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Buffalo School District Among Worst In U.S. In Graduating Black Males | News

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Buffalo School District Among Worst In U.S. In Graduating Black Males
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) -- A new report that examines black males in public education ranks Buffalo the 5th worst large school district in the country when it comes to graduation rates among African American men.

"Yes We Can: The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Black Males in Public Education" analyzes data from 2007-2008 and shows only 25 percent of black males in the Buffalo City School District graduated on time.

"That means that three quarters of the black male students in Buffalo do not graduate with the kids they entered ninth grade with," Michael Holzman, research consultant with the Schott Foundation, said. "That's very bad. That's very bad for them. It's very bad for the country."

Buffalo School Superintendent Dr. James Williams agreed that more needs to be done, but he said the district is moving in the right direction. He pointed to updated figures from the state, which show the graduation rate among black students last year was 56 percent. That included both males and females.

"The key thing is the continuation of educating the youngsters," Dr. Williams said. "You have to keep the attention of students to keep them in school. We talk about the drop-out rate, but we should talk about how many we push out."

Dr. Williams referred to the correlation between black males who drop out of high school and the deadly violence that occurred on Main Street in Buffalo over the weekend, in which 8 people were shot and 4 were killed.

"I'm willing to bet you whenever they find whoever did it, they probably dropped out and can't read," Dr. Williams said.

Mr. Holzman concurred.

"It's almost inevitable that a black male who doesn't graduate from high school will end up in jail," Holzman said.

The Schott study found the nationwide graduation rate for black males was only 47 percent. The report shows that out of 50 states, half have graduation rates for black male students below the national average. New York State's graduation rate of only 25 percent for black male students is the lowest of any state.

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