Urban Strategies Council "A Deeper Look at African American Males in OUSD" Report


Produced by the Urban Strategies Council using well-established indicators of high school dropout risk in the areas of academic performance, attendance, and discipline, this report examines the extent to which African-American boys in elementary, middle, and high school in OUSD are on course for graduating, at risk of falling off course for graduating, and off course for graduating.

Major Findings:

Among African-American male students in grades K-12, 45 percent were on course, 21 percent were at risk of being off course, and 34 percent were off course in 2010-11.

  • By contrast, among OUSD students overall, 63 percent were on course, 18 percent were at risk of being off course and 20 percent were off course.

  • One-third to nearly one-half of African-American male students in OUSD, depending on school level, were on course.

  • Chronic absence in elementary school drove many African-American boys off course.

  • More than half of African-American boys in middle school were at risk of dropping out of high school, with suspension being a factor for 73 percent of those off course.

  • Almost one in five off-course African American male students was held back.

  • Neighborhood poverty and violence were significantly related to whether youth were on-course with their education.


Key Recommendations:

  1. Develop and implement an early warning and intervention system to identify and support African-American males and other students who are off course or at risk of falling off course.

  2. Reduce the use of suspensions for non-violent, non-serious discipline issues.

  3. Identify and immediately implement strategies to improve attendance among African-American boys.

  4. Ensure that school-based health centers reach African-American boys.

  5. Engage more African-American boys in afterschool programs.

  6. Ensure that implementation of OUSD’s Strategic Plan results in high-quality, effective instruction for African-American boys.

  7. Create healthy school climates for African-American males.

  8. Prioritize improving the middle school experiences of African-American boys.Create opportunities to re-engage African-American male students in high school.

Please use the link below to download the full report.

AAMAI_OnCourseToGraduate.pdf1.1 MB