Boston, Mass. (CBS HARTFORD) — Only 52 percent of black males and 58 percent of male Latino ninth-graders graduate from high school four years later.

This is in contrast to 78 percent of white, non-Latino male ninth-graders that do graduate in four years.

The new report is from the Schott Foundation for Public Education. It suggests that without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens support for the teaching profession, and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms — the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy.

The national graduation rate for black males has increased by ten percentage points since 2001-02, with 2010-11 being the first year that more than half of the nation’s ninth-grade black males graduated with a regular diploma four years later.

However, the Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males shows that progress has closed the graduation gap between black male and White, non-Latino males by only three percentage points.

“We have a responsibility to provide future generations of Americans with the education and the skills needed to thrive in communities, the job market and the global economy,” John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, told Globenewswire. Yet, too many Black and Latino young boys and men are being pushed out and locked out of the U.S. education system or find themselves unable to compete in a 21st Century economy upon graduating.”

Among the states with the largest black enrollments, North Carolina (58%), Maryland (57%), and California (56%) have the highest graduation rates for black males, while New York (37%), Illinois (47%) and Florida (47%) have the lowest.

Arizona (84%) and Minnesota (65%) were the only states within the top ten ranked states, in graduation rates, with over 10,000 black males enrolled.

Among the states with the highest enrollments of Latinos, Arizona (68%), New Jersey (66%) and California (64%) have the highest graduation rates for Latino males, while New York (37%), Colorado (46%) and Georgia (52%) have the lowest.

The report cites the need to address what the Schott Foundation calls a “pushout” and “lockout” crisis in our education system, in part by reducing and reclaiming the number of students who are no longer in schools receiving critical educational services and improving the learning and transition opportunities for students who remain engaged.

“These graduation rates are not indicative of a character flaw in the young men, but rather evidence of an unconscionable level of willful neglect, unequal resource allocation by federal, state and local entities and the indifference of too many elected and community leaders,” said Jackson. “It’s time for a support-based reform movement.”

The study states that blacks and Latinos face disproportionate rates of out-of-school suspensions and are not consistently receiving sufficient learning time – effectively being pushed out of opportunities to succeed.

There is no doubt that the stakes are high. black and Latino children under the age of 18 will become a majority of all children in the U.S. by the end of the current decade.

The Schott Foundation For Public Education is based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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