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Durham School Board discusses improvements for struggling students

Posted April 28
Updated April 29

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— Durham residents say African American males students are being left behind in the classroom. On Thursday, the Durham District School Board met to discuss improvement that can be made for the struggling students.

District officials say only 29.7 percent of black males in the fourth grade through the eighth grade are reading proficient in Durham Public Schools, and less than 75 percent graduate on time.

“We need to see African American boys and young men for who they are and what they need, and we need to accept and correct the ways in which we have failed them,” said Durham Schools Superintendent Bert l’Homme.

School board members passed a resolution in support of African American student, which points to inequalities and gaps in academic achievement.

“That white supremacy, anti-black racism and economic inequality deeply affect the lives and educational success of our black students,” Minnie Forte-Brown said.

However, L’Homme said more issues are at hand.

“Many white and affluent families leave us for charter and private schools, or move to other counties,” he said.

The resolution calls for initiatives to improve educational results of black male students and better monitor their progress.

“I hope this resolution is more than just paper,” Paul Scott said.


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  • Lance Cotten Apr 29, 1:25 p.m.
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    No, the Durham school system has not failed these young men, their parents have failed them; in that they are mostly absent and are not giving any guidance or encouragement whatsoever! Somehow it's the system's responsibility to instill what they are not getting at home?? How dare Mrs. Minne ready such a divisive statement at a school board meeting... divisive rhetoric with no facts to back it up. i agree she should step down.

  • Paula Fullerton Apr 29, 12:42 p.m.
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    A person elected to the school board for a city has a duty to represent all students in that system and to leave any personal agendas at the door. To claim "white supremacy" is being used to cause African American students to fail in the Durham schools is proof that Miss Forte-Brown has a personal agenda on the table and is not acting as a school board member. It is time for her to voluntarily step down. A public apology to the people of Durham is also needed from Miss Forte-Brown. Her rhetoric does nothing but fan the flames of divisiveness and is not welcome in my town.