by Frederick H. Lowe
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the charitable arm of the Congressional Black Caucus, on Wednesday outlined a plan to ensure that 20 percent of black-male students 18 years old and older earn a four-year college degree by 2020, which would be an increase from the current 16 percent.
The 47-page report, “Challenge the Status Quo: Academic Success Among School-Age African-American Males,” was released on Wednesday during a two-hour symposium held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N. C.
The study also challenges some well-accepted views about black male teenagers that are myths that don’t have any basis in fact, according to authors Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, senior research analyst at the CBCF and an associate professor at the Howard University School of Education, and Dr. Chance W. Lewis, chair of Urban Education in the College of Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
For example, the study reports that black males are not underrepresented in colleges and universities, which the authors admit will be met with tremendous skepticism since most most media reports about black teenagers are framed to show them as unemployed, high school dropouts in prison or in jail. But the reality is very different.