All-Boys Schools Can Empower At-Risk Black Students

Generic image (Thinkstock)
Generic image (Thinkstock)

Single-sex schools can be advantageous for black boys, Freeden Oeur argues in a piece at CNN, and shouldn't be considered more examples of segregation. After conducting research at an all-boys, nearly all-black school in the Northeast, Oeur found that single-sex schools can tailor their culture and programs for at-risk African-American males.

Separation is not always a form of segregation. Some single-sex schools can do more good than harm. For educators who are looking for a way to address the needs of black boys — who lag behind their peers on a range of academic and social measures, according to research — single-sex education is an important tool.

Instead of abandoning the option, educators and policymakers should learn from the promising work of some of the schools that serve young black men. An all-male public school can celebrate many different ways of being a young man, freeing students from a straitjacket notion of masculinity …

Research has shown that single-sex schools serving at-risk youth are likely successful for reasons other than simply separating kids by gender. Yet too often, opponents mischaracterize the claims made by those who support the schools. Certainly, there are many differences among boys and among girls. But parents should have the option to choose between single-sex programs and coeducational options. (The programs must be completely voluntary, in keeping with 2006 Department of Education guidelines.)


Read Freeden Oeur's entire piece at CNN. 

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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