Monthly Archives: February 2013

Teacher Caught Stealing From Students Backpacks?

California Teacher Caught Stealing From Students Backpacks | Student Catches Teacher in STING VIDEO LINDEN, Calif. (KABC) — A Northern California teacher was caught on camera allegedly stealing from a student’s backpack.

Cellphone video shows what appears to be money being taken from a backpack at Linden High School.

A camera was set up in the locker room during P.E. class to record the alleged thefts.

The teacher was being investigated after students reported items missing from their backpacks.

That teacher, who has worked for the school for 30 years, has been put on paid leave.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Education News


A Way To Break A Black Student’s Spirit

“One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did the two slaves get whipped together?” – A question from the handout

Slavery Math Problems Outrage Parents

School asks students to tally slave deaths and whippings

By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff

Some New York City teachers have found themselves in hot water over a math assignment for fourth graders featuring questions like, “In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?” The assignment came to light when a substitute teacher balked at photocopying the ditto last week. “It shouldn’t be a homework assignment,” Aziza Harding explains. Instead, she took it to her graduate professor at NYU, who in turn contacted NY1.

“My first thought was, I don’t believe it,” the professor says. In fact, the sheet had already gone home with another fourth-grade class; the questions had been written by the students as part of a slavery lesson. But parents and educators are appalled all the same, saying it’s hardly the best introduction to the horrors of slavery. “I’m appalled by this,” the school’s principal said. The Department of Education released a statement saying it was “obviously unacceptable,” and promising disciplinary action against the teachers responsible.

Case:I’ve read the comments and seen interviews of some people standing up for these teachers and didn’t understand why? As students,the black people who spoke up for these teachers were psychologically damaged as a student as well,so they don’t realize the harm these teachers have done. The teachers in question have caused their black students to feel inferior, but hopefully, this feeling is temporary.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Education News


Our Children Can Learn

Record number of black students in Md. passed AP tests

State still leads country in percentage of students passing tests in 2012

By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

9:10 PM EST, February 20, 2013

More African-American students in Maryland’s Class of 2012 successfully passed a rigorous Advanced Placement exam than ever before, as the state continued to lead the nation in the percentage of students deemed college- and career-ready, according to data released Wednesday by the national College Board.

The 11.4 percent of black students who earned a score of 3 or better on an exam still comprises a small fraction of the 29.6 percent of all Maryland seniors who passed a test. But it is among the highest percentages in the nation, reflecting the increased access and success for black students on the exams.

Maryland maintained its longstanding rank as No. 1 in the nation in the proportion of students passing the exams in 2012. The state significantly outpaced the nation, where 19.5 percent of students scored a 3 or higher, and also noted the largest percentage increase of students passing the tests in the past decade.

The data were released in the College Board’s “Annual AP Report to the Nation.” The report provides a state-by-state report on the number of students who take Advanced Placement courses, which are offered in dozens of subject areas, and pass the assessments. Students earn a score of 1 to 5, with 3 considered passing.

Some colleges accept passing grades as credit, and students who pass the tests are said to have higher college grade point averages, do better in intermediate level classes and have higher college completion rates.

Over the past decade, the number of Maryland students who take the exams has more than doubled, which state schools Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery praised as “parents and students really stepping out there, ready to take these risks.

“We believe that every child should have access to the most rigorous curriculum possible,” Lowery said. “Not everyone is going to do well on the assessments, but at least they are being introduced to college and career-ready” work.

She attributed the increased pass rates to high-quality training for teachers and hard work by students.

The state was among a few in the country in which both the number of students taking the tests, particularly among minorities and other underserved populations, and pass rates increased. “The good news is, we have not suffered at all because we have opened access,” Lowery said.

College Board officials said the gap in the number of underserved populations who have access to the rigor of Advanced Placement courses remains a national struggle, though in Maryland the variations are less prevalent.

Officials said that while one in four Advanced Placement students in the nation are underserved minorities, the proportion of those students who have the potential to excel in the classes still lags in some subjects. For example, two out of 10 Native American students with the potential to excel in AP math classes enroll in them, and three out of 10 African-American and Hispanic students do.

Maryland also had the highest percentage of students in the nation taking math and science assessments, state officials said.

Lowery said she would like to see the gap between minority students and their peers shrink significantly, particularly with the passage of the Maryland Dream Act, which will allow more minority students to attend college by extending a tuition break to some illegal immigrants who graduate from high school in Maryland.

“We would hope to … continue to grow at all levels, and among all ethnicities,” she said.

State officials noted that Hispanic students also saw progress on the exams last year. They accounted for 8.8 percent of Maryland’s 2012 graduating class and 8.3 percent of the seniors who scored 3 or higher on the exam.

All 24 Maryland school systems have at least 20 percent of seniors taking the tests, according to state officials, who highlighted some districts — Anne Arundel, Calvert, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties — for having at least 30 percent of their graduating classes pass an exam.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Education News


Students Plot To Murder Classmate

Student's Plot To Murder Classmate

The small town of Colville, Washington is reeling after police announced they had uncovered a murder plot by two fifth-grade students. (Shutterstock)

Cops: 5th-Graders Planned to Kill ‘Annoying’ Classmate

Police say 2 boys brought gun, knife to school in murder plot

By Mark Russell, Newser Staff

Residents of the eastern Washington town of Colville are reeling after police announced they had uncovered a murder plot by two fifth-grade boys, reports the Los Angeles Times. The boys brought a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun and a knife to school, intending to kill a classmate “because she was really annoying,” say school officials. “My background is a high school counselor and psychologist, and quite frankly, in 30-plus years, I never heard of anything like this at this age level,” says the superintendent.

The incident happened on the morning of Feb. 7 when a fourth-grade student told a teacher he had seen an older student with a knife. The teacher searched both the fifth-grader’s bag and that of his friend, finding the weapons in the latter. The boys confessed their plan was that one would kill the girl with the knife while the other used the gun to prevent anyone from interfering. They also planned to injure six other classmates. “To me, 10- and 11-year-olds do bad things,” said the local prosecutor. “They throw rocks through windows. They shoot BB guns at people’s cars. They hit people with sticks, they set a cat on fire. Those are things that children do. But this was a plot to kill.” A hearing to determine whether they had the capacity to commit a crime is set for Wednesday.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Education News


How Does A12-year-Old Get AccessTo A Gun?

Cops: 12-year-old robs schoolmate with replica gun

Staff report

9:49 PM CST, February 8, 2013

Investigators were questioning a 12-year-old boy who robbed a fellow student in a boy’s bathroom at a North Mayfair school Friday afternoon, using a BB gun that was a replica of a handgun, officials said.

The robbery took place about 2:40 p.m. at Palmer Elementary School, 5051 N. Kenneth Ave., said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien. One juvenile was in police custody on suspicion of robbing another juvenile, he said.

The 12-year-old robbed a 13-year-old of $5, according to police.

The younger boy caught the older in a restroom in the school’s annex building and put the replica gun to his chest, according to a police report. The attacker told the older boy to “give me your money,” and took the money.

The victim knew who the robber was, and told school officials and police. When a police officer questioned the younger boy, he admitted he had a black plastic BB gun, and the officer found it and confiscated it, according to the report.

Although it was a replica gun, it had a magazine and slide that allowed it to have a live round of ammunition in it when police confiscated it, according to the report. Police also confiscated a box of ammunition from the attacker.

Chicago Public Schools did not release any details, but released a statement regarding the robbery:

“When school officials learned of the incident, police were called and the CPS does not tolerate the presence of any weapon of any kind on school property for the safety and security of our schools, students, staff and visitors,” a spokesman said in a statement. “School officials took the appropriate steps of notifying CPD, who then took immediate action at the school.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Education News


Tell Me More

African Americans Fly High With Math And Science


This Black History Month, Tell Me More is taking a look at African Americans in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) who are inspiring future generations.

Today, Barrington Irving shares how his sky high dreams became a reality. A chance encounter in his parents’ bookstore put him on a path that would make him the youngest person and first African American to fly solo around the world.

Barrington Irving remembers a man walking into the store dressed in a pilot’s uniform. The man asked whether Irving might consider a future in aviation. “I immediately just said to him, I don’t think I’m smart enough to do it,” Irving remembers/ “Then I asked him how much money he made and after he answered that question, I took an interest in aviation.”

Irving’s success was far from a sure thing. His family immigrated to the United States from Jamaica when Irving was six. Private flight private lessons were out of the question – so Barrington Irving did what he thought was the next best thing.

He saved his money to buy a flight simulator game that allowed him to fly anywhere and in any kind of weather conditions from the safety of his PC. It was a start, and made him passionate enough to save more of his money so that he could afford flight lessons.

Irving returned to the Miami-area city he left March 23, 2007 in a Columbia 400 built of donated parts. He was optimistic his 27,000-mile continent-hopping trip aboard the “Inspiration” would live up to the plane’s name and motivate young people _ especially minorities.

Alan Diaz/AP

Irving returned to the Miami-area city he left March 23, 2007 in a Columbia 400 built of donated parts. He was optimistic his 27,000-mile continent-hopping trip aboard the "Inspiration" would live up to the plane's name and motivate young people _ especially minorities.

Irving returned to the Miami-area city he left March 23, 2007 in a Columbia 400 built of donated parts. He was optimistic his 27,000-mile continent-hopping trip aboard the “Inspiration” would live up to the plane’s name and motivate young people _ especially minorities.

Alan Diaz/AP

By the time he turned 21, Irving had lost friends to violence and prison, so he was already thinking about his own legacy. “I’ll never forget asking myself the question, ‘what’s one thing I can do whether I live or die that would be worth something?'” he tells NPR’s Michel Martin. Irving says an idea hit him – fly around the world.

It was one of those ideas, Irving recalls, that was great in principle, but a struggle in reality. Barrington Irving hit roadblock after roadblock for nearly two and a half years. Funding was difficult to come by. Yet that didn’t stop Irving from pursuing his dream.

So at the age of 23, Barrington Irving finally had his plane ready for his flight around the world. But he had no radar, no de-icing system and thirty dollars in his pocket when he left Miami.

Some 97 days later, when Irving returned he was greeted by thousands of people with congratulatory banners and signs, and what really stuck out was the number of young people who had followed his journey.

Building on that inspiration has turned into Barrington Irving’s mission in life. He started by challenging kids from some of Miami’s failing high schools to build a plane from scratch, which he would then pilot. In late 2014, Irving will also be taking to the skies again with a flying classroom.

He says that children from across the nation and around the world will be able to interact with him as he conducts experiments that they choose and help monitor. He’s hoping he will be able to get more students excited about the STEM fields.

“We want to be the best, but we’re afraid to challenge our kids to the be the best.” That’s something that Irving is hoping to change one flight at a time.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Education News