Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program: A Personal Essay

WASHINGTON INFORMER — Barry’s program changed the outcome of many teenagers’ lives, allowing them to build a work history that would afford better chances of future employment. I have been able to reap many benefits from my experience as an MBSYEP worker.

What We Can Learn from Schools that Educate Military Children

A unique program in Virginia Beach public schools includes 28 Military Family Life Counselors, who work closely with schools’ staff and families to support students. One mother we spoke with, talked about the fears her five-year-old daughter had while her father was deployed.

Educator Spotlight: Donald Hense

Three-quarters of the students enrolled in Friendship schools in D.C. are from Wards 7 and 8, the city’s two poorest areas, and nearly all are African-American. Their achievement is reflected in their continuous improvement on standardized tests. Most recently, Donald Hense and his team celebrated, when five of Friendship’s 12 D.C. schools were rated Tier 1 by the Public Charter School Board – the highest of three ratings a charter school can earn.

Lakisha Young, Oakland Reach

Young knows firsthand the aggravation of dealing with the Oakland school lottery. She also understands the anxiety parents feel not knowing whether their children will have to enroll in a low-performing neighborhood school should there not be enough seats available at quality schools. Her personal experience led her to organize other parents and teach them how to advocate for their children.

Florida Education Plan Lacking in Both Promise and Practice

According to Dr. Rosa Castro Feinberg, who serves on the committee for LULAC Florida, an advocacy group serving all Hispanic nationality groups, Florida’s “current plan includes features that contradict common sense, expert opinion, popular will, and the intent of the ESSA. Contrary to the purposes of the ESSA, the Florida plan denies attention to struggling subgroups of students. Without attention, there can be no correction.”

COMMENTARY: Is There More to Teaching and Learning Than Testing?

In order for education to capitalize on the strengths and talents of learners and the skills and professionalism of their teachers, what kinds of additional progress measures might be employed?

COMMENTARY: Assembly Workers and Widgets

Well, how can we feel more professional and less like factory workers producing widgets? First, we must clarify our mission. Students are not widgets. There can be no reject bins for human beings with different needs and varied learning intelligence!

COMMENTARY: Color “Blindness”

Our perceptions of the value of ourselves and others often determine our treatment of and reactions toward those we view as less than or not as valued. Wars are fought over cultural and religious differences. Regardless of the injury, all people’s blood is red and all of us can hurt or grieve, regardless of color.

COMMENTARY: Classroom Culture Clashes

…in answer to the question when cultures clash in the classroom, who suffers, we all do! Poorly educated students make for a society that alienates its young, one that is unable to retain skilled and experienced teachers, and a country frustrated with unemployment, under-employment, and an ever-growing culture of violence, fear, and intolerance. Court systems and privatized prisons, along with mortuaries, result when the classrooms act as prep schools for these expensive alternatives.

COMMENTARY: Is There More to Teaching and Learning Than Testing?

NNPA ESSA MEDIA CAMPAIGN —In order for education to capitalize on the strengths and talents of learners and the skills and professionalism of their teachers, what kinds of additional progress measures might be employed?

OP-ED: Black Studies becomes major factor in social advancement

OUR WEEKLY NEWS — The Black Power movement of the late 1960s helped to redefine African American identity and establish a new racial consciousness. As influential as this period was in the study and enhancement of the African Diaspora, this movement spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies on our college and university campuses.

Racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Bronx private school

NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS — A student at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, a K-12 private school in the Bronx, announced that he and his parents filed a lawsuit against the institution Monday, April 1, in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, with the demand that the Head of the School Jessica L. Bagby and other administrators resign or be terminated.

Demystifying Student Performance Via Parental Engagement

Although parental engagement has a strong correlation to student academic performance and achievement, why is it that African American parents appear disproportionately less engaged than parents of other races?

A New Year’s Resolution for Children in New York: School Improvement

AMSTERDAM NEWS — If we want to improve education outcomes and strengthen our state, we need to improve our schools and assure that every child has access to a high-quality education, no matter their zip code or the color of their skin.

Irving students take flight to new adventures

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The industry is trying to grow, and it can’t grow because there are not enough people coming in the front door to match the people who are going out of the back door,” said Craig Heckel, program coordinator for Irving High School of aviation science. “…they were going to the colleges to do recruiting but that wasn’t good enough. So now they are going to the high schools to start these programs to get people interested, and let them know there is a huge umbrella of aviation that you can work in: electronics, computer programming, or be a fireman under aviation.”

Developing a universal enrollment system for all Memphis public schools

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I started in 1995 when I was asked to help open a Family Resource Center in a high school and students without involved parents in their lives took to me. Parents would stop me and say, ‘They are passing my son on to High School and he can’t even read.” — Sarah Carpenter

Telling Black Stories Through Poetry

LA DATA NEWS — As a child, in between born into an interracial family, Poet Michele Reese knew she wanted to write about the Black experience with works that delved into African American history, from very early on.

S.B. School Fights Racist Hate

PRECINCT REPORTER GROUP — A recent hate message to former principal Crecia Robinson, a three-time victim of racist messages at Lankershim Elementary School in San Bernardino, raised parental concerns from parents on both sides over the potential for discrimination in the classroom.

COMMENTARY: What More Can Be Done Under ESSA to Support Highly Qualified Teachers

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Teacher concerns transformed into organized protests when, in early 2018, the West Virginia teacher’s strike made headlines, lasting over 2 weeks. Local education activists and teacher advocates forced the state legislature to address many of their concerns through the statewide strike. Afterwards, teachers returned to their classrooms with a 5 percent pay raise.

COMMENTARY: For Black Children, Attending School Is an Act of Racial Justice

In the 2015-16 school year, Black boys made up 8 percent of public school enrollment, but they were 25 percent of the boys suspended out of school. Black girls were 8 percent of enrollment, but 14 percent of the girls suspended out of school. While Black children are overrepresented in practices that exclude or remove students from school, White children are underrepresented. Such data are clear evidence that racism and bias often drive exclusionary practices. To ignore this is to preserve the status quo.

COMMENTARY: Financial Literacy Transforms Students’ Lives. Here’s Where to Start

EDUCATION WEEK: In 2013, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) released a set of rigorous national standards for financial literacy that offer a starting point for elementary, middle, and high school educators to create a meaningful curriculum with the flexibility to determine what works best in their own school day. Schools should also tailor their curriculum to account for cultural differences in the classroom, as well as the specific learning styles of girls versus boys.

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No More Scissors. No More Mail. Box Tops for Schools Goes Digital

General Mills, which founded the program 23 years ago, announced that the program will soon be digital-only. Customers now earn money for their schools by scanning receipts rather than clipping box tops and mailing them in. Participants can download the new mobile app, scan their store receipt, which will automatically analyze which products were box-tops items and tabulate the amount that will be donated to their school of choice. Every box top will still be worth 10 cents.

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Educator Spotlight: Donald Hense

Three-quarters of the students enrolled in Friendship schools in D.C. are from Wards 7 and 8, the city’s two poorest areas, and nearly all are African-American. Their achievement is reflected in their continuous improvement on standardized tests. Most recently, Donald Hense and his team celebrated, when five of Friendship’s 12 D.C. schools were rated Tier 1 by the Public Charter School Board – the highest of three ratings a charter school can earn.

read more

Lakisha Young, Oakland Reach

Young knows firsthand the aggravation of dealing with the Oakland school lottery. She also understands the anxiety parents feel not knowing whether their children will have to enroll in a low-performing neighborhood school should there not be enough seats available at quality schools. Her personal experience led her to organize other parents and teach them how to advocate for their children.

read more

Florida Education Plan Lacking in Both Promise and Practice

According to Dr. Rosa Castro Feinberg, who serves on the committee for LULAC Florida, an advocacy group serving all Hispanic nationality groups, Florida’s “current plan includes features that contradict common sense, expert opinion, popular will, and the intent of the ESSA. Contrary to the purposes of the ESSA, the Florida plan denies attention to struggling subgroups of students. Without attention, there can be no correction.”

read more

States Hunt for Evidence to Underpin School Turnaround Efforts

EDUCATION WEEK — Allendale County’s school district sits in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, in an impoverished, rural region near the coast known as the “corridor of shame” for the chronic poor quality of its education system. Until recently, three of the district’s four schools were considered among the lowest performing in the state.

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ESSA’s Growing Pains Evident Amid Progress

EDUCATION WEEK — If the Every Student Succeeds Act were a schoolchild, it would be a preschooler—not much more than 3 years old, making steady progress, but still stumbling a bit along the way.The first major rewrite of the nation’s main K-12 law in more than a decade, ESSA was signed into law at the end of 2015, replacing and updating the groundbreaking—but problematic—No Child Left Behind Act.

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COMMENTARY: Assembly Workers and Widgets

Well, how can we feel more professional and less like factory workers producing widgets? First, we must clarify our mission. Students are not widgets. There can be no reject bins for human beings with different needs and varied learning intelligence!

read more

COMMENTARY: Color “Blindness”

Our perceptions of the value of ourselves and others often determine our treatment of and reactions toward those we view as less than or not as valued. Wars are fought over cultural and religious differences. Regardless of the injury, all people’s blood is red and all of us can hurt or grieve, regardless of color.

read more