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Posted July 21, 2014

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APS Pledges to Improve Achievement of Young Men of Color

Albuquerque Public Schools is one of 60 districts from across the nation participating in the White House initiative.

 Watch the My Brother's Keeper Town Hall attended by APS School Board President Analee Maestas

Albuquerque Public Schools is one of 60 school districts from across the country pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color. The pledge is part of an initiative by the Council of the Great City Schools, the U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

“Our job as urban educators is not to reflect or perpetuate the inequities that too many of our males of color face; our job is to eliminate those inequities – and that is what we pledge to do,” said Superintendent Winston Brooks. “We are pleased to join with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and other partners in an unprecedented shared commitment to improve the educational and social opportunities of our young men of color.”

The pledge of support is focused on boosting efforts to prepare males of color for college and careers, to reduce the disproportionate number who drop out of school or who are suspended, and to help them succeed.

“I’m pleased that APS was one of the first districts in the country that made this pledge, and I look forward to our focus on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps of all of our students,” said Dr. Analee Maestas who attended the event with the President in Washington, D.C.

The pledge that was signed by Superintendent Brooks and the APS Board of Education is a commitment to carry out 11 specific actions, which include:

  • Ensuring that pre-school efforts better serve males of color and their academic and social development;
  • Adopting and implementing elementary and middle school efforts to increase “the pipeline” of males of color who are on track to succeed in high school, and increasing the numbers participating in advanced placement, honors, and gifted and talented programs;
  • Keeping data and establishing protocols to monitor the progress of males of color and intervene at the earliest warning signs of problems;
  • Reducing the disproportionate number of males who are absent, suspended, expelled, or placed inappropriately in special education classes; and
  • Working to transform high schools with low graduation rates among males of color and striving to increase the numbers of males of color and others who complete the FAFSA forms for college aid.

Last fall, Albuquerque Public Schools hosted the Council of the Great City Schools national conference, where a town hall meeting on race, language, and culture – moderated by noted Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree – was taped and televised on New Mexico PBS.

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