New College Board Research on Young Men of Color Stirs Demand for Action
By Jamaal Abdul-Alim
While a panel discussion held by The College Board on Capitol Hill this week was meant to highlight a new report on the lagging rates of educational attainment among non-White men, some of the panelists questioned the need for more research on the subject.
“How much data do we need?” asked panelist Dr. Roy Jones, executive director for the Eugene T. Moore School of Education’s Call Me MISTER Program at Clemson University. (MISTER is an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role-models).
His remarks came after a discussion of the new report titled “The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color: A Review of Research, Pathways and Progress,” co-authored by John Michael Lee Jr., a co-panelist and policy director at the College Board’s Advocacy and Policy Center.
Among other things, the report delineates the current landscape and projections of degree attainment among minorities in the United States, making note of the fact that, while minorities will collectively rival Whites in numbers in 2019, degree attainment among minorities, with the exception of Asians, trails significantly behind that of Whites. For instance, while 41.6 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. had attained an associate’s degree or higher as of 2008, the rate was 30.3 and 19.8 percent for African-Americans and Latinos, respectively, versus 49 percent for Whites and 70.7 percent for Asians. The report was released with two companion reports that reflect student voices on the issues as well as the federal legal implications.
“I love John’s stuff,” Jones said of Lee’s report. “But we need to apply some of John’s stuff tomorrow.”
“We know all there is to know,” Jones continued. “It’s really the will to act.”
Lee, a co-panelist, responded with a little verbal one-upmanship regarding the need for action, saying, “We need to ask what we can do today.” Read more…