In the Broward school district’s quest to improve minority student achievement, Dillard High School’s graduation ceremony last week was more than just another annual event — it was a taste of what success feels like.
Family members and friends packed Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium to cheer on the more than 300 graduates — most of them African-American. Dillard Principal Casandra Robinson boasted that many graduates were leaving high school with job-focused industry training certifications, and the Class of 2013’s overall graduation rate of more than 92 percent was one of the highest in school history.
“We’re kicking butt and taking names,” Robinson told students.
In part by studying Dillard and other high-performing schools — such as Miramar High School, which graduates more than 90 percent of its black male students — Broward hopes to find answers to a longstanding problem that has perplexed South Florida and the nation: How to boost the success rates of young black boys?