Education and Paths to Employment for Middle School Boys of Color

Male students of color face significant disparities in educational achievement in public schools in the United States, beginning at the earliest grades. Research shows that middle school outcomes are a significant predictor of future success in school. Attendance, behavior, and coursework completion are the key indicators of later high school completion. For middle school boys of color, these three areas are influenced by many external issues over which they have little control – such as social conditions in the community, family instability, and cultural misconceptions of school staff. Addressing the issues of achievement for these boys also means taking a close look at the multiple factors that impact learning.

This document is a summary of the collective thinking generated by a roundtable discussion group, and serves to lay out a series of important policies and practices, as well as opportunities to frame the thinking about middle school boys of color to move new policy solutions.

This and other roundtable discussions informed an issue brief from RWJF and CLASP: "Investing in Boys and Young Men of Color: The Promise and Opportunity."