Dominion of New York

Social Justice

September 20, 2012

New York State Has Lowest Black Male Graduation Rate in US

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Members of Harlem Children’z Zone’s class of 2012 celebrate their graduation. Credit: Screen Grab


esterday when the Schott Foundation released its biennial report about the education of black and Latino males, the foundation’s president and CEO made a dire prediction. John H. Jackson told the AP that it would take 50 years for black males to close the national 26 percent high school graduation gap with white males. If he’s right, the timeline is much longer in New York State and New York City, which have among the worst high school graduation rates for black males in the country, according to the report.

In New York State, only 37 percent of black males graduated from high school during the 2009-10 school year, the report found. While that’s a 12 percent improvement over the 2007-08 school year, the improvement only closed the black-white graduation gap by 1 percent.

New York City’s track record of graduating black males is even worse. Only 28 percent finished high school that year, making the district the seventh worst in the nation. The Schott Foundation recorded no improvement in the graduation rate of NYC’s black males since the 2007-08 school year.


By comparison, the best performing districts in America — Newark, New Jersey and Montgomery County, Maryland — graduated black males at a rate of 74 percent. Why do you believe New York State and New York City perform so much more poorly than other states and districts?

About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


A student at Ocean Hill Collegiate Middle School. Photo by Jessica Campbell
The outdoor plaza at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of OlivierJD.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Renato Ganoza

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