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African-American Students and U.S. High Schools

Alliance for Excellent Education
This fact sheet, prepared by the Alliance for Excellent Education, looks at statistics related to the graduation rates and college readiness of African-American students, as well as the quality of the teachers and schools that serve them.


By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that about 50 percent of the U.S. population will be African-American, Hispanic, or Asian. Given these steep demographic shifts, the performance of students of color and the characteristics of the schools they attend are important factors that must concern all Americans. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, African-American students made up 16% of the public school population in 2004. These students, disproportionately concentrated in high-poverty, low-performing schools, are vulnerable to poor educational outcomes that undermine their chances for success in life.