Black Male Achievement Week Spurs a Necessary Dialogue

The Iowa Online Advanced Placement (APTM) Academy allows Iowa students to take APTM classes online. The Iowa Online AP Academy is especially meant for rural schools that do not have the resources to support APTM classes. Educators can learn more here.

The goal of APTM is to challenge students and to better prepare them for higher education. Yet this program and others like it traditionally underrepresent students who are Black, Hispanic, American-Indian, and low-income, despite an awareness of these inequities and efforts to expand educational access.* Examining the 2013 graduating student cohort, only 28% of young black men who demonstrated potential for success in APTM took one or more APTM courses in high school (see College Board and American Promise infographic here).

Black Male Achievement (BMA) Week took place last week, drawing attention to barriers that prevent young black men from accessing APTM programming in addition to a host of other societal supports and opportunities. To incite conversation on this topic, the award-winning American Promise, a documentary examining the experiences of two friends at a prestigious private school as they move from kindergarten through high school, is now available for streaming online.

Events will continue through February and March (e.g., a Teach for America and American Promise Google Hangout on Tuesday, 02/11), bringing people together across the country to better understand these issues and what can be done to bring about change. Be a part of this conversation, and become a stronger advocate for your students, peers, and/or self.

*To read more about the high-end achievement gap and recommendations to help combat these inequities at a district- and school-level, download The Education Trust’s “Finding America’s Missing AP and IB Students” here.

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