My Brother’s Keeper

(Community Matters) On Friday, Secretary Duncan also met with young men of color as part of President Obama’s initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, which focuses on addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

The roundtable was hosted by ACC’s Dr. Rhodes. Comments included:

·        Parents working for $7.25 an hour work so much that they are exhausted when they get home are not able to help their children.

·        Teachers shouldn’t be blamed when they have students who are disruptive and the teacher has to “over talk” them.

·        They talked about their experiences serving the community. One explained how that helped him get a job that he loves. Another said it changed the community’s perception of teenage boys of color.

·        Standardized tests discourage kids who test poorly but can do the work. One student said schools expel kids for minor misbehavior if they are weak academically so that they won’t count toward the school’s dropout rate. He said suspending a student for misbehavior is like giving a kid a vacation for doing the wrong thing, and sending them home isn’t giving them an education.

·        Young people from low income communities face opportunity gaps. One student said he has no network because his neighbors work for McDonalds and Burger King and could connect him with a job there, but not internships or career-oriented entry level jobs.

Hat Tip: Edna Butts

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