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Are Early Interventions the Key to Ending the Black Male Education Crisis?

Scholars say we need to focus intervention efforts for black boys on pre-K through third grade, but the methods raise plenty of questions.

With only eight percent of black male eighth graders enrolled in schools in urban areas scoring "proficient" on reading tests, and only 10 percent scoring "proficient" in math, intervention programs usually focus on boosting black male middle and high school results and improving high school graduation rates. However, a solution to the black male education crisis offered at a recent symposium held by the Education Testing Service and the Children's Defense Fund suggests a different approach: Reaching young black males when they're much younger—between pre-K and third grade.

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Rahmcast: Chicago Mayor Partners with Media Giant to Bridge the Digital Divide

Rahm Emanuel and Comcast have teamed up to provide discounted computers and internet access for the city's low-income students.

Is Chicago eliminating the digital divide? On Tuesday Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new partnership between the city and the media conglomerate Comcast to provide computers and web access to the city's 330,000 low-income public school kids and their families. "Internet Essentials" will provide each family with a $150 voucher from Comcast that can be put toward the cost of a refurbished computer valued at up to $500. The company will also provide heavily discounted internet service for $9.95 a month and train families on digital literacy.

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Eighth Grader's 9/11 Documentary Set to Screen at Tribeca Film Festival

"The Second Day" tells the first-hand story of students and teachers living and working in the area around Ground Zero.

Ten years ago, 14-year-old New York City eighth grader Brook Peters was just another kindergartener living in Tribeca. But then the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 happened, forever changing his life, and the lives of over 5,600 other students in lower Manhattan. Now the teen's documentary, aptly named "The Second Day" because 9/11 was his second day of kindergarten at P.S. 150, will screen on Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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Helping struggling students before it’s too late.

About six months ago, I read an article detailing the academic struggles of a second-grade student and the steps his mother was taking to help him. Among his troubles were misbehavior in the classroom and poor academic performance, particularly in reading, where he was a full grade level behind. I was thrilled to see that the boy’s mother was deeply involved in his education and trying to get him on track. After all, we know that once children slip behind in school, it can be hard for them to catch up. A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discusses the importance of students being able to read on grade level by the end of third grade, and the long-term consequences for society when they cannot. And in a 2009 Detroit Free Press op-ed, the late Myles Brand, former president of both Indiana University and the NCAA, explained the necessity of early-childhood learning succinctly and powerfully:

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