I was humbled when a BGB Reader recently passed along a link to a letter written by her son, Haille Bailey-Harris, that was published in The Globe and Mail. Haille is one of those boys that according to the studies, should be failing at reading:
Raised by my mother alone, I’m a fatherless boy…I’m also an avid video gamer so, according to the research, I should be failing in school, a non-reader, and basically a loser. And though not discussed in the articles, I have what other studies have said is also a risk factor for dropping out of school: I’m black. Hell, I should just throw in the towel! It worries me that other fatherless kids might think it’s hopeless, too.
He goes on to recommend solutions for “at risk” boys. You need to read the whole thing.
I was humbled even further when I noticed that the letter was part of a much larger Globe and Mail series called Failing Boys. It is an in-depth, no-stone-unturned look at the issues surrounding the achievement gaps between girls and boys. This is why we have professional journalists, people.
For what it’s worth: if you haven’t been keeping up with our contributions to the conversation, here’s what you missed:
- In Part 1, I discussed The Center for Education Policy’s report that shows that boys consistently lag behind girls in reading as measured by standardized tests. I also discussed the debate around the use of “gross out” books as the answer to closing the gap.
- In Part 2, I delved a little deeper into the Center of Education Policy report that kicked this all off. I also offered some “context” for framing the problem.
- In Part 2.5 I threw out some interesting graphs that I thought added some additional context to the discussion.
- In Part 3, I interviewed author Raymond Bean. Mr. Bean is the author of the children’s books Sweet Farts and the sequel Sweet Farts: Rippin’ It Old School.
- In part 4 we discussed the need for men to do their part as role models.