Oakland Tries to Even the Odds for African American Boys
In a collaboration between KQED and the San Francisco Chronicle series Even Odds, we offer an in-depth look at the daunting challenges faced by African American males in Oakland, and the city's attempt to address them. Three years ago, the Oakland Unified School District faced an alarming statistic -- more than half of its African American boys would not graduate. The troubling dropout rate had many factors at play: poverty, crime, high suspension rates and rising absenteeism. The district responded by opening the Office of African American Male Achievement. Its mission is to improve academic outcomes for black boys by pairing them with black men. While race-based, community mentorship is not new, for a public school system it was controversial. The early results are encouraging, but it remains to be seen whether this novel approach will actually work.
SF Chronicle video profile of Tiago Robinson:
- Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle
- Tiago Robinson, Oakland High School
- Pedro Noguera, New York University