County school board members want a comprehensive plan to improve the performance of black, male high school students, nearly two-thirds of whom have less than a "C" average.
Members said yesterday they will ask Superintendent C. Berry Carter II to develop the plan when the board meets tomorrow to review a new policy that requires students participating in sports to carry a 2.0 grade point average.
"We have basically put our head in the sand," board member Thomas J. Twombly said. "There is no reason for us to be failing a significant portion of our students. This is totally unacceptable."
A report that school staff members presented to the board two weeks ago showed that 60 percent of black, male high school students would be ineligible to play sports under the policy because they carry less than a 2.0.
Board members who were considering amendments to the policy had asked for the information.
In addition to the board members, the Committee for Education Equity also plans to ask the school system to address the problem.
"We will be asking the board to extend its time for implementing the 2.0 so as not to have an adverse effect on the students," said committee member Orlie Reid. "We want the board to ensure that there is some sort of support system in place."
In addition to asking for a plan for black males, the board is expected to decide whether to reduce the days a sports participant is required to sit out if he or she receives a failing grade, and whether a student may continue to participate in sports while carrying a failing grade.
The board also will consider whether to extend the 2.0 GPA requirement to all students participating in extracurricular activities.
The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Board of Education headquarters, 2644 Riva Road in Annapolis.