A Place to Call Home: Learning Challenges in Low-Income Communities
Across the United States there is an epidemic of school closures in Black and Latino Communities that are leaving an educational gap that may need to be addressed by local and national social services organizations like Concerned Black Men. According to a 2014 report issued by Journey for Justice, 39 schools have been shuttered since 2008 in Washington, DC alone. These cuts are devastating because many of them leave students without viable educational options.
Many child-centered social services organizations operate in school districts across the nation. According to data from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights US School Districts are shrinking. This shrinkage is happening most notably in areas where student populations are comprised of typically 75 percent or higher student of color ratios. Conversely charter schools have increased by triple digit numbers in many areas where Public Schools are shrinking.
DC Public schools have shrank by 23 percent, while larger districts like Detroit and Gary Indian have shrunk by 63 and 47 percent respectively. These closures have resulted in educational desserts. Many Charter schools have more stringent enrollment qualifications that weed out more academically challenged students. A 2010-2011 study by Stanford’s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) found that special education students constituted only 8% of charter school enrollment, compared to 11 percent enrollment in comparable public schools (Williams 2013).
CBM is working to address the many needs of low-income students daily, by helping them to find support and encouragement through valued mentors and acting as an advocate for youth in schools across the nation.
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