My Brother's Keeper
In May of 2014, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education joined with 60 big-city school districts pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color. This Council of Great City Schools call-to-action was made at a White House event featuring President Obama. On Tuesday, January 13, 2015, the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education was presented with a plan to address the significant challenges facing those students, including a community-wide summit scheduled for February 21, 2015. Outlined in the report were the significant challenges facing young men of color in the District: 76% of African American students and 80% of Hispanic students are economically disadvantaged as compared to 31% of White students; 41% of African American students and 55% of Hispanic students were successful in state assessments compared to 75% of White students; in the 2013-14 school year 370 African American males and 356 Hispanic males were sent to alternative education settings compared to 45 White students; and suspensions for African American and Hispanic males exceeded 11,000 in 2013-14 compared to 1,600 White male suspensions.
On Saturday, February 21, 2015, Fort Worth ISD will host a meeting of community leaders, students, parents, and educators to discuss Fort Worth ISD’s acceptance of the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge.” We will gather input and partner on this effort to eliminate opportunity gaps, barriers, and challenges facing youth in our community, including boys and young men of color, to ensure that all young people in our community are positioned to succeed.
A White House report issued in May of 2014 identified six areas of focus that are critical to ensuring youth can succeed from Pre-K all the way up through college and their careers – regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. In Fort Worth ISD, we are in the process of setting our goals and priorities, but the overarching goals recommended by that White House report are to ensure our young people are: entering school ready to learn; reading at grade level by third grade; graduating from high school ready for college and career; completing post?secondary education or training; successfully entering the workforce; and safe from violence and provided second chances.