Supporting the RISE of Black boys through alternative education : a qualitative case study.


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The American education system is one of the most important institutions of learning on the global stage and provides a path to freedom and success for those who embark on the journey. Despite the noble and idealistic aims of the American education system, there is room for growth, improvement in academic achievement, disciplinary action, teacher-student relationships, and mentoring imbedded during the school day for Black boys. Black boys are in danger of returning to the streets because of high failure rates in the schools they attend. The Black–White achievement gap and the school-to-prison pipeline remained significant even with 21st-century advancements in technological knowledge. Through this study, the researcher raises concerns that challenge whether the ideals of equality and equity for Black boys exist in classrooms throughout the U.S. educational system. The general problem of low achievement for students of color highlights the reality that Black boys who live in poverty and urban environments are the most underserved student population and are doubly vulnerable to academic failure in traditional U.S. classrooms (Sanders et al., 2018; Tate et al., 2014). This study examines why Black boys fail in the traditional setting and why they succeed in the alternative setting. Factors such as the achievement gap, implicit bias at school, and the school-to-prison-pipeline, could be contributing reasons to Black boys’ continued academic failures. More importantly, the study evaluated which tenets of alternative education as motivation for success. More precisely, this research explored the systems at RISE Academy High School, an alternative high school in Tyler ISD, Tyler, Texas, that helped Black boys to be academically successful at higher rates than they experienced in traditional schools. This study aimed to examine culturally relevant pedagogy and best practices such, as smaller class sizes and flexible scheduling as guiding tools to accelerate African American male academic achievement. Matriculation from the traditional school setting to the alternative setting for Black boys in the Tyler Independent School District in Tyler, Texas, provided a sense of calm to the emotional currents that Black boys have experienced in the education.



Black boys. Alternative education. Academic success. RISE Academy High School (Tyler, Tex.).