SCS announces new initiative to educate black male students

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools plans to change the way the district educates black male students.

During a news conference on Monday, Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said the new initiative called "Our Boys Need Us" will involve equity, education and empowerment. It is designed to interrupt the destructive patterns in education that hinder African-American males.

The superintendent was joined by several local leaders, including Penny Hardaway. During the conference, Dr. Ray said when it comes to African American male student, more are economically disadvantaged, graduate at lower rates and earn lower ACT scores.

The hope is to ensure access and exposure to rigorous instruction starting at Pre-K, and to recruit more African-American males to teach in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Dr. Ray outlined the priorities and goals:

  • Ensure access and exposure to rigorous instruction from pre-K onward
  • Intensify restorative discipline practices
  • Recruit more African-American males to teach kindergarten through fifth grade
  • Build a  Band of Brothers to support mentoring and tutoring program
  • Create and equity institute for professional learning
  • Build a community that supports these students
  • Create an Equity Office
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