A recent BND article stated that Belleville High School District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier has such concern about the achievement gap issue that he has started a mentoring program wherein academically able, well- motivated black students mentor younger high school students.
I commend Dosier (and the BND for the generous attention and publicity that it accords education).
It is my sense that black males appear to be more at risk academically than female black students. But let me digress from black academics to point out that it appears that many young white males are at risk with violence. It has been shown that 70 percent of the massacre murderers are young white educated, academically able males from non-poverty backgrounds. And so it appears that way too many of our young males may be at risk emotionally and culturally.
It is my opinion that Dosier's mentoring strategy is workable and sound. Several strategies are put forth in the current issue of the Phi Delta Kappan professional education journal. One that I like involves "co-teaching" wherein black male students are allowed to design a lesson, teach the class, etc.
I agree that teachers must move beyond political correctness and the traditional approaches that have not worked. I concur with the idea that curriculum ought to be relevant ... include the American black experience, for example.
I don't pretend to have all the answers for solving the achievement gap. I applaud Dosier and my other colleagues who daily wrestle with school problems, trying their best to help all our children succeed and become the best people they can become.
Katie H. Wright
East St. Louis