Monthly Archives: May 2012

Help In Oakland Schools For African American Boys

Oakland Educators Struggle to help African American Boys
by Caitlin Esch | May 29, 2012 — 5:49 PM

Oakland school officials say they’re planning a series workshops to address problems that keep African American boys from succeeding.

Recent reports from the Urban Strategies Council show that 33% of African American boys in middle school are suspended at least once compared to six percent of white boys. And more than half of African American boys in the district are at risk of dropping out once they get to high school.

Chris Chatmon directs the district’s African American Male Achievement Office. He says new pilot programs, like Manhood Development classes, make a difference.

“For the boys that are participating in that cohort or that treatment compared to the boys that are not,” Chatmon says, “there’s improved attendance, there’s actually improved grade point average and a decrease in disciplinary issues.”

Chatman says the programs give the boys a sense of community and help them deal with problems in their lives.

CaseClosed2: Well, it’s about freaking time. Help is needed where it is needed.Help them now or pay the cost of not helping later.

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Education News


This Young Lady Has Come A Long Way In Her Short Life

GO SISTA! HS Senior Goes From Homeless Shelter To Ivy League

Eboni Boykin spent most of her childhood moving from one homeless shelter to another with her mother in the St. Louis area.

She also enrolled in more than 14 schools for one reason or another. But that did not stop her from realizing her dream of being accepted into an Ivy League school, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The 17-year-old senior at Normandy High School has been accepted into Columbia University in New York City on a full scholarship. Currently, Boykin is editor-in-chief of her school’s student newspaper, a varsity cheerleader and a member of the student council. And, top all of that off, she has a 3.8 grade point average.

Boykin says she learned of her acceptance while taking a break from editing the school newspaper. She logged-on to Columbia’s website for online acceptance decisions where she learned about her admittance. She was ecstatic. Moments later, Boykin got another letter saying that she was awarded a full scholarship.

She cried tears of joy.

Boykin’s success should be inspiration for any young person to set their goals high in the face of adversity.

(Let’s face it. Most young folks stay out of school because of a minor cold, let alone because they were homeless)

To be sure, there are many young urban Black youths like Boykin. However, given the negative press about our young people, we can never grow tired of hearing about another brotha or sista overcoming a challenging childhood to make way for a promising adult life. Where many young people would have given up in Boykin’s situation, she saw it as the ultimate test of her character.

“Seeing the absolute worst of life is the ultimate motivation,” she said.

Here is more on this outstanding young scholar:

At home, Eboni has a supportive mother who dropped out of high school and hasn’t always related to her ambitions. At Normandy High, the petite 17-year-old is one of about 25 honor students among a student body with a dropout rate in the double digits. Last year, 74 percent of students there failed the state’s English 2 exam, and 83 percent failed the math exam.

Eboni’s circle of friends is small. This is by choice, she says. She’s not interested in the music or the clothes that dominate her school’s culture. She is a varsity cheerleader but would rather be at church than at parties.

“There’s always crime or the smoking,” she said. “It was always too much.”

As a 13-year-old teenager, she first became exposed to the Ivy Leagues through the show “Gilmore Girls.” After doing a little research, Boykin decided that she would one day earn a degree from one of those esteemed east coast institutions.

Four years later, she earned a right to set foot on Columbia’s campus this upcoming fall. Now, she only has four more years

“Getting into Columbia definitely teaches me that just keeping the faith and not giving up it pays off,” Boykin told local television station 5 KSDK. “And it just teaches me if you hang in there you can have anything you want if you are willing to work hard for it.”

This young sista, who wants to be journalist, should be a source of inspiration for any teenager who feels that life is too hard to overcome. When she finishes her degree in four years, NewsOne, or any news organization for that matter, would be honored to have her.

Go sista!

CaseClosed2: This young lady is inspiration to other young people that they, too, can reach great heights if they stay focused,determined and never give up.

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Education News


Oh No,Not Again

Detroit Cops: 7-Year-Old Killed Self After Bullying
He was also depressed over parents’ split By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff

Detroit’s police chief calls it “unfathomable”: A 7-year-old boy hanged himself from his bunk bed with a belt, depressed over his parents’ separation and because he got bullied constantly at school and around his neighborhood, reports the Detroit Free Press. He was discovered by his 14-year-old-sister, who saw him through the keyhole of his locked door.

“To imagine a child that young, who is so sad, that believes his only option is to do this? Heartbreaking is not a strong enough word,” said a city councilwoman. The boy had talked about hurting himself, said the chief, and the family’s pastor had been counseling him. In fact, the last time the boy’s mother saw her son alive was Wednesday afternoon, when she left to talk to the pastor about his depression.

CaseClosed2: What can be done to stop our children from killing themselves because of bullying and depression? Please voice your opinions on this important issue.

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Education News


Boy Bullied Commits Suicide

Detroit Boy, 7, Dies in Apparent Suicide
Sources say bullying could be root cause
Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2012, 6:39 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 11:33 PM EDT

DETROIT (WJBK) – Detroit police are investigating the death of a 7-year-old boy who was found hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck.

Police say they responded to a home north of the New Center area around 5:30 p.m. after the boy’s 14-year-old sister found him unconscious. Emergency crews performed CPR and transported him to Henry Ford Hospital where he later died.

Police believe the boy’s death was a suicide, but the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office will make the determination about cause of death.

Sources tell FOX 2 their investigation leads them to believe the boy was bullied at school.

CaseClosed2:Schools have a zero tolerance level for bullying, yet bullying continues and kids who can’t take it anymore are committing suicide. This is wrong and something needs to be done. No child should be so devastated he takes his own life.

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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Education News


White Student In DR King BlackFace

2nd grader who played MLK in blackface wants apology from school
By the GrioSean King in blackface (ABC News)
Sean King, a Colorado Springs second-grader at Meridian Ranch Elementary school, was pulled out of class last week for wearing blackface make-up while trying to portray Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now, King wants an apology because he says school officials were mean to him and made his mother cry. King said he meant no harm. The Huffington Post reports:

Sean King, a Colorado Springs second-grader at Meridian Ranch Elementary school, found himself in hot water last when he was pulled out of class for dressing like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while also wearing black face paint for a school project. Now, Sean and his family want an apology from the school for the way the staff handled the situation.

Sean, 8-years-old, told KRDO that he feels school officials were “mean” to him and his family, citing that they made his mother cry. Sean explained that he is confused why other children who also wore face paint honoring other historical people were not punished like he was. “They were really negative to me,” Sean said about school staff to KRDO.

School officials are now considering offering special classes about racial stereotypes to help teach kids and parents more about racial sensitivity.

CaseClosed2: I don’tknow how I feel about this story. Let me hear your thoughts?

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Education News


Nearly Half Of Florida High School Students Failed Reading Test

MIAMI (Reuters) – Nearly half of Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state’s new toughened standardized test, education officials said on Friday.

Results this year from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test showed 52 percent of freshman students and 50 percent of sophomores scored at their grade levels.

Students in the 10th grade must pass the exam in order to eventually graduate but can retake it if they fail.

The results came days after the Florida State Board of Education voted to lower the standards needed to pass the writing part of the test, known as FCAT. The test is administered in public elementary, middle and high schools.

The board took the action in an emergency meeting when preliminary results indicated only about one-third of Florida students would have passed this year.

“We are asking more from our students and teachers than we ever have, and I am proud of their hard work,” Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson said in a statement.

“As Florida transitions to higher standards and higher expectations, we can expect our assessment results to reflect those changes.”

(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Education News


Thank ATeacher Today

We need to invest in teachers, education
By Evan Goranson

The yearning to learn is found naturally in most children, and if the kids are lucky, the yearning is encouraged throughout the adventure we call school. To emerge as a curious and passionate adult is the best mark of a successful, but still unfinished, education. As a parent, I am enjoying what might best be called education by association. My children are working on projects, and as a result, I am learning previously unknown facts.

Did you know that there are more prong horned antelope in Wyoming than there are people? Or that Rhode Island is so small that it would fit inside Alaska 483 times?

The second-graders working around our dining room table discovered and then shared these facts with great enthusiasm. All of this requires good schools and great teachers.

I was fortunate to have several inspiring teachers as a young student. Mr. Zach in sixth grade, who indoctrinated us in the fine art of jazz by playing the same record every day during “quiet time.” (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass!)

Mr. Kessler, in junior high who made science fun and who pushed us toward excellence. Dr. Fellows, who let me into an advanced writing class even though I had not taken any of the prerequisite courses.

My point is pretty simple. Let’s take the target off the back of teachers in Illinois. Yes, the state is close to the brink of financial ruin. Pension funds are grossly underfunded. Decisions of the past have created the crisis point of the present. Don’t blame teachers.

Everyone seems to agree that those coming into the system today will have to accept different benefits and retirement packages than those currently working or retired teachers. These are hard but necessary facts. What cannot change is our investment in teachers and public education. The real value of education can be simply illustrated: The current unemployment rate for adults with a B.A. degree ranges between 4 percent to 4.5 percent. The rate for adults without a high school education ranges between 12 percent and 14 percent.

As hard as the times have been, an education still gives you the best chance for a job.

The environment for teachers in Illinois must remain attractive. Competitive pay and benefits and security in retirement are basic requirements.

Thank a teacher today that you can read an employment ad, write a resume and stay one page ahead of your kids in math.

Email Evan Goranson at

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Education News


Life Isn’t Easy For African American Boys

Study: African-American Boys Placed At Higher Risk For Self-Harm
By D.L. Chandler

A recent study conducted by a University of Mississippi psychologist has unveiled data that suggests adolescents, especially African-American boys, are at a higher risk for self-harm.

Dr. Kim Gratz collected data from six middle and high schools in Mississippi. Because of the size of the schools, the sampling has yielded considerably significant findings.

“Based on what people once thought about this, we might have thought that white youth, and in particular white girls, would be more likely to engage in this behavior. We never would have expected that African American boys were at such high risk,” shared Dr. Gratz with Jackson-based NBC affiliate WLBT. Self-harm methods, such as biting, cutting and skin burning were reported in earlier studies to be practiced among White female teenagers. The new findings place Black male teenagers in the middle of the self-harm debate.

“They reported higher rates of most of the self-harm behaviors than the other groups of students. They had higher rates of severe scratching, self-biting, and punching. But they also did in fact have the highest rates of cutting along with White girls. They had higher rates of most of the behaviors,” said Dr. Gratz in addition to earlier comments.

Dr. Gratz also revealed that 39 percent of teens who engage in self-harm practices do not tell anyone because they are fearful of disclosing their issues.

“Self-harm generally starts in early adolescence and we don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s dealing with a time when emotions are getting more intense and life is getting more stressful,” concluded Dr. Gatz.

CaseClosed2: This is important and parents must pay attention to what is happening with their sons and do whatever is necessary so that harm in any form doesn’t happen to them.

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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Education News


Nothing New here

Study Suggests Teachers Give Black and Latino Students Less Feedback
The results could hint at a cause behind the wide achievement gap.

By Dorkys Ramos

A new study finds that African-American and Hispanic students might be receiving less feedback from their teachers compared to caucasian children, which could be a factor in the wide achievement gap between races, a study researcher said.

The study, which was published April 30 in the Journal of Educational Psychology, tested 113 white middle school and high school teachers in two public school districts (one middle class and white and another working class and racially mixed) in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. Teachers were given poorly written essays under the pretense that a student wrote them and would directly receive the teacher’s comments. Some essays led the teachers to believe it was written by a Latino, Black, or white student.

The results indicated that teachers would give more feedback on essays they believed were written by a white student while skimping on helpful criticism if they thought a minority student submitted the work.

“The social implications of these results are important; many minority students might not be getting input from instructors that stimulates intellectual growth and fosters achievement,” said Kent Harber, a study researcher and Rutgers-Newark psychology professor.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Education News


Week Long School Testing

Can someone tell me how a student is failing when the first day of testing began yesterday and will continue for the rest of the week?

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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Education News