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Conference on Black Males

A grass roots approach in Lexington, Ky.

(As always, I argue that the "boy troubles" should not be pigeonholed by race. The key to helping African American males is to identify the reasons nearly all boys are having problems. The solutions will end up helping black boys the most, because their problems are the most severe.)

The five ingredients to seeing improvements, according to the speaker:

■ Teachers should identify the leaders of peer groups and push them to take on positive roles in school.

■ Parents need to be involved in the workings of the school and give support at home.

■ Parents must praise their children and should believe the world will be better because of them. And schools should make sure there are black role models frequently present at the schools.

■ The education system must try other methods of teaching to capture the interest of different types of learners.

■ Teachers must have high expectations.

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