Black Teachers Matter & DeVos Dismantling Public Education!

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OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6  Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  Visitors can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the following links: Education Agenda: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/  See our Civic Engagement programs and forums at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/ Health Literacy is found at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/

 This blog comes under our Education Agenda focus.  To learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in education please visit: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/

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  • WE ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  Also, the email addresses on our web site no longer work.   You can reach OneWorld at: http://goo.gl/8v19VB or at Email: ONEWORLDPIINC@GMAIL.COM

    A few relevant questions to consider:

  • We invite visitors to share their perspective on the information provided in the articles below.  We specifically invite teachers to post comments and suggestions.
  • What is happening in your school district? Is there an active PTA at your child’s school?  If so, are you involved in your PTA? Is there any active community involvement at your school?
  • Is your child or school-age relative in a regular public school or a charter school?
  • Does your school district, or your child’s school has black and Hispanic teachers?

Black Teachers Matter

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

Kristina Rizga September/October 2016 issue MOTHER JONES

http://www.motherjones.com/files/imagecache/imagecache-2400x1350/files/teachers_a-master.jpg

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 near Germantown. Each month, Darlene and her older 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.

“RELATED: Why Did Black Lives Matter and the NAACP Call for an End to More Charter Schools? Alan Spearman/AP

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

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 her report, but Lomax couldn’t hear what she 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 with low test scores, a policy promoted with federal and state dollars since 2002. In Chicago, 49 out of about 500 schools were closed in 2013, and in Washington, DC, 38 out of 111 schools have been shuttered since 2008. And since 2002, 140 out of roughly 1,800 New York City schools have closed. In each of the nine cities the Albert Shanker Institute studied, a higher percentage of black teachers were laid off or quit than Latino or white educators. Nationwide, according to the federal Department of Education, African Americans made up 6.8 percent of the teaching workforce in the 2011-12 school year, down from 8.3 percent in 1990. (Nearly 83 percent of the teaching workforce in 2011 was white, down slightly from 1990.)

In all, that means 26,000 African American teachers have disappeared from the nation’s public schools—even as the overall teaching workforce has increased by 134,000. Countless black principals, coaches, cafeteria workers, nurses, and counselors have also been displaced—all in the name of raising achievement among black students. While white Americans are slowly waking up to the issue of police harassment and violence in black communities, many are unaware of the quiet but broad damage the loss of African American educators inflicts on the same communities.

“You have to expel him,” said the teacher who marched into Darlene Lomax’s office, a small, windowless room in the back of Fairhill Elementary, one morning in 2011. She set a red Swiss Army knife on the dark brown linoleum desk, next to the pictures of Lomax’s children. The teacher had taken the knife from a fifth grader who was showing it to a classmate. “I never want to see him in my class again,” the teacher, who is white, told Lomax.

Soon afterward, Lomax sat down with the 12-year-old. He told her that on his way to school, an older and more popular boy had shown him the knife and chosen him to carry it for a few days. Lomax had known the student, who was African American, for two years. She knew he struggled academically and socially, that he yearned for ways to raise his status among peers.

After talking to the parents, Lomax decided that the boy, who hadn’t had any previous discipline problems, wasn’t a threat. She suspended him and filed a report with the district. The teacher, as Lomax recalls it, argued that the district’s code of conduct required expulsion for any student who brought a weapon to school, but Lomax told her, “We have to judge each case on its merits. My judgment and common sense tells me these rules don’t apply in this case.” She added, “This child made a mistake, but he deserves a second chance.”

Within the next two years, the student turned out to be one of the higher-achieving kids in the school.

It’s well documented that black students are disciplined and punished in school at a disproportionate rate. In a 2015 study, Adam Wright, a researcher at the University of California-Santa Barbara, identified a key factor in that disparity: White teachers are much more likely than black teachers to find behavior problems with black students. (This difference did not show up when teachers evaluated white or Latino students.) Wright estimated that if schools doubled the number of black teachers, the black-white suspension disparity would be cut in half.

Other research points in the same direction. A 2008 study by the London School of Economics found that white teachers graded black and Latino students more harshly for the same performance, accounting for as much as 22 percent of the achievement gap between white students and students of color. Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins researchers found that black teachers are much more likely than white teachers to think a black student will graduate from high school or get a college degree—especially if the kid is a black boy. A 2016 Vanderbilt study showed that black students are about half as likely as white students to be put on “gifted” tracks, even when they have comparable test scores—but the disparity was erased when black students were evaluated by black teachers.

Yet, though 16 percent of America’s students are black, only 7 percent of teachers are. And even at the schools where black and Latino students are concentrated—71 percent of these students attend high-poverty, mostly urban schools—only 15 percent of teachers are black and 16 percent are Latino.

Like Darlene Lomax, Gloria Ladson-Billings grew up in Philadelphia. In the ’60s, she was a teacher there, and later a district coach working with new or struggling teachers. During that time, she remembers coming across many veteran educators who were successfully teaching kids of all backgrounds. By the early ’90s, Ladson-Billings had become an education researcher at Santa Clara University, at a time of growing concern in the field about how schools were failing children of color, especially African Americans. Ladson-Billings decided to document the teaching practices she’d seen—many of which were not in the standard education canon. She asked black parents in Philadelphia to identify teachers they considered most effective with their children and then spent two years observing those teachers in the classroom. She wrote about it in a book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.

Ladson-Billings noticed that instead of mentally sorting kids into “teachable” or “problem student” categories, as researchers have found many teachers do, these educators set a high bar for all students and then helped individual kids to meet it. And instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, they used different techniques with kids of varying skills and interests.

The successful teachers Ladson-Billings studied also created bonds that resemble family. That was what Lomax did when she first became an assistant principal: She invited parents, teachers, and students to come to school on a Friday evening with sleeping bags and blow-up mattresses. Teachers and parents set up a movie room in the library. Parents brought a potluck dinner, and kids, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and teachers chatted into the wee hours. Lomax’s mother and two daughters spent the night too. “People just got to know each other better, and the overall climate of the school changed,” Lomax recalls.

 Researchers like Ladson-Billings argue that teachers are more effective when they get to know their students’ backgrounds, including cultural rules for engagement and different ways of expressing knowledge. For example, instead of pushing children to stop using African American vernacular, they might encourage students to translate their favorite hip-hop lyrics into formal English—treating them as bilingual rather than as poor speakers.
Another habit of successful teachers, Ladson-Billings observed, was giving students agency and authority. When Lomax became a principal, she created “administration jobs” for students: They worked as counselors, nurses, teaching assistants, and security guards, and they used credits they earned to bid on computers, bicycles, and skateboards that Lomax would purchase with her own funds and donations. Students worked alongside the staff and advised Lomax and her colleagues on how to improve everything from lunch hour to after-school activities. The program helped build better relationships between students and staff, and it even reduced suspensions.
 A focus on inclusion must go beyond classroom changes, Ladson-Billings argues, to school staffing (so students don’t see a workforce where, for example, teachers and administrators are mostly white and custodians and cafeteria workers are mostly black) and student opportunities—so that advanced classrooms aren’t dominated by white and Asian American students while remedial classes are filled with black and Latino kids. Ultimately, researchers have found, for schools to raise achievement, they have to push back against damaging racial prejudices in every aspect of what they do. Personal humiliation and discrimination are daily realities for most black students, they point out, but teachers can counteract this with inclusion, knowledge, and skills that help kids persevere.

Read much more of this comprehensive and very enlightening article in Mother Jones at this link: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/black-teachers-public-schools-education-system-philadelphia See the facts and the figures and understand what Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos will do to public education and black educators in four years.

Betsy DeVos’ pick to head the Office of Civil Rights is a woman who holds VERY DISTURBING VIEWS ABOUT RACE. Her name is Candice Jackson; this pick is an afront to any perception of justice or respect for the civil rights process, particularly for black people.

DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White

DEVOS, SESSIONS, TRUMP DISMANTLING EDUCATION & CIVIL RIGHTS

Betsy DeVos has selected Janice Jackson to head the Civil Rights Office, in Dept of Education. Jackson opposes Affirmation Action, and once claimed “She Faced Discrimination (at Stanford) for Being White” Both DeVos and Trump are selecting people to put in positions without needing Senate confirmation. DeVos is actively dismantling key aspects of public education, just as Sessions is dismantling the central tenets of civil rights in America and nothing is being done to prevent these detrimental agendas.

On Wednesday, DeVos formally announced Jackson’s position as deputy assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights, a role that does not require Senate confirmation. The 39-year-old attorney will act as assistant secretary in charge of the office until that position is filled.

¨  DeVos has not yet selected a nominee, who would have to receive Senate confirmation. As acting head, Jackson is in charge of about 550 full-time department staffers, who are responsible for investigating thousands of civil rights complaints each year.

  • Although her limited background in civil rights law makes it difficult to infer her positions on specific issues, Jackson’s writings during and after college suggest she’s likely to steer one of the Education Department’s most important — and controversial — branches in a different direction than her predecessors.
  • “A longtime anti-Clinton activist and an outspoken conservative-turned-libertarian, she has denounced feminism and race-based preferences. She’s also written favorably about, and helped edit a book by, an economist who decried both compulsory education and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
  • Jackson’s inexperience, along with speculation that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will roll back civil rights enforcement, lead some observers to wonder whether Jackson, like several other Trump administration appointees, lacks sympathy for the traditional mission of the office she’s been chosen to lead.
  • “Candice Jackson’s intellectual journey raises questions about how actively she will investigate allegations of unfair treatment of minorities and women.   Please read the ProPublica article here: https://www.propublica.org/article/devos-candice-jackson-civil-rights-office-education-department
Below are links to a few segments of OneWorld Education Agenda television forums.  Listen to what some of Connecticut’s truly diverse (on every level) students have to say about education and its value to them:
  1. https://youtu.be/mPlqfo53XeY  – Several students talk about the value of education
  2. https://youtu.be/eI7iV9fvLKM  – Benefits of Studying Math and the Sciences
  3. https://youtu.be/u-XVPAogMXg  – Engaging Students Positively in Education and Politics
  • OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.

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Black Teachers Are Disappearing From American Classrooms.

http://www.oneworldpi.org/images/oneworldlogo.jpg OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6

Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus. Visitors can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the following links: Education Agenda: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/  See our Civic Engagement programs and forums at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/  and Health Literacy can be found at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/

This blog comes under our Education Agenda focus. To learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in education please visit: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/

•  Our FaceBook page is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB If you like what you see, please ‘Like’  our FB page and please SHARE us with others. We ask for your support.

•  We are working to contribute positively to the broader Connecticut community.
•  Donations are welcome.  Also, the email addresses on our web site no longer work. You can reach OneWorld at: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  or at Email: ONEWORLDPIINC@GMAIL.COM

BRENT STAPLES, Editorial Observer, APRIL 20, 2017

http://thmdrupal.azureedge.net/sites/production/files/styles/bio_photo/public/Staples_Brent_wm.png?itok=-3htcPsc  Journalist, author and History Maker Brent Staples has written an article titled:  Where Did All The Black Teachers Go? The complete article is below.  We encourage our visitors to read it.

Staples was born on September 13, 1951, in Chester, Pennsylvania. His father, Melvin Staples, was a truck driver; his mother, Geneva, a homemaker. The oldest son of nine children, Staples grew up in Chester, but, due to his family’s financial problems, moved seven times before finishing junior high school. After being approached by the only African American professor at Widener University, then the Pennsylvania Military College, Staples was accepted into Widener through a program called Project Prepare. He graduated from there in 1973 with his B.A. degree in behavioral science. Staples was awarded two doctoral fellowships; one from the Danforth Foundation and another from the Ford Foundation. He went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1982.

He has a rich life history and is without doubt a survivor of some of the worse socioeconomic conditions that America has had to offer to blacks.  We highly recommend two of his excellent books:  In 1994, Staples’ autobiography Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White, was published. In 2006, Staples was awarded a Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for his book-in-progress, Neither White Nor Black: The Secret History of Mixed-Race AmericaTo learn more about the remarkable Brent Staples, visit:  http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/brent-staples  

Where Did All the Black Teachers Go?

In the article below, written by Brent Staples, OneWorld has added blue and, or bold highlights to a few areas to draw readers attention to those statements; they were not previously included in the original article.  Except for those insertions, the article is as published in the New York Times (Opinion Section) of April 20, 2017

“I started first grade at an all-black elementary school in Chester, Pa., a deeply segregated factory town near Philadelphia, in 1957 — three years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional.

“The crisply dressed first graders who moved hesitantly that day through the halls of the Booker T. Washington Elementary School — built expressly for “colored children” — would be the first in their families to find relief from some of the most egregious humiliations that had come with being black in our town.

A popular restaurant nearby that used to turn away black patrons had begrudgingly begun to seat them. The movie theaters (including the one where black townspeople had watched “Gone With the Wind” from “colored” seats in the balcony) no longer separated patrons by race. The skating rink was the lone Jim Crow holdout: Black skaters could attend only if it was “ebony” night.

Segregated schools for black students were often decrepit, poorly staffed and crushingly overcrowded. But I recall no such infirmities at Booker T., as we called it. It was sparkly clean, quiet as a library and firmly under the control of steely, well-educated African-American women who were sticklers for grammar, could freeze your misbehaving heart with a glare and had the unnerving habit of engaging our parents in conversation on the street.

Today, many of the women who taught at Booker T. would instead have become lawyers, bankers or executives. But back then, discrimination that would ease with the passage of time had ruled out those careers and made teaching the default choice for the capable Negro women who then poured their aspirations into us.

The significance of what they gave us is being driven home in a growing body of research showing that black children — particularly those from impoverished families — benefit from having black teachers.

Important studies show, for example, that children who encounter African-American teachers are more likely to be recognized as bright enough for gifted and talented programs, more likely to be viewed as capable of success and more likely to graduate from high school and aim for college.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/04/20/opinion/20thu3web/20thu3web-superJumbo.jpg Linda Brown (front row, right) and her sister Terry Lynn (far left row, third from front) who, with their parents, initiated the landmark Civil Rights lawsuit ‘Brown V. Board of Education,’ in their classroom in Topeka, Kan. Credit Carl Iwasaki/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images

These studies suggest that black teachers are powerful role models, particularly for black boys; that they are more likely than white teachers to recognize competence in their black students; and that subjective judgments by teachers play a vital role in determining success at school. All the more reason for public schools across the country to do more to recruit and retain teachers of color.

I continued in all-black schools until the first day of fifth grade, when the spirit of Brown finally reached out for me. Out of the blue, I was summoned to the principal’s office, handed my records held together with rubber bands and given directions to a school I had never heard of at the far end of town.

Within a few hours, I was surrounded by white classmates at the William Penn School, a handsome new brick-and-glass building that had been built to accommodate nearby housing developments that excluded African-Americans and would continue to do so for years to come. I was surprised to find that the lone black teacher was an aunt who had recently graduated from college.

Integration, of course, did not guarantee a great education.   Districts that technically integrated their schools post-Brown often practiced Jim Crow lite, by labeling African-Americans deficient and shunting them into low-level and nonacademic tracks. But William Penn was a welcoming place and my former teachers had prepared me well. I arrived an eager reader and scribbler.

The black schools I left behind continued on as black for decades, because the area was mainly black. That was not the case in parts of the country that had maintained dual, racially distinct school systems that were at least partly combined after the Supreme Court outlawed deliberate segregation.

When black schools were shuttered or absorbed, celebrated black principals were demoted or fired. By some estimates, nearly a third of African-American teachers lost their jobs. Those who survived the purge were sometimes selected on the basis of a lighter skin color that made them more palatable to white communities.

In a 50th anniversary reappraisal of Brown published in The Journal of Negro Education, a researcher familiar with that period spoke of how white communities regarded the arrival of even a few black teachers as an attack on their schools. Not surprisingly, these horror stories deterred black students from pursuing teaching careers.

States and localities with significant black populations are beginning to recognize the whiteness of the teacher corps as an obstacle to student achievement. At the same time, statistics show that districts are doing a miserable job of retaining teachers of color and that more leave the field each year than enter it. A 2016 report by the Education Trust shows why. Among other things, African-Americans interested in teaching black students find they are steered into positions where they teach only black students. The same teachers complain of being pigeonholed as disciplinarians, their other talents rendered invisible.

The forces that are driving African-American teachers out of the classroom are taking a toll not just on black children but on the educational system as a whole. The country will never overcome this problem unless it begins to treat it with urgency.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/opinion/where-did-all-the-black-teachers-go.html?

 Related Coverage:

The Real Reason Black Kids Benefit From Black Teachers

“For black students, having even one black teacher can make a huge difference. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which found that that black boys who had a black teacher during their elementary school years were less likely to drop out of high school. It also linked the presence of black teachers to kids’ expectations of attending college.

“I wasn’t surprised to hear this. I’m one of a small fraction of black teachers in my district. I know that, as much as many would like to think that good intentions and talent are the only important qualities for educators, students respond differently to teachers whom they can relate to.

“The week before the study was released, I showed my ninth graders a film about Kalief Browder, a black teenager who was arrested at age 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime and died by suicide after his release. I was moved by the impassioned mini-essays about police brutality and stop-and-frisk my students produced and the honest experiences they shared. I realized it’s not just that my students live these topics every day. It’s also that they are teenagers who have seen me interact with law enforcement during our trips off campus. They trusted me because they knew I lived them as well.

“The fact that my skin color matches that of my students doesn’t give me any superpowers as an educator. But it does give me the ability to see them in a way that’s untarnished by the stereotypes, biases and cultural disconnects that fuel inequality and injustice — like the outlook that made Trayvon Martin, carrying Skittles, appear dangerously suspicious to the man who took his life. Like the assumptions that studies show make people see black boys as less innocent than their white peers.

“I’m connected to them because of our shared racial identity. But it’s more than that: I’m familiar with the world they inhabit. I can see their charms and challenges, without the filters of “minority” or “urban” or “at risk.” And I show them, through the pizza I order for their birthdays. Through the full days without schoolwork that I offer them from time to time because life is hard and we all need a break. Through teenage comedy that I laugh at with them, before reminding them not to make said jokes in certain settings. Through the pictures of my wife I show them — my wife, who looks like us.

“To be clear, many of my nonblack colleagues see our kids’ incredible potential just as I do and are powerful advocates for them. The ability to treat students like people and love the mess out of them doesn’t rely directly on race.

“Still, we live in a world of zero-tolerance policies, where students are kicked out of class for the “insubordination” of refusing to move to a different desk or for drinking juice, and where everyday misbehavior can elicit a call to the authorities. I find myself wondering, have the adults responsible never wanted to sit near their friends? Did they not drink juice in high school? Can they not see younger versions of themselves in our kids?

Black students need teachers who understand that they’re capable of the full range of anxieties and insecurities, greatness and success, hilarious moments and generous surprises. The amount of melanin in my skin is neither necessary nor sufficient for this: It’s not a magic formula. But I can remember a time when I looked and sounded like my students. That helps me see myself in them, and all they’re capable of. I hope they can see themselves in me.

Old white academics are ‘unable’ to teach black students because they’re potentially racist, complain students

Read much more of this comprehensive and very enlightening article in Mother Jones at this link: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/black-teachers-public-schools-education-system-philadelphia See the facts and the figures and understand what Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos will do to public education and black educators in four years.

Betsy DeVos’s pick to head the Office of Civil Rights is a woman who holds VERY DISTURBING VIEWS ABOUT RACE. Her name is Candice Jackson; this pick is an affront to any perception of justice or respect for the civil rights process, particularly for black people. This is a woman who said she faced discrimination for being white.

DEVOS, SESSIONS, TRUMP DISMANTLING EDUCATION & CIVIL RIGHTS (OneWorld Education Blog Post on 4/23/2017)

Betsy DeVos has selected Janice Jackson to head the Civil Rights Office, in Dept of Education. Jackson opposes Affirmation Action, and once claimed “She Faced Discrimination (at Stanford) for Being White” Both DeVos and Trump are selecting people to put in positions without needing Senate confirmation.  DeVos is actively dismantling key aspects of public education, just as Sessions is dismantling the central tenets of civil rights in America and nothing is being done to prevent these detrimental agendas.

On Wednesday, DeVos formally announced Jackson’s position as deputy assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights, a role that does not require Senate confirmation.  The 39-year-old attorney will act as assistant secretary in charge of the office until that position is filled.

¨DeVos has not yet selected a nominee, who would have to receive Senate confirmation.  As acting head, Jackson is in charge of about 550 full-time department staffers, who are responsible for investigating thousands of civil rights complaints each year.

  • Although her limited background in civil rights law makes it difficult to infer her positions on specific issues, Jackson’s writings during and after college suggest she’s likely to steer one of the Education Department’s most important — and controversial — branches in a different direction than her predecessors.
  • “A longtime anti-Clinton activist and an outspoken conservative-turned-libertarian, she has denounced feminism and race-based preferences. She’s also written favorably about, and helped edit a book by, an economist who decried both compulsory education and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
  • Jackson’s inexperience, along with speculation that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will roll back civil rights enforcement, lead some observers to wonder whether Jackson, like several other Trump administration appointees, lacks sympathy for the traditional mission of the office she’s been chosen to lead.
  • “Candice Jackson’s intellectual journey raises questions about how actively she will investigate allegations of unfair treatment of minorities and women.   Please read the ProPublica article here: https://www.propublica.org/article/devos-candice-jackson-civil-rights-office-education-department
  • Watch a short segment of a OneWorld TV forum about the Effects of Racism in America, Especially on Teens: https://youtu.be/GcnUYVTAtvs  
  • Students talk about the Power of Education: https://youtu.be/mPlqfo53XeY

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., invites visitors to visit our web home page: http://www.oneworldpi.org

 OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.

We at OneWorld invite you to visit our YouTube channel at: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6   Face Book is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  When you visit, please “LIKE” our FB page and please SHARE us with others.  We are all about good information and building a POSITIVE community.  We welcome financial and technical support.  Write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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Florida Republican Uses Racist & Sexist Slurs Frequently

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OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6  Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  Visitors can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the following links: Education Agenda: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/  See our Civic Engagement programs and forums at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/ Health Literacy is found at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/

  Our FaceBook page is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  We ask you to please visit and  “LIKE” our FB page, and please SHARE us with others. We are working to contribute positively to the broader Connecticut community. 

This blog comes under Civic Engagement.  There is no question that since Donald Trump gained the nomination of the Republican Party, our political and social environments have coarsened tremendously.  Since Mr Trump is the top politician in the country there are those who think it’s open season for racism, vulgarity, obscenity and verbal abuse about women.  In the articles linked below in this blog  you will meet the black American female legislator who was described as a ‘bitch’ and other far more vulgar term by Florida Republican Senator Frank Artiles.   Disturbingly, his vulgar terms are not reserved only for blacks.  According to an article in the Miami News Artiles has a history of using nasty epithets against people of various ethnicities.  A key question is – why is this man an elected representative? 

From everything we have read about him, he is a disgrace and should not be a part of any elected government.  He is a pathetic example of a legislator and should lose his seat. Of course, he might be following the President of the United States. This is another reason why we should be more thoughtful about whom we elect and put in high office.  Our public officials should be required to abide by basic standards of civility and decency; however, since no one held Trump to account, it’s open season. See below the letter  of complaint filed against Senator Artiles.http://images2.miaminewtimes.com/imager/u/745xauto/9289281/rep_frank_artiles_credit_fl_house.jpg

Senator Frank Artiles is the person at the center in the picture above.

“Nearly 4,000 Demand Frank Artiles Resign for Using N-Word as Protests Begin.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 8 a.m. By Jerry Iannelli   Jerry Iannelli

Jerry Iannelli is Miami New Times’ daily-news reporter. He graduated with honors from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he developed a reputation for pestering college officials until they cursed at him. He then earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.

“Let’s all take a moment to formally congratulate state Sen. Frank Artiles, who has long been one of Florida’s worst politicians, for shooting himself directly in the foot and all but guaranteeing he’ll never win an election again. After years of filing hateful, anti-LGBTQ bills, allegedly punching college kids in the face, smearing Black Lives Matter activists as terrorists, blatantly taking gifts from Florida Power & Light before advancing FPL-friendly bills, and dropping anti-Muslim racial slurs, Artiles achieved the impossible and found a way to double down on being a gigantic bigot earlier this week.

This time, he admittedly used the N-word in front of a black lawmaker. He also reportedly called some Tallahassee lobbyists “faggots” the same night. And now, more than nearly 4,000 people have signed two petitions demanding he resign. Because Artiles still held office as of this morning, multiple protests are planned today in his South Miami-Dade district.

“Artiles has proven time and again that he lacks the judgment, decency, and maturity needed to properly serve his constituents and the people of Florida, and must resign immediately,” one petition, from the liberal political action committee Florida Strong, says. This morning, that petition had more than 1,400 people demanding Artiles’ resignation.

The second, from a group of activist organizations including the black-rights group Dream Defenders and the LGBTQ-rights nonprofit SAVE, had more than 2,400 signatures as of this morning.

At 10:40 a.m. today, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party will hold a protest outside Artiles’ district office at 13501 SW 128th St. Then, at the Bethel Church on Lincoln Boulevard, the progressive activist group the New Florida Majority will hold an anti-Artiles rally. (The group’s political chair is former state Sen. Dwight Bullard, who lost to Artiles in November’s election.)

“These are the latest in a string of violent, hateful incidents in which Frank Artiles blames his ‘temper,’ or worse, tries to insinuate this behavior is normal in the community he represents,” the Dade Democrats said yesterday in a news release. “There is never an excuse for racism or misogyny.”

Sure, yesterday Artiles apologized, claimed he was drunk, used an “a” instead of an “er” at the end of his N-bombs, and used the slur to describe white colleagues rather than black people. It wasn’t enough — soon afterward, members of the Black Caucus filed a formal complaint asking the Senate to expel Artiles.

Even for a typical person, the incident Artiles described would still be offensive. And, on top of that, this is Frank Artiles, a man once caught on tape calling Middle Easterners “hajis.” He has long lost the benefit of the doubt.

According to the Miami Herald, which broke the story, Artiles called state Senate President Joe Negron a “pussy” and then said six (white) “niggas” in the Florida Senate helped elect Negron to the presidency. Artiles claimed he wasn’t being a bigot and said he talks that way because he grew up in Hialeah. This comment has understandably upset folks in Hialeah, including local Sen. Rene Garcia, who demanded that Artiles apologize for suggesting his hometown is full of epithet-slinging Neanderthals.

In Tallahassee, Artiles has few positive accomplishments on his resumé: In 2015, he offended the state’s LGBTQ community after he tried to pass a discriminatory, anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” which, much like the law in North Carolina, would have forced trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth gender. The bill tanked, but Artiles has not lived down the ordeal. In addition to being offensive and upsetting, the bill likely would have taken a huge chunk out of Florida’s tourism industry, given what happened in North Carolina.

During his reelection battle with Bullard, Artiles circulated photos of his opponent wearing a head scarf and falsely tried to smear both Bullard and Black Lives Matter activists as allies of a Palestinian “terrorist organization.”

Artiles was also ensnared this year in a campaign-donation kerfuffle involving what is perhaps the most hated company in Florida not called Comcast. The Herald reported that FPL, Miami’s pollution-heavy electricity monopoly, spent $2,000 to send Artiles to the Daytona 500 and Disney World. (Artiles attended the race while wearing a jacket with the logo of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, embroidered on it.) After those trips, Artiles magically failed to report those gifts until the Herald began asking questions about them.

(As a reward, FPL can now proudly say it spent a ton of money on a lawmaker who dropped the N-word in front of black people and got removed from the Energy, Communications, and Public Utilities Committee as a result.)

Oh, and in the middle of all this insanity, Artiles also announced he’ll seek reelection in 2018.

Here’s a running list of all the people who are pissed at Artiles and/or are demanding his resignation:

The Florida Senate’s Black Caucus –  Tia Mitchell @TIAreports

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/thousands-demand-frank-artiles-resign-after-using-n-word-at-black-woman-9289279

Posted at 4:00pm on Friday, April 21, 2017 – Frank Artiles has resigned.  Good riddance; he was inappropriate to serve; the same is true for Donald Trump; of course, he would never resign.

TALLAHASSEE — A Florida state senator from Miami resigned Friday in wake of a scandal over insults he hurled at two fellow senators in a private Tallahassee club.

GOP Sen. Frank Artiles sent a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, a Republican from Stuart, Fla., announcing his resignation, saying he was doing so to protect his family and the integrity of the legislative chamber.

“My actions and my presence in government is now a distraction to my colleagues, the legislative process and the citizens of our great state,” Artiles wrote. “I am responsible and I am accountable and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.”  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/21/frank-artiles-florida-state-senator-resigns/100744404/

The NAACP’s Florida State Conference

The formal complaint RE: Artiles

  “The racial slur, profane language and degrading tone used to members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, in particular, a black woman, has no place in our society. In 2017, it’s unfortunate we still must remind everyone about the “N” word and the negative impact it has had in the black community for many years. A public apology is not good enough from a public official who has used racist language in the past. Do us a favor, take your racist language and racist actions and resign.”

The Florida Democratic Party

Florida’s African-American House Democratic Women

“Just to be clear: we are not bitches and we are not girls. We are African-American women, elected leaders within our communities, and proud public servants who will in no way accept this misogynistic and racist attack on another woman. As women, we will not be degraded and we will be shown the proper amount of respect that all other legislators are afforded. As members of the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, we stand in support of calling for Frank Artiles to be removed from office, but we hope he will do the right thing and resign. No matter how it comes about, Frank Artiles’ time as an elected official must come to an end.”

The Miami Herald Editorial Board

From his unconscionable — and repeated — use of a racial and sexist slurs directed at an African-American colleague to his ridiculously choreographed first apology that he had to be prodded into making, Rep. Frank Artiles, again, has shown the public his measure. And he does not measure up to anyone who should serve in the state Legislature.

The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board

Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles should resign from office for his racist tirade to a pair of his African-American colleagues. The Republican’s public apology on the Senate floor Wednesday morning was insufficient, and there should be no tolerance in the Florida Legislature for such bigotry.

The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

“There is no place in the Florida Legislature for Sen. Frank Artiles. The Miami Republican needs to resign, the sooner the better. If he refuses to voluntarily leave for the racist and sexist slurs he made this week, he should be booted out. And not just by the Democratic Party. Republicans in the Legislature — in particular, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill, who chairs the Republican Party of Florida — should show him the door. ”

The New Florida Majority, a progressive activist group

“State Senator Frank Artilles’ racist and misogynist comments and aggressive behavior towards Jacksonville-area State Sen. Audrey Gibson is evidence of the kind of treatment that women, especially black women, are facing in the public arena today. His insulting language and harassment should not be tolerated by anyone in state government, including his fellow elected officials.”  Dream Defenders

Removing @Artiles40 from his chairmanship is not enough. He needs to resign from the Senate.  

  • OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.

We at OneWorld invite you to visit our YouTube channel at: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6   Face Book is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  If you like what you see, please “LIKE” our FB page and please SHARE us with others.  We are all about good information and building a POSITIVE community.  We welcome financial and technical support. Write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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Women: Effective Lawmakers and Often Better Negotiators

http://www.oneworldpi.org/images/oneworldlogo.jpgOneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6  Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  Visitors can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the following links: Education Agenda: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/  See our Civic Engagement programs and forums at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/ Health Literacy is found at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/

  Our FaceBook page is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  We ask you to please visit and  “LIKE” our FB page, and please SHARE us with others. We are working to contribute positively to the broader Connecticut community. 

This blog comes under Civic EngagementYou will meet some of the women who are our federal legislators.  We need more of them.  Among industrialized and progressive nations, America is woefully behind with only 19.4 percent women in the USA 2017  Congress.  The breakdown is as follows: 

  • In 2017, 104 (78D, 26R) women hold seats in the United States Congress, comprising 19.4% of the 535 members; 21 women (21%) serve in the United States Senate, and 83 women (19.1%) serve in the United States House of Representatives.
  • Five women delegates (3D, 2R) also represent American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the United States House of Representatives.
  • Britain: In 2015 , the year of the last general elections in Britain, 191 female MP’s (Members of Parliament) were elected; that is 29 percent211 women, 26%, are Members of the House of Lords.
  • Canada:  In 2017, women make up 26% (88) of the Canadian House of Commons . Countries with female leaders:  Britain, Israel, India, Pakistan, Jamaica, Ireland, Germany and others have had women leaders (as heads of state for decades).
  • America just cannot seem to get there.  Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House in America’s 228 year Congressional history! 
  • We need more female legislators in our American Congress; this means in the House and in the Senate; 19.4 percent is a paltry number. 

LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER. EVERYONE NEEDS TO VOTE.

Local elections determine the make-up of the state legislature, and who sits in the governor’s mansion. The governor and the state legislature determine many things.  Republicans now control 31 states because we have 31 Republican governors.  We NEED more states with Democratic governors. We also NEED more female legislators.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first written and presented to the US Congress in 1923.  It needs to be ratified by 38 states to become a part of the United States Constitution.  Here we are in 2017 – 94 years later and the ERA in still not ratified and is not a part of the United States Constitution document.  Why not? We refer you to our comprehensive Women’s History Blog at : http://oneworldpi.org/blog/archives/4978 We ask that you do your part to ensure that the ERA gets ratified by the time of the mid-term elections in 2018.

What Happens When Women Legislate

By BRITTANY BRONSON, APRIL 18, 2017

Brittany Bronson is an English instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a contributing opinion writer.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/04/18/opinion/18bronson/18bronson-superJumbo.jpg

LAS VEGAS — Cheaper tampons. Office breaks to pump breast milk. No co-pay on birth control.

These are not the talking points of a ladies’ happy hour. They are among the State Senate and Assembly bills being considered in the Nevada Legislature. Not only were the bills designed solely with women in mind, they each were sponsored by a female lawmaker.

At 39.7 percent, Nevada now ranks near the top for women’s representation in state politics, second only to Vermont. The bills women are bringing to the State Senate floor this session range from the annual ranking of companies by how fairly they pay men and women to arguably the most historic — the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The state legislature is a testimony to what many who study gender inequity in politics theorize to be true: Increased gender representation directly translates into better consideration of women in the drafting of law and policy.

Although the 2016 presidential election is mourned as a symbolic impasse for women’s progress, it was momentous for female politicians in Nevada, at both the state and the federal level. Many have called President Trump’s election a wake-up call for American women, one that has inspired their increased grass-roots activism and political involvement.

But in Nevada, the ladies were already on the ballot before President Trump’s victory. Now they are getting to work.

What spring-boarded Nevada into a leader for gender equality in statehouses is not entirely clear. A study from the Center for American Women and Politics highlights that the root of gender imparity in political representation does not lie in whether women win races (they do), but in the discrepancy in the amount of men and women who run.

A national organization called Emerge America, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, is attempting to address this problem. Emerge Nevada had nine of their graduates on state ballots last November.  Eight of them were elected.

Marla Turner, president of Emerge Nevada and secretary for the state Democratic Party, said many women assume they are unqualified to run for office. “When women come to us and say, ‘I don’t know if I’m a good candidate. I don’t have any skills for this,’ we start breaking it down,” she said. “They realize they can apply the skills from their work environments, from their involvement in their children’s schools, to the political process.”

Ms. Turner added that over the past three years, the level of interest from women who have applied to the Emerge Nevada program has nearly tripled.

Emerge does not give its trainees direction on the type of legislation they should pursue — it’s not focused on what are traditionally categorized as women’s issues. It strives to produce well-rounded candidates, albeit Democratic ones.

The expertise of this new wave of women politicians in Nevada certainly extends far beyond the experience of being female. But in celebration of Women’s History Month in March, the women of the Nevada Legislature used the session to highlight issues like the gender wage gap, family-friendly work policies and the “pink tax,” or the extra amount women are charged for items like feminine hygiene products — issues male politicians haven’t historically prioritized.

That effort, however, reveals a contradiction in women’s involvement in politics: Too much focus on gender can decrease the breadth of female candidates’ appeal and their electability, but gender equity has proved impossible to achieve without women’s voices championing it.

It’s why Hillary Clinton’s remarks last month encouraging young women to run for office were so poignant. Many of the barriers that prevent women from running — finances, an unequal burden of family obligations — are the products of the gender discrimination still inherent in our society and our laws, laws that are unlikely to change unless more women get involved.

We don’t have to dig deep to see how often male politicians’ rhetoric on the policies misses the mark of actually improving those policies. In a recent Missouri state legislative session, two male senators joked that women seeking abortions should go to the St. Louis Zoo.

Even in Nevada, tone-deaf misogyny still echoes in the chamber. After a nurse testified to the calls she received from low-income women forced to choose between feminine hygiene products and food for their children, a male lawmaker asked if he could get his jockstrap tax free.

There’s another confounding detail in the gender-representation gap: While Democrats are getting better, Republicans still lag far behind. Bringing more Republican women into the fold could play an enormous role in repairing some of the irreparable damage done by Donald Trump’s candidacy when it comes to how the party talks about women.

Studies also show that although female politicians have a wide range of positions, they often are more compassionate, better at working across the aisle and more willing to compromise, qualities intricately bound in successful policy-making.

An increased presence of women in elected offices will not only advance gender equity, it will subsequently help men, because women lawmakers are proving to be, across all the issues — women’s or not — more productive lawmakers.  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/18/opinion/what-happens-when-women-legislate.html?  

Women are effective lawmakers and are often better negotiators.  They have had to negotiate all their lives because.  In America, most women do not start off from a place of equity.  From grade school girls have had to learn to navigate at every turn and negotiate to get a turn.  Although women are about 51.8 percent of the US population (estimated in July 2016), they are only 21 percent of the Senate 19.1 percent of the House.  We need to strive for a goal of 50 – 50 in both chambers within 20 years; it’s possible.  Now meet a few of our current dynamic and effective female legislators; and please read the article linked below.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Nancy_Pelosi_2012.jpg/330px-Nancy_Pelosi_2012.jpg        https://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/568/flashcards/475568/jpg/maxinewaters1308748081660.jpg         http://www.ontheissues.org/pictures/Susan_Collins.jpg

https://www.congress.gov/img/member/114_rp_ny_12_maloney_carolyn.jpg

http://www.bostonherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/gallery/public/media/2016/07/25/072516dncnl71.jpg?itok=4nnX2YbN A new study examines how female legislators embrace compromise—and men don’t.

 By Andrew McGill, Aug. 23, 2016

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Women Make More Effective Legislators Than Men.

“Only 19 percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress are held by women, despite the fact that women make up more than half the United States’ population. Congress being what it is these days—a snarling ragebeast incapable of compromise—it’s an easy jump to wonder if this wild gender imbalance might be part of the problem.

Take it from Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine. “I think if we were in charge of the Senate and of the administration that we would have a budget deal by now,” she told ABC News in 2011, surrounded by her fellow female senators. “What I find is, with all due deference to our male colleagues, that women’s styles tend to be more collaborative.”

“Kelly Dittmar, a scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics and a political science professor at Rutgers, has reached a conclusion that is also backed by conversations with women in Congress: Women, far more than men, prize results over status. In an oft-cited 2001 survey of American members of Congress, the number one reason to run for office, according to female legislators, is the ability to effect change in society. The number one reason for men? They always wanted to be a politician.” Read more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/would-electing-more-women-fix-congress/495989/

OneWorld highly recommends reading the complete study; it is fascinating. Pictured above are:  Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Dem. CA., Maxine Waters, Dem. CA., Susan Collins, Republican, Maine; Carolyn B. Maloney, Dem. NY; Elizabeth Warren, Democrat, MA.    These are considered to be some of the most effective legislators in the US Congress today.  Nancy Pelosi is considered a genius in reading the political landscape  and in making excellent political decisions. Susan Collins is outstanding in holding her own even against  Republicans with whom she disagrees; she has integrity.  Maxine Waters and Elizabeth Warren  are strong, determined and hold their own women.  All these women are  seen as courageous  and take a backseat to no man.  We need many more like them in the US Congress.  Read OneWorld’s featured blog on Nancy Pelosi here: http://oneworldpi.org/blog/archives/4974

  • OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.

We at OneWorld invite you to visit our YouTube channel at: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6   Face Book is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VB  If you like what you see, please “LIKE” our FB page and please SHARE us with others.  We are all about good information and building a POSITIVE community.  We welcome financial and technical support. Write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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Rich Kids And The SATS: Understanding the Methodology

OneWorld Progressive Institute OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3,    100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since  1996.  Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples  of our work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6   

Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  Visitors can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the following links: Education Agenda: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/  See our Civic Engagement programs and forums at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/civic_engagement/ and Health Literacy can be found at: http://www.oneworldpi.org/health/

 This blog comes under our Education Agenda focus.  To learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in education please visit: http://www.oneworldpi.org/education/

  • Our FaceBook page is here: http://goo.gl/8v19VBIf you like what you see, please “LIKE” our FB page and please SHARE us with others. We are working to contribute positively to the broader Connecticut community. 
  • We ask for your support.  Also, the email addresses on our web site no longer work.   You can reach OneWorld at: http://goo.gl/8v19VB or at Email: ONEWORLDPIINC@GMAIL.COM

How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/04/10/opinion/10oncampus/10oncampus-master768.jpg

FLINT, Mich. — The summer before my junior year of high school, I boarded an airplane for the first time. Three hours later I was in picture-perfect New England, where I was soon to be surrounded by a diverse and extremely accomplished group of peers. I had been awarded a generous scholarship to attend the Phillips Exeter summer semester — five weeks of classes and sports, with some optional SAT prep mixed in.

I’m from Flint, Mich., and even though I recently transferred to a private Catholic high school in my city, top tier-education is new to my family. Neither of my parents went to college, and in Rust Belt regions like the middle of Michigan, education is falling behind the rest of the country. Stanford researchers found, for example, that sixth graders in our town are two to three grade levels behind the national average. They are almost five grade levels behind students in more prosperous counties 30 miles away.

The friends I made at Phillips Exeter were from fancy-sounding towns and seemed to have it all. Most attended prestigious private or highly ranked public schools. They were impossibly sporty, charming and intelligent, with perfect smiles and impeccably curated Instagram profiles. The program we attended costs around $10,000, so they were clearly affluent, but they also came from diverse backgrounds. They had been on exotic vacations and had volunteered for the needy. They were truly interesting people.

So I didn’t understand why so many of them were enrolled in the optional SAT prep section of our summer program. Why would such impressive high achievers spend their summer nights storming through a massive SAT book? Many of them already took weekend SAT prep courses back home. Did they just think it was fun to time one another on practice sets?

Family and friends from home thought it was weird that I went to “school” during my summers, but the kids at Exeter saw summer academic programs as normal and enjoyable. I was happy to be around so many fellow nerds. Still, they approached studying for the SAT with a near-professional intensity that was alien to me.

I realized that they didn’t just want to score exceptionally well on the SAT. They were gunning for a score on the Preliminary SAT exams that would put them in the top percentile of students in the United States and make them National Merit Scholars in the fall.

It was disconcerting. The majority of low- and middle-income 11th graders I know in Michigan didn’t even sit for the preliminary exams. Most took the SAT cold. Few were privy to the upper-middle-class secret I discovered that summer: To get into elite colleges, one must train for standardized tests with the intensity of an athlete.

If I lost the ZIP code lottery growing up in tap-water-crisis Flint, my new friends had won the neighborhood Powerball jackpot. They grew up in what the social scientist Charles Murray calls “Super ZIPs,” areas where almost everyone is wealthy, highly educated and connected.

https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/simgad/15847476795217359359

Don’t get me wrong. My new found friends worked extremely hard, but they also seemed to have access to a formula for success that had been kept from the rest of us. It just wasn’t something our overworked guidance counselors could teach.

As a result, all the drilling they did for an exam that is supposed to be an equalizer in ranking students according to raw test-taking skills was only widening the American achievement gap.

I had opted out of Exeter’s SAT prep. So the following fall, when I posted a so-so SAT score, I went into Super-ZIP-kid mode.

I couldn’t afford a $3,000 40-hour prep course or tutor. But I could take out test prep books at the public library. There were very few checkout stamps on the book jackets, so I kept renewing them. I also took a $99 online program I heard about on NPR and Khan Academy’s free SAT section. On Saturdays, I commuted an hour each way to Ann Arbor for a free test-prep program at the University of Michigan.

My post-prep score saw a solid pop, and that awarded me access to tens of thousands in automatic merit awards to local colleges. I was encouraged to throw my hat in the ring at some more selective universities.

The bottom line is that students like me — from middle- to low-income families, who live in less prosperous areas of the country — tend to stumble upon opportunities by luck (if at all). My summer-school friends knew to compete for generous merit awards. They understood they had to transform themselves into perfect applicants for a competitive college and employment market that draws students from all over the world.

This past month, I watched many of these friends dazzle their social media followers with acceptance letters from Northwestern, Harvard, Williams and Duke, as well as six-figure Presidential Scholarships to various public universities. Their success was hard-earned and I am proud of them. I only wish that more lower- and middle-income peers knew how to pursue such aggressive strategies.

Below are links to a few segments of OneWorld Education Agenda television forums.  Listen to what some of Connecticut’s truly diverse (on every level) students have to say about education and its value to them:

  1. https://youtu.be/mPlqfo53XeY  – Several students talk about the value of education
  2. https://youtu.be/eI7iV9fvLKM  – Benefits of Studying Math and the Sciences
  3. https://youtu.be/u-XVPAogMXg  – Engaging Students Positively in Education and Politics
  4. https://youtu.be/VRlebdmIzHM  – Students Discuss Impact of Media and Pop Culture
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/opinion/how-i-learned-to-take-the-sat-like-a-rich-kid.html?

OneWorld invites you to read the Kevin Close piece below; it’s quite interesting.  We welcome comments about both articles and OneWorld’s comment.

New York Times Releases Story on SAT Test Gap

“Every morning I read through my google news feed, scrolling through an odd combination of baseball scores, recipes, and news about education policy. This morning my scrolling stopped on an article in the New York Times from a high school student, Dylan Hernandez, called How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid. Hernandez argues that rich kids know how to compete on the SAT. They know how to go about it — take SAT prep classes, get tutoring, take the test multiple times, start early. Poor kids, on the other hand, do not. Poor kids often sit the test once, without preparation, then accept whatever score they receive. Rich kids actively fight for scores, poor kids passively accept scores.

“Despite arguments that the SAT is even and fair for all, Hernandez’s main argument, that wealth leads to better SAT test scores, stands strong. Social scientists recognize that wealth (and other factors like race — see a previous post: Are Standardized Tests Racist?) correlate strongly with high standardized test scores. In other words, the SAT is not closing any gaps between the have and have nots.

“Colleges that rely on SAT scores for admission decisions (and high schools that use the SAT to measure growth — see another New York Times article: Rejected by Colleges, SAT and ACT Gain High School Acceptance) perpetuate the current gap. Schools, by giving admission and awards to high scorers, ensure that rich kids, in general, will stay rich adults. Is that what the test is designed to do? Is that what the US education system wants?

“Schools know that wealth and race conflate with high test scores, so other factors need to be measured. To combat this conflation, some schools, like the University of Delaware, no longer accept test scores during their admission process. Others, weigh test scores lightly compared to other factors such as grades, teacher recommendations, and extracurricular activities. Students are complex, evaluations of students should be complex as well.

“As a scholar of educational testing, I urge institutions to view test scores critically. The government should not give merit awards based on scores alone (it does — google National Merit Scholars). Schools should not give admission offers based on scores alone (they do as well). Hernandez is right, SAT scores favor the wealthy.”  Kevin Close made this post about Dylan Hernandez’s essay: https://medium.com/@kevin.j.close/new-york-times-releases-story-on-sat-test-gap-59fe47b4259f

OneWorld agrees that schools should not give awards and college acceptances based on SAT or any standardized test scores alone. They should require a profile essay and at least a short portfolio of extracurricular activities.  However, Mr. Hernandez did not explain why he opted not to take the Exeter SAT Prep course when it was offered to him for free. Nothing he said is proof that he lacked the desire to seize that opportunity because he is not from a wealthy background. Puzzling indeed.

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., invites visitors to visit our web home page: http://www.oneworldpi.org
  • OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.

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