Tag Archives: school

The New Attack On Affirmative Action

170727-trump-prop-faces-indexIn deciding to challenge race-based affirmative action programs the Trump administration has laid out his view of the future – his claim that white people are being discriminated against. Therefore, and Trump will do to affirmative action what Lincoln did for slavery or so the said – end it. This country has always denied black people anything that would elevate them as human beings. Just remember there was a time in history when reading would be a death sentence!

It will be very tempting for those of us on the left side of the political spectrum to say this is just one more example of Trump beating up on minorities, like the ban on immigration from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, or the ban on transgender people serving in the military, or the administration’s support of state voter suppression laws.

It is important to know that first; they raised the price of college tuition to keep black and other people of color out of institutions of higher learning which was just to make college unaffordable.  So like Obama care, these bigots will revisit this issue again. But there is an important fault line that divides anti-discriminatory measure – they now are claiming that white folk is being discriminated against!

A 2016 Gallup Poll found that 63% of Americans believe that colleges should not consider race even as a minor factor in admissions decisions. In a 2017 Harvard Institute of Politics poll, only 19% of young people approved of giving qualified minorities special preference in hiring and education. Frankly, they should be staunchly pro-diversity; colleges are better when they have students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and they should champion policies that are more inclusive of disadvantaged students of all races than many current programs are.

Their goal is to take black people back to a segregated society – yes that means Jim Crow! The danger for liberals in defending explicit racial preferences is that that fits neatly into Trump’s argument that the system is rigged.

If ever there were an unfair system, it is the admissions apparatus of selective colleges. Bowen’s research found that alongside racial preferences, recruited athletes receive a 30-percentage-point boost. The children of alumni receive a 20-percentage-point boost.

Low-income students, by contrast, get no preference whatsoever. As a result, those from the richest economic quartile outnumber those from the bottom quarter by 24 to 1 at most selective colleges. At several selective colleges, as many students come from the top 1% of the income distribution as from the bottom 60%.

Progressives should champion a system that eliminates unfair preferences of all kinds, including those for legacy students. Legacy preferences aid the already advantaged and do not, in fact, increase alumni giving. But it’s not enough to point to hypocrisy on the right about legacies; racial preferences should also be transformed to help economically disadvantaged students of all races.

This is an idea the Democratic Presidents have flirted with, but never had the guts to follow through on. In 1995, Bill Clinton briefly called for shifting the basis of affirmative action to economic need. In 2007, Barack Obama said that his own privileged daughters did not deserve a preference in college admissions.

The fact is education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


EDUCATION: The Real Civil Rights Issue

How do we prepare black children to be prepared to enter into a democracy that is driven by capitalism driven by racism? Before I continue, let me say clearly, that “Knowledge is power and power produces an understanding that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair.” This does not occur in our society as evidenced by the zip code of the student.

Since Brown v Board states have taken enormous steps to defer the education of black students. Whites have moved out to what is little more than segregated communities to establish separate but unequal schools. We have seen that No Child Left Behind does not work. Monies are stripped from budgets because of the insane war efforts and the military industrial complex. Let’s not forget we spend billion on the dream of space travel. So what is the answer?

They say Charter Schools and the privatization of schools systems – really! These options, in my opinion, are not the answer because there is little control or oversight by the educational system authority in most cases. The result is no accountability and corruption by its management. Hence, the student suffers! Let me go back to the issue of segregation – did you know that New York City public schools are the most segregated schools in the country followed by Dallas and Chicago. Shocking!!!

I am not going to dissect this issue now because I am researching for a future writing as I want to have statistics to support my contention, as I know I will be challenged. However, I have put forth what I hope is enough for some to dialog and hopefully take an interest. Every city in America has cut BILLIONs of dollars from the state’s education budget which will result in the loss of teachers. College education is becoming so expensive that most cannot endure the financial hardship.

Malcolm said, which is true, “Only a fool lets his enemy teach his children.” Fact is the education system is still “separate and unequal.” What I think this system does, I’ll call the state of miseducation that creates little more than boot camps for the other privatized entity call the PENITENTIARY!!! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Dr. Umar Johnson Talks Education

0B4B80B97053000073400002-attachment-2-20151124_130936Dr. Umar Johnson visits WHUT Studios on the campus of Howard University for a powerful interview on the The Rock Newman Show! Dr. Umar Johnson talks about the challenges, misdiagnoses and inequities in America’s school system for Black and Latino children. According to Johnson’s website, “Umar is considered a national expert on learning disabilities and their affect on Black children, as well as an expert on helping schools and parents modify challenging behaviors that can ultimately lead to disruptive behavior disorder diagnoses in Black boys (www.drumarjohnson.com ).”

Dr. Umar Johnson is a Certified School Psychologist who practices privately throughout Pennsylvania and lectures throughout the country. Umar is a blood relative of Frederick Douglass, the great Black abolitionist and orator. As a school psychologist Umar evaluates children ages 3-21 in an effort to determine if they have educational disabilities and a need for special education services. Umar is considered a national expert on learning disabilities and their effect on Black children, as well an expert on helping schools and parents modify challenging behaviors that can ultimately lead to disruptive behavior disorder diagnoses in Black boys.

This message is on you will not ever hear by any state or school administrator – PLEASE LISTEN!


Dr. Umar Johnson On Education And Black Children

007_1000This is a powerful interview on what happens in the school community that every parent must hear. He explains the process as to why black kids are labeled, put on medicine, and put in Special Ed, which he calls a conspiracy. POWERFUL!!!

Dr. Johnson says “Politically-speaking, keeping Black boys from having a gambler’s chance at a decent life in this country seems to have become a fetish of the American social order,” he said. “As states scramble to find more dollars to incarcerate young Black males, a quiet but very powerful sense of hopelessness is settling in amongst the Black boy population in America.”

Johnson says if the Black community wants to “reverse the special education, ADHD, psychotropic drug, juvenile incarceration and premature extermination wars against Black boys. Then we will have to build schools that are uniquely designed to teach Black boys…how to avoid the trappings of a racist criminal justice system.” Johnson believes the boys who attend this school will see a much brighter outcome.


There Is Only One Truth

136820802I have hesitated to write anything about the despicable actions of Christopher Dorner. Therefore, before I begin what can only be called a sad commentary; I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not think the former police officers actions, taking innocent lives, were justifiable reasons to address his grievances. Frankly, Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer, was a sick individual!

This is the whole point of this commentary with the horrible history of police misconduct, particularly the past history of the LAPD, it begs the question how many other sick cop’s are among their ranks. Despite the departments claim that the department has evolved well beyond their troubled racial legacy of Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson trial; it begs the question – have they?

Domer’s well publicized “manifesto” alleged that his career was undone by racist colleagues conspiring against him which prompted a string of vengeance killings depicting himself as a black man wronged, whose badge was unjustly taken in 2008 after he lodged a complaint against a white female supervisor. He says, as well as others in the LAPD that the LAPD have not improved much since the King beating but have “gotten worse.” I am not suggesting who to believe but these allegations are at least worth considering if any truths exist.

Do you remember N.W.A.? This was a rap group back in the 1980s whose gangster rap spoke about the conditions in the urban areas of this country, particularly in the communities of LA and their relations with the LAPD. Not many believed or took notice of the abuses until we saw the video of Rodney King which this department claimed was a necessary evil.

As a result of Domer’s allegations a community of online sympathizers formed, echoing complaints against police that linger in some communities. For example, a Facebook page supporting Dorner quickly attracted over 2,300 fans that said “this is not a page about supporting the killing of innocent people. It’s supporting fighting back against corrupt cops and bringing to light what they do.”

Let’s take a look at the LAPD that was once synonymous with violent and bigoted officers, whose culture and brand of street justice was depicted by Hollywood in films such as “L.A. Confidential” and “Training Day.” Or let’s remember what was done to the Black Panthers. Or in 1965, 34 people died when the Watts riots, triggered by a traffic stop of a black man by a white California Highway Patrol officer, exposed deep fractures between blacks and an overwhelmingly white law enforcement community.

In the 1980s, gang sweeps took thousands of youths into custody. The O.J. Simpson trial deepened skepticism of a department already tarnished by the videotaped beating of King, the black motorist who was hit with batons, kicked repeatedly and jolted with stun guns by officers who chased him for speeding. Rioting after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the LAPD officers on state charges and a mistrial was declared for a fourth lasted three days, killing 55 people.

Then there was the Rampart scandal of the late 1990s, scores of criminal convictions were thrown out after members of an anti-gang unit were accused of beating and framing residents in a poor, largely minority neighborhood. A handful of officers were convicted of various crimes and the scandal led to federal oversight that lasted eight years. Even the Fed’s were involved with COINTELPRO!

I repeat this is neither a commentary in support of nor sympathy for the killer who took innocent lives. However, it is to beg the question – has the LAPD really changed. I will close with a quote from Malcolm X and I agree; “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I am for justice, no matter who it is for or against”. I am for humanity! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Case That Changed America

brown-v-board-of-educationOn May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This was the day that the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision changed the face of America unlike any other decision before or since.

This major ruling was the cornerstone that laid the foundation for all of the civil rights African American’s know today, just as the late Thurgood Marshall, who brilliantly argued and won this case envisioned. It is also very appropriate to recognize the skillful talent of Justice Marshall for his more than fifty victories before the Supreme Court, more than any other attorney in history.

The Brown Case, as it is known, was not the first such case regarding civil rights argued before the Supreme Court. It was just the most significant of what some would say was the final battle in the courts that had been fought by African American parents since 1849, which started with Roberts v. City of Boston, Massachusetts. It is also important to note that Kansas was the site of eleven such cases spanning from 1881 to 1949.

The case was named after Oliver Brown one of 200 plaintiffs. The Brown case was initiated and organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership who recruited African American parents in Topeka, Kansas for a class action suit against the local school board. The Supreme Court combined five cases under the heading Brown v. Board of Education: Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The ultimate goal sought by the NAACP was to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of society, including public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and all forms of public accommodations.

The Brown Supreme Court ruling determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional in Brown I, the first opinion. The court’s implementation mandated “with all deliberate speed” in 1955 known as Brown II. In 1979, twenty five years later, there was a Brown III because Topeka was not living up to the earlier Supreme Court ruling, which resulted in Topeka Public Schools building three magnet schools to comply with the court’s findings.

As had been the case since Homer Plessy, the subject in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites.

Now that I have provided some history related to the case let me add my commentary. It has been said that as sure as things change they remain the same. First, it took 60 year to overturn Plessy with Brown and it took “with all deliberate speed” 13 years for integration to begin fully. During this period of time from 1954 to 1967, governors blocked school entrances and actually closed schools rather than comply with the law of the land. I am not going to touch on the violence that caused Presidents to send the US Army and National Guard troops to schools in order to protect the safety of those the ruling was intended benefit as a result of the Brown decision.

Since then, and over time, many scams have been devised to disenfranchise minorities and African Americans in particular. I need only remind you of “No Child Left Behind” where we see persistent patterns of underachievement for lower-income students on standardized test scores. These standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to a child’s academic future, which I don’t believe was the spirit of the Brown case.

Malcolm X famously said, only a fool would allow his enemy to educate his people. Just think about the deplorable education system and the fact that most of what is taught, particularly when it comes to history, is a fallacy. Then consider the extremely high dropout rates among our children. For example, it has been reported that in the City of Baltimore more than two thirds of all students who enter high school do not graduate.

After fifty-five years, it is not unreasonable to seek and ask that the spirit of Brown be honored with effective and meaningful equal rights under the law. I understand that public education was not created to develop minds rather it was intended to simply teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was created to maintain a permanent underclass. Much like it was then, a travesty, in many ways it remains a travesty for the children in most Urban Public School System’s.

I, like Dr. King believe in the dream but we have unfinished business and as it stands – it is a dream deferred. That’s why it is imperative for us to celebrate this milestone and continue the struggle as the ghosts of so many greats who died for this principle: “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair”.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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A MOVEMENT FOR MARY THORSON

Every now and then a cause is brought to my attention accompanied with a request for support. There is so much evil in our world and it saddens me to what degree mankind extends its viciousness onto another human being; often times these actions have dire consequences.

A friend asked me to share this horribly sad story of institutional abuse with my readers. I hope my sharing this story will help her cause and you will sign the petition in support of her valiant effort.

Here is the back-story: On Thanksgiving, a grade-school gym teacher parked her Mercury SUV on the shoulder of Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana, got out and walked in front of a moving semi-truck. The 32-year-old’s suicide shocked the tiny Ford Heights school district where she worked. In other words Mary died to teach!

In the days afterward, tension grew amid conversations by co-workers about what had happened and questions from the Army veteran’s parents. The turmoil peaked during a crowded meeting in December, when some teachers and school board members clashed.

The suicide note that Mary Thorson left centered on frustrations at the school, and her death spurred some of her co-workers to speak out at the public meeting. Teachers described an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the two-school district, where little things snowballed over time.

Even some of those close to Thorson acknowledged that it’s difficult to pinpoint why anyone commits suicide, but her death opened wounds in the district. School district officials have vowed to work on healing with new channels of communication. School board members and the administration expressed sorrow over Thorson’s death but was also surprise at the way some teachers described the work atmosphere.

Thorson, known as Coach T, left behind a handwritten, six-page note in her SUV. Other than one paragraph in which she apologized to her parents for the hurt her death would cause, the rest of the note was exclusively about Ford Heights School District 169.

The students “loved her,” said Walter Cunningham, who taught physical education with Thorson. “She treated them like a daughter or son. They all gravitated toward her.” Like many of the teachers there, Thorson used her own money to buy students school supplies or warm clothes if she saw a need, Cunningham said. More than 98 percent of the 520 students in the district are considered low-income, according to state records.

There is a documentary soon to be released that tells the story of a grade school gym teacher who committed suicide in November 2011 and left a note alleging intimidation in the workplace directed by Myra Richardson. It is chilling and I would encourage you to support the film, and remember it could occur in your child’s school.

Lastly, I cannot say I know much about the details of the situation but a friend close to the situation asked me to share the story of this tragedy. Therefore, on her behalf I ask that you kindly visit the website below for more information about what she calls “teacher abuse” and sign the petition. My prayers and sympathy goes out to the family of this teacher for their tremendous lose.

Sign the Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-secretary-of-education-stop-bullying-and-making-teachers-change-grades-to-pass-students

http://www.marythorsondocfilm.com/index.html

And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective …

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