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Superintendent Dance Calls for Higher Black Male Graduation Rate

Baltimore County Public Schools was recently named fourth in the nation in a recently released report ranking school systems based on black male graduation rates.

The Baltimore County Public Schools system has the fourth highest graduation rate for black males in the nation, but that's not good enough for Superintendent S. Dallas Dance.

"Baltimore County schools have traditionally fared well in these national rankings,” Dance announced in response to the recently released national study. 

"But how we rate among school systems isn’t where our attention needs to be. Having just 67 percent of our black males graduate is not acceptable. We must set our sights higher. We must do more to guarantee that black male students— that all students—can achieve their full potential as learners, and that they graduate on time and ready to succeed in their choice of college or career," Dance stated in a news release.

The report from Schott Foundation for Public Education notes that nationally, as of the 2009-2010 school year—the most recently available data—only 52 percent of black males graduate from high school in four years. The study states that this figure is 10 percent higher than the 2001-2002 school year.

Baltimore County trailed behind Montgomery County; Newark, New Jersey and Cumberland County, North Carolina among districts with more than 10,000 black male graduates. On the other side of the spectrum, Rochester, New York ranked as having the lowest rate with nine percent.

As a state, Maryland was five percentage points above the national average at 57 percent.

New York has a 39 percent rate of black male graduates, the lowest in the nation, according to the report. Maine claimed the highest rate with 97 percent.

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RARE MARYLAND INDEPENDENT September 21, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Dr. Dance, I like your call. Unfortunately, it would be similar to my call of "I want a new BMW." Sounds great, but how? It is all in the execution, what will that specific execution be in order to accomplish the goal? Or - just hand out the diplomas? Is that were we are going?
DHAMMER September 21, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Until a dress code is adopted and rules are enforced and Parents made responsable and Teachers do their Job and not be scared of being sued or reprimanded for keeping their Classes under control Dance is just blowing smoke up the ole chimney
PerryHallParent September 21, 2012 at 09:55 AM
If we stopped separating everybody and everything by the color of someone's skin, then perhaps we can move forward. If someone has a black mother and a white father, what race do they now belong to? Is it "pick one" or do we just see children as just children in need of a good education? Having involved parents with a vested interest in their children's future is what we need, not statistics by skin color.
moe green September 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM
put down the cell phone and pick up the books. or use the baltiomre county police method from the 80's. lower the standards.
number9dream September 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM
I would suggest first reducing the number of shootings at Baltimore County Public Schools on the first day of class.
M. Sullivan September 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Exactly, PHP, why does Dance immediately focus on one race. Isn't it just as important that the graduation rate increase for everyone else?
James Edwards September 21, 2012 at 01:21 PM
We have a silent crisis in the U.S. that our young males are less likely to move onto institutions of higher learning. Many colleges have 65% female population to 35% male. It's not just African American males that need our help!
number9dream September 21, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Why is this a "crisis"?
Miss Migraine September 21, 2012 at 02:29 PM
My brother-in-law taught school at Westside Skill Center........a predominantly black school, he was NOT ALLOWED TO FAIL A STUDENT!! A friend I know ex-husband graduated from the police academy. A black man was among that class....he failed the class, but was allowed on the stage and given a BLANK diploma!! I agree 100% enforce dress codes, and behavior codes. Stop allowing the inmates to run the aslyum....the parents MUST be involved and the teachers MUST have authority...many kids today are not being taught respect.....a lot of the teachers I know say they are nothing more than baby-sitters. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.........sounds like the US isn't far behind, I'm sad to say.
gabe September 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Thank You.
gabe September 21, 2012 at 08:09 PM
First off if we concentrate only on black people this is discrimination as it seems like we are leaving out yet again the White, Asian, and Hispanic people. Life is not fair or perfect so what we should be doing in concentrating more on those who can and want to succeed in life and this will make a better America. If we just give jobs to those who are lazy because we have too then we will remain where we are at and worse. Anyone can graduate but can you graduate and keep your smarts and take that into your adult hood? Now that is what they should be working on.
Shell9 September 22, 2012 at 02:21 AM
What about the "girl" population in Baltimore County Schools? Most of them are struggling in Science and Math. Honestly if we had an all white male class, Baltimore County would be sued.. Pathetic..Thanks Dance for playing the RACE CARD and further dividing our community. Equality for all..Yea what a piece of bologna.
JD1 September 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM
BCPS will increase graduation rates by lowering standards just like the state has done. When Maryland added the HSA's (which already lack rigor) as a graduation rate, they soon realized that lots of kids couldn't pass them and wouldn't graduate. Rather than ramping up instruction and holding students accountable, they created the bridge project option which is a total joke. For kids not to graduate, they literally have to drop out or not come to school. As long as they show up to class and have a pulse, teachers pass them rather than deal with the hassle of failing them and being held accountable for it especially if the kid is a minority. Check out a local high school and you will see classrooms with kids with their heads down and asleep. What exactly should a teacher do - they get no support from home or from administrators who blame them for not "engaging" the student. Dance is leading a broken system and obviously lacks the stones and leadership to make the necessary change and comments like this are simply proof. He should visit every high school and have every African American male sit in the auditorium and lay down the law: attend school, don't disrupt class, don't harass teachers or female students, and do all required work. It's a simple formula for success but nobody has the spine to say it - especially their parents.
John L. September 23, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Here we go again: Lower the standards for a certain group - allow them to pass -earned or not..Why not control their behaviour like in middle schools where now we have to have a Police Officer in these schools also to help control the students. How absurd to need a Police Officer in our schools because of a certain group of students - when are we going to make parents responsible for teaching their children how to act in school? We are so far behind in the social graces it isnt' funny.. What a sad world we are in.
FIFA September 23, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Says who? You made that up. Disgusting.
georged September 23, 2012 at 05:51 PM
New York has a 39 percent rate of black male graduates, the lowest in the nation, according to the report. Maine claimed the highest rate with 97 percent. Northwoods hicks in Maine do better than enlightened and diverse idiots in ny!!!!
Jeanne September 23, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I am so tired of hearing of students being broken down by their race. Every student should be treated equal, taught equal, etc... There are some students that need more help, don't take the time to break them down by race give them the help they need. Some students just want to coast through school doing the least amount of work possible, parents get them off their ass and have them work to their ability. Going to school and how you are treated, given help, etc.. should not be about your race it should be about your ability to do work and the respect you show to other people (including other students). The students don't know they are being broken down by race and when some found out they didn't like it.
Parkvillehoney September 23, 2012 at 09:02 PM
John L when you have young single parent households what do you expect. If a girl and guy aren't smart enough not to have a child before they complete school and have a job, how are they going to raise a responsible child. Oh I forgot, the federal government will be the "parent' providing housing, energy assistance, food stamps, childcare, and cell phones. How about the federal government requiring child rearing classes and teaching unwed mothers not to have more kids they can't afford to raise without government help.
Parkvillehoney September 23, 2012 at 09:18 PM
The problem in Baltimore County Schools is lack of discipline. How can you teach to a disruptive group of students? 1st start with uniforms for all grade levels. Polo shirts and kahki pants for males, skirts, pants and polos for girls. Also, there has to be an alternative school for disruptive students. Take them out of the regular school where their friends are. These students will change their behavior or be stuck in this alternative school until they graduate.

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