Ohio Leaders Want To Boost Graduation Rates Of African-American Males.

The public school graduation rate last year was 86% that number has climbed steadily during the last eight years. But many of the 19,000 students who drop out every year are low-income African American males, whose graduation rates are far below those of young males of other races. Former Cleveland Senator C-J Prentiss leads an office in the Ohio Department of Education dealing with issues of concern for African American students, especially in urban areas. “Some of our schools, 22% graduation rate. You got that. I mean its unbelievable. That’s in one city. In another city, 33% graduation rate. We’re talking about 60% of the kids not graduating or 70% of the kids not graduating in these particular clusters.” Says Prentiss.

Prentiss will join Governor Strickland and thousands of other leaders on Wednesday at a statewide conference on increasing the graduation rate of African American males. The conference includes workshops on learning how culture affects young black men, overcoming the seduction of gangs, and bringing in African American men as teachers and role models. “What happens on the route home, in the home, on Saturdays, on Sundays, after school, where are the activities? Where are the mentors? And so the conference is on shared responsibility.” Adds Prentiss.

The conference on African-American males will be held in Columbus.