to Do with No Resources What Chicago Can't (or Won't) Do with
Tens of Billions of Dollars?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was criticized Thursday in a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper column by a Black columnist, Mary Mitchell, because the Minister said that the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) would protect Beyonce Knowles if the Miami Police won't do its job to protect her because it is offended by her performance at the Super Bowl that included a song that featured costumes and lyrics from The Black Panther era.
Ms. Mitchell's major criticism was that Black people are dying in Chicago and if Minister Farrakhan has resources, he should use them to stop "poor Black men and women" from dying on the streets of Chicago, and not use them to protect Beyonce. Her exact words were "Farrakhan's threat of using the F.O.I. to protect Beyonce is not only a joke, it is a slap in the faces of all the women who are risking their lives everyday trying to save young people." She also called the strong men of the Nation of Islam "hustlers" of the Final Call newspaper and "sellers" of bean pies, and she spoke of the F.O.I. as a "prop"!
Apparently Ms. Mitchell really doesn't understand The Nation of Islam and is ignorant about Minister Farrakhan's history of protecting women, or she has another agenda. So I have a few questions for Ms. Mitchell.
Chicago is getting ready to hire another Police Superintendent at an annual salary of about $300,000. Is she suggesting that Minister Farrakhan get that salary? If so, I am all for that. There are about 12,000 policemen in Chicago (mostly White), that consume about $1.5 billion of the city budget. The level of crime in Chicago suggests the police force is not effective at stopping crime. Is she asking the F.O.I. to recruit 12,000 good men and women to earn this money at about $100,000 each per year to protect our city? If so, again, I am all for that.
Does she know that policing alone won't stop the violence and killing in any community no matter who is policing? Is she ready to turn over $3.5 billion to the Nation of Islam in Workforce Development and Human Service dollars to support the mission to reduce violence in Chicago? If so, I agree with her.
Poor education feeds crime and violence. The education that most Black children get in Chicago is equivalent to or less than an education received in a Third World country. Is she suggesting that the current Chicago Public School budget of about $6 billion be advanced to the University of Islam to better manage educational outcomes for Chicago students? If so, this is a great idea!
If she does not want the Nation of Islam to receive an approximate $11 billion transfer of city funds to fix problems that others are currently being paid $11 billion dollars to fix, then she is not serious and has another agenda! How can she expect Minister Farrakhan to fix these problems with not even a NICKLE from her nor a DIME from the city?
Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are currently donating hundreds of millions of dollars in services to cities and towns across America in many ways-both tangible and intangible. In services alone to reclaim felons from prisons across this nation, one could argue that the Nation of Islam should be paid billions of dollars for services previously rendered.
Ms. Mitchell doesn't really want these problems fixed. She doesn't really want to help the people on the block. Her column on Minister Farrakhan is actually "the slap in the face" that she talks about to serious people doing the serious work to save Black people's lives, and her viewpoint lets the people off the hook who are responsible for and being paid billions of dollars while failing to fix these issues.
Attacking Minister Farrakhan won't fix the problems of violence and killing in Chicago. Working with him will, if she is serious about these issues!
By Phillip Jackson
Founder and Executive Director
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60653
Click Here to See and Hear Akon discuss this issue.
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Betty Shabazz African-Centered Schools, including their predecessors, have successfully educated thousands of Black children for more than 40 years.
At Betty Shabazz/Barbara Ann Sizemore Academy (BASA) Campus, 71% of the 8th grade Black boys read on grade level according to last year's NWEA assessment, versus about 10% nationally, according to NAEP.
Betty Shabazz/Barbara Ann Sizemore Academy (BASA) Campususes an African discipline system to keep Black children focused, respectful and properly motivated for success.
Those who are ready to fight for the hearts, minds and souls of Black children should join us for the vote to keep this school open and educating Black children.
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"Education doesn't start on the first day of school. It starts on the first day of life."
Closing the 30
million word gap
To cancel the effects of poverty, school systems are extending literacy programs to the larger community
By Dennis Pierce
February 22. 2016
Mention Napa County, Calif., and what comes to mind for most people are rows of sun-splashed grapes-and well-tanned couples sipping wine under the shade of a vine-covered pergola. But Napa has its share of poverty, too. More than half of the student population is Latino, and many of these students come from poor households where English isn't spoken.
"Most of our preschool kids who are native Spanish speakers come to school without anybody having read to them," said Napa County Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko. "Most of the parents of those children are not even literate in Spanish, so they're not reading books of any kind." Nemko and her staff were aware of the "30 million word gap": the research-backed idea that children who grow up in poverty come to school having heard 30 million fewer spoken words than their peers from middle-class or upper-class homes putting them at a sharp disadvantage in terms of their language skills.
This gap is even wider when students grow up in non-English speaking households. Nemko and her staff knew they had to do something dramatic to close it.
"Almost every family now has at least one smart device," Nemko said. "We thought that if we could help parents download [the software] and show them how to use it, then we could quadruple the amount of time it was being used." Children are using it at home, she explained, or even while they're in line with a parent at the grocery store.
"We're seeing phenomenal use," she noted. "It's helping us close the achievement gap before students get to kindergarten."
'Learning begins at day one'
"We need to reimagine what education looks like, because we need it to follow the science," said Dana Suskind, head of the Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program at the University of Chicago, during a radio podcastfor Freakonomics. "Education doesn't start on the first day of school. It starts on the first day of life."
"We blame schools and teachers for why we can't close the achievement gap, but nobody has recognized until recently that the gap exists before children get to kindergarten," Napa County's Nemko said. And the earlier school systems can intervene, the better their chances of giving all children a chance to succeed.
Tim Gates knew exactly what he wanted to be at a very young age.
"There are a lot of teachers in my family," Gates said. "I've always wanted to be a teacher. It gives me the opportunity to give a gift that you can't necessarily see."
Gates if one of few male African-American teachers in the nation. He says he feels the extra pressure because for many of his students there isn't a Black male teacher influence at home or at school.
"I am the father figure for a lot of these children because some of them are lacking that at home," Gates said.
"Schools need Black male teachers to support Black boys and Brown boys," said Travis Bristol, who received his PhD in Education Policy at Columbia University. His dissertation researched the experiences and retention of Black male teachers. He says one of the reasons they're leaving is because of where they're placed.
"The schools that struggled the most, the schools that had the worst or the most challenging working conditions," Bristol says. "Those schools were where we found the largest number of Black men."
He says the few that remain are walking away from teaching at alarming numbers.
Bristol says nationwide only 1.9% of elementary teachers are Black males. Bristol says that's a big problem because the latest information he has shows in 2014, for the first time, students of color surpassed white students in U.S. schools. "However white teachers account for 82%."
Gates graduated from Langston University and says his alma mater could have done a better job. "As far as some of the things you mentioned - being a security guard, being that father figure - there are some things that I just wasn't prepared for in life when it comes to this particular grade," he said.
Bristol says without a teacher who is also a role model and father figure, it's likely children of color won't consider a career in education and the Black male teacher will become extinct.
Too many of us would RATHER talk ABOUT how bad our young people are
than TALK TO our young people about how great they can be!
Men and women of all races are encouraged to join The Black Star Project as we visit schools in the Chicago area to motivate, to inspire, to guide and to nurture our youth.
Call us at 773.285.9600 to become a classroom-based mentor in our Student Motivation Mentoring Program. Or Join us on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 6:30 pm, at 3509 South King Drive, Chicago, Illinois for orientation and more information.
This program has served more than 300,000 Chicago-area youth since 1996 with no government, school or foundation funding. Without you, we have no program.
Join Powerful Women Who Will Mentor Girls In Our Communities
BECOME A MENTOR OF YOUNG WOMEN!
The Justice Or Else
Local Organizing Committee
3509 South King Drive
Saturday, March 5, 2016
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
To organize and plan
Women Mentoring Girls
Or call 773.285.9600 for more information.
We Teach Black Boys
to Read Well!
The Black Star Project's Black Male Reading Academyfocuses on teaching Black boys in 1st- to 4th-grade to read well. Please call 773.285.9600 for the opportunity to have your Black boys learn to read well and potentially avoid the streets, unemployment, violence, incarceration and possibly death. It is said that the U.S. Department of Justice projects prison cell usage off of the reading scores of 3rd-grade Black boys. This program is run with no government, school or foundation funding. Without you, we have no program.