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Succeeding in the City: A Report from the New York City Black and Latino Male High School Achievement Study

This report examines how young black and Latino males succeed in New York City schools.

Succeeding in the City includes over 400 face-to-face student interviews from the 40 New York City high schools participating in the Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), which is designed to increase college and career readiness among the city’s black and Latino males. ESI schools are a part of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative, the nation’s most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of black and Latino young men.

The research team attributed levels of success to several factors including:

  • consistently high expectations from parents and families;
  • reputations that exempted them from gang recruitment;
  • a desire to transcend poverty;
  • meaningful relationships with caring teachers and other adults in their schools who foster innovative college-going cultures and respectful educational environments.

The study also included 90 black and Latino male undergraduate students who were enrolled at 44 colleges and universities. The data collected from the college participants revealed the following:

  • Approximately 75 percent applied exclusively to public colleges in New York because these were the only schools to which they were introduced.
  • Students felt intellectually prepared for college.
  • Few students established substantive relationships with professors (a key factor in high school success).

Succeeding in the City features recommendations for student success aimed at parents and families, urban high school teachers, high school guidance counselors, principals and other high school leaders, and postsecondary professionals and leaders.

This report was supported by the Open Society Foundations.

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