BLACK MALE INITIATIVE WORKING, OFFICIALS SAY
Suspensions cost black male students 17,177 instructional days in 2011-12 in Guilford County Schools. That number fell last year to 16,258, with black males accounting for the overwhelming majority of suspensions, according to school system figures. But the African American Male Initiative, a new program aimed at reducing suspensions and improving academics for black students, is showing progress, school officials said Tuesday. In one year, suspension days at the pilot schools fell by 49 percent. By comparison, those numbers fell 6.7 percent across the whole school system. Data presented Tuesday night to the Guilford County Board of Education also show that systemwide, literacy proficiency rates for students in kindergarten through third grade fell below expectations, the rates were particularly lower for black male students. Of the school system’s almost 73,000 students, 15,195 are black males. About 40 percent of all students are black.