The Journey – Continued…..

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Welcome

Plenary Session II:

 

The session entitled Why the Middle School Years Matter for Black Boys took off at an alarming pace and quickly jumped into the intellectual male dialogue centered on male education in America. Discussing the issues within American schools and how the higher education correlates to the middle school black male performance rate we were introduced (at least I was) to a categorical nomenclature coined by these practitioners and scholarly researchers.  The foundational philosophy of America was brought forth as a primary issue in why the black men in America are failing coined by Dr. Ronald Mason, President of Southern University System as “Thomas Jefferson’s Wolf”. Looking at the reformation of the educational systems in America has primary “Tended to the womb” instead of eradicating the problem.

 

The elimination of these problems has resulted in the mass creation of charter schools, single sex institutions, and think tanks to figure out the best formula to solve this multivariable problem.  The discussion triggered Dr. Franklin’s (President of Morehouse College) methodology and literature on how he has created programs at middle schools surrounding the Atlanta University Community (AUC).  These three men on this panel spoke on how the best practices across the country have been placed into many of these pilot programs strategically located within particular states.

 

We learned through a study conducted at the University of Michigan that the mere presence of males in classrooms evoked better performance in classrooms for both male and female students. Dr. Franklin charged the elders to come back into the classroom instead of “golfing and shopping after retirement, go to the classrooms two or three times a week.”  Let’s see if this charge receives a response.

 

Dr. Mason further elaborated on his “Five-Fifths agenda” and how there is a great need to not only “find the stars” but  “identify those with resilience” that overcome the many issues of today. Though due to time restraints we were once more cut short of this once in a lifetime stimulating debate among black male educators.  This conversation did not culminate at the closing of the plenary session. As we exited the hall where the session took place you could hear the many mind-boggling conversations that echoed throughout the corridors and stairwells desperately searching for an answer.  

 

I too, pondered what tomorrow would hold for my demographic (young, black, male, and seeking an education).  Let’s just pray that one of these conversations can conjure up a formula that is applicable to triumph this issue.

 

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