Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Your Black Education: Fewer Blacks, More Whites Are Hired as City Teachers

The percentage of new teachers in New York City public schools who are black has fallen substantially since 2002, dropping to 13% in the last school year from 27% in 2001-02, city figures show.

The change has dramatically altered the racial makeup of the new teacher workforce, which last year included about 400 more white teachers than it did in 2002 and more than 1,000 fewer black teachers.

The overall teaching force has been less affected: Black teachers made up 20% of the workforce in fiscal year 2008, down from 22% in 2001, while the percentage of white teachers has stayed constant at 60%.

The changing demographics come in a school system that is increasingly made up of non-white students.

Educators and advocates said they have been troubled by the data for several years — and they said they are especially troubled this year, the 40th anniversary of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville crisis, in which black community leaders challenged the city to make school staff more representative of the city.

"We want a school system that values educators who are invested in their students and who reflect the communities of which they are part," a member of the Center for Immigrant Families in uptown Manhattan, Donna Nevel, said.

The Department of Education's executive director for teacher recruitment and quality, Vicki Bernstein, said responsibility for the declining diversity lies with a state requirement that all public school teachers be certified by 2003.

The requirement was introduced in 1998, forcing the New York City public schools to scramble; before 2003, 60% of new teacher hires were uncertified, and 15% of the overall teaching corps in the city was not certified.

School officials said the mandate had a chilling effect on diversity, because the state certifies very few black teachers. According to a state report, in the 2006-07 school year, black people made up just 4% of new certified teachers who identified their race.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Your Black World: Marian Wright Edelman Screams For The Children

Iconic activist and child advocate, Marian Wright Edelman, speaks to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! In this discussion, Edelman expresses deep concern over the level of indifference directed at the plight of young children of every color. Eldeman worries that the dream Dr. King had, has never been granted a chance at fruition; and the “triple evils” of racism, economic exploitation and militarism, which he warned of, have become part and parcel of our humanity. She also admonishes, in a prophetic tone, that its time to "begin to get our heads screwed on straight and to begin to invest in the future and in our young people today." If not, Marian Edelman, who is founder and president of Children’s Defense Fund, is certain that such inaction would "topple America’s leadership in the world in the future." Marian Wright Edelman furthermore urges the world to pay more close attention to tomorrow's inhabitants:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Your Black Scholars: Dr. Boyce Watkins Asks You To Fight NCAA Racism

FYI: We have a coalition of activists, scholars, athletes, students, coaches, attorneys and parents who are working to address the NCAA and what some perceive to be an exploitation of the Black community due to the fact that the families of college athletes are not being compensated. Revenues for college sports are in the billions, many coaches sign contracts worth $2 - $4M dollars per year, and the NCAA is in direct competition with the NFL, NBA and other professional sports leagues. All the while, half of all Black basketball and football players come from families in dire poverty, and the NCAA has been allowed to implement Draconian legislation to control the options of these players to keep their families from having access to the revenue pool. I've seen players earn $20 million for their school by carrying the team to the Final Four, while simultaneously watching their mother get evicted, or a sibling get murdered in a housing project.

As educators, many of you are aware of the fact that these students do not always receive the education they deserve. Many academic institutions make the educational mission secondary to the primary objective of getting players on the court/field so they can make money for the campus. Myles Brand, the NCAA President, understands this hypocrisy, which is why he has never responded when CNN and other media have asked him to publicly debate myself or anyone else on this issue. Instead, he has only been willing to issue statements or appear in private interviews in response to the voices of thousands of critics across the country. Even the former Executive Director of the NCAA, Walter Byers, has stated that it's time that the NCAA realize that the families of athletes have as much right to this revenue as the coaches, athletic directors, campus presidents, and sports commentators, all getting rich from the labor of young kids. A scholarship is nice, but that is far from fair compensation..... I say this as a Finance Professor who has carefully analyzed their numbers.

I hope you will consider joining our coalition to address this issue by going to this link: https://greatblackspeakers.wufoo.com/forms/please-join-our-coalition/

To become more educated on this issue, please click some of the links below. These are some of the interviews I've done on this topic in the past, and help explain why I, as a Finance Scholar, a Black man and an educator, feel that this issue should eventually be brought to the steps of Congress for reconsideration of the NCAA's anti-trust exemption. At the College Sports Research Institute at UNC Chapel Hill, we are also conducting scholarly research on this issue, to find fair paths to reform for the NCAA.

This is not just an academic exercise: this has a real impact on the real lives of real families. I hope you'll join us.


Dr. Boyce Watkins


P.S: The links are below:

Part 1


Part 2







Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Your Black Education: Teach For America

Teach for America's next deadline is September 19th.
Teach for America is "the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic majors and career interests who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Teach the Children - Prepare them for the Future

There is so much going on these days: concern about the economy, Presidential elections, going green, etc. Don't you wish you were better prepared? Well, we can certainly prepare our children for the future. Education is key. But, education happens at school & at home. Unfortunately, the things that we are facing today were not typically addressed in the classroom.

Money management should be taught as early as possible. A child can learn about money management while you are grocery shopping, counting coins on the dinner table, getting an allowance and starting a savings account (like the old piggy bank). As far as the election is concerned, why not point out things that are clear examples of the results of decisions of the elected officials. For example - why are your streets full of potholes when the one across town are not? Why are there no playgrounds in your neighborhood? Why does your child's school lack books? Why do you have to work 2 jobs? Why can't you get a job? Hopefully you vote and follow the decisions and actions of your elected officials. If so, you should be able to have this dialog with your child.

Again, this type of education can only come from home. Even though you may not have recieved this education yourself early enough, let's not repeat that cycle. Let's teach our children now - so that they can have a better future. These topics may seem a little tough to get across to a child. To help you along, there are children's books on all of these subjects and many more. In fact, children's books make the story exciting and come alive - and easier to understand (for us too!) Checkout http://www.colorbookgallery.com/ or your local bookstores for many exciting and educational stories. Let's teach the children and prepare them for the future.