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Report: D.C. Schools Still Struggling to Produce Black Male H.S. Grads

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By Kavitha Cardoza

A lower percentage of black males graduated from high school in D.C. than in all but five states, according to a new study.

Researchers found only 41 percent of black males graduated, compared with 57 percent of white males, which is also far below average.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education found that graduation rates for black males nationwide averaged only 47 percent -31 percent lower than for whites.

Researcher Michael Holzman says there's a reason DC's were even lower.

"More than twice as many on average black males get out of school suspensions compared to white males, and way more are expelled in D.C. And in either of those cases that's pretty much the end of their education," he says.

Holzman calls for targeted interventions, including an extended school day, Saturday school, and afterschool programs.

"It doesn't have to be more of the same classes, but it has to be a learning environment," Holzman says.

DC Public Schools numbers differ sharply with the report's. Using a different methodology, they say the graduation rate is 72 percent and has been rising.

The report calculates the overall rate much lower, and falling.

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