It's Time to Get Serious About Boosting Black Males' Academic Achievement

A new documentary hopes to spark tough conversations about helping black males do better in school.

As school systems across the country grapple with the sobering statistics about black males' performance, a new documentary hopes to inspire some real solutions.

The film, Beyond the Bricks, follows two black male students in Newark, New Jersey, but the issues the teens face are representative of what their peers across the country experience. On the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress test, a mere 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys were proficient in reading or math. In comparison, 38 percent of white boys were proficient in reading and 44 percent were proficient in math.

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