The movie Harriet hits theaters November 1

Harriet trailer foto

Harriet, the story of Harriet Tubman, in theatres Nov 1. Can't want to be inspired! #p2

Ivy League candidate’s hopes are dashed by police in Dear Martin (book)

Dear Martin, a New York Times bestseller by Nic Stone: When a young black man is racially profiled by the police, his hopes for an Ivy League future disappear. Review: “Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching. A must read” (Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give).

Teen/Young Adult book featured for Nook Sept 29 2019 only for $1.99 (regular price $9.99).

The 6th USCT at Trenton Barrack’s 3 Centuries of Black Soldiers 2018 event

Chuck at 3 Centuries

6th USCT member Ari Lopez Wei filmed this short video of the troop at the 2018 Three Centuries of Black Soldiers event at the Trenton Barracks Museum which took place the last weekend of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the museum and the 6th USCT re-enactment troop.

The North: a new collection of interactive multimedia stories of Newark that “must be told”

The NorthAuthor of Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power Dr. Junius Williams introduces The North multimedia storytelling project with these words:

THESE STORIES MUST BE TOLD
Sometime ago, those of us who entered political movements for change walked on our first picket line or marched in our first demonstration. At some point we got hooked on concepts like “Freedom”, “Direct Action” and “Resistance” to get rid of Jim Crow racism. Eventually we came to learn how to spend time in jail, survive police and vigilante violence; to organize poor and working class black people; to extract perks and building blocks from federal programs and build coalitions among unpredictable community groups; to fight city hall; to negotiate agreements that produced opportunities and skill development for community development; and to manage campaigns to elect black politicians.

But then one day we looked around and realized that many of our friends (and enemies) who made that journey, or similar journeys, were no longer with us….to laugh with, relive old conquests, or just tell lies. Too many have moved to places unknown, gotten sick, or passed on to the next life.

So many of our collective stories go untold.

These stories must be told, and hence the evolution of this project entitled, The North: Civil Rights and Beyond in Urban America. read more

Foro educativo en español Oct 28 en Rutgers Newark: logrando el grado universitario

Rutgers college forum en español

En el 28 de octubre 2017 de 3:00-9:00pm, Rutgers y El Grupo Latinoamericano de Cónsules en New Jersey (GLACO) auspiciarán su tercer foro educativo en español para informar estudiantes y sus familias sobre las vías asequibles para obtener el grado universitario en New Jersey. Asistentes aprenderán de panelistas expertos y recibirán consultas legales confidenciales acerca del estado migratorio de individuales estudiantes y sobre las nuevas políticas DACA. Consejeros de admisión y de asistencia financiera de varias universidades estatales estarán disponibles para contestar preguntas y ayudar con navegar el proceso de admisión.

Los consulados de Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador y México tendrán mesas de servicio en el evento.

El propósito de este foro es asistir a los estudiantes con matricularse en universidades como Rutgers y disfrutar experiencias universitarias exitosas.

FECHA y LUGAR | DATE and PLACE
28 octubre 2017 3-9pm | Oct 28 2017 3-9pm
Rutgers University Newark
15 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Cerca de la estación
de tren Lacahuana en Broad St. junto a la parada de autobuses

PARA MAS INFORMACIÓN
Luz Carreño de Colombia Nos Une
201-561-1721
luz.carreno@cancilleria.gov.co
Ingrid Renderos de Rutgers University Newark
973-353-3334
ingrid.renderos@rutgers.edu

English
On October 28 2017, Rutgers and Grupo Latino Americano de Consules en New Jersey (GLACO) will hold their third Spanish-language forum aimed to provide information to parents and prospective students about the pathways toward higher education in New Jersey. Participants will have the chance to attend information panels, receive one-on-one education-related legal advice about a student’s immigration status and DACA policies; to speak directly with admissions counselors and learn about financial aid.

The consulates of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Salvador and Mexico will have service tables at the event.

This event is designed to help bridge the educational gap and help students navigate the admissions process to matriculate into universities like Rutgers and enjoy a successful college experience.

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.

Some of the stories are heartbreaking. In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher says a Latino child—told by classmates that he will be deported and trapped behind a wall—asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?”

Some teachers have felt obliged to abandon their customary neutrality on political issues in the classroom and take a stand, despite awareness that doing so may put their jobs in jeapordy.

A Renton, Washington, high school teacher said, “For the first time in my career, I state bluntly what is appropriate conduct for a candidate for this country’s highest office.” She spelled it out for students: “If it can get you suspended from high school, you shouldn’t be espousing it as a candidate.” Another Washington teacher wrote, “This is probably the first time I haven’t been unbiased about it. My students need to know that some of what they are witnessing is not okay.”

In schools where student partisanship leans heavily to one side, educators find themselves needing to speak up for students whose political values are in the minority. “The rhetoric has set up a school community that is hostile to conservatives and the Republican Party,” a Michigan high school teacher said. “It makes it difficult if not impossible to not take sides in my classroom because I can’t be silent in the face of this kind of rhetoric, lest I lose my students’ respect or trust.”

No one can fault an educator who stands up for values like respect, dignity and honesty—values that have long been central to character education and anti-bullying programs. But this year has pushed some educators to go further and take risks. “I have thrown caution into the wind and have spoken out against certain candidates which I have NEVER done,” wrote a Michigan high school teacher, “but I feel it’s my duty to speak out against ignorance!”

These are high-stakes decisions. Several wrote about parents registering complaints when they raised issues of values, fact-checking and critical thinking. But, as one Indianapolis high school teacher put it, “I am a point where I’m going to take a stand even if it costs me my position.”

In Washington state, one high school teacher admitted, “I am teaching off the hook before anyone ‘catches’ me and puts me in a Common Core box; we are reading Howard Zinn, Anne Frank, Haig Bosmajian, Jane Yolen, Ayn Rand, George Orwell and survivors’ testimonies from the Holocaust and the genocides around the world. … I am making it as real and as connected to my students as I can. I feel like I am teaching for our lives.” 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.

Never mind that the video is a social statement, that Fetty Wap is an homegrown Patersonian who overcame a physical challenge to achieve national stardom or that school kids are pleased that a music icon like Fetty maintains ties with his roots and honors his hometown youth by bringing performances to their backyard – or in this case, school.

The community members who turned out at the June 15 Board of Ed meeting to show support for Principal Moody included Fetty himself, who put in a surprise appearance.

Fetty Wap — real name Willie Maxwell — showed up an hour after the meeting started and apologized for causing any controversy by filming the video at Eastside. He then departed the room, but stopped to patiently sign autographs in the school hallway.

When asked what prompted him to show up at the meeting, he said “I had to. For Paterson.”

Students, parents and community members wore T-shirts and buttons demanding that the district “Return Principal Moody back to Eastside High School. 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

To apply for admission into a training program, visit the Workforce Development Center at 274 South Orange Avenue in Newark. For more information, call Workforce at 973-824-6484 and speak to Martha Davis or Rodney Brutton.

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.

… the city’s schools are even more economically and racially segregated than the neighborhoods – and for economically disadvantaged students, that usually translates to inferior education.

… analysis suggests that many parents, dissatisfied with their neighborhood schools, vote with their feet and send their children to public gifted programs, schools of choice, charter schools or private schools. It follows that some racial and economic integration can be achieved without changing zone lines or assigning kids to schools outside their neighborhoods—measures which are often politically fraught. 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:

Founded in 1998, Imobilare is bboy crew and an ASA-recognized student group at MIT that promotes bboying, providing opportunities for students to learn how breakdance and improve their bboying skills.

Imobilare hosts regular breakdance practices at MIT, and the group performs at events on campus and all over the Boston area. We have been featured in the Boston Globe numerous times and continue to establish a growing footprint within the local bboy community.

Every other year, Imobilare organizes and hosts Breakonomics, one of the biggest breakdance competitions in the Boston area, drawing in bboy crews from all over the country to come and compete. This highly publicized event has featured world-renown attendees such as Kid David, Jazzy J, and Boppin Andre to serve as judges. 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.

The shockwaves of public education destruction and suffocating college student debt, has emanated out around the country from the Chicago hub where Arne Duncan and Rahm Emanuel kicked it off and from the White House where Duncan somehow came to roost as Education Secretary. How many times have I – and countless other social justice advocates – prayed that some real information about the horrific abyss into which American education has been shoved, would get through to our President and jolt him awake from the slumber into which his close relationship with Duncan lulled him: Duncan, the Judas who betrayed the trust of his friend and leader along with the values of the American public, all in one go. May the man’s soul be awarded whatever fate it deserves.

Al Gore
Photo Credit: Charu Gulati @teachgulati

It cannot be purely coincidental that this week at Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Training in Miami, a fellow participant told Mr. Gore about the #Dyett15‘s recent 34 day hunger strike to save Chicago’s Dyett High School (achieved) and have it designated as a STEM and green technology school (not achieved). The VP asked, “Wait. Are you saying people held a hunger strike because they wanted so much for a green technology school to be created, and this wasn’t made to happen for them?”

Well yes. In a nutshell, that’s exactly what happened.

Brother Jitu Brown of the Journey 4 Justice Alliance led the education activists in the strike and on about day 20, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel agreed that Dyett would not be shut down – as had been previously announced. The activists additionally also won an “audience” with Arne Duncan. But their second most important demand – the one which motivated the strikers to continue without solid food for another two weeks – was summarily ignored by Duncan, even though it aligns perfectly with the education policy his boss framed and has promoted throughout his years in office. I mean, seriously, what was Duncan thinking?

So, today, President Obama finally announced Duncan’s resignation … and I for one, am really pleased.

ss Al Gore letter about green schools Mr. Gore asked for information about the hunger strikers and as I happen to have spent some time with the Journey 4 Justice and follow its activities, I sent him the letter you see on the right (click to enlarge).

Dawn will shine tomorrow on a brand new day in the saga of American education. I look forward to seeing how Pres. Obama, now that his vision has cleared, will use his remaining time in office to help set public education back onto the solid footing it should always occupy.

Today also marks the day of our country’s first community college shooting at Umpqua College in Oregon. I pray that the injured benefit from rapid and complete recoveries … that the family of victims who became late are comforted by the loving embrace of Our Lord and Creator and that the deceased enjoy a golden peace in the world to come, sitting at God’s right hand.

Duncan caricature by DonkeyHotey

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:

  • 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).
  • Students will submit their 2017-18 school year FAFSAs with year 2015 financial information.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.)
    3. read more