Superintendent Art Johnson has appointed veteran educator Gloria Crutchfield, Ph.D., to head a new African American Male Task Force to study and implement solutions for the low graduation rate, high dropout rate and high suspension rate of African American males in The School District of Palm Beach County.
The task force held its first meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in the school district board room where the Superintendent, Chief Learning Officer, Assistant Superintendent and Dr. Crutchfield presented an overview of the initiatives, introduced task force members and presented “baseline information.” Dozens of attendees including principals and key community leaders provided their unique insights and suggestions for improving the performance of African American students in the district’s schools. That information will be used to help implement successful strategies throughout the district.
One of the task force’s first official acts will be to host a Graduation Symposium on October 14, 2010 to discuss the problems and their causes, examine national trends and focus educators on solutions. National experts and leaders will present information and strategies.
“Before the several national studies that have been done on this issue, we knew there is a problem in urban areas with the African American graduation rate, dropout rate and suspension rate, “said Dr. Johnson. “We have known for some time that our African American students overall are not achieving and graduating at rates that we know they can achieve and are achieving in our own schools and nationwide , and we have been continually improving our strategies to help our educators and young people do better. The work of the task force will help us identify specifically what is working in Palm Beach County and nationwide and speed up the implementation of those proven strategies,” he said.
Studies by Johns Hopkins University, The Schott Foundation and others, while using old data and different calculation methods have focused national attention on the academic and discipline problems of urban youth, including here in Palm Beach County and other Florida districts.
“Many of our own schools are achieving extraordinary results with our African American males” said Dr. Crutchfield. “We will focus on the implementation of strategies in schools that are research-based, data-driven, and proven highly effective when working with particular student subgroups.” Dr. Crutchfield has extensive experience raising student achievement at the elementary, middle and high school levels and continues to implement successful local strategies and national researched based ideas that are working.
The Graduation Symposium is open to the public and will be held at the Palm Beach Convention Center on Thursday, October 14, 2010, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Public parking at the Convention Center is $5.00. The keynote speaker for this event is Mr. Chike Akua, a national educational leader with Imani Enterprises based in Conyers, Georgia. All county educators and organizations that work with school aged youth are invited to attend.
Please RSVP to Giovanna Bedia at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 434-8714 if you plan to attend.
For more information, contact Dr. Gloria Crutchfield at 434-8714.