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My Brother’s Keeper? The Impact of Targeted Educational Supports


  • Thomas Dee
  • Emily Penner


The My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Challenge developed by President Obama supports communities that promote civic initiatives designed to improve the educational and economic opportunities specifically for young men of color. In Oakland, California, the MBK educational initiative features the African American Male Achievement (AAMA) program. The AAMA focuses on regularly scheduled classes exclusively for Black, male students and taught by Black, male teachers who focus on social-emotional training, African-American history, culturally relevant pedagogy, and academic supports. In this study, we present quasi-experimental evidence on the dropout effects of the AAMA by leveraging its staggered scale-up across high schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). We find that AAMA availability led to a significant reduction in the number of Black males who dropped out as well as smaller reductions among Black females, particularly in 9th grade.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Dee & Emily Penner, 2019. "My Brother’s Keeper? The Impact of Targeted Educational Supports," NBER Working Papers 26386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26386
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    Cited by:

    1. C. Kirabo Jackson & Shanette C. Porter & John Q. Easton & Alyssa Blanchard & Sebastián Kiguel, 2020. "School Effects on Socioemotional Development, School-Based Arrests, and Educational Attainment," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 491-508, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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