher education, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our young men of color," said College Board President Gaston Caperton in a written statement. "As long as educational opportunities are limited for some, we all suffer. We rise as one nation and we fall as one nation. But if we keep working hard -- if we keep listening to each other and to our students -- we can soften our landings and reach historic new heights."
According to The College Board, their report provides the most comprehensive data, research findings and recommendations to date to improve the educational experiences and pathways of young men of color.
Recommendations outlined in the study include both public policy changes for policy makers and institutional changes for colleges and universities that include summer bridge programs, hotlines that help students get all questions answered and transportation services to schools.
You can download the entire report, watch video interviews from young male students of color and examine research findings yourself by visiting youngmenofcolor.collegeboard.org.