The Times has an article about the district's move to shore up learning specifically for African-American boys. One thing I didn't realize that's right in the headline is the district is considering a whole office/department for this effort. (I also didn't know the district was piloting a program towards this effort at Aki Kurose.)
Part of the push is to try to get more teachers of color in SPS. From what I have heard and read, this will be a heavy lift. One, the teacher corps in the U.S. is getting older AND not as many college students are looking to teaching. (And who could blame them? Buffeted and criticized from all sides, it may not look very much like an appealing career. Build in the costs of living in some areas and it probably shouldn't be a surprise that despite the need, there may not be enough good teachers of color.
I recall when there was finally something written by SPS about this effort because Wright, Blanford and Martin-Morris made repeated references to the work but nothing was ever published. One issue was the concern that if this was not made a priority, along with continuing resources, that it would be a splashy headline and not a sustained effort. I think many parents - in other programs - can relate to that.
But I cannot see a whole department for one subset of children. If a whole department needs to be created, they should make a department for ALL students of color who struggle. Or, this effort could be its own subset that could fit into the Race and Equity department.
Again, I need to get to reading the research, targeted universalism, that this is based on. This is being tried - in a big way - in Oakland, California.
I don't think you can look thru any one lens and decide why African-American boys aren't doing well in school. The Oakland model seems to include family supports and I think that is definitely the way to go.
Naturally, you have to consider the costs. The district is advertising for a "Director - Closing Opportunity Gaps" for between $90-125K. (Side note: is a range of $35K a lot?) And, if you are creating a whole department, you'll need some administrative staff for the levels of outreach that are being discussed.