Monthly Archives: January 2012

I’m Sure This Isn’t The First Time This Has Happened

but it’s the first time a school was caught.

Claremont McKenna College has admitted to falsifying the SAT scores of its students. (Shutterstock)
Prestigious College Faked SAT Scores to Boost Rank
Claremont McKenna College administrator inflated scores By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff

Claremont McKenna College is currently ranked by US News and World Report as the nation’s ninth-best liberal arts college—but, the college admitted yesterday that ranking is based on falsified SAT scores. The small California school says that since 2005, “a senior administrator,” who has since resigned, submitted false scores to US News & World Report and other publications that rank colleges. Insiders say Richard C. Vos, vice president and dean of admissions, is responsible, the New York Times reports. The scores were only inflated by an average of 10 to 20 points each, and it is unclear whether the revelation will affect any of the school’s rankings.

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Education News


Studying Pays Off

School Notebook: Studying pays off for fourth-grader

Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012, 7:00 AM
By Star-Ledger Staff The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — “G-o-v-e-r-n-m-e-n-t” spells winner for Ismat Agwedicham, a fourth-grader at New Horizons Community Charter Schoolin Newark,New Jersey who spelled the word correctly to win her school’s spelling bee this month.

Students in the Newark school for grades K to 5 had been studying their dictionaries for almost two months to prepare for the contest.

“When we announced the spelling bee, the entire school transformed,” said Andre Hollis, New Horizons principal.

Ismat will now advance to the semi-final bee, being held in March at Bergen County Community College. “I really enjoyed participating in the spelling bee … I would advise next year’s winner to try their hardest when keeping up with all of their words and to not be nervous,” Ismat said.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Education News


President Obama Lays Down The Law

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Michigan’s Al Glick Field House, Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Carlos Osorio)

(AP) – President Barack Obama today called for an overhaul of the higher education financial aid system, warning that colleges and universities that fail to control spiraling tuition costs could lose federal funds. Speaking to students at the University of Michigan, Obama said he was “putting colleges on notice” that the era of unabated tuition hikes is over. “You can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down,” Obama said on the final stop of a three-day post-State of the Union trip to promote components of his economic agenda.

The president first announced the outlines of the financial aid proposal during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. His plan targets what is known as “campus based” aid given to colleges to distribute in areas such as Perkins loans or in work study programs. Of the $142 billion in federal grants and loans distributed in the last school year, about $3 billion went to these programs. His plan calls for increasing that type of aid to $10 billion annually. But the initiative faces long odds in Congress, which must approve nearly all aspects of the president’s plan.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Education News


More Slave NonSense In School

Slave game alleged at Gwinnett elementary school

By Angel K. Brooks

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Some children at a Gwinnett elementary school played a tag-like game as slaves and slave catchers at recess, and a teacher allegedly participated, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The incident happened at Camp Creek Elementary School in Lilburn last week, the report said.

Three children and their parents told Channel 2 that a teacher organized and participated in the game.

The schools spokesperson said that there was a game, but the teacher did not participate.

The school district released a statement to Channel 2 saying, “The school district looked into concerns regarding four students who participated in a playground activity. The district determined that the activity was student initiated and that allegations regarding the teacher’s involvement were unfounded.”

Ericka Lasley told Channel 2 that her 8-year-old daughter said she was a slave and other students were slave catchers during a game similar to tag. The third-grade student said the teacher proposed the game based on what the class is learning.

“She would sit on the bench and the slave catchers would come up to the door and ask did she have any slaves,” the girl said.

Charvia Rivers said her children told similar versions of what happened.

The parents told Channel 2 that the game is inappropriate and insensitive.

A district spokesman said diversity training is planned for all staff members.

Earlier this month, a teacher at Beaver Ridge Elementary School resigned and apologized after writing slavery-themed math questions for a third-grade homework assignment.

Watch the video…

CaseClosed2: Parents should teach their children not to accept negative comments or actions about who they are and who their ancestors were because there are people;even teachers,who are racist who bring their racism into the classroom.SMH

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Education News


Black Duke University Students Outraged At “Racist” Study

DURHAM, N.C.— A group of about two dozen Duke University students urged administrators Tuesday to create a better climate and provide more financial support for black students, saying they’ve been disappointed so far in how top officials have reacted to their viewpoints.

The students, almost all of whom were black, unsuccessfully sought a meeting with university President Richard Brodhead at his campus office in hopes of explaining a document they describe as a call to action for the prestigious, private southern school.

Concerns range from the future location of a black culture center to the lack of support for a black student group’s annual event and a recent study that suggested African-American students switched to less-difficult majors.

“The university has affirmed through media outlets that it has a commitment to meeting the needs of all its students, including black students,” said Nana Asante, a senior psychology major and president of the Black Student Alliance, who led the procession Tuesday. “We have yet to witness any action that reflects this supposed truth.”

The most immediate cause for students’ anger is an as-yet unpublished study by Duke researchers saying black students match the GPA of whites over time in part because they switch to majors that require less study time and have less-stringent grading standards. Opponents of affirmative action are citing the study in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.

But the students say the research is just one example of an environment in which many black students feel uncomfortable. The document they gave to administrators cites concerns over the future location of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and the status of the Black Student Alliance invitational weekend, an annual event the students say is in jeopardy because of the administration’s lack of support.

“These are really just symptoms of a contentious and strained racial climate here,” Asante said.

Some of the students’ recommendations include establishing an endowment to create a stable funding source for cultural events and academic programs involving black students, and for the creation of a special university working group to assess whether blacks feel the climate at Duke is unwelcoming.

Brodhead was not in his office Tuesday morning, but an administrator came out to shake each student’s hand and promised to pass the document to the president.

“We welcome their call to action and we welcome their recommendations,” university spokesman Mike Schoenfeld said. Administrators plan to discuss the issues with students, he said.

“These are not new issues at Duke,” Schoenfeld said. “Many people have been working for a long time to create a positive environment for African-American students at Duke.”

The Durham university has about 6,500 undergraduate students, about 47 percent of them white and 10 percent black. The largest group of non-whites is Asian-American, representing 21 percent of the undergraduate population. The university community has been embroiled in racially charged debates before, as during the fallout over accusations of rape — later found to be false — leveled at white Duke lacrosse players by a black woman six years ago. Bad feelings over that case linger in Durham to this day.

Asante said the students will wait to hear the university’s response to their call to action before deciding on what steps to take next.

“We will do what is necessary to ensure that our voices are heard,” she said.

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Education News


Ex NBA Player Starts A School

By Ashley Michelle Williams

Jalen Rose can now add “educator” to his long list of social contributions.

The former NBA star and current ESPN analyst has established the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in his hometown of Detroit in order to help improve Michigan’s troubled education system — and ultimately give Detroit adolescents under his care the best education possible.

The thirty-eight-year-old was motivated to found JRLA due to a concern that Michigan’s stagnant economy is impeding students’ ability to succeed in high school and attend college.

“When the auto industry was around, adults weren’t necessarily going to college to get degrees,” Rose told theGrio. But that industry cannot support the region as it once did. “This domino effect has in turn affected children,” Rose continued.

Indeed, according to a recent study conducted at the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University, only 31.9 percent of Detroit’s public high school students graduate in four years. In addition, only 12 percent of adults in Detroit have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

To receive a good education, many students have to attend schools outside their districts. “If I live in a district where I know the school is poor performing, why should I have to make my child go there?,” Rose asserted.

To read more on Jalen Rose‘s wonderful contribution to Detroit, go to theGrio.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Education News


Give A Kid A Book

A Book Is The Greatest Gift You Can Give A Child Written by Adisa Banjoko, West Coast Editor

Two years ago I went to go visit a school of 4th and 5th graders. It was in Oakland, and many of the kids were from tough areas of the city. I went there to talk about nonviolence and the value of education. One of the gifts I brought for the kids was The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin. I also brought t-shirts and hoodies. The kids went nuts for all of it.

Most of the kids were excited. But one did not want a book. He looked like the model in the Rasta Baby flag. He glared at me when I put the book on his desk and said “I don’t read books.” He slid the book back to me. The teacher was caught between embarrassment and anger. She told him to take the book.

I told her to relax, “We don’t want to force anything on anybody.” Then I turned to the boy. “Look at me” I asked. His eyes were glued to the floor and his arms crossed in pure defiance. I stood there in silence. He realized I was not going to move from where I was standing. He looked up. Our eyes met. His eyes were as dark as his skin. This gave his presence a unique strength.

I spoke quietly to him. “You don’t have to take this book. But I want you to look at me and hear me now. The greatest gift a person can ever give you, is a book. For the rest of your life, never forget that- OK?”

For an instant it was as if the class was entirely empty. As if it was just he and I in the room. His head slowly nodded”OK.”

I set the book on a desk between us. “I’m not going to make you take this book. I’m going to leave it here. You make the decisions for what you want.”

I returned to the rest of the class and began my lesson. A few minutes later two girls entered the room. Despite being a few minutes late they were passionate about the class. One immediately asked for a t-shirt, which I handed over. Her friend quickly shouted “I want a book!”

“Go ahead and grab that book over there” I said, pointing to the desk. She smiled with joy approaching her new book.

I looked over at the boy. He had not softened the anger in his eyes. I might as well have been looking at Lil Wayne on his first day in prison. It scares me how angry some youngsters can be. The girl was about half way to the book when I spoke to the boy.

“A lot of things in chess deal with knowing what you want, and acting on it. If you want the book- say you want the book. I gave it to you. But if you don’t, there is no need to hold anyone else back from the knowledge in it. If she wants a copy of The Art of Learning, let her take that one. The question is, what do you want?”

For about five seconds his eyes darted between my eyes, her eyes, and the book. Then he said “I want the book.”

I was so happy to hear it. My heart smiled. After I gave it to him, I actually found a copy in my car for the girl. Everybody won that day. I still wonder about him. I wonder if he read the book. I wonder if he liked it. I wonder if he is still reading.

I walk the halls of the school I work at today, I see so many Black boys who seem allergic to reading. Black girls on the other hand are reading books all the time. Now, to be honest much of they read I don’t have a passion for. A lot of them are ‘hood novels (what a huge industry that is) most others are vampire fantasy books. But they are still reading.

I think Sister Souljah is probably the most loved Black female writer of their generation. The Black girls at my school are pretty violent. They fight with an anger I have never seen in Black girls from prior generations. But if you want to keep peace in the building, mention Sister Souljah. They always ask me if I know her. I met her many moons ago when she was still making records. Then when I ask if they have read about her life in the book No Disrespect, they never heard of it. It blows my mind. It amazes me how just a few years change the entire way you view a person. I love it though. The passion they embrace her books with is unmatched.

Teachers often complain about what books the girls are reading. They ask “Why happened to reading Shakespeare?”

I tell the teachers I’m more content to see kids reading something, than nothing at all. A child with the discipline to read vampire books, may eventually be directed to read the work of Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Malcolm X. A child with no discipline for reading, is almost a guaranteed lost cause.

Reading is what liberated the minds of men like Malcolm X, Hurricane Carter and many others. I encourage them to read things like The 50th Law and The 48 Laws of Power. When I talk to young Black males they say they have to go to prison to read. They really plan to read, after they go to jail. I explain they can read right now, and never have to go to prison at all. I have spoken at many prisons, and tell them they are not ready for what awaits them. Few of them hear me.

I also notice that kids in the ‘hood don’t have Kindles and Nooks, etc. They have books. The price of books these days has never seemed cheaper. Still kids will tell me they don’t have money for books as they walk past me in $300.00 jackets.

I consistently encourage Black males to read. But the vast majority have zero interest. I won’t ever quit. I’m known as the guy at school who always has a book in his hand.

Next time you see a child you love, let them know that by getting them a book. It does not have to be a history book on Black issues. Get them something you believe they would really love to know more about. If they love sports, get them a book on football. If they love hood novels break one out. As you hand it to them, remind them that the greatest gift one person can give another is a book. Share the love, of reading.

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Education News