Monday, May 18, 2015

It's All About Race (Baltimore); Why Are All The Teachers White?;New Informations Reveals Convicted Atlanta Teachers Are NationalEducational Heroes; United Nations Fellowship for People of African Descent

It's All About Race (Baltimore)
Why Are All the Teachers White?
New Information Makes Atlanta Educators Heroes
Fellowship for People of African Descent
It's All About Race
Photo provided by The Black Star Project
Co-authored by Michael Holzman
Column provided by Eric J. Cooper
May 12, 2015
Many are trying to spin the events following last month's tragedy in Baltimore. From the black mother who pulled her teenage son out of the street, hitting him "upside the head" in the literal fashion, to the state's attorney who brought charges against several police officers for the killing of Freddie Gray, they want to assure the public that what has happened in Charm City is "not about race." Wrong. It is, and remains, about race.
Maryland incarcerates 1,437 of every 100,000 Black residents -- four times greater than the rate for whites. This is not unusual. In fact, it is business as usual in America: the mass incarceration of African Americans, specifically young Black men, to enforce caste boundaries, impoverishing their families in the process.
Public education is supposed to be the answer. We hope that the yellow brick road out of poverty and onto the sunny uplands of post-racial America runs through the schools. But does it? Let's look at what happens to Black children in Baltimore's schools.
  • In 2013, just 13 percent of Black eighth graders read at or above grade level.
  • Just 8 percent of eighth-grade Black males read at or above grade level.
  • Just 7 percent of the Black males in the eighth grade who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program read at grade level (according to the U.S. Department of Education's National Assessment of Educational Progress).
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 35 percent of Baltimore teachers were absent more than 10 days of the school year in 2009-'10 -- an extraordinary and unacceptable level of teacher absenteeism.
The Baltimore schools' drop-out rate for Black students was nearly 30 percent for the class of 2013, according to the 2014 Maryland Report Card. Half of those graduating go to college. Just half of those who go to college are still there after the first year.
Compared with residents of Maryland as a whole, twice as many of Baltimore's Black residents over the age of 25 have not graduated from high school. Half as many have graduated from college. Eleven percent of Black men in Baltimore have graduated from college, compared with 48 percent of White men, according to the U.S. Census' 2013 American Community Survey.
You might think that poor Blacks -- especially poor Black males -- in Baltimore read these statistics and get angry. But when 93 percent of poor Black males in the eighth grade cannot read well enough to read a newspaper or this article, what do we expect them to learn?
Here is what they do understand: The intersection of the criminal justice and education systems works very well to police the boundaries of caste in this country. Just look at Ferguson, Missouri, or Chicago, or New York City or Milwaukee. Or Baltimore.
Click Here to Read Full Article
Eric J. Cooper is the founder and president of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, a nonprofit professional development organization that provides student-focused professional development, advocacy and organizational guidance to accelerate student achievement. He can be reached at He tweets as @ECooper4556.
Michael Holzman is a research and author. He has served as consultant to numerous foundations and is the author of the Schott Foundation's series "Public Education and Black Male Students: A State Report Card." His latest book is The Chains of Black America.
Why Are All the Teachers White?
Photo provided by The Black Star Project
By Christina Berchini
April 28, 2015
I am a white teacher. Growing up in the '80s and '90s in Brooklyn, N.Y., I do not remember having a single teacher who did not look like me. Every teacher I've ever had represented "me" in some way or another.
By virtue of being born a white child who spoke English as her first (and only) language, I was fortunate. I had my pick of mentors, my race was represented in most-if not all-curricular texts, and I excelled in school year after year. My academic fate was sealed in the most predictable of ways.
Not only were my teachers homogenously white, but in my 13 years of compulsory schooling, I do not remember being assigned a single text authored by a person of color.
Indeed, I was already at a social advantage long before my teachers even knew my name. My family and I were not tasked with learning what Lisa Delpit has famously coined the "culture of power"; as a typical neighborhood white kid, I was not ignorantly considered a cultural anomaly, nor was I a threat to the tried, "true," and impenetrable pedagogies, practices, and policies of my teachers' classrooms and those of the schools I attended.
My parents never, not once, not for a nanosecond, would have to worry about how my teachers and administrators chose to relate to me-or worse yet, treat me-because of my race, culture, or primary language. My parents did not have to worry about the potential for racist policies and practices to impact my outcomes.
As a white child, I would not have to endure a single micro-aggression by some adult who should have a) kept their mouth shut, and b) read a book by Lisa Delpit, bell hooks, Tim Wise, or other brilliant thinkers who have made it their life's mission to understand how race-including whiteness and white privilege-and the dominant culture impact day-to-day life in this country and its schools.
I may have been from a working-class community, but I had it easy. The fact of the matter is that schools were set up by people who looked like me for people who looked like me. And as Motoko Rich illustrates in her recent article, "Where Are the Teachers of Color?," despite an ever-increasing racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse student population, not much has changed in the racial makeup of the teaching force.
Click Here to Read Full Article
New Information Reveals Convicted Atlanta Teachers Are National Educational Heroes!
New evidence shows that Atlanta Public Schools' Black students excelled and out-performed Black students throughout nation. These Atlanta Public Schools' educators (above), while heroes to their students, were convicted of racketeering.
By Phillip Jackson
May 11, 2015
The prosecutor of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) 12, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, is opening the Redemption Academy to help students who don't need his help. Black Atlanta students have made phenomenal progress over the past 13 years, which is part of the reason that Black teachers in Atlanta were accused of cheating. The verdict against the teachers, who helped Black Atlanta students earn some of the best academic gains in America, proves that efforts to successfully educate Black students in America are still illegal practices. If Black students had not done so well, this district probably would not have been flagged for cheating and the APS 12 would not have been convicted of wrongdoing. Is this a warning to other Black teachers not to do too good a job teaching Black students?
Let's look at the hard academic facts of the APS by analyzing Atlanta's National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, the gold standard of educational testing in America. In a comparison of grade 8 reading assessments for Black students in Atlanta, in Georgia and in the United States between 2002 and 2013, the U.S. percentage of Black students at or above grade level increased from 13% to 16%, the Georgia percentage increased from 14% to 17%, but the APS Black students increased a stellar ten points, from 5% to 15%. According to these NAEP scores, the most rigorous evaluation of student achievement in America, the APS team, under the leadership of former Atlanta Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall, did an outstanding job of educating Atlanta's Black students!
If the APS system had massive cheating, as we were led to believe during this trial, then it would follow that cheating would have elevated grades during the cheating, and, when "cheating" stopped, the grades should have gone down dramatically. Instead, after a small decrease, the scores continued to rise because of the groundwork, momentum and educational reforms instituted by Dr. Hall and the whole APS educational team, signaling real and substantial learning! You can't make the kind of progress produced by Dr. Hall and her team by cheating! Based on the NAEP scores and the progress made by Black students in Atlanta, these educators should be going to Washington to run the U.S. Department of Education, instead, they are headed to prison.
A few questions not answered about this trial: Did other big-city school districts have similar levels of cheating? Answer: Yes. Did other school districts in the state of Georgia have similar cheating events? Answer: Yes. Is cheating a statutory crime in Georgia that requires a court case or prison term? Answer: No. Was any other school district in this country or that state treated like Atlanta Public Schools? Answer: No. So the cheating in Atlanta was no better or no worse than anywhere else in Georgia or in the United States? Answer: Correct. That being the case, all things considered, cheating or not, did the Black students of Atlanta dramatically out-perform Black students in the entire state of Georgia and in the United States. Answer: Yes. Then why did we allow Fulton County to convict and sentence (up to 20 years) 1st- and 2nd-grade teachers and other educators, who refused to plead guilty to cheating? Answer: ???????
According to the scores reported by NAEP, Dr. Beverly Hall and the APS 12 are national educational heroes for their indisputable success at educating Black students in America! At the very least we owe them all an apology for malicious prosecution in addition to restitution for court costs and reinstatement into the jobs they loved and at which they were great!
1) Click Here to listen Part One of Justice for the APS 12 on WVON Radio, and you make the decision of their innocence or guilt. Click Here to listen to Part Two of Justice for the APS 12.
2) Click Here to ask President Barack Obama to send in the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate why 12 innocent educators were found guilty and ask him to overturn this America travesty and free the Atlanta 12.
3) Click Here to contribute financially to the fund to support these teachers.
4) Share this information with all of your friends, family, associates, colleagues and church members and call The Black Star Project at 773.285.9600 to find out what you can do to help the Atlanta 12 or to set up a "Free Atlanta 12" site in your city.It is still not too late!
Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent in the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline for Applications 1 June 2015
The Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent provides the participants with an intensive learning opportunity to deepen their understanding of the United Nations human rights system, instruments and mechanisms, with a focus on issues of particular relevance to people of African descent. The Fellowship Programme will allow the participants to better contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries.
The first Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent was launched by the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2011 in the context of the International Year for People of African Descent.
In the framework of the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, this year the programme will coincide with the first session of the UN Forum for People of African Descent. This will enable the fellows to attend and contribute to the work of the secretariat of the Forum and to the Forum itself.
The Fellowship will be held from 2 to 20 November 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Each fellow is entitled to a return ticket (economy class) from the country of residence to Geneva; basic health insurance; and a stipend to cover modest accommodation and other living expenses for the duration of the Programme.
Click Here for to Apply or for More Information.
Positive Black Men Asked to Volunteer as Mentors
Wentworth School
1340 W. 71st Street
Chicago, Illinois
Any Day in May 2015
Call 773.535.3394

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