NYC's Black Male Graduation Rates: The Lost Two-Thirds

New York ranks 54th of the 63 largest U.S. school districts for graduating black boys

But dig this: Black male students do not do poorly in all schools. "Black students in good schools do well," says the report. "At the same time, White, non-Hispanic students who attend schools where most of the students are Black, and their graduation rates are low, also do poorly" (emphasis added).

So where's the blame? In the poor schools! In the early 1960s, I was at a New York City Board of Education meeting at which a black father spoke. A school dropout in the South, he wound up here, after a string of menial jobs, in a dead-end factory job that paid $90 a week.

"You people, " he said to the august members of the board, "operate a goddamn monopoly like the telephone company. I got no choice where I send my child to school. And she's not learning! Damn it—that's your responsibility, the teachers, the principals. What happens? Nothing! Nobody gets fired. Nothing happens to nobody except my child."

And all these years later, only 32 percent of black males in New York City high schools graduate on time!

(Speaking of time, I'm taking some. See you in three weeks.)

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