Tag Archives: Teachers

Arizona Ethnic Studies Classes Banned, Teachers With Accents Can No Longer Teach English…WTF?

Posted by: BuellBoy

HP~Arizona’s new immigration law is just about crime, its supporters say, but given that the state’s new education policy equates ethnic studies programs with high treason, they may not be using the commonly accepted definition of “crime.”

Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

As ThinkProgress notes, the Tucson Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department is the target here. The state superintendent charges that the program exhibits “ethnic chauvinism.”

Meanwhile, in a move that was more covert until the Wall Street Journal uncovered it, the Arizona Department of Education has told schools that teachers with “heavy” or “ungrammatical” accents are no longer allowed to teach English classes.

As outlined by the Journal, Arizona’s recent pattern of discriminatory education policies is ironic — and is likely a function of No Child Left Behind funding requirements — given that the state spent a decade recruiting teachers for whom English was a second language.

In the 1990s, Arizona hired hundreds of teachers whose first language was Spanish as part of a broad bilingual-education program. Many were recruited from Latin America.

Then in 2000, voters passed a ballot measure stipulating that instruction be offered only in English. Bilingual teachers who had been instructing in Spanish switched to English.

Teachers who don’t meet the new fluency standards have the option of taking classes to improve their English, the Journal reports, but if they fail to reach the state’s targets would be fired or reassigned.

Arizona Expands Its Discrimination: Teachers With Heavy Accents Can’t Teach English, Ethnic Studies Are Banned

ThinkProgress~Adding insult to injury, the Arizona legislature passed a bill yesterday outlawing ethnic studies programs:

HB 2281 would make it illegal for a school district to have any courses or classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity “instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

It also would ban classes that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

The measure is directed at the Tuscon Unified School District’s popular Mexican-American studies department, which school officials say provides only “historical information” — not “ethnic chauvanism” as the state school superintendent has alleged. One state lawmaker tried to show how ridiculous the legislation is by proposing that schools be barred from teaching about 9/11 because it would result in hatred toward Arab-Americans; the measure failed.

3 Comments

Filed under Arizona, Education, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Law, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized

One School’s Teachers Get an F – for Fired

Posted by: BuellBoy

Rhode Island Hopes to Fix a Failing School with a Plan to Fire All 88 Teachers

Teachers are rallying for their jobs, anticipating the vote for a mass firing.  (CBS)

Teachers are rallying for their jobs, anticipating the vote for a mass firing. (CBS)

CBS/Jim Axelrod~Central Falls, Rhode Island has long been among the state’s most troubled school districts – one in five students live in poverty, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod. Many struggle with English in this immigrant community – and that’s just for starters.

We lose 52 percent of our students between 9th grade and the 12th grade,” Central Falls Superintendent Fran Gallo told Axelrod. “They don’t graduate.”

Eighty-eight teachers at Central Falls High School could be terminated. Teachers are rallying for their jobs, anticipating the vote for a mass firing.

The teachers’ union is also fighting back with a video on its Web site, featuring upset students at a recent school board meeting.

We have teachers at the high school that have grown up in this community,” said Jane Sessums of the teachers union. “That’s what education at Central Falls is about – and what they’re planning tonight will set that back and ruin it – and it’s horrible for our students.”

blank

Read more @

Vodpod videos no longer available.

1 Comment

Filed under Children, Education, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Little-Known Black History Fact: Selena Sloan Butler

Posted by BuellBoy

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler

Selena Sloan Butler was the past president of Georgia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers 1919-1926. Following the success of the National Congress of Mothers PTA, African-American teacher and Spelman College graduate Selena Sloan Butler heard the call, so on May 7, 1926, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) was formed, with Sloan holding the title of its first national president.

Butler was dedicated to teaching. When her community lacked a kindergarten for black children, she held classes in her living room.
Butler’s goal was to create an organization that held interest in all children, regardless of color or social status. The first local chapter was at Yonge Elementary school in Atlanta in 1911 and grew from there. However, because of segregation, the Colored Mothers PTA would work independently of the larger National PTA until 1970.

Young Street Parent Teachers Association Atlanta 1919

Young Street Parent Teachers Association Atlanta 1919

An activist in the community, Butler co-founded the Spelman College Alumnae Association, organized the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the Atlanta YWCA and was the first president of the Georgia Federation of Colored Women’s Club. From 1929 to 1930, she served under President Herbert Hoover’s cabinet on the Child Health and Protection committee.

Yonge Elementary was renamed in honor of her husband, Dr. Henry Rutherford Butler, and Selina Sloan Butler’s portrait now hangs in the Georgia State Capitol building.

Selana Butler died October 1964.

Leave a comment

Filed under Black History Month, Children, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, Education, HBCU, Herbert Hoover, History, Holidays, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Grace ESSENCE’s March Cover

Posted by: Audiegrl

“Malia will tell you, my attitude was, if she came home with a B, that’s not good enough because there’s no reason why she can’t get an A…”~President Barack Obama, Essence

ESSENCE kicks off the first of its three-part education series, “Teaching Our Children,” with a White House exclusive–an interview with President Barack Obama. In his first interview of 2010, he talks tough with ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray, Deputy Editor Tatsha Robertson and Washington Correspondent Cynthia Gordy about holding teachers accountable, closing the education gap between Black and White students, how he and First Lady Michelle Obama encourage daughters Malia and Sasha to love learning, and how you can do the same with your own children.

Read more @

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

Leave a comment

Filed under African-Americans, Barack Obama, Change, Children, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Fashion, First Daughters, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Magazines, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by: Audiegrl

A concert celebrating Black History month

blank

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

So On February 10th, President Obama and First Lady Michelle will host In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement. The concert will be held in the State Dining Room, and is timed to celebrate Black History Month.

So far participants include Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Smokey Robinson, Seal, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Howard University Choir and others. It will be hosted by Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah, and will feature songs associated with the civil rights movement as well as readings from famous civil rights speeches.

The President will make opening remarks and the concert will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 5:15 p.m. ET. The concert will be televised on Feb. 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations. In addition, NPR will produce a one-hour special from the event to air on its stations throughout February.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

As part of this special event, Mrs. Obama will host “Music that Inspired the Movement,” a workshop that several of the event’s performers will lead for 120 high school students from across the country on Wednesday, February 10th from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET. The students will come to learn about the continuing relevance of music from the Civil Rights Movement to today’s generation and its original impact in the 1960s. This event will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and students all over the country will be invited to watch and engage in the workshop.

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the White House Music Series last year with a Jazz Studio, and since then has hosted a celebration of Country Music, a Fiesta Latina and a celebration of Classical Music. Many of these events included evening performances as well as daytime educational workshops designed to educate and inspire talented young people to use their gifts to develop a future for themselves in the arts community whether as a hobby or as a profession.

4 Comments

Filed under African-Americans, Art, Artists, Barack Obama, Change, Children, Civil Rights Movement, Computers, Culture, Dancing, Education, Entertainment, Facebook, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, MySpace, Networks, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Technology, Television, TV Shows, Twitter, Uncategorized, United States, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

President Obama and Secretary Duncan Meet 6th Graders

Posted by: Audiegrl

Speeding Up the Race to the Top

President Barack Obama and Sec. of Education Arne Duncan, right, take questions during a group discussion with 6th grade students at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. January 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama announces a proposed $1.3 billion investment in Race to the Top, a program to encourage innovation and excellence in education through competitive grants, at an event at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. January 19, 2010.

This morning the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan paid a visit to Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia where they had a chat with about 30 6th grade students. The conversation put a face to the people they were trying to help with the President’s latest investment of more than a billion dollars in next year’s budget to amp up the President’s “Race to the Top” program – a competition to incentivize success that has already generated an overwhelming response from states, with over 30 states expected to compete for first-round funding.

You can learn more about Graham Road in the White House background release, but the school made a mark on its community by implementing a comprehensive strategy to turn around student achievement, adopting rigorous and high-quality student assessments, teacher evaluation and professional development, along with innovative and effective use of data systems to track student performance. As a result, in 2008 all of the school’s sixth-graders met Virginia’s reading standards, and 96 percent met math standards, despite being one of the lowest income schools in the county. The expansion of Race to the Top comes with a plan to encourage precisely this kind of visionary change in schools that apply for the challenge.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In his remarks after the meeting with students, the President explained how it all works, and the logic behind “Race to the Top“:

Last year, we set aside more than $4 billion to improve our schools — one of the largest investments in reform in our nation’s history. But we didn’t just hand this money out to states that wanted it; we challenged them to compete for it. And it’s the competitive nature of this initiative that we believe helps make it so effective. We laid out a few key criteria and said if you meet these tests, we’ll reward you by helping you reform your schools.

First, we encouraged states to adopt more challenging standards that will actually prepare our kids for college and their careers. We also encouraged schools to adopt better assessments — not just one-size-fits-all approaches — to measure what our kids know and what they’re able to do.

Second, we urged schools and school districts to make sure we have excellent principals leading our schools and great teachers leading our classes by promoting rigorous plans to develop and evaluate teachers and principals and by rewarding their success.

Third, we urged states to use cutting-edge data systems to track a child’s progress throughout their academic career, and to link that child’s progress to their teachers so we know what’s working and what’s not working in the classroom. Fourth, we encouraged states to show a stronger commitment to turning around some of their lowest-performing schools.

And even before states have received a single dime of taxpayer money, many of them have committed to instituting important reforms to better position themselves for a Race to the Top grant. Forty-eight states have now joined a nationwide partnership to develop a common set of rigorous, career-ready standards in reading and math. Wisconsin has enacted legislation permitting schools to link student achievement to the performance of teachers and principals. In Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, California, we’ve seen changes in laws or policies to let public charter schools expand and succeed. These are public schools with more independence that are formed by teachers, parents, and community members.

So by rewarding some of these states submitting applications today, by extending the Race to the Top for states, by launching a Race to the Top among school districts, and by applying the principles of Race to the Top to other federal programs, we’ll build on this success. We’re going to raise the bar for all our students and take bigger steps towards closing the achievement gap that denies so many students, especially black and Latino students, a fair shot at their dreams.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

1 Comment

Filed under African-Americans, Barack Obama, Books, Change, Children, Computers, Culture, Democrats, Education, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Secretary Arne Duncan (Sec of Education), Students, Teachers, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteerism, Women's Issues

Celebrating MLK Day: Have a Dream

Learn more about the Kids for King Initiative at www.KidsForKing.org

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Celebrating MLK Day: Have a Dream", posted with vodpod

Leave a comment

Filed under African-Americans, Children, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, Holidays, Media and Entertainment, MLK Day, Nobel Peace Prize, Non-Violence, Politics, United States, US, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues, World

President Obama Honors Educators in Math and Science

Posted by: Audiegrl

white house gov logoPresident Obama honors educators who have shown excellence in teaching and mentoring students in mathematics and science at an awards ceremony at the White House. January 6, 2010.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

1 Comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Books, Children, Computers, Culture, Education, History, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Presidents, Sciences, Teachers, Technology, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama: “If You Ask a Kid To Dream, He’ll Dream” 

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates an award recipient during the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller event in the State Dining Room of the White House

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulates an award recipient during the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller event in the State Dining Room of the White House

Yesterday afternoon in the historic State Dining Room, First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary chair of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, presented 15 programs from around the world with the Coming Up Taller Award. Given to arts and humanities organizations that reach underserved youth, the award is a reminder of the meaningful role cultural activities play in the lives of our children. This year’s recipients include the Shakespeare Remix program in New York, where inner-city teens adapt and perform Shakespearean texts to reflect their own lives, and the Harmony Project in Los Angeles, which provides free music instruction to at-risk children.

Speaking to a crowd of teachers, program workers, and students, the First Lady highlighted the positive impact these programs have in the lives of children around the world:

    Because of you, teens in Arizona are publishing their own magazine, and children in central and south Los Angeles are learning to play instruments and performing in orchestras. Because of the work that you do, students in New York City are mastering Shakespeare. And in my hometown of Chicago, there are students learning traditional Mexican art forms. There are young people in Egypt who are learning basket weaving and storytelling, calligraphy and photography.

    And you’re not just connecting young people with music, dance, poetry and drama. But because of your work, you’re connecting people, these young people to mentoring, to tutoring, to social services, and college counseling. You don’t just show them the power of their imagination, but you show them the power of discipline and hard work and of teamwork, as well.

    And these young people don’t just become accomplished singers and painters and authors. They also become better students, they become better leaders, and they become better citizens, enriching not just themselves but their communities, teaching younger children the skills that they’ve learned, beautifying neighborhoods with murals and lifting their communities with their performances.

    Ultimately, each of your programs is using achievement in the arts as a bridge to achievement in life. And you see all this every day, each and every one of you working so hard. You see this in your students as they become more confident and more engaged and more willing to take risks and to take responsibility for their futures. You see it when their academic performance improves, when you see improving attitudes and higher GPAs. And you see young people who never saw themselves as college material, you see them getting those acceptance letters and you see them going on to pursue their degrees. So we all know in this room the power of the arts to change young people’s lives.

blank
More @ white house gov logo

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Children, Democrats, Education, Politics, Uncategorized, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

Teachers Are Key to a Successful Economy by First Lady Michelle Obama

Op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady with daughters Sasha and Malia

First Lady with daughters Sasha and Malia

This is a busy time of year in the Obama household. Like so many parents all across this country, I watch with a mixture of pride and anxiety as my daughters stuff their backpacks, kiss me goodbye, and move ahead in another school year without so much as a backwards glance.

My girls are now making new friends, tackling challenging new subjects, and moving closer to becoming the strong, confident women I know they can be. But when I see them come home, bursting with excitement about something they have learned or someone they have met, I can’t help but think that some of the most influential people in my daughters’ lives won’t be the ones they socialize with on the playground or read about in the pages of a book—they will be the people who stand up every day in front of their classrooms.

classroomWe all remember the impact a special teacher had on us—a teacher who refused to let us fall through the cracks; who pushed us and believed in us when we doubted ourselves; who sparked in us a lifelong curiosity and passion for learning. Decades later, we remember the way they made us feel and the things they inspired us to do—how they challenged us and changed our lives. So it’s not surprising that studies show that the single most important factor affecting students’ achievement is the caliber of their teachers. And when we think about the qualities that make an outstanding teacher—boundless energy and endless patience; vision and a sense of purpose; the creativity to help us see the world in a different way; commitment to helping us discover and fulfill our potential—we realize: These are also the qualities of a great leader.

Today, more than ever before, we need precisely this kind of leadership in our classrooms. As the president has frequently said, in a 21st-century global economy where jobs can be shipped to any place with an Internet connection and children here in America will be competing with children around the world for the same jobs, a good education is no longer just one road to opportunity—it is the only road. And good teachers aren’t just critical for the success of our students. They are the key to the success of our economy.

blank
More @ usnewsandworldlogo

Leave a comment

Filed under Change, Children, Culture, Democrats, Economy, Politics, Teachers, Uncategorized, Women's Issues