BCPS in the News

BCPS Supports White House Initiative to Improve Achievements of Minority Male Students

Monday, July 21, 2014
On Monday, July 21, 2014, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) joined the Council of the Great City Schools and urban school districts from across the country for a special White House event with President Barack Obama.  The event included an announcement that 60 urban school districts, including BCPS, are pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color.  BCPS executive director of Student Support Initiatives, Michaelle Pope, traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend today’s event, which took place at a Washington area school and included a Town Hall style discussion with President Obama.
With roughly 32 percent of the nation’s school-age African American males and 39 percent of the country’s school-age Hispanic males enrolled in big-city public schools, urban-school leaders agree that they have an obligation to teach all students to the highest academic standards and prepare them for today’s global society.
“The most important work we do as a society is raising our children and providing them with an opportunity to receive a high-quality education to prepare them for success in college and careers,” said Superintendent Robert W. Runcie.  “We are proud to be part of this national effort, as we continue to focus on improving educational outcomes and closing the achievement gap among our boys and young men of color.”    
 “Our job as urban educators is not to reflect or perpetuate the inequities that too many of our males of color face; our job is to eliminate those inequities - and that is what we pledge to do,” stressed Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “We are pleased to join forces today with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and our other partners in an unprecedented shared commitment to improve the educational and social opportunities of our young men of color,” he added.
As part of BCPS ongoing focus on improving the academic success of minority male students, the District has:
  • Included in the District’s Strategic Plan the goal of improving the academic success of minority male students;
  • Broadened the conversation and advocacy, internally and externally, around issues that bar minority males from succeeding in school, work and life;
  • Engaged community organizations: Children Services Council, South Florida Educational Research Alliance, as anchor partners;
  • Created committees, such as the Black Male Task Force and School-to-Prison Pipeline Committee, to address broad community-wide goals;
  • Implemented a historic, multi-agency Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline, which establishes new guidelines and processes for handling non-violent misdemeanor offenses on school campuses to eliminate the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline;
  • Developed the PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support and Education) program. Through the PROMISE program, students receive behavioral supports, counseling and mentoring in an environment focused on helping them make better life choices;    
  • Shared data and implemented programs/strategies to address identified student needs within BCPS schools;
  • Provided professional development for school leaders and teachers (Courageous Conversations About Race, American Promise, Breaking Barriers, etc.);
  • Worked with community organizations to increase access for student internships and employment opportunities;
  • Worked with local colleges and universities to increase access for student exposure and entry to colleges and universities;
  • Worked to increase skill building and industry certification/opportunities at District schools and technical colleges; and
  • Presented initiative goals and outcomes at several national forums: EERA; NABSE; NSBA; and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is internationally recognized as one of the world’s largest fully accredited K-12 and adult school systems, a distinction held since 2006. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 229 schools and education centers and 94 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 130 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit (browardschools.com), follow us on Twitter (@Browardschools) and like us on Facebook @ (facebook.com/browardschools).