Transforming the culture of schools for young black men
MARYLAND – The state is pushing to make the educational experience better for young black men. A task force put together by the state Board of Education called ‘Achieving Academic Equity and Excellence for Black Boys,’ was aimed at addressing the disparities black boys face, in schools, and dedicated to transforming the culture. “Our mantra has been, if our black boys are in trouble, so are we all,” says Task Chair, Dr. Vermelle Greene
With eight months of research and studies; state educators, superintendents, teachers and parents put together a resource guide which will take steps to address the disparities black boys face and create ways to improve it. “We don’t want these youngsters, especially our black boys to come back to the same old same old. Being at the top of suspension rates and at the bottom of test scores, we want to change that,” says Dr. Greene.
The task force found three key areas that were lacking in the education system when it came to educating black boys, social, emotional and behavioral. One Maryland educator who has dedicated his work to helping young black men says, this resource guide will help schools grow them as people. “I love to use the analogy, it’s helping our students, particularly black male students to know when they can be a lion and when they need to be a lamb,” says Richard Warren, a previous Maryland State Teacher of the Year, Professor of Education, and Director of UMES Men of Color in Education program.
Educators tell us, the resource guide will serve as a basis of what schools should focus on to not only help black male students in school, but give themselves a greater chance to succeed in life. In turn, helping the entire student body. Dr. Greene says, “We want people to realize, we’re not excluding anybody because by helping our black boys, we’re helping them all.” Dr. Warren adds, “Whether you’re black, white, Hispanic, whatever culture, race, ethnic group, or cultural status that you are, this is our country, these are our children, this society belongs to us.”
Next week, the Maryland Board of Education’s task force will meet with the school’s principals involved in this pilot program to approve their recommendations to implement this guide. Once they finalize the plans they will present it to the school board at the end of May. By August, the schools involved will be able to implement some of these programs.
If your school is interested in being apart of this program, just contact the Maryland Board of Education.
If you want to check out the resource guide, just click here.