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
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.
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.
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)
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
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."
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.
Citi Foundation is making a three year, $10
AT&T announced an $18 million
Discovery Communications will invest more than
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.
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
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
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.
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 email@example.com. Admission at the door on the day of the screening is $10.
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?
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
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.
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
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
"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."
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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:
school districts should consider designing "differentiated professional
second recommendation would be for school districts to include racial and gender
awareness training for new administrators and on-going training for current
Click Here to Read Report
- Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective
funding leaves void in mentoring, academic services
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
"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.
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
Moves Towards Significant Shift in How Schools are Funded
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.
* 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
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
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