Posted on August 24, 2016

JCPS: Proposed W.E.B. Dubois Academy Would Target Males of Color

Antoinette Konz, WDRB, August 23, 2016

Calling it the “next evolution” for Jefferson County Public Schools, officials unveiled a plan Tuesday to create a district-wide magnet school geared toward black male students that would open in time for the 2017-18 year.

The school, which is being referred to as the W.E.B. DuBois Academy, would initially serve up to 150 sixth graders with plans to expand to more grades in the future, according to John Marshall, the district’s chief equity officer.

It is being modeled after Lexington’s Carter G. Woodson Academy and feature an Afrocentric curriculum that would educate students through the lens of African American history and culture, he said.

“We can no longer shy away from the fact that the majority of students in JCPS look like this,” Marshall said referring to the fact that minorities make up more than half of children born in the United States. “As a city, as a country, we have to discuss race.”

According to district statistics, about 37 percent of JCPS students are black, while 46 percent are white.

JCPS’ low-income and minority students continue to lag behind their peers across multiple content areas and grade levels. For example, in sixth grade, there is a 27-point difference between white students who are reading on grade level compared to their black counterparts.

“We understand you need to teach these boys a little bit different,” Marshall said, later adding that “we pretend we were dropped on the world’s stage as slaves. What does that do to our minds?”

Marshall said while the school is being geared towards black students, any of the district’s male students could apply to get in. {snip}