All Articles Tagged "school"
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Sorry, I just had to do that for this story.
But anywho, yesterday, the owner of Muskingum County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio made the random decision to set free 56 of the animals inhabiting his farm. According to CBS News, owner Terry Thompson opened up all the animal cages and then shot himself as an alleged final act of spite against his neighbors. Seems his neighbors weren’t a fan of all the animals and he had been in some legal trouble as of late. Of the 56 animals, we’re talking about Bengal tigers and lions running through neighborhoods. Just imagine if you didn’t get that memo until the last minute! Geez!
In a scene out of a movie, police officers in the town went on a huge hunt for the animals as residents stayed their behinds indoors since schools in the area closed. Police say that they shot and killed nearly 50 animals, including eight (count ‘em) bears, a wolf, and a large number of wild cats. They say that only one animal could be left–a monkey, though the sheriff of Zanesville says he “thinks” the monkey was eaten by one of the cats. That is somewhat comforting to know for the sake of the people in that town (especially if it was a crazy a** baboon), but folks still need to be on the lookout. Because according to CBS News, the monkey carried Herpes B. SAY WHAT!? So if you live around there and have a pistol hidden in some lock box in your home, feel free to pull that thing out in case this allegedly “eaten” monkey winds up on your porch.
While many are sad that these animals had to be killed at all (including animal man Jack Hanna who was called in to help), especially the rare 18 Bengal tigers Thompson owned, everyone is pretty much in agreement that police had to do what they had to do to prevent losses in human life. Residents can blame this whole fiasco on Thompson if they want, but some blame can also go in the direction of the state of Ohio for having some of the nation’s weakest restrictions on exotic pets. Don’t let Dr. Doolittle fool you. That ish isn’t cute.
More on Madame Noire
- Is Lil’ Kim Too Old to Rap or Are Double Standards Pushing Her Out?
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Prison Dudes and Passive Procrastinators
- Our Apathy: Amber Cole and the Disvaluation of Black Girls
- Men: Please Stop Trying to Solve Our Love Problems
- Jay Electronica’s Defense of Badu: Shouldn’t We Expect All Our Men to Protect Us?
- The Curious Case Of The Two Ambers
I’m sure you’ve had many career advisers tell you time and time again to watch the pictures you post on Facebook. Why? Because employers often use Facebook to check up on you in the hiring process. We all know ratchetness on Facebook could possibly keep you from getting a job, but it sucks to know that the opinions you share–and display on the site–could possibly cost you your job as well.
A teacher in New Jersey named Viki Knox is in the center of the debate on free speech on through social media, as many are calling for her job after she posted anti-gay comments on her Facebook page. Knox has been put on paid administrative leave while the matter is investigated (and has been since the beginning of the month), but during a school board meeting yesterday, protesters were in full force for both sides of the matter. On one side, individuals were holding up posters that said, “No Hate in Our State,” while on the other side, a large group of people standing by the teacher held up smaller signs that said, “Don’t Bully Viki.” Many argue that a woman who teaches around young people of all different backgrounds and orientations, and is open about her disapproval of the gay lifestyle, shouldn’t get to keep working in the school. However, others are saying that firing a person because of what they believe in based on their religious teachings would be a violation of their free speech and religious freedoms.
I know what you’re thinking: if she was just speaking her mind on her Facebook page on her own time, what’s the issue? Well, according to the Los Angeles Times, Knox, 49, was commenting on the school’s recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History Month. The special education teacher wrote that being of the LGBT community was a “sin” a sin that in her mind, “breeds like cancer.” She made it clear that celebrating the month in the school is like parading “unnatural, immoral behavior before the rest of us.”
Many gay advocates say that her opinions could cause her to not keep an eye out for those bullying students of the LGBT community, and that she may not fully enforce new anti-bullying legislation passed in New Jersey last spring. Not really sure how I feel about this one, because I think it’s sad that people’s religious opinions, which are expressed outside of school halls, can still get them axed. However, some people commenting on this story did bring up a really good point: remember the story we posted about the white supremacist principal in the Bronx who was fired after it came out that he wrote a string of books about minority inferiority? Well…this is somewhat similar. Not fully though, because racism isn’t something commonly taught (at least not out in the open), while Knox’s beliefs are a common view held by some Christians due to their personal interpretations of the Bible. But still, her known beliefs could possibly play a part in how she treats her students, or even worse, how they feel about being around her. As if there wasn’t enough as an adolescent teen to be uncomfortable about in school…But what do you think?
More on Madame Noire!
- Woman to Woman: Stop Functioning in Dysfunction
- Five things Beyoncé and Other Expecting Mothers-To-Be Should Know
- 90′s Fashion Trends We Should NOT Revisit
- Hair Idols: Celebs Whose Hair Stays Fresh
- Exercises That Won’t Sweat Your Hair Out
- Black Women Putting Off Babies Because of Recession: Are You?
- Does Your Hair Play a Part in the Way Men Approach You?
This Fall, Michael Eric Dyson, noted author, educator, and public speaker will be teaching a sociology class titled “The Sociology of Jay-Z” at Georgetown University. Dyson will draw from texts such as Jay-Z’s own Decoded, Adam Bradley’s Book of Rhymes, and Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Empire State of Mind, along with other articles and films about hip-hop culture.
Dyson spoke with MTV about the project last week while at Jay-Z’s carnival-themed fundraiser for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation:
“We look at his incredible body of work, we look at his own understanding of his work, we look at others who reflect upon him, and then we ask the students to engage in critical analysis of Jay-Z himself. Not only is he a remarkable rhetorical genius, he’s also a man of deep sympathy and empathy for those who are lost and vulnerable, but especially under-educated youth of all cultures and stripes” Dyson explained.
“The Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z” is not the first course at an institution of higher learning that focuses primarily on hip-hop or an extraordinary hip-hop superstar, however it does speak to a growing academic interest in hip-hop culture and more efforts in the classroom to look at the music as a form of social expression and activism. Jay-Z has built his career on being extremely honest about the trappings of the inner city, whether he’s focusing on young men and women being the product of a failed education system or selling drugs as a means of commerce in communities that are jobless. This course is an amazing opportunity to look not only at the conditions that create the urban struggle but also an opportunity for students to think critically about solutions to problems faced by those who live in poverty in American cities. Yeah, it’s that deep.
According to Dyson, there is an incredible amount interest and excitement on campus, where a typical class may have 30-40 slots, over 140 students have attempted to sign up for this class in particular. This is definitely a step in the right direction by Georgetown University, Dyson, and a more positive look for Jay-Z. Hopefully more schools will take note to the global phenomenon that is hip-hop culture and the artistry it represents. [MTVRapFix]
(Huffington Post) — Black and Latino students are disproportionately more likely to experience harsher punishments by schools for infractions and misbehaviors, according to a new report by the National Education Policy Center. At times, the punishments are unrelated to student safety. While past research has suggested that zero-tolerance discipline that removes troublemakers can improve the learning environment for and safety of well behaved students, the NEPC reports that it’s not necessarily the case. A 2004 study in Indiana showed that most suspensions — 95 percent – were issued for violations like disruptive behavior, while just 5 percent of suspensions were for dangerous behavior like weapons possession. The report was issued today as part of the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action. It’s authored by Daniel Losen, senior education law and policy associate for the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Although our society is more diverse than ever before, schools today are more segregated than they were 30 years ago,” NEPC Director Kevin Welner said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s important to understand the link between diversity, discipline and academic achievement…. being kicked-out leads to becoming a dropout.”
I read an extremely informative article today from Micheal Flaherty on the Wall Street Journal‘s Web site about precautions being taken by schools to keep “illegals” out of their classrooms. By illegals, that term is used in reference to students trying to attend better schools outside of their neighborhood by claiming a false home address. He talked about Kelley Williams of Ohio, a mother who recently got nine days in jail for theft after using her father’s address to allow her kids to go to a much better public school in his neighborhood. “Lucky” for her though, a judge reduced the felony charges to misdemeanors. But she isn’t the only one.
Parents from states across the country have been getting hauled in and getting charged with felony counts of theft for going out of their way to give their children better educations and better chances at life. Flaherty uncovered the fact that schools have now started hiring investigators to follow students home (I’m sure they’re only following the minorities…) to ensure that they live within the district. And lets not forget the schools that opt for VerifyResidence.com, which rewards people for telling on kids who live outside of the district. WORD? Are we really treating children and their parents like illegal immigrants trying to cross borders? Taking over-the-top precautions such as these does nothing but keep children of low-income homes and many minority kids from less-than-opulent neighborhoods in crummy schools. Ones where test scores are low, expectations are lower, and where the teachers are fresh out of college and talk bad about their students on social media pages (oh, it SO happens).
I think reading this article bothered me most because I was in a situation like this back in the day. While I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, they weren’t really the stereotypical “suburbs.” Sure the grass was green, but there was nothing else to really get impressed about. The schools in my district were as horrible as they could be, and teachers at my high school got replaced so often and so fast that it wasn’t worth it to even try and learn their names. And I can’t forget the damn near riot that broke out during my senior homecoming assembly, where people ran for their lives hiding under tables and getting wheeled off to the hospital after a fight broke out. I begged my father, a principal for elementary schools in the city of Chicago, to allow me the chance to make the commute to a certain city school so I could be around less ratchetness, go further in both my sports AND in my education. But not only did he say I couldn’t just because, but it also wasn’t feasible because I lived outside city limits. It wasn’t until my senior year, after years and years of bad state test scores were reported from my school, a few months before graduation, did I get the gift of learning that my diploma, received after working hard through my AP classes, meant absolutely nothing.
I don’t know why it’s so important to keep children who are seeking better educations and better lives out of schools in different districts. Are these top schools just trying to keep their facilities as lily white as possible in the hopes of stopping a stereotypical “There goes the neighborhood” effect? Will more low-income students scare away donors to the school or parents whose kids already attend prosperous educational institutions? And why go as far as to put people’s parents in jail for wanting better for their families? I think by making this the norm, we’re saying it’s okay for kids who don’t live in affluent areas to get comfortable with mediocre schools and mediocre education, and in the land of “opportunity,” that just isn’t right.
(Chicago News Cooperative) — The gap between the number of minority teachers in Chicago Public Schools and minority student enrollment has grown significantly over the last decade, but one CPS school is working hard to change that by preparing the next generation of teachers. At Wells Community Academy, where the racial breakdown of students is almost evenly split between African-American and Hispanic students, more than 60 high school students will participate in a teacher training program that gets them to the front of the classroom nearly eight years ahead of schedule. Students enrolled in the Chicago Urban Teacher Academy at Wells take a four-year curriculum in partnership with National Louis University designed to focus on best practices in teaching. One day per week students work in classrooms at one of three nearby elementary schools – Peabody, Talcott or Moos. Ernesto Matias launched the program two years ago and now it has three cohorts of students, one group that started last year and two groups of freshman. He hopes that someday he can hire his own students as teachers.
(Wall Street Journal) — Class sizes in New York City public schools are the most bloated they have been in a decade, as budget cuts have sliced teachers from the system, the teachers union said Thursday. The city acknowledged that final class-size numbers would show more crowded classrooms, but it blamed a $1.7 billion drop in state and federal aid. ”We believe that getting effective teachers into every classroom is the most important stepping stone to student success, and we will continue to work toward that goal,” an education department spokesman, Frank Thomas, said.
Written by Earl Martin Phalen
While classroom participation and learning is a critical part of student development, homework is also crucial. Parents and family members are a major factor in learning at home and to help increase a child’s success in school. So what can you do to help without struggling to answer complex Trigonometry questions for them? Below are three quick homework tips for parents:
- Establish a regular scheduled time for homework to be done. Just as good grooming and nutrition are a regular part of the day, homework should have the same priority and schedule for you and your child.
- If you do not know how to help with an aspect of your child’s homework, don’t hesitate to find a tutor. Math, history, and science can be complicated. You probably know that from your own time in school. Reach out to private tutors or some of your community’s best non-profit educational organizations like Higher Achievement Program, Aim High, and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life).
- Use positive reinforcement for completed assignments with good results. Whether it’s an A on a spelling test, a B for a science project or just consistency in successful completion of something–reinforce your child with special privileges or things that motivate them.
So to rap up, an easy way to remember the three tips is through the acronym S -T – a – R. (Let’s just say the “a” is silent)
S — Schedule (create a schedule)
T – Tutor (reach out to a tutor)
R – Reinforce (reinforce, with compliments and otherwise, for strong effort and great results)
Your engagement and leadership is THE most important factor in your child’s life. Implement these tips and help your child excel.
Earl Martin Phalen is the CEO of Reach Out and Read, which impacts early literacy efforts for 4 million children annually. Phalen is also the Founder of Summer Advantage USA. Recognized by TIME Magazine, Summer Advantage uses research based summer programs to help school districts increase student performance.
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Phalen was an education advisor to President Obama’s 2008 campaign and was Co-Chair of Massachusetts Governor Patrick’s education task force.
With the recession still an ongoing reality for so many, there is not only a decrease in job opportunities, but graduate school enrollment as well. The New York Times reports that the decline from 2009 to 2010 came despite an 8.4 percent increase in applications and a 5.5 percent increase in enrollment from the previous year.
According to the Council of Graduate Schools, “this is the first decline in first-time graduate enrollment since 2003.” It takes place most noticeably among the business, education and public administration program degrees, the council’s president, Debra W. Stewart, observes.
Historically the trend has been the weaker the economy, the higher the graduate school enrollment, but Stewart believes people are now cautious to leave their jobs to go back to school fearing that they may not have a job waiting for them once they’ve completed their degree.
In addition, the high cost of tuition has also caused many prospective students to reconsider, and turn to other alternatives to professional advancement. Many businesses once paid for employees to earn a graduate degree, but with budget and benefit cuts, there is most likely a cutback in sending employees back to school.
The council’s report observed a faster growing doctoral program enrollment than either master’s or certificate programs. Over 60 percent of the first time graduate students chose public institutions and 58 percent were women. In the 2009-2010 school year, women seemed to dominate the entirety of the graduate school numbers. Women comprised about two-thirds of the students who earned graduate certificates, 60 percent of those that earned master’s degrees and 52 percent of the number who earned a doctorate.
Graduate enrollment is up an overall 1.1 percent with 1.75 million students. The shrinking numbers only accounted for domestic enrollment. There was a 1.2 percent decrease, with black student enrollment falling by over 8 percent. Hispanic student enrollment however, grew to about 5 percent. International graduate student enrollment also grew 4.7 percent.
“Higher education and, increasingly, graduate education are what drives prosperity,” Steward told the NY Times.
“If we get to the point where only people with significant bank accounts can afford graduate education, the country is doomed.”
(Chicago News Cooperative) — As Chicago Public School students began the new school year Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel continued his push to implement a longer school day this year, offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to any elementary school willing to break with the Chicago Teachers Union and add extra time. At a back-to-school event at STEM Magnet Academy, Emanuel and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard offered up to $150,000 in discretionary funds and a roughly 2 percent raise for teachers at schools who elect to lengthen their day as part of a newly-created “Longer School Day Pioneers Program.” On Friday, STEM was one of three schools where teachers’ voted to waive part of their contract and lengthen the school day by 90 minutes in exchange for that incentive package. Two other elementary schools—Genevieve Melody Elementary and Skinner North Elementary—also voted to lengthen their day, and there could be more to come, district officials said.