An important essay by an honored student on the hypocrisies of inclusion in higher ed

Sung Yim with shaved head
Source: Sung Yim, courtesy of lutherxhughes.com

Sung Yim wrote an essay to Columbia University after essays the Korean poet was asked to submit as a student representative of Columbia College Chicago’s Nonfiction writing department were twice rejected and the last essay, cut down to almost nothing to eliminate any controversial bits. The author writes about the author’s own work:

It’s important to keep in mind that my work has always been scathingly political. That is, I would think, part of why the writing faculty nominated my work. It’s also important to keep in mind that they were soliciting short work of a long-form artist. I was clipping and revising each piece I was submitting to them, which took hours of free labor. read more

Powerful coverage of a study on how students and teachers are being affected by the 2016 election hate rhetoric

Trump hates equally
Source: imgflip.com
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports on the results of a casual survey administered online by Teaching Tolerance about the current presidential election. About 2000 teachers responded and submitted 5000 comments.

Students who identify with Trump’s hate rhetoric are using it to justify bullying behaviour, persecution of certain students and threats … while immigrant and ethnic minority students across the country are voicing fear, expressing thoughts of suicide and having meltdowns in class. read more

Principal Moody suspended for letting Paterson rapper Fetty Wap film music video at East Side High

Principal Zatiti Moody
Source: Urban Renaissance Media
A Paterson principal known for his educating excellence and strict discipline enforcement has been suspended from office by the New Jersey State appointed superintendent known for his attempts to keep Paterson students from experiencing quality education. The ostensible reason for the suspension: Principal Zatiti Moody allowed music phenomenon Fetty Wap to film a music video at East Side High School which contains twerking and portrays drug use. Behaviour that – like it or not – happens to be part of the school experience for many urban students. read more

NCC’s vocational training programs in Newark are underway – apply today

OSHA training grads
Credit: Essex County
If you know someone looking for a job or seeking new skills, check out New Community Workforce Development Center’s vocational training programs in the fields of:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Allied Health*
    (*Home Health Aide, EKG Technician, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician and Patient Care Technician)
  • Automotive
  • Building Trades/Construction
  • Culinary Arts
  • ShopRite Partners-In-Training
  • read more

    When you want good Christmas jazz, turn to the Jersey Jazzman

    Diane Ravitch reminds us that public education advocate Mark Weber is

    …not only a music teacher, not only a graduate student at Rutgers, not only a great blogger, but a jazzman!

    So here’s Mark’s Christmas jazz playlist:

    Weber's Christmas jazz playlist
    Source: Jersey Jazzman’ Blogspot blog

    Segregation in a school may not be a result of the ethnic composition of its attendance zone #p2

    Interactive NYC schools map
    Source: Map created by Center for NYC Affairs Center
    The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs new report Are Schools Segregated Because Housing Is? It Ain’t Necessarily So, calls into question the assumption that highly segregated school populations reflect the resident population of their attendance zone. The results of the research which includes interactive maps shows:

    … there are dozens of high-poverty elementary schools that serve mostly black and Latino children that are located in far more racially and economically mixed neighborhoods. read more

    Many stories in play behind U Missouri protests, football team boycott threat & president resignation

    U Missouri Race Issues
    Source: found at local8now.com
    ABC provides good framing for Pres. Wolfe’s resignation from University of Missouri: The Concerned Student 1950 campus group named for the year “the first black student was admitted” began a month-long series of protests that culminated in a list of demands calling for Wolfe’s removal…

    .. as a part of a protest over the way the university handles racial harassment … (including a request) for a comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum, and an increase of black faculty and staff. read more

    MIT hosted a city-wide biannual breakdance competition for a decade

    Breakonomics at MIT
    Breakonomics Competition 2009 sponsored by MIT’s Imobilare crew
    My Aunt June told me about the breakdance competition she helped to found at MIT, the world’s best tech university. People don’t think of Breakdancing and performance art as typical geek activities but at MIT the arts are celebrated. Its Immobilare crew sponsored Boston’s biannual Breakonomics breakdance competition for about a decade, with the last competition taking place in 2011.

    MIT’s Imobilare breakdance crew also held regular bboy practices on the MIT campus from 1998-2009: read more

    Don’t let the door smack you too hard on the way out, Traitor Duncan

    Arne Duncan cartoon
    Caricature Credit: DonkeyHotey
    Good news today for people who care about students and the state of public education in America. As HuffPost put it: Arne Duncan Resigns Amid Legacy-Threatening Student Debt Crisis. And this summer, the Center for Media and Democracy wrote this about Duncan’s failed initiative to replace public schools with charters: Charter Program Expansion Looms Despite Probes into Mismanagement and Closed Schools.

    Developer-owned charter schools are publicly funded but managed privately, without the obligation to provide any public accountability for either their teaching methods or financial expenditures. Not surprising that they’re a virtual breeding ground for a level of corruption so exaggerated that it turned GW Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, into one of the country’s leading public education advocates. read more

    Obama’s FAFSA filing date change will make student aid application process easier and more helpful

    Changes in FAFSA reporting requirementsPresident Obama is working on removing barriers to students obtaining financial aid for which they qualify. Changes to the FAFSA filing period’s submission date will make the application process faster, easier and enable students to get earlier financial aid award notification. This will provide graduating (and transfer) students with valuable information they can use to help identify the best college match.

    The transition means that:

    1. For the 2017-18 school year, students can submit the FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016 (two months ahead of the current submission date).
    2. Students will submit their 2017-18 school year FAFSAs with year 2015 financial information.
    3. 2017-18 school year is the first year that “prior-prior” (in other words, 2 years back) financial information for parents and student will be used for the FAFSA.
    4. Most parents and students will be able to use the IRS automatic retrieval tool to import tax return information directly into the FAFSA without needing to type it in (because 2015 tax returns filed by April 15, 2016 will have been processed by October 1, 2016).
    5. PELL grant award information will become available to graduating high school students (and college transfer students) months earlier in the college application process. This will aid families in selecting a school that offers the right combination of academic and financial opportunity for the student.
    6. In order to accommodate the new FAFSA submission date, filing students will fill out two FAFSAs in calendar year 2016:
      1. The school year 2016-17 FAFSA after the old submission opening date on January 1, 2016;
      2. The school year 2017-18 FAFSA after the new submission opening date on October 1, 2016. (See chart above.)
      Year 2015 financial information will be used for both the 2016-17 school year and the 2017-18 school year. (See chart above.) Year 2016 financial information will be used for the 2018-19 school year FAFSA. (See chart above.)

      From the Federal Student Aid website:

      On Sept. 14, 2015, President Obama announced significant changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) process that will impact millions of students. Starting next year, students will be able to do the following: read more

    Kafkaesque police capture boy & grill him for not saying his clock is a bomb

    Ahmed and his clock
    Photo composite courtesy wtvr.com
    In a Kafka novel, a man is accused by the police of a crime that’s too top-secret for them to discuss or reveal which government department has brought charges against him – and that’s the whole novel. In a similar circumstance, 14 year old Ahmed Mohammed from Irving, Texas brings a home-made clock to school to show his engineering teacher and she accused him of making a bomb to threaten her. The police arrive to handcuff, arrest and then grill him for hours because Ahmed wouldn’t say that his clock was something other than a clock. Because it’s a clock. read more

    Are New Jersey gentrifiers taking us for a ride?

    1934 school bus
    1934 Chevrolet Schoolbus by DBerry2006 via Flickr
    Believers in gentrification understand neither fairness, nor justice. Yet, since Christie signed bill A-355 into law in 2010, they’ve been provided with yet another powerful arrow in the arsenal of neighborhood destruction and running the vulnerable out of town. This is a racial issue in New Jersey, since our poor are mostly urban Blacks and Latinos.

    Christie’s education voucher law allows public school students to attend schools in another district, with your tax dollars paying the receiving school’s tuition fees and the complete bill to, “provide and pay for students’ transportation to new schools up to 20 miles away.” Sounds a bit like specially chartered buses and other things extraordinarily expensive, doesn’t it? Wowza! read more

    Hah – every school year should start like this!

    teacher flash mob singersFaithtap asks the right question! “What better way to kick off a new year than with the spread of joy and enthusiasm?” Flash mob of singing teachers does exactly that. And they sound good, too!

    The Desmoines, Iowa flash district teachers performed ‘One More Day’ from the hit Broadway musical Les Miserables. Not all are music teachers.

    Jonathan Hodges liked this post

    US Colonel: slavery was the SINGLE reason for the Civil War (video)

    North was agrarian tooColonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, sets the record state on the question of what the reason was for the United States Civil War. In this interesting short video Col. Seidule makes the case that the single reason was slavery. Does a good job with it, too.

    Here are some highlights:

    The buzz term “States’ Rights” was coined by Southern state residents and referred to the right they believed they possessed, to continue slavery. read more

    10 ways well-meaning white teachers bring racism into schools

    cultural sensitivity components
    Photo credit: uvm.edu
    I’m blown away by this great list of 10 ways well-meaning white teachers bring racism into schools. Number 2 is my favorite:

    2. Being ‘Race Neutral’ Rather than Culturally Responsive

    In my work with teachers, I sometimes meet teachers who claim that they “don’t see Color,” both in naïve attempts to be “progressive” but also in an ill-advised attempt to avoid tracking students based on race/ethnicity.

    But our students don’t need a “race neutral” approach to their education. read more