MILWAUKEE — Addressing the pandemic within our schools. Tuesday afternoon educators and community members discussed racial disparities within Milwaukee school systems.
Paul Moga is the coordinator for the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement with Milwaukee Public Schools. He works to create a system that guarantees the success of young Black and Latino MPS students.
"These are the two groups that unfortunately are at the bottom of a lot of statistics so BLMA was formed to combat that," said Moga.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Instruction during the 2018-2019 school year, only 63 percent of black students in MPS and 67 percent of Latino students graduated in four years, compared to 79 percent of white students.
It's these disparities that BLMA is working to fix, through mentorship programs, Manhood Development classes, and by trying to recruit more black and Latino male teachers.
"You become what you behold, and so we want to have positive male influences in front of our students who look like them. Right now MPS is 87 percent students of color but 70 percent of the teaching workforce is white," said Moga.
However, during the pandemic, it's created challenges like having to connect with students virtually who don't always have access to computers.
"Having that relationship is key and it’s really hard to have that relationship through a screen. So not having that face-to-face contact in terms of mentorship and instruction has really been a challenge and I was you know frankly surprised by how few of our young men that I know had access were willing to engage online...," said Moga.
Paul hopes the community and district continue to realize the importance of lifting up young Black and Latino men within our school systems.
To learn more about BLMA click here.