Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Poverty Is The Effect of Poor Education; $300 Million for MyBrother's Keeper;

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Making Progress; Moving Forward!
Poverty Is The Effect of Poor Education
$300 Million For My Brother's Keeper
Spin'In Anger for Father Absence in Virginia
Losing School Libraries in Chicago
WCDC Saturday University
Black Male Teachers Add Value To Schools
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By Michael Holman
July 31, 2014
Michael Holzman
The association of poverty, especially the poverty of black families, with the comparative lack of educational achievement and educational attainment of many African American children is valid, but all too often the chain of causality is run the wrong way.
Assigning the responsibility for improving educational achievement and attainment to the families of African American students is a convenient argument. If only those parents would make more money, save it, create successful business, receive investments from Bain Capital and move to the suburbs, their children would do better in school.
Then nothing would need be done to improve the schools in the hyper-segregated urban neighborhoods to which many descendants of enslaved Africans are now consigned and public funds could continue to be diverted from those schools to schools attended by the children of middle class families.
Or, even better, those schools could be replaced by profit-making privatized or semi-privatized schools along the very successful model of for-profit post-secondary colleges.
The reasons that these children are not as well educated as they should be is that the schools they attend are not as good as they should be. And the reasons for that include school district and state financial and other policies and actions.
School districts continue to provide more support to schools in middle class (read: White) neighborhoods by reducing support to schools in poor (read: black) neighborhoods. For example, in Jacksonville, Florida, at Raines High School, which, is 98 percent black, the average teacher salary in 2011 was $42,272, against a district average of $44,588. 58 percent of the teachers were absent more than one day in the school year and 48 percent were in their first year of teaching, as compared to a district average of 23 percent.
At Fletcher High School, which is 71 percent White and 18 percent Black, fewer teachers were absent more than one day in the school year and just 4 percent were in their first year of teaching. The average teacher salary at Fletcher in 2011 was $55,076: 30 percent higher than at Raines.
And just to make things clear, at Raines, out of an enrollment of 952, there were 130 students (14 percent) referred to law enforcement, 181 out-of-school and 571 in-school suspensions, while at Fletcher just 61 of 2,252 students (3 percent) were referred to law enforcement; half of those were black.
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Obama announces
$100 million expansion
of 'My Brother's Keeper'
Program has attracted $300 million in funding
President Obama speaks about the My Brother's Keeper initiative at the Walker Jones Education Campus on Monday. Obama spoke to area youth during a town hall meeting about the initiative that is intended to help young men and boys of color. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
July 21, 2014

President Obama on Monday announced an additional $100 million in funding for his racial justice initiative "My Brother's Keeper," a public-private program that focuses on the unique challenges faced by young men of color. In all, the program has attracted $300 million in funding for an effort that the president has said will continue long after he has left the White House and will make up much of his post-presidential work.
Flanked by NBA star Chris Paul, who introduced Obama, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other prominent basketball players, the president recalled his own struggles growing up, saying that the only difference between him and other young men of color is that he lived in a more forgiving environment.
"I wasn't going to end up shot," Obama said during a town hall discussion at the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C. "I wasn't going to end up in jail."
The efforts sprang from the widespread frustration expressed by many African Americans after George Zimmerman was acquitted last year in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and build on 30 years of public discourse and community programming aimed at young men of color.
Among the other efforts are $1.5 million by the College Board to ensure that students of color enroll in at least one Advanced Placement class before they graduate. The Chicago based "Becoming a Man," program will benefit from $10 million and expand to additional cities. And the leaders of 60 of the largest school systems, which educate 3 million young men of color, have joined a pledge to change the educational outcomes of young men of color.
Other investments include:
  • Citi Foundation is making a three year, $10 million commitment
  • AT&T announced an $18 million commitment
  • Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million
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Franklyn Malone,
CEO, 100 Fathers Inc.,
brings the award winning documentary to Virginia
"Spit'in Anger"
Saturday, August 9, 2014,
12:00 Noon
Lee Center Auditorium
1108 Jefferson Street
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, VA/Washington, D.C. - August 1, 2014 - On Saturday, August 9th, The 100 Father, Inc., a male mentoring program, will host the screening of the award winning documentary Spit'in Anger, directed by Kenneth Braswell and produced by Janks Morton. Spit'in Anger will have a screening event at 12:00 pm at the Lee Center Auditorium located at 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
Franklyn M. Malone a former Commissioner for the City of Alexandria, current National and Regional Award winning fatherhood and mentoring leader, author and TV host, and CEO of The 100 Fathers, Inc. will host the screening of Spit'in Anger along with the newly formed Alexandria Coalition to Heal the Fatherless Hearts led by Alexandria community leader Mr. Jackie Surratt. "This riveting documentary addresses the pain and hurt many of our young black boys and girls and other children of color suffer from as a result of fatherlessness," says Malone.
"Many believe the venom of violence and anger starts when the father's presence departs. It's our opportunity to help love, connect, engage and empower these individuals." Included in the screening event will be an interactive panel discussion with producer and director Janks Morton, a gathering of organizations providing programs and services to youth and fathers, and special prizes. Andre Evans, The Comedy Counselor and national mentoring trainer, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Screening sponsors and supporters of the Spit'in Anger Alexandria screening include: Ms. Lavern Chatman, Mayor Bill Euille , Members of the Alexandria City Council, The Untouchables, CYEP, the Alexandria Concerned Citizens Network along with Alfred street Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church, the National Partnership for Community Leadership, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Alexandria City Department of Recreation Youth and Coaches, Psi Nu Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., LASERS, Inc. & Lyn Twyman, community leaders, mentors, and fatherhood leaders.
Notable invited guests include The White House Committee on Community and Faithbased Partnerships, Robert L Griffen ll - Honorary Member of The 100 Fathers and 2013 Father of the Year. Advance tickets for the screening is a $10 donation per ticket and may be obtained by calling (202) 361-0761, or emailing 100fathersceo@yahoo.com. Admission at the door on the day of the screening is $10.
Click Here to View Trailer of spin'In Anger
Losing school librarians in Chicago Public Schools

Having a school library with a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago's 600-plus public schools.

Two years ago, Chicago Public School budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year: 313 librarians. This year? 254.
Those are the numbers Megan Cusick, a librarian at Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School, laid out at a recent meeting held by the parent group Raise Your Hand.

"As many of you recall, around the time we went on strike, we talked about how we had 160 schools that did not have school libraries," Cusick said. "This shows what came after."

Cusick and her colleagues have started speaking out about the dwindling number of librarians in CPS. They showed up at last month's Board of Education meeting and many spoke at last week's budget hearings.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says the librarian shortage is because there aren't enough librarians in the hiring pool. "It's not that we don't want to have librarians in libraries," Byrd-Bennett said at last month's board meeting. "Nobody can argue that point, but the pool is diminished."

Cusick said librarians do so much more than just check out books. They teach kids how to do research, how to find and evaluate information, a skill that's becoming even more important in the digital age.

"Kids don't just know how to do that," Cusick notes. "It's not a skill that they develop just because they have an iPhone or because they have a computer at home, which many of our students don't have."

So where have all the librarians gone?

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Get An Early Start
in Education in Chicago
with the
WCDC Saturday University
Many educators talk about the "Summer Slide", the amount of skills and knowledge that students lose over the summer. Woodlawn Community Development Corporation (WCDC) is sponsoring a system of Saturday Universities in Chicago where students can "refresh" their learning skills before school starts back. Classes will focus on reading, math, writing and computer literacy. These Saturday classes are absolutely free. Please call 773.285.9600 to register your kindergartner through 9th-grade student for the WCDC Saturday University. We will
also offer our important "Freshmen Academy" for graduated 8th-grade students entering into high school.
Rev. Dr. Leon Finney, Jr.
President of WCDC Saturday University
Have your students attend the
WCDC Saturday University
Every Saturday Between
August 2, 2014 and September 6, 2014
Please call 773.285.9600 for more information.
Sites for the Saturday University include:
1. Anchor House Apts. (1230 West 76th Street)
2. Armour Square Apts. (3120 South Wentworth Ave.)
3. Ada S. McKinley Apts. (661 East 69th Street)
4. Berry Manor Apts. (737 East 69th Street)
5. Farrell House Apts. (1415 East 65th Street)
6. Judge Green Apts. (4030 South Lake Park)
7. Lincoln Perry Apts. (3245 South Prairie)
8. Lincoln Perry Annex (243 East 32nd Street)
9. Lake Michigan Apts. (4227 South Oakenwald)
10.Mary Jane Apts. (4930 South Langley)
11.Mahalia Jackson Apts. (9141 South Chicago Ave.)
12.Minnie Rippleton Apts. (4250 South Princeton)
13. Park Shore East (1561 East 60th Street)
14. South Park Plaza (2600 South King Drive)
15.Vivian Carter Apts. (6401 South Yale)
16.Metropolitan (4800 South King Drive)
How Do We Get More
Male Teachers of Color?
While there is research to support the claim that students' learning increases when assigned a same race teacher, increasing the number of Black male teachers also has the potential to benefit other stakeholders in schools.
By Dr. Travis J. Bristol
July 8, 2014
Dr. Travis Bristol
"It almost feels like I'm in someone else's house intruding. Like you guys are having this conversation about these things and you're all like sort of connected and I'm kind of just here because I have to be here to eat my lunch," suggested Peter Baldwin,1 32, a first year elementary teacher in a school with no other Black male teachers.
The experiences of Black male teachers may well parallel the experiences of Black boys in schools. Black men account for about 2% of all public school teachers. The reason, often cited, for increasing the number of Black male teachers is that by serving as role models, these recruits can improve Black boys' schooling outcomes. While there is research to support the claim that students' learning increases when assigned a same race teacher, increasing the number of Black male teachers also has the potential to benefit other stakeholders in schools.
Black men are uniquely positioned to assist their colleagues, many of whom might be White and female, in designing curriculum that is culturally and gender responsive. Given the potential value-added to schools by having Black male teachers, there is little research that explores these teachers' experiences in schools.
One finding was that Black male teachers felt responsible for improving academic outcomes and creating environments that were socio-emotionally supportive for students of color. However, Black male teachers described feeling socially alienated and pedagogically not supported in their schools.
Given the potential parallels between the experiences of Black male teachers and Black boys, how might district officials respond? Two recommendations:
First, school districts should consider designing "differentiated professional development" opportunities.
A second recommendation would be for school districts to include racial and gender awareness training for new administrators and on-going training for current administrators.
Click Here to Read Full Story
Click Here to Read Report - Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective Evaluations

In Pittsburgh:
Lack of funding leaves void in mentoring, academic services

By Yanan Wang / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 28, 2014
The wooded expanse of Frick Park had been transformed before Michael Smith's eyes. In one corner of a grassy field was an obstacle course that mixed learning with sport: math equations and jump ropes, history readings and kickball. Ten African-American boys, students in middle school and high school, worked through the stations in turn.
"Every time we got a problem right, we ran the bases," Mr. Smith said.
The 18-year-old Woodland Hills High School graduate is one of 140 students who partook in the Delany Scholars Program, a district-wide initiative that provided mentoring and academic help to African-American male students in the sixth to 12th grades. The program, which was established two years ago with a $750,000 Heinz grant, came to an end last month when its funding ran out.
The initiative's cancellation leaves a void where, however briefly, an avenue for growth and collaboration had been carved out for a group that educators often overlook.
Among the 4,000 students in the district, a little more than 1,200 are African-American males, but when they started the program, black male students were seven times more likely to be suspended than their white counterparts, superintendent Alan Johnson said.
"It's not something we're proud of," Mr. Johnson said. "We've got to stop it."
He attributes part of this performance gap to a dearth of African-American male role models in education, a trend that is reflected nationally. Of all the district's teachers, only three are black men.
"A lot of people don't know what young black men on the rise are capable of," said Mr. Smith, who will attend Allegheny College this fall.
"The thing about racism is that it's so present, it's like the air we breathe," he said. "We don't even notice it."
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Illinois Moves Towards Significant Shift in How Schools are Funded
By Andrew Ujifusa
July 9, 2014 9:24 AM
About four months ago, I wrote about a proposal to overhaul how schools are funded in Illinois that seemed to resemble California's new Local Control Funding Formula. The basic elements of that plan, which came out of the state Senate education committee, were incorporated into Senate Bill 16 (called the School Funding Reform Act of 2014), which has passed the upper chamber of the state legislature and is now being considered in the House.
Here are the main elements of the bill, as described in an analysis for the Illinois State Board of Education:
* Create a single funding formula that provides simple, straight-forward and equitable means to distribute education funds to Illinois school districts.
* Prioritize resources where there is greater student need.
* Provide greater transparency about how funds are spent at the school level.
* Phase in the new funding formula over four years to allow districts to adjust to new spending levels.
The idea behind the "single funding formula" is to reduce and consolidate the number of funding streams coming from the state. The Senate committee's report that I wrote about in February said that having so many different and disparate sources of money for districts means school funding in Illinois lacks both clarity and predictability.
This push to simplify K-12 funding in the state leads into the second point-the new funding system would determine whether each student can be classified as an English-language learner, low-income, special education, or other designations, and assign additional funding for each such classification. Students could earn more than one such designation and therefore receive additional "weighted" funding from the state, although some are mutually exclusive.
The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Andy Manar (D), said that under his legislation, 92 cents of every state dollar spent on K-12 would be based on districts' financial need, instead of the current 44 cents for every $1 based on need.

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