Chronicle of Higher Education blog post here. The New York Civil Rights Coalition filed two complaints against the City University of New York program in 2006, one arguing the program itself would discriminate, the other arguing the hiring of program staff did. The government is looking into the initiative on a total of 16 campuses.
Of course, black males are a worthy target of educational remedies — whites outpace blacks in general, and black females outnumber black males in college admissions by a 3:1 ratio. Clearly there’s something going on here, but that doesn’t mean (A) that this program is legal or (B) that anyone can fix the problem at the college level. Most likely, whatever causes the severe gap, it’s already taken hold by the time anyone even thinks about the “school-to-college pipeline” the Black Male Initiative hopes to work on. Improvements targeted at younger students (vouchers, anyone?) would be more likely to see results.
You can read about the program here. Funniest part:
A new initiative intended to increase, encourage, and support the inclusion and educational success of under-represented groups in higher education, in particular black males. All programs and activities of the Black Male Initiative are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin, or other characteristic.
That’s right: The Black Male Initiative is completely inclusive.