The dilemma of dealing with the Black male dropout problem

James B Dowdell, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Purpose. This study, which investigated the high-school-dropout phenomenon in general and the high school-dropout-phenomenon of black males in particular, sought to determine those strategies that have been found effective in reducing dropping out generally and those strategies that have been found effective in reducing dropping out among black males specifically. Summary. In order to determine those strategies that have been found effective in reducing dropping out, a comprehensive search of related literature was conducted and a group (n = 4) of regional school districts were surveyed in the Delaware Valley. The school districts selected are relatively large urban school districts that have a student population of at least 30,000 and an African-American enrollment of at least 30 percent. Conclusions. Based on the analyzed data, the conclusion relating to the question of what strategies have been found effective in decreasing dropout rates is that although: (a) all the school districts involved in the survey say that dropping out is a problem in their districts--especially among black males; (b) research suggests that there are several strategies that have been found to be effective--especially in pilot programs--in reducing dropping out; and (c) a majority of those strategies have been implemented--as dropout interventions--by those school districts involved in the survey, the results of the survey indicate that the effectiveness of those strategies (on a large-scale) has not been assessed as well as the effectiveness of other strategies--which are not found in literature but are being used in one or more of the districts--cannot be determined because the districts have not conducted formal and systematic evaluations of their programs (i.e., dropout prevention/interventions) targeted toward their at-risk populations. Additionally, the survey revealed that none of the districts have designed specific dropout prevention/intervention strategies targeted toward the special needs of those students that are most at-risk. The survey found several obstacles that are preventing the development and implementation of effective dropout prevention/intervention strategies specifically targeted toward the special needs of black males.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Curriculum development|Secondary education|School counseling|Ethnic studies|Black studies

Recommended Citation

Dowdell, James B, "The dilemma of dealing with the Black male dropout problem" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9632519.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9632519

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