A new scholarly study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Iowa, has found that Black children in the United States are exposed to far more background television noise than other children. The authors of the report state that “background television exposure has been linked to lower sustained attention during playtime, lower-quality parent-child interactions, and reduced performance on cognitive tasks.” Their survey found that the average U.S. child is exposed to 232 minutes, or nearly four hours, of background television noise each day. But the research showed that Black children are distracted by background television for an average of 5.5 hours per day.
The authors conclude, “Attempts to reduce background TV exposure can start with both knowledge about what it is and simple recommendation for behavior change such as turning off the TV when no one is watching or taking smaller steps to reduce exposure by turning off background TV at key points during the child’s day (eg, bedtime, mealtime).” The paper, published on the website of the journal Pediatrics, can be accessed here.
By Rosa Ramirez
To improve the graduation rates among African-American men, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation aims to dispel the notion that this group is underrepresented in institutions of higher learning.
According to a recent report, “Challenging the Status Quo
” partially supported by the CBC Foundation, black males make up 5.5 percent of all college students age 18 and over, which is proportional to the adult black male population in the United States.
Challenging such myths are important since it can perpetuate stereotypes that African-American young men are somehow disinterested in higher education and could even prevent them from obtaining the courses, mentorship or college preparation needed to succeed in college.Read the full article here.
By Heather Gilligan
Michelle Harvey’s son has severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. By middle school, when he was diagnosed, he could not read at grade level, and he struggled in math. Harvey, who is an elementary school teacher, worked closely with school administrators on her son’s needs, and was a frequent volunteer at his middle school. Then he went to high school, and things fell apart.ADHD
is the most common childhood behavior disorder, with symptoms including inattentiveness, over-activity and impulsivity, which are usually treated with stimulants. Harvey’s son struggled with the anxiety caused by his ADHD medication, a drug that usually wore off before the end of the school day. He self-medicated with marijuana, Harvey said, and that contributed to the problems he had at school.
By Morgan Josey Glover
GREENSBORO — Black male students attending several Guilford County schools may notice changes in the way they are taught next year.
Those changes could be reading assignments focused on African American characters, special after-school clubs, lunches with black men in the community or dress-for-success days.
“It’s not just about literacy; it’s about self-esteem, too,” said Rhonda Copeland, principal at Fairview Elementary. “Hopefully, when they feel good about themselves, they will also come ready to learn.”
School officials propose two pilot programs, totaling $312,000, that seek to increase the number of black male students who graduate on time and are prepared for work or college.
By Erik W. Robelen
Reading achievement in a set of large urban districts has stayed mostly flat since 2009, based on new national test results, while in mathematics, half the school systems saw some growth over the past two years, including Atlanta, the district at the center of a recent, high-profile cheating scandal.
In math, four out of 18 big-city districts posted statistically significant 4th grade gains from 2009 to 2011, while six out of 18 made progress at 8th grade, according to data released last week from the Trial Urban District Assessment, which tests representative samples of students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
, known as “the nation’s report card.”
Written by Claudio E. Cabrera
NEW YORK — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan elicited a collective gasp from an audience at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention today when he revealed that less than two percent of the nation’s schoolteachers were Black and male. “And we wonder why our boys are struggling,” Duncan said. “We need more Latino and African American male teachers. We need to show these kids that they can also educate people just like them when they grow up.” Duncan used the convention to promote the federal TEACH campaign that persuades male minorities to enter education.
The program was launched in the Fall 2010.
Duncan recounted a story from the days after he was appointed to President Obama’s cabinet in 2008, when he sat down with Sharpton and professed that the civil rights issue of the 21st century was no longer race.
“The issue is education,” Duncan told Sharpton. “We have to do whatever it takes to educate our children and we’re currently failing,” said Duncan.
View original story @ NewsOne
OAKLAND -- Amir Ealy is bright and motivated. He tears around the yard with his friends before school, but when he walks into the classroom, he is ready to learn.
So his teachers were proud, but not surprised, to learn the 8-year-old earned a perfect score on the state math test last spring.
"It goes with him," said Michelle Ramos-Stokes, who was Amir's first- and second-grade teacher at Sobrante Park Elementary School in East Oakland. "He works really hard, and he causes everyone who's around him to work hard."
A recent school district analysis revealed that about 400 elementary schoolchildren in Oakland Unified tested perfectly in math or reading on the 2010 California Standards Test. Twenty-three of them were African-American boys.Read more @ The Oakland Tribune
Charles Borst/Education Week
By Mary Ann Zehr
KIPP charter middle schools enroll a significantly higher proportion of African-American students than the local school districts they draw from, but 40 percent of the black males they enroll leave between grades 6 and 8, says a new nationwide study
by researchers at Western Michigan University.
“The dropout rate for African-American males is really shocking,” said Gary J. Miron, a professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, and the lead researcher for the study. “KIPP is doing a great job of educating students who persist, but not all who come.”
With 99 charter schools across the country, most of which serve grades 5 to 8, the Knowledge Is Power Program
network has built a national reputation for success in enabling low-income minority students to do well academically. And some studies show that KIPP charter schools have succeeded in significantly narrowing race-based and income-based achievement gaps between students over time. While not disputing that track record, the new study attempts to probe some of the more unexplored factors that might play into KIPP’s success.Read More...
When Malcolm Marshall and several other Black and Latino students were sent letters excluding them from a Harvard University information session at their public high school in Georgia, Marshall’s outraged mother called the university. Recruiters assured her that it was not their policy to exclude students and that all those who had been banned from attending were allowed to join in. Marshall, now a junior at Rutgers University, remembers the vice principal of his high school telling him, “It’s so hard to get in. You probably won’t get in anyway.”
Marshall credits his mother for helping him reach his educational goals, saying she never took no for an answer. He is now in the process of applying to graduate programs in education, with the goal of promoting access to higher education for students of all backgrounds. He hopes to work as a college administrator or in the U.S. Department of Education.
“I guess I was always preoccupied with that burning question: Why was I more successful than some of my … peers in school that look like me and came from similar backgrounds?” he says.
While surfing the Web, Marshall came across an initiative that is probing that same issue. Dr. Shaun Harper, a professor of higher education, Africana studies and gender studies at the University of Pennsylvania, launched the Grad Prep Academy in 2009 to create a pipeline of Black males for graduate programs in education. Marshall applied to the Academy and is now part of its second class. The initiative prepares eight to 10 Black men every year to enter master’s and/or doctorate programs in education by providing funding for a GRE class, mentorship, and guidance through the admissions process.Read More...
By Stephen Henderson Detroit Free Press
Like the self-congratulatory folks in Garrison Keillor's fictional Lake Wobegon, where "all the children are above average," we're fooling ourselves.
Are as many as 97% of Michigan students really achieving at above-average levels?
That the latest MEAP scores say so is one of the cardinal troubles with education in our state: We've lowered standards, gradually but consistently. We've also refused to hold schools accountable, even to those lower standards. And we have yet to develop a concrete plan for consistent, statewide school improvement.
As a result, we're blowing our own horn and thinking the flat notes sound just fine while other states and countries are developing full symphonies.
Sometime this spring, Gov. Rick Snyder has promised to lay out his plans for education reform in Michigan. As a prelude to that, I'll address in this and subsequent columns several key areas that badly need revamping:Read More Here