DCPS to invest $20 million for minority male students

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (SFS ’92, G ’07) announced a plan to invest $20 million in minority male students to support new programs such as creating an all boys college prep school as well as a mentor program for students in elementary students.

The investment is a part of the Empowering Males of Color initiative, which is designed to examine the challenges and successes of black and Latino boys in the classroom. The initiative strives to enhance black and Latino males’ experience and achievement both in and outside of the classroom.

Black and Latino boys make up 43 percent of the students enrolled in D.C. public schools, yet their math and reading performances, as well as attendance and graduation rates, continue to lag. Within the District, only 48 percent of black males and 57 percent of Latino males graduate in four years compared to 66 percent of non black and Latino students.

Henderson is teaming up with her former classmate Tim King(F’89, L ’93) to open an all boys school east of the Anacostia River. This is no new turf for King, as he founded Urban Prep, an all-boys school in Chicago that has achieved a 100 percent college acceptance rate for the past five years.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is a part of the nationwide push for equity and increased opportunity for minority males, as other cities in the nation such as Minneapolis and Oakland, Calif., have also taken efforts to reduce the achievement gap.

Bowser and Henderson have made empowering young men a priority during their administration. “It’s a very real, very urgent problem,” said Henderson.

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