Out-of-school suspension rate for all middle school boys in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Young men of all races and ethnicities are generally suspended at twice the rate of their female peers. The out-of-school suspension rate for young black men, for example, is 28 percent versus 18 percent for young black women.


The percentage of young men, ages 6-to-21, who are labeled learning disabled, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Just 6 percent of young women in that age group are labeled learning disabled.


The percentage of the nation’s special education population ages 6-to-21 who are young men.


Percentage of young men in 9th grade who graduate four years later. Seventy-three percent of their female peers graduate Just one out of every two black and Latino males graduate on time, the lowest graduation rates for all male and female high school students.


Young men as a percentage of all dropouts, according to the U.S. Department of Education in its official dropout numbers. Three out of every five dropouts are young men.


Percentage of degrees awarded to blacks that go to young black men. Young black women attain the remaining degrees. In every racial and ethnic category, women obtain more baccalaureate degrees than men.


Percentage of men with advanced degrees aged 35-to-54 who have never married. While more men of all groups haven’t taken the plunge, fewer than 17 percent of men with at least some college education aged 35-to-54 have never taken a wife or been considered marriageable mates by women.


Percentage of male high school dropouts age 35-to-54 who have never married.


Unemployment rate for male high school dropouts in 2010. The unemployment rate of college-educated men was just 10 percent and 5 percent of men with baccalaureate and advanced degrees.


The decrease in inflation-adjusted median income for male high school dropouts between 1973 and 2009. This is opposed to a 10 percent decline in median income for males with college degrees and a 14 percent increase in income for men with graduate degrees.


When men don’t graduate from high school and move on to college, they will fall into poverty and unemployment. And young men without jobs equals greater levels of incarceration, fewer marriageable mates for well-educated women, a lack of strong participation in civic society and the kind of social ills that destroy communities, families and nations. Especially in the age of the knowledge-based economy and the decline of traditional manual labor.

In short, young men need high-quality education to succeed in life. Yet, as Tom Mortenson of Postsecondary Education Opportunity pointed out yesterday at the Boys Initiative conference on school reform for young men: “School is not a happy experience for boys.” From the overdiagnosis of learning disabilities (especially when the real problem lies with low reading proficiency and the fact that young men developed their cognitive abilities for reading more slowly than young women) to the low quality of teacher training, young men — especially those from poor and minority communities — suffer the consequences.

It’s high time to stop ignoring the boys crisis — and the rest of the nation’s educational crisis. Reform is needed now more than ever.