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What Happens When The Last Black Teacher Leaves?

Have had a few discussions over the years about the impact of integrating schools.

The US School System has been in freefall for a number of years – indeed since Raygun. How an entire political class dedicated t hatred of the Public School system and dedicated to destroying Teachers Union could do anything but fail is beyond me. We are about 17th or 18th in the world now behind almost every one of the “socialist” developed nations.

In Philadelphia, the number of black teachers fell 18.5 percent between 2001 and 2012. In Chicago, it dropped 40 percent.

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BLACK TEACHERS MATTER

America’s schools desperately need educators like Darlene Lomax. So why are we driving them away?

One spring morning this year, Darlene Lomax was driving to her father’s house in northwest Philadelphia. She took a right onto Germantown Avenue, one of the city’s oldest streets, and pulled up to Germantown High School, a stately brick-and-stone building. Empty whiskey bottles and candy cartons were piled around the benches in the school’s front yard. Posters of the mascot, a green and white bear, had browned and curled. In what was once the teachers’ parking lot, spindly weeds shot up through the concrete. Across the street, above the front door of the also-shuttered Robert Fulton Elementary School, a banner read, “Welcome, President Barack Obama, October 10, 2010.”

It had been almost three years since the Philadelphia school district closed Germantown High, and 35 years since Lomax was a student there. But the sight of the dead building, stretching over an entire city block, still pained her. She looked at her old classroom windows, tinted in greasy brown dust, and thought about Dr. Grabert, the philosophy teacher who pushed her to think critically and consider becoming the first in her family to go to college. She thought of Ms. Stoeckle, the English teacher, whose red-pen corrections and encouraging comments convinced her to enroll in a program for gifted students. Lomax remembers the predominantly black school—she had only one white and one Asian American classmate—as a rigorous place, with college preparatory honors courses and arts and sports programs. Ten years after taking Ms. Stoeckle’s class, Lomax had dropped by Germantown High to tell her that she was planning to become a teacher herself.

A historic Georgian Revival building, Germantown High opened its doors in 1915 as a vocational training ground for the industrial era, with the children of blue-collar European immigrants populating its classrooms. In the late 1950s, the district added a wing to provide capacity for the growing population of a rapidly integrating neighborhood.

By 1972, Lomax’s father, a factory worker, had saved up enough to move his family of eight from a two-bedroom apartment in one of the poorest parts of Philadelphia into a four-bedroom brick house in Germantown. Each month, Darlene and her younger sister would walk 15 blocks to the mortgage company’s gray stucco building, climb up to the second floor, and press a big envelope with money orders into the receptionist’s hand. The new house had a dining room and a living room, sparkling glass doorknobs, French doors that opened into a large sunroom, an herb garden, and a backyard with soft grass and big trees. Darlene and her father planted tomatoes and made salads with the sweet, juicy fruit every Friday, all summer long.

To the Lomax children, the fenceless backyard was ripe for exploration, and it funneled them right to the yards of their neighbors. One yard belonged to two sisters who worked as special-education teachers—the first black people Darlene had met who had college degrees. As Lomax got to know these sisters, she began to think that perhaps her philosophy teacher was right: She, too, could go to college and someday buy a house of her own with glass doorknobs and a garden. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1985, and after a stint as a social worker, she enrolled at Temple University and got her teaching credential.

On February 19, 2013, Lomax was in the weekly faculty leadership meeting at Fairhill Elementary, a 126-year-old school in a historic Puerto Rican neighborhood of Philadelphia where she served as principal. A counselor was giving his report, but Lomax couldn’t hear what he said. She just stared at her computer screen, frozen, as she read a letter from the school superintendent. She read it again and again to make sure she understood what it said.

Then, slowly, she turned to Robert Harris, Fairhill’s special-education teacher for 20 years, and his wife, the counselor and gym teacher. “They are closing our school,” she said quietly. They all broke down weeping. Then they walked to the front of the building in silence and unlocked the doors to open the school for the day.

Five miles away, as Germantown High School prepared for its 100th anniversary, its principal was digesting the same letter. In all, 24 Philadelphia schools would be closed that year. These days, when Lomax visits her father in the house with the glass doorknobs, she drives by four shuttered school buildings, each with a “Property Available for Sale” sign.

Back when Lomax was a student in Philadelphia in the 1970s, local, state, and federal governments poured extra resources into these racially isolated schools—grand, elegant buildings that might look like palaces or city halls—to compensate for a long history of segregation. And they invested in the staff inside those schools, pushing to expand the teaching workforce and bring in more black and Latino teachers with roots in the community. Teaching was an essential path into the middle class, especially for African American women; it was also a nexus of organizing. During the civil rights movement, black educators were leaders in fighting for increased opportunity, including more equitable school funding and a greater voice for communities in running schools and districts.

But today, as buildings like Germantown High stand shuttered, these changes are slowly being rolled back. In Philadelphia and across the country, scores of schools have been closed, radically restructured, or replaced by charter schools. And in the process, the face of the teaching workforce has changed. In one of the most far-reaching consequences of the past decade’s wave of education reform, the nation has lost tens of thousands of experienced black teachers and principals.

According to the Albert Shanker Institute, which is funded in part by the American Federation of Teachers, the number of black educators has declined sharply in some of the largest urban school districts in the nation. In Philadelphia, the number of black teachers declined by 18.5 percent between 2001 and 2012. In Chicago, the black teacher population dropped by nearly 40 percent. And in New Orleans, there was a 62 percent drop in the number of black teachers.

Percentage Change in Teacher Population by Race and Ethnicity, 2002-2012

Many of these departures came as part of mass layoffs and closings in schools…Read More Here

 

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How Bad are Charter Schools?

John Oliver’s rant –

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in American Genocide, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Dealing With Segregation in NYC

In actuality, the most segregated school systems in America are in the Northern Big Cities. Hyper-segregation at the neighborhood level leads to segregated schools. This enforces, and supports different outcomes for black and white children. While black kids certainly don’t need white kids around to learn…It seems far too many school administrators and teachers need white kids around to teach.

Why Liberal New York City’s Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Segregated

 

New York City’s public schools are among the most segregated in the country – a fact that flies in the face of the city’s history as a bastion of progressivism. For this podcast, I spoke with former ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, now a New York Times Magazine staff writer, about her decision to delve deeply and personally into that paradox.

Hannah-Jones wrote about the public school her daughter attends in New York City, PS 307. The school is populated by poor children of color from nearby housing projects. It also became the site of community tension when predominantly white and well-off parents living nearby were pushed into its school zone to ease crowding at another school.

 

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Most Educated Group in America? Black Women

Which group in America, by ethnicity and gender is the highest educated?

Black women.

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States, according toreports by the National Center for Education Statistics.

By both race and gender there is a higher percentage of black women (9.7 percent) enrolled in college than any other group including Asian women (8.7 percent), white women (7.1 percent) and white men (6.1 percent).

Also black women earned 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctorate degrees awarded to African-American students in the United States between 2009 and 2010.

Two critiques of that –

  1. Brothers – get your isht together
  2. Sistas – Forget the basket weaving degrees in HR and “Business”… I would love to see many, many more of you in the STEM Fields
 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Malia Obama To Harvard

Nothing unexpected here with both parents being Harvard Grads. Other factors in her favor include that nearly 80% of Sidwell Friends School graduates attend the Ivy League, second only to a Public High School also in the Washington area.

Malia is taking a year off, before attending Harvard, I would guess to be with family in life outside the bubble of the Presidency.

Malia Obama

Malia Obama will take a gap year, then attend Harvard in 2017

Malia Obama will take a gap year after graduating from high school and then attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017, the White House said Sunday, ending speculation at campuses across the country.

Obama, 17, the older of the president’s two daughters, visited more than a dozen schools, including Stanford, Yale and Columbia, before making her decision. The White House did not say what she would spend her gap year doing.

The tall, poised teenager will be one of the most famous members of her class — and a standout for the Secret Service agents who will be in tow.

The older Obama daughter was 10 when her father took the highest office in the land. Now a senior at the elite Sidwell Friends School in northwest Washington, she has come of age with the world watching. Her sister, Sasha, 14, is wrapping up her freshman year at the private school.

Although her grades and standardized test scores remain closely guarded secrets, factors in her favor included her family background, study at top-flight schools and a unique, privileged upbringing that was bound to make for a remarkable college essay.

Her parents, both Harvard Law grads, have four Ivy League degrees between them. First Lady Michelle Obama graduated from Harvard Law in 1988, and her husband followed in 1991. He completed undergraduate studies at Columbia University in 1983. She graduated from Princeton in 1985.

The president, speaking at a Des Moines high school last fall about college access and affordability, said he knew that finding the best school was a “tough process” because his daughter was “going through it right now.”

“You guys are juggling deadlines and applications and personal statements,” he told the audience.

He called his daughter a “hard worker” and said he advised her “not to stress too much about having to get into one particular college.”

He said there were a lot of good schools and “just because it’s not some name-brand, famous, fancy school doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get a great education there.”

The elder Obama child is said to be an aspiring filmmaker. She plays tennis for fun.

She took a look in 2014 at two rival schools in Northern California — Stanford University and UC Berkeley — and later shifted attention to schools on the East Coast.

Media reports show she inspected six of the eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale. She also paid stops to New York University, Tufts University, Barnard College and Wesleyan University.

Born in Chicago on July 4, 1998, Malia Obama attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools before she and her family entered the White House in 2009.

The first of the first daughters made headlines in August 2014 when, bicycling with her parents while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, she donned a Stanford T-shirt. Some thought her choice was made.

The last two presidential children in the White House, twins Barbara and Jenna Bush, were spared major media scrutiny as they chose their colleges; they already were enrolled by the time their father won the presidency in 2000.

Barbara Bush graduated from Yale and Jenna Bush, the University of Texas at Austin.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency, his daughter, Chelsea, went from Sidwell Friends, a Quaker-affiliated prep school, to Stanford, choosing the place where her friend (and future husband) Marc Mezvinsky already was in attendance.

Chelsea Clinton graduated from Stanford in 2001 and later obtained a master’s degrees and doctorate from Oxford University in England and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Giant Negros

 

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Chicago Twins Accepted to 56 Colleges

Congrats to Shaprice Hunt and her twin brother Deprice Hunt who together have been accepted to a phenomenal 56 Colleges and offered scholarships in total worth $1.6 million.

Shaprice has been accepted into 35 colleges, two of which have offered her a full-ride scholarship while five schools have scouted her to play basketball.

Deprice, who is a youth activist in Chicago, has been accepted into 27 schools. He earned $300,000 in scholarships and received two full scholarship offers.

An Amazing set of twins!

Phenomenal Twins Get Into 56 Colleges, Earn $1.6 Million In Scholarships

Chicago twins Deprice and Shaprice Hunt have set an extremely high bar for other high school seniors. The twins were recently accepted into a combined 56 colleges and have earned about $1.6 million in scholarships.

Kemitashi Austin brought the Hunt siblings’ huge accomplishments to the forefront on Facebook when she shared a screenshot of a conversation between her and Shaprice.

Of the 56 schools, Shaprice has been accepted into 35 colleges, two of which have offered her a full-ride scholarship while five schools have scouted her to play basketball. She told The Huffington Post that she earned $1.3 million in scholarships. Shaprice wants to attend either Illinois State University or Eastern Illinois University and dual major in Education and Psychology.

Deprice, who is a youth activist in Chicago, has been accepted into 27 schools. He earned $300,000 in scholarships and received two full scholarship offers.

“My motivation was to make sure [my mom] didn’t have to come out of pocket,” Deprice told HuffPost, echoing his sister’s sentiments.

His top choice is HBCU Morehouse College, which he said is his dream school. He also told HuffPost that he wants to study Performing Arts and Political Science.

In addition to their acceptance letters and scholarships, the twins boast perfect attendance and a total of 48 awards throughout their high school years, according to Deprice’s Facebook.

The Hunt twins credit their family, teachers and guidance counselors for their successes. They told HuffPost that it’s easy, especially in Chicago, to let negative stereotypes about black youth get the best of someone. That’s why, with the help of Austin, Deprice reached out to local news outlets to tell their story with the hope of inspiring others.

“A lot of people say you can’t do it because of where you’re from,” Deprice said. “Don’t listen to them.”

The twins said they know financial issues, among other factors, hold a lot of teens back. But it’s important to be persistent, Shaprice told HuffPost.

“Never give up,” she said. “Picture your future. Not only to make yourself proud but make your family proud.”

Somebody at home was supporting these kids, through preparation of applications to paying the Application Fees. The article doesn’t say how many schools they applied to, or why they applied to so many, instead of targeting the group they really wanted to attend.

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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The HBCU As a Campaign Tool

Neither Bernie or Hillary has much of a depth of understanding about HBCUs. On the good side, HBCUs graduate a outsized number of black students in the STEM Fields. The bad news, is the bulk of those graduates actually only come from 3 schools. The worse news is that in all but the elite 3 HBCUs, the graduation rate is equal to or worse than that of even modest non-HBCU Schools.

If they really cared…or understood – what I think should be done is to finance the top 10 producing schools in terms of graduation rate. Give them the funding, grants, student of merchant loans to develop or expand curricula in the fields the country needs, and some mandates to reach certain goals such as graduation rate, acceptance to post-grad studies rates, and numbers enrolled in specific programs such as the STEM fields.

Governor Terry McAliffe of my state recently tried to attract high tech into the Norfolk area of the state by offering state incentives o Va Tech, Christopher Newport University, and UVa blindingly missing the fact that Norfolk is 53% minority, of which 42% is black, and one of the better HBCU’s with programs in the STEM Fields, Hampton University is located a stones throw away from the proposed new headquarters. And Hampton’s Engineering and Technology Department making Hampton is the first and only HBCU to have 100% control of a NASA Mission.

Would like to see something besides the usual smoke-and-mirrors here.

Misusing HBCUs as a Carrot for Black Voters

In a Democratic primary contest that hinges in part on black voters, the funding of historically black colleges and universities has become a major campaign issue. But, while both campaigns are talking about HBCUs, one is using them as a line of attack. Surrogates for Hillary Clinton have suggested that her higher-education plan is better for black students and HBCUs than that of her opponent Bernie Sanders. Not only are those surrogates wrong in their misuse of the schools, but they’re also wrong about the facts.

“By focusing exclusively on making public college free, Sanders’s plan wouldn’t spend a dime on private HBCUs and threatens roughly 50 percent of HBCUs that are not public,” said Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, in a statement issued by Clinton’s campaign weeks ago. Richmond continued in his criticism that Sanders’s higher-education plan leaves HBCUs “out in the cold.”

“As Senator Sanders promotes his HBCU tour, he owes it to the students to explain why half the HBCUs in the country aren’t worth any investment,” Richmond said.

James Clyburn, a Democratic Representative from South Carolina and a Clinton backer, doubled down on Richmond’s comments days before the South Carolina primary. “If you say that you’re going to have college—free two-year college—among public institutions, why would a student go to an HBCU? And most of which are private institutions,” Clyburn told NewsOne Now. “What will happen is these HBCUs will all close down all across America because they would not be able to afford to stay open.”

With both statements, Clyburn and Richmond leverage just how sacred HBCUs are to black voters while obscuring important context. HBCUs are indeed critical to the education of black students. Despite enrolling just 8 percent of black undergraduates, they award 15 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned by black Americans. And as the congressmen suggest, HBCUs are grossly underfunded, operating on about an eighth of the average endowment of other institutions. The arguments made by the Clinton surrogates break down, however, with a close look at the composition of HBCUs and where they fit in the black education landscape.

There are an estimated 2,872,000 black students enrolled nationally at degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Of them, only 8 percent are enrolled at historically black colleges and universities. And of all the black students at HBCUs, only about a quarter are enrolled at private HBCUs. In all, a little more than 2 percent of all black college students are enrolled at private HBCUs. It is this small percentage of students that the Clinton surrogates have made the focus of their attacks on Sanders.

Then there are the details of both higher-education plans. Both Clinton and Sanders pledge to lower student-loan interest rates and allow those with existing debt to refinance their loans. That’s where the similarities end. The Sanders plan is marked by its proposal to make public colleges and universities free. In addition to that, Sanders proposes a dramatic increase to student aid, and the candidate recently stated his backing for a dedicated $30 billion fund to support private HBCUs and other “minority-serving institutions.”

The Clinton plan also has its distinctions. It proposes extending a popular higher-education tax credit, limiting student-loan repayment to just 10 percent of monthly income and increasing federal and state investment in public schools that serve low- and middle-income students. In addition, Clinton’s higher-education plan proposes that Pell grants be expanded to cover student living expenses. It also explicitly calls for a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to private nonprofit schools that serve low- and middle-income students.

While the Clinton plan creates and increases funding for which black students and HBCUs are eligible, it falls short of the kind of targeted investment the candidate’s surrogates suggest it has in their criticism of Sanders. And although the Sanders plan does not include institutional support for private HBCUs, it arguably does as much as Clinton’s to support their students while also proposing tuition-free education for the vast majority of black students—at public HBCUs (73 percent) and predominately white institutions (66 percent). To be sure, the private HBCU blind spot in Sanders’s higher-education plan is frustrating. Still, for black voters questioning the candidate’s commitment to black schools and higher education for black students more broadly, it’s worth considering the potential impact.

HBCUs have proven vital in educating black students and deserve the nation’s investment. They also warrant careful discussion. Painting HBCUs with broad strokes may make for an effective line of attack, but doing so obfuscates the multiple ways black students access education and the variety of support they require.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Democrat Primary

 

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