Tag Archives: EDUCATION

Asa G. Hilliard III | The State of African Education

American Educational Research Association Plenary Presentation 
Commission on Research in Black Education 
April, 2000 
New Orleans, LA

It took Lerone Bennett several decades to write his newest book, Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream, meticulously documenting Abraham Lincoln’s white supremacy beliefs. Bennett shows that Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” was a conscious and necessary deception that did not free a single enslaved African.  Bennett then shows the carelessness of historians, and even the cover-up of the record by some, in order to let the myth survive. How ironic that many tears have been shed by those who choose the Lincoln Memorial as a symbolic site to celebrate African liberation,  while oblivious to those who truly sought to free Africans, not the least of whom were Africans themselves. Instead we honor an opponent of equality who openly espoused white supremacy views until his death. Then we accept a myth that is the opposite of the truth.

In many ways, the persistence of the myth of Abraham Lincoln as a liberator of Africans is a symbol of the contemporary response to the state of education of African Americans and of African people worldwide. So much of what we believe about our state is false. How do we account for this myth of the “Emancipator” and of “emancipation.” It is in the curriculum and in the culture at large, a belief in the face of all evidence to the contrary. And so, until this very time, we have a whole nation in deep denial. Continue reading

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Filed under Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Education Policy, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, white supremacy

CORE Charges Richard M. Daley & Chicago Board of Education with Union-Busting!

[CORE] Caucus of Rank-and-file Educators | Calls for Overturn of the 1995 Amendatory Act and an End to Mayoral Control!


CHICAGO – Quietly, with little public debate, on November 18, 2009, the Chicago Board of Education could authorize 8,130 additional charter seats, increasing charters’ current Chicago market share from 7.9% to 9.8% according to Chicago Public Schools data compiled by CORE researchers.  CPS proposes to open nine new charter schools in 2010 and 2011 and convert seven contract schools into charters.

Since the onset of Renaissance 2010 in 2004, Chicago Teacher Union membership has shrunk by approximately 6,000 members.

“Labor law doesn’t allow a company to close down a union plant and open up a non-union one across the street, but that’s exactly what Chicago Public Schools has done for the last six years without pause,” said Jackson Potter, CPS teacher at Little Village-Lawndale High School and CORE co-chair.

Karen Lewis, CPS teacher at King College Prep and co-chair of CORE stated that, “It is increasingly clear from mountains of research that Renaissance 2010 schools generally do not offer a better education than traditional neighborhood schools.  So today we have to identify the real reason behind school reform in this city — union busting.”

“The Mayor (Richard M. Daley) and his appointed Board of Education are violating the human rights of teachers and putting our children at even greater risk when it busts our union. The 1995 state law that gave Mayor Daley control of the schools – and prohibited the Chicago Teachers Union from bargaining over the closing and opening of new schools — is unconstitutional and must be overturned,” said Potter.

Potter explained that when educators do not have contractual rights, “management can run wild.  My union contract backs me up so I can demand that my students receive an adequate education and proper services if they are English language learners, special education students, or are in need of counseling or medical support. Without union protections, students are increasingly at risk.”

Kristine Mayle, a CPS special education teacher, explained that unlike contract schools, charters are barred from joining the CTU bargaining unit, may hire up to 25% non-certified teachers and no administrators need certification or education experience. “CPS is creating a low-wage, high-turnover workforce.  That’s the plan,” said Mayle, who added that, “Charters burn out teachers — most won’t stay in the classroom the 10 years it takes to vest into the pension.  It’s not a stretch to imagine that the Board sees that as a plus.”

“Mayor Daley is privatizing our schools under the guise of providing better educational opportunities for students and families.  There is no sound educational benefit for students in most charter schools,” said Sara Echevarria, a CPS teacher at Clemente High School.   “Why would CPS open another charter high school in Englewood ?  They have five already and only one neighborhood high school.  It’s all mapped out.”

“There’s a myth that unions guarantee teachers a job for life.  Not true,” said Michael E. Brunson, a displaced CPS teacher.  “Strong contracts provide due process but that’s not happening in Chicago .  Each year hundreds of union teachers are dismissed wholesale when their schools are closed, turned around or converted to charters.   CPS’s current proposals aren’t about improving education.  They’re about privatizing education and busting unions.”


Contact: Liz Brown, 773/606-4876,  l.brown.work@gmail.com  | Kenzo Shibata, 312/296-0124,  kenzo.shibata@gmail.com

CORE, a caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union, represents rank-and-file members. The group is comprised of teachers, retired teachers, educational staff and other champions of public education.  

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Filed under Actions, Black Politics, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Education Policy, Obama Administration, The Obama Administration

Melanie Harris | Kozol on C-SPAN | SUNDAY SEPT 6



KozolKozol will be there in the C-SPAN studio to answer questions callers throw at him, and I expect many of the callers are going to be vicious right-wing types who despise everything he stands for. It would be great if teachers, former students, educators, and just plain friends who know what Jonathan is like and how hard and long he’s worked for kids like he ones he’s described in the South Bronx and Boston, feel like calling-in to give him some support. I’m sure Jonathan will be questioned about Shame of the Nation, Amazing Grace, Letters to a Young Teacher, and his other books and all the issues they raise about unequal, segregated schools, NCLB, corporate privatizers, the testing mania, etc.

He’ll be speaking out on behalf of all those idealistic and terrific teachers who write to us and tell us that they feel that everything they value (and the public system as a whole) is under withering attack. Knowing his views on charter schools (the kind that are run by private groups, especially for profit), I assume he’ll have to disagree with President Obama if this comes up. It probably will. Perhaps, even if you can’t call in, you’ll spread the word, by website or other means, to as many good folks as you can.


Melanie Harris

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Higher Ed: Free For All | Adolph Reed

Adolph Reed

Adolph Reed

In the struggle to keep up with tuition, 78% of students work while enrolled, averaging 30 hours per week. But the annual cost of everyone’s public tuition in the United States is less than $50 billion, says Adolph Reed of the University of Pennsylvania.  We could pay that bill for everyone, he says–and reap substantial returns on the investment.

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Education Stimulus Plan: The 1 Percent Solution

By Rev. Jesse L. Jackson

One of the most impressive proposals advanced by President Barack Obama to aid college students is the creation of a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for 100 hours of community service. While that program is still in the developmental stage, the Rainbow Coalition offers a plan that will immediately benefit students holding college loans.

We’re calling it “The Rainbow PUSH Education Stimulus Plan.” It is a simple-yet-sweeping plan to help families finance college costs that are steadily putting higher education out of the reach of most Americans. Our proposal is that students holding and applying for college loans should be offered interest rates that do not exceed 1 percent – the same favorable terms now being offered to large corporations under the federal bailout plan.

What we are seeking is fundamental fairness. Our nation’s largest banks and financial institutions – including Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan – are borrowing money from the federal government at a rate of less than 1 percent. However, students are generally forced to borrow for their education at rates in the range of 4 percent to 8 percent. Many are financing their education with credit cards that carry rates of 20 percent or higher.

Before graduating seniors can launch their families and careers, they are already saddled with excessive debt. To make matters worse, if students miss payments in this fragile economy, their credit score declines, forcing them to pay the highest interest rates for cars, homes and other necessities — if they can qualify at all. Yet, financial institutions with what is tantamount to bad credit reports are being rewarded with tax-supported, low-interest loans.

Lowering student loan interest rates to 1 percent directly addresses affordability, one of the most pressing problems facing our country. According to a report issued by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the cost of attending college has risen nearly three times the rate of the cost of living. After being adjusted for inflation, college tuition and fees rose 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, far outpacing increases for medical care, housing and food. During this same period, median family income rose 147 percent.

As financial aid shifted from direct grants to loans, borrowing for higher education has more than doubled over the past decade. Meanwhile, the U.S. is falling behind in the global economy. Approximately 34 percent of young American adults are enrolled in college, putting the U.S behind Korea – which has a 53 percent rate – Hungary, Belgium, Ireland, Poland and Greece.

Moreover, by the year 2020, the United States will need 14 million more college-trained workers than it will produce, according to the National Center on Education and the Economy. A report issued by the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University observed, “We are losing ground and jobs to other countries – for example, China and India. Our nation’s ability to sustain long-term economic success increasingly depends on the very children we are not educating now.”

And the children we are not educating are mostly people of color. Every year, 1.2 million children do not graduate from high school. Of those, 348,427 are African-American and 296,555 are Latino. College graduation rates are equally dismal. Only 31 percent of Latinos and 48 percent of African-Americans complete some college, compared to 62 percent of Whites and 80 percent of Asians.

If we are to increase the college graduation rate for African-Americans, we cannot ignore economic inequality:

* The total median income for a White family was $64,427 in 2007. The total for a Black family was $40,143, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

* The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 6.1 percent of the overall U.S. labor force was unemployed in the third quarter of 2008; 11.4 percent of the Black labor force was out of work. Those figures are considered conservative by most economists and do not include discouraged people who have quit looking for work.

* 10.6 percent of the White U.S. population in 2007 lived below the official poverty threshold ($21,000 for a family of four), compared to 24.4 percent of the Black population, the data said.

Affordability takes on larger significance when one considers that the average annual cost of attending an in-state public university is $17,336. The figure for private universities is $35,374 per year.

The report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education found: “On average, students from working and poor families must pay 40 percent of family income to enroll in public four-year colleges. Students from middle-income families and upper-income families must pay 25 percent and 13 percent of family income, respectively.”

As we can see from the foregoing data, the issues of college affordability and access to higher education are inextricably linked to the very future of our nation. Placing a 1 percent cap on college loans will remove a major obstacle for millions of students who want to attend college but can’t afford it.

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