All Articles Tagged "education"

Monday’s Madame: Susan Green, Principal Of Alain L. Locke Elementary School

April 7th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Monday’s Madame: Susan Green

Location: Mount Vernon, NY

Why She Inspires Us: Susan Green has a heart made of gold.  The Stony Brook University alumna has been dedicated to the youth since she was a teen, serving as a counselor for the YMCA.  Known for her infectious  personality, Susan’s love for children and education led her to become an elementary school and junior high school teacher.

Today, she is the principal of Alain L. Locke Elementary School in Harlem;,  a magnet school for Environmental Stewardship. Her  high expectations and passion for success are evident to students, parents, faculty, and staff.  Besides being a leader to her community’s children, Green  leads women in the Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated sorority.  Green embodies the founding principles of her organization by promoting physical and mental health, educational , economic and political awareness. She served as an inspiration to those suffering from the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Green, along with  her church members, made several visits to the country to make efforts to change the lives of its citizens. Green defines success and  her achievements continues to be countless.

Monday’s Madame is a column on MadameNoire that highlights inspirational women who are doing great things in black communities around the world. If you would like to submit an inspirational woman for consideration, please send her name, age, location, photo, and a blurb about the work she’s doing to


Long Island Teen Kwasi Enin Accepted To All Eight Ivy League Schools

April 1st, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: USA Today

Source: USA Today

It’s hard work just getting into one Ivy League university, but Long Island teen Kwasi Enin has managed to receive acceptance letters from all eight of them. When sending out applications, the William Floyd High School senior figured maybe two or three of the prestigious institutions would want him, but he was blown away when he was accepted to all of the universities.

“I’ve never heard of someone getting all eight,” he told Newsday.

His big accomplishment exceeds those of his uncles and cousins, whom he says were also accepted to a few of the Ivy League institutes.

“I always thought they were far better than me academically,” he confessed. “I was like — this can’t be happening.”

Administrators at the William Floyd High School says they’re extremely proud, but not at all surprised by Kwasi’s accomplishment, as he’s a hard worker who scored within the 99th percentile on the SATs.

“You could see the potential that Kwasi had back then and to see it all come together is truly spectacular,” said Barbara Butler, Kwasi’s former teacher and current principal. “He has it all together — he’s extremely intelligent, hardworking, well-rounded and humble.”

As to be expected, his family is also extremely proud.

“We are very proud of him,” said Kwasi’s father Ebenezer Enin. “He’s an amazing kid. He’s very humble. He’s been trained to be a high achiever right from when he was a kid. We have been encouraging him to be an all-around student. So far, he has proved himself.”

Kwasi says he’s currently leaning towards Yale.

“They seem to embody all the kinds of things I want in a college. The family. The wonderful education. The amazing diverse students. Financial aid as well.”

Way to go, Kwasi!

Half Of Country’s Business Schools May Disappear By 2020

March 18th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Hard to imagine, but there could be a time when there are few business schools in the US. The culprit: a surge in online MBA programs. “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years—or five,” Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, told BusinessWeek.

With more students taking advantage of the online educational opportunities, physical campus buildings, especially at the lower-ranked business schools, may be forced to close.

“Part-time and EMBA programs are a financial engine because they award less financial aid than full-time programs. Since most of their students are corporate strivers already living near campus—and because competition for those students is limited by geography—part-time programs can count on a steady stream of high-quality attendees,” reports BusinessWeek.

While schools such as the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management can compete on price against higher-ranked programs, it might not be able to attract a Phoenix-based executive if she gets accepted into an online program from Wharton or Stanford. Thus the gloomy forecast.

According to Lyons, while average the full-time student at an elite school receives about a 25 percent discount on tuition, the average student attending part time or in EMBA programs pays a lower tuition.

Michael Desiderio, the executive director of the Executive MBA Council, says the shift prediction isn’t far off, but he thinks schools can adapt.  “We’re not saying it’s a threat or this is the end of the EMBA space,” he says. “It’s stimulating a discussion: How do we adapt to continue to serve a population that has changing needs?”

’12 Years A Slave’ Coming To A History Class Near You

February 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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12 years a skave


From The Grio 

Steve McQueen’s acclaimed drama 12 Years a Slave has been hailed as the definitive portrayal of American slavery — a position that at least the National School Boards Association has embraced.

According to TIME, the organization is recommending that the Oscar-nominated film be added to the curriculum of U.S. schools.

The distribution of the movie to schools has been funded by talk show host Montel Williams (who played an instrumental role in the Civil War film Glory being shown in schools) in partnership with New Regency, Penguin Books and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

“This gives high school teachers a lot of options, so they can decide how they can fit it in with the curricula they’re teaching,” said NSBA executive director, Tom Gentzel. “[Slavery] is an important topic, and it’s an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Read more about ’12 Year A Slave’ at 

I Have Two Degrees And He Never Finished College, Am I Settling?

February 18th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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ex couple



From Essence 

Dr. Sherry,

I’m totally confused about what to do in my relationship. “Alex” and I dated once before a few years ago and it didn’t work out. I wasn’t where I wanted to be professionally and neither was he, so we broke up. He has three children (all from his ex) and I have a son. My son doesn’t care for him, but I’ve fallen in love and I can’t figure out why. He never finished college and I have two degrees. He makes a good living but it’s manual labor and it’s taking a toll on his health. I love that he accepted me at my worst and still loves me when I’m thriving and succeeding. The thing is, I feel like I’m settling. His manners are subpar, he dresses like a 9-year-old boy, and he never helps in the house when he’s over, unless I nag him. I don’t know if I want to raise three more children, and again, my son can’t stand him. I don’t know if I’m with him because the sex is amazing and because he loves me or if I just don’t want to be alone. I do love him; I’m just not sure if it’s enough to overlook his flaws. Help.


Confused in California

Read more Dr. Sherry’s response at 

Vote For Me! Omarosa To Run For L.A. Unified School District Board

February 18th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From TMZ 

Omarosa has become the embodiment of reality show evil … but in a radical turn, we’ve learned she’s running for the L.A. Unified School District to better the lives of children.

The ruthless “Apprentice” star tells TMZ she’s passionate about helping kids out of poverty and making them safe.

Here’s the thing.  Omarosa doesn’t have kids … so what, you might ask, makes her qualified?  She tells us she’s the Educational Director for the L.A. Clippers Youth Camp, she’s helped women and children at an L.A. mission and she just got her certification as an LAUSD teacher.

Read more about Omarosa’s new career venture at 

New Study Claims Career Women Are Increasingly “Marrying Down”

February 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock


From EurWeb

According to an L.A. Times article that references results from a Pew Research Center study, a record number of American women are “marrying down.”

Yes, apparently women in America are hooking up with and saying “I Do” to men who are less educated than they are.

Read more about marriage at

Memphis Teacher Locks Kindergarten Student In Closet For Misbehaving

January 16th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Let’s just get right into it: A Memphis, Tennessee, teacher has been suspended for locking a five-year-old student in a closet.

On Tuesday, the teacher, Kristin Ohfeldt, locked Akeelah Joseph in a classroom closet and then went home, claiming she was sick. Ohfeldt didn’t notify school faculty or staff  the child was in the closet when she left the premises and a substitute teacher who took over Ohfeldt’s class when she left found the kindergarten student an hour later.

Fortunately, the child was not harmed, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t humiliated. WREG spoke to Akeelah about the event and she told them she was locked in the closet because:

“I was playing too much; I almost peed on myself if I didn’t make it to the bathroom.”

Akeelah’s mother, Wanda Joseph,, stated this was the first time her child has received disciplinary action like this from her school:

“I am hearing that the teacher locked my child in a closet, because she was supposedly bad. You don’t do that. I hurried up to the school and started yelling, ‘Where my daughter at? Where my daughter at? She was cold. She came out cold and shaking. Plus she has asthma. She could have had an asthma attack in that closet!”

This may be Akeelah’s first time getting in trouble, but this is not the first time Kristin Ohfeldt has locked a student in the closet. After this incident, other children came forward to say Ohfeldt has dealt them the same punishment. Now Akeelah is afraid to return to school. Her mother said:

“She really liked her teacher, but I didn’t know she would do her like that, do a child like that, put someone in a closet.”

Joseph says she thinks Ohfeldt should be fired from the school, and as of now the Department Of Child Services have been notified and police and school official are continuing to investigate this case. So far no charges have been filed against the teacher.

Thousands Of Black & Latino Kids Saw Their Schools Closed In 2013

January 2nd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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You’d think schools would be protected by government cuts, but thousands of black and Latinos lost their schools in 2013. And this happened all over the country.

In Philadelphia, a slew of school closures over the summer meant a longer, and often less safe, journey to other elementary and middle schools further away.

According to city officials the closed schools had been underutilized or were underperforming, and their closure, students have an opportunity to attend better-equipped schools.

Chicago closed about 150 schools over the past 10 years and in the city, 88 percent of the students affected by the school closures are African American. Philadelphia is just as bad–81 percent are black. In the city’s more than 93 percent of the affected students are from poor families. “The numbers have played out much the same way in Detroit, New York, Newark, NJ, Oakland and Washington, D.C. Parents of school children in each of these cities have filed federal complaints under the 1964 Civil Rights Act to fight school closings,” reports MSNBC.

The closures have forced students to have to travel longer to schools, often through unwelcoming neighborhoods. Plus, classroom sizes have gotten so large that students don’t have desks to sit in.

Despite this, officials have portrayed school closures has something that would improve education. Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter said in June that the school board “made tough choices, but they made the right choice. We need to downsize the system.”

Some other school building now house charter schools.

This has opened up the debate on charter schools, which are basically publicly funded schools with private management that operate. In many of the cities with mass school closings, officials have invested in the expansion of charter schools. And supporters of charter schools say the schools offer parents a quality option instead of failing neighborhood schools.

School officials in Newark recently caused an uproar when they announced massive school restructuring that included closing some schools and placing a number of charter schools in current district-owned buildings.

Over in Chicago, the Public Schools proposed the addition of 21 new privately run charter schools. This after closing nearly 50 schools over the summer. The district is facing a $1 billion deficit, yet a recent analysis showed that 21 new charter schools could cost taxpayers as much as $225 million over the next decade.

Race has played a major part in the closing.

With echoes of busing from the 1960s, the Missouri Supreme Court earlier this year upheld a ruling that allowed thousands of mostly poor black students to leave their failing school districts and attend better schools in far-off, affluent communities. White parents were angry about the decision, saying they feared that black students from poor communities would bring with them drugs and violence. Those fears never materialized.

“We get calls from black kids in jail every day, saying, we need some help. They all have three things in common that are consistently true: they are black, they come from a poor socioeconomic strata and they’ve had a poor damn education,” said Adolphus Pruitt, head of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP.

Nationwide, 1,929 schools were closed during the 2010-2011 school year alone, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Are You Settling In Your Career Choice?

December 19th, 2013 - By Toya Sharee
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When I was a little girl I wanted to be everything from an astronaut to an archaeologist and my parents told me I could be whatever I wanted to be.  My dad bought me a telescope and books about the solar system when I expressed an urge to explore the universe.  When they figured out I liked writing, I was given marble notebooks and colored pencils.  I guess as parents they figured that you have to allow your children to explore their interests and consider it a win if your children are even considering their careers for the future.  But when you grow up you realize you can’t be whatever you want to be without a lot of hard work.  You consider the cost of education and the job market where you live and life gets real.  Instead of coasting the Milky Way, I ended up cruising the Philadelphia public school system as a program associate pedaling parent education and sexual health. I may not have ended up with a NASA paycheck, but I am lucky to have a career I’m passionate about that allows me to pay the bills and then some.  But the bitter truth is that more and more, young women are settling for jobs that lack passion and barely pay the bills.

When did little girls stop believing they could be anything they wanted to be? I’m noticing a disturbing trend with many of the young women I teach in my classes and even some of my peers.  Whenever we discuss goal setting or careers, all I hear about are the same three choices: nurse, medical assistant or medical billing and coding.  I don’t know whether this is a result of the increase in advertisements for for-profit schools, the high cost of colleges and universities or the fact that many people no longer want to spend four years in school only to come out and still be unemployed. The truth is, we all can’t be nurses and medical assistants.  Even in a city like Philly that’s home to some of the best hospitals in the country, the healthcare sector is becoming quickly overpopulated.  Not that nursing isn’t a respectable worthwhile career, but where are all of our aspiring veterinarians, business owners and tax attorneys?  I sometimes feel like our young people aren’t exposed to a wide variety of careers, so they choose to do what everyone else around them is, what seems to bring in the biggest check, or what the for-profit school commercial rotating every hour during daytime TV tells them they should.

I get it.  If the unstable economy has made anything clear, it’s that a college degree doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be financially stable, or employed for that matter.  But I hate to hear young people say college is a waste of time because it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a job.  What about being educated for education’s sake, to learn about different ways of thinking and meeting different people?  I’ll be the first one to admit that college isn’t for everyone, but more and more I see our youth trying to take shortcuts through life.  Instead of investing into a career, they are entering these programs for 3-6 months at a time and graduating with certifications that don’t have them making much more than if they worked their way up the management ladder in retail.

Whether you’re attending a for-profit college or a four-year university, the reality is that college is hard work.  If you’re not dedicated and organized, it doesn’t matter whose classroom you’re sitting in, that degree will be more difficult to come by.  And in the meantime, many students are building up debt and wasting time in professions that are “trendy.”  In fact, it’s almost as if education in some ways has become more “trendy” than practical.  More and more students are enrolling in any John Jacob University to just be able to say they’re in school and doing something with their lives without really valuing their education. Others are hiding in years and years of graduate school. I sincerely believe we need to encourage our young people to focus on their talents and take time to explore diverse career fields; the emphasis needs to be on passion and not on a quick, easy paycheck.  I’m living proof of the saying “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” and that doesn’t just go for writing, but my day job as well.  I’ve witnessed too many of my peers working the 9-5 grind, complaining about rude co-workers and incompetent supervisors and in general not enjoying the positions they spent months in school excited about.  For most people, this is an unavoidable part of any career climb, but it doesn’t have to be the entirety of anyone’s career.

Not everyone is going to be a rapper or an actress, but not everyone has to settle for a generic career they have zero interest in because some commercial told them “being a medical assistant is a growing career with great pay.”  I get frustrated because so many of my students have no idea what a physical therapist does or why anesthesiologists are important.  If you truly have a love for helping people, caring for the sick and have excellent bedside manner, by all means, be the best nurse/medical assistant you can be.    But don’t think because that’s all you see, that’s all you can be.

Have you noticed certain careers becoming “trendy” in your area?

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.  

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