The Oakland school district has released some new data on the achievement of its black male students as part of its African American male achievement initiative, led by Chris Chatmon. (Note: The California Department of Education reports test scores by race and by gender, but not race and gender.)
- About 27 percent of Oakland’s black males showed proficiency in English language arts in 2010, compared to 31 percent of all black students, 80 percent of white males and the districtwide average of 41 percent.
- About 30 percent tested proficient in math, about the same as the overall proficiency rate for all African American students, but lower than the average for white males (77 percent) and the district average (44 percent).
- One in every five of the district’s black male students missed more than 18 days of school last year, making them chronically truant. The district’s overall absenteeism rate is also a concern, with 12 percent of students missing that many days.
- The suspension rate for black males is 18 percent, compared to 3 percent for white males and 8 percent overall.
Here is a copy of the full presentation. The stats are on slides 12-20.
If you want to do something about those statistics, the next meeting of the African American Male Achievement task force is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 on the Castlemont high school campus. Judging from the turnout at the last task force meeting, held at McClymonds, there is a great deal of interest in this initiative.
Calendar item: The Second Annual Dr. Carter G. Woodson Black History Bowl is Saturday, Feb. 26 at Frick Middle School, 2845 64th Avenue. It’s a trivia competition with elementary, middle and high school divisions, co-sponsored by OUSD, Ile Omode, 100 Black Men, Kulture Freedom and Mo’ Better Food.
The Kulture Freedom website says the entrance fee is $250 per team (five kids and a coach) to cover “event registration, a study guide & 6 games, 6 t-shirts, programs, certificates and awards.”
That sounds a bit steep, and I’ve emailed the founder to find out if there are any fee waivers for low-income students. Maybe people are getting sponsorships or scholarships. I’ll let you know what I find out.