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Archive for December 4th, 2013

NAACP disappointed by Ruling in Duane Buck Case

Posted by Admin On December - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The NAACP released the following statement in response to the decision by the Texas Criminal Appeals Court to deny Duane Buck a new sentencing hearing, despite the fact that an expert witness testified that race makes a person more likely to commit future dangerous crimes and therefore should be considered in sentencing.  Mr. Buck was sentenced to the death penalty.

From Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe:

“I am disappointed in the decision because I cannot understand how under any circumstance a sentence can stand when the convicting jury had received evidence using the defendant’s race a factor to justify a death sentence,” said Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe.  “I worked with Attorney General Cornyn years ago to address this problem and it is as wrong today as it was back then.”

From Interim President and CEO of the NAACP Lorraine C. Miller:

“Today, my home state of Texas effectively condoned racial discrimination in the courtroom,” said Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. “This is a disheartening decision as it allows racial bias to seep into a justice system that is supposed to be fair and equitable for all.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

Pre-Conceived Bias Against Black Students?

Posted by Admin On December - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Does our District PBIS Initiative engage pre-conceived bias interrupting success for Black students?

By Dr. Edwin Lou Javius
CEO/President, EDEquity

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — I have had the pleasure of engaging hundreds of courageous educators across the nation in developing systems and strategies to increase leadership and teacher efficacy. Recently American schools have encountered another “black-eye”; no pun intended. The National Association of Educational Progress ( NAEP ) has reported that our schools, at various grade levels, have actually widened the gap between students of color and their white counter parts. In addition to the NAEP data, other non educational agencies are reporting disproportionate data of Black and Brown students being expelled, suspended and referred to Special Education.

In an effort to combat the number of Black students being referred to Special Education, the nation has implemented a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. One of the goals of the implementation of the RtI model was to strategically examine the root causes of why Black students are referred more often to Special Education. The model was implemented to have the school system view students with possible learning disabilities with an asset-based lens. In short, the model was to analyze academic and behavioral causes to students’ lack of success in school.

As nationally conveyed the model is designed to put in place specific assessment “safety-nets,” and educators whom will critically examine multiple data sources prior to placing the student at different tiers of support. Tier I support calls for differentiated core instruction, and should be provided by the general education teacher. Tier II support provides additional academic and behavioral support, without taking away the basic differentiated core instruction. In Tier III, the student is provided intense individualized, research-based intervention strategies that are based on data points provided from progress monitoring. This instruction is in addition to the regular curriculum; and students may be grouped or taught differently for a portion of the day.

The fire that spurred me to write this article is a desire to have us seriously reflect and act on our leadership decisions that may explain why Black students continue to be disproportionately referred, diagnosed and remain in our Special Education “program”. I would like to offer my personal analysis and a reflection that might shed some light on changing the educational experiences for Black students and offer a solution to educators whom look to implement a National Model (RtI) that is culturally/ racially/ linguistically responsive to Black students.

As a lead consultant for high performing and turn-around schools across the nation, I have surprisingly collected data from a number of districts and schools implementing the Positive Behavior Intervention Support Model (PBIS) to address students and assist teachers with strategies to address student behavior. Despite the fact that the national RtI model clearly indicates that student referrals to Special Education should diagnose and address the learning disabilities of students, many RtI structures unfortunately, focus their attention on the behavior of the student as the cause of academic underachievement. This drives the student study team members to devote 80% of their efforts on addressing behavior and only 20% of their examination on instructional issues. The root causes of most black boys’ behavioral struggles stems from un-related curriculum and instructional delivery that does not appropriately engage the students’ multiple literacies; academic, social, cultural and racial (Tatum, 2006). Teachers strongly indicate in conferences and training sessions that, “There is no way for me to teach if I have behavior problems.” While I emphatically concur with the teachers, I do go on and ask, “What comes first, a powerful well designed lesson or a motivated student?” Needless to say, the intellectual air becomes quiet and personal reflection begins. I then remind them that when they arrived at my training not all of them were motivated either. Their level of motivation and excitement was based on my ability to engage them with the content and delivery. Teachers want the same type of classroom experiences as black boys; enthusiastic teachers, relevant curriculum, the opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers, affirmation from their responses, opportunity to move in the class, and rationale of why the information is important.

Pre-conceived Bias Interrupting Success for Black Students (PBIS)

In further examination of strategies districts use to modify behavior of black boys, I have realized that if I were an elementary student, I would be a serious candidate for Special Education services. Not many of the district programs and strategies have explicit modifications for a young squirrely black boy from the projects who loved school. The way I entered school and the cultural attributes I carried would not have been viewed as academic or cognitive assets. As Lisa Delpit indicates, there is a cultural in-congruency with the norms of my home culture and school culture.

As I have witnessed in many special education audits and behavior specialist meetings, many if not most educators do not consider the impact of a school culture that is traditionally a Eurocentric, middle class school experience for all students. This lack of recognition by most educators, and the impact on certain students, has created an underlying bias concerning the behavior for black boys in school. Norms of behavior are key to school success, however educators must be willing to acknowledge that some school norms are hidden (Payne) and certain students are never given the treasure map. Subsequently, many black boys engage the pyramid of support of RtI through the behavior door with little consideration that movement, divergent thinking, verbal prowess, being argumentative, and learning exuberantly are the key learning skills of Gifted and Talented Learners.

Chicken or Egg?

As indicated earlier, teachers should consider which comes first; a powerful lesson or a motivated student. Often, districts and schools tend not to have a clear and explicit approach to improving the basic differentiated core Tier I instruction. The evidence shows discipline and behavior declines when students are engaged in ineffective class activities and lessons. Noteworthy, is the fact that more evidence is showing students of color are more engaged when lesson are differentiated to meet their cultural and linguistic needs (Thomlinson, 2010). Alfred Tatum, among other scholars, shares the importance of providing culturally relevant materials to address the behavioral needs of students of colors – particularly black boys.

District Considerations

As Ron Edmonds indicated in effective schools, “we really know what to do to solve the issue of the under-achievement of black boys. We have to be dissatisfied with why we have not done what we know works?” District and schools that have recognized the brilliance and cultivated above average academic success in black boys have the following: Teachers that believe in the talents of black boys and students who overtly know that the teacher believes in them; teachers who use what she/he knows about the student after 3:00 pm and uses that information to design relevant lessons to enhance the skill level of the students; teachers who have pedagogical content knowledge (a deep understanding of the content and is a student of knowing students); teachers who validate and affirm the home language and cultural norms and supports “code switching”; teachers who refine their district’s RtI model to overtly address Tier I instruction; teachers who provide learning experiences that allow black boys to show a depth and sophistication of their thinking, and are provided with positive descriptive feedback for their efforts; and last but not least, teachers who provide a racially and culturally safe classroom in which the students do not feel their race is on trial.

I urge educators to critically examine what really causes us to misdiagnose black students! If you open the academic door first and address the mediocrity of instruction, you will find statistically significant improvement in discipline and a decline in unnecessary referrals to Special Education.

I challenge you to use the following as a quick examination of your RtI model for addressing the needs of black boys. I support districts and schools in the implementation of a culturally responsive RtI model and eliminate pre-conceived bias interrupting success for black boys.

I welcome your feedback or reflection. Please feel free to e-mail me at javius@edequity.com or visit our web site: www.edequity.com

Dr. Edwin Lou Javius, a leading Educational Equity expert, has designed an instructional and leadership framework to improve instructional practice. As the Founder/President/CEO of EDEquity Inc., Dr. Javius has written several articles on the topics of closing the opportunity and race conscious leadership.

Essence Magazine announces 2014 Summer Internship Program

Posted by Admin On December - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Deadline to apply is January 31, 2014


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Essence Communications Inc.hosts summer interns through the Time Inc. Summer Internship Program. The program is a 9-week paid learning experience where students will receive on-the-job training that will enhance their education and prepare them for a future career in the media industry.

Applicants must have an interest in media and issues related to African-American women to intern at ESSENCE magazine. They are looking for students who are diligent, self-motivated and extremely detail-oriented to take on various opportunities throughout departments in both the Publishing and Editorial divisions.

Interns will receive a bi-weekly stipend, will be assigned to one department but will be exposed to other areas of the company, and are expected to find their own housing. It is suggested that they contact their school’s career center for information on temporary housing in the New York City area. They can contact New York City area colleges and universities to ask about renting a dormitory room for the summer.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2014, and only one application per person will be considered.

For more details and/or to apply for the Essence Summer Internship, visit:
www.findinternships.com/2013/10/essence-communications-internship.html

To search hundreds of other 2014 internships, visit:
www.FindInternships.com

Photo Caption: Former intern at Essence Communications

PurchaseBlack.com offers free online webstores for black owned & black servicing businesses to sell their products

Posted by Admin On December - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

PurchaseBlack.com, the home for African American online shopping, is looking for businesses that sell products African Americans love within a webstore on its platform


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Purchase Black, a new amazon-style marketplace focused on African American products, is looking to attract more Black owned & Black servicing businesses to open webstores with them. So it’s giving them away for free.

“PurchaseBlack.com is bridging the gap between Black online customers, and a wide array of African American focused businesses,” says . “To attract more Black owned & Black servicing businesses, we are giving them webstores, complete with their own web address, for free, and only charging a commission after the business actually makes money on our platform!”

The business wants to attract both Black owned and Black servicing businesses, or businesses that may not be Black owned, but offer products that African American’s love. “We are focused on African American products & businesses, but not at the exclusion of anyone else. We want everyone to know that you can buy or sell African American products on PurchaseBlack.com, regardless of your background.”

The company wants small, medium, and large businesses that offer products in hair care, skin care, art, gifts, clothing, accessories, NPHC Greek items, and more.

The internet marketplace launched with a handful of Black owned and Black servicing businesses on November 29th, with the goal of attracting more businesses to sell their product in its webstores. “Over time, we will grow into being a one-stop shop for online African American shopping! We are always open to new businesses applying for a webstore with us,” says Williams.

Recently, PurchaseBlack.com founder Brian Williams appeared on TV One’s NewsOne Now with Roland Martin to talk about Cyber Monday on a panel of business experts including Alfred Edmunds from Black Enterprise and financial journalist Stacey Tisdale.

He adds, “A lot of people have been waiting for something like this for a long time. We’re excited and we want excited customers to experience it immediately! To give them the best experience, we need the best businesses, and we hope that our offer will attract those businesses to sell their products on PurchaseBlack.”

For more information about selling on PurchaseBlack, click “Become A Seller” at the bottom of the home page at www.PurchaseBlack.com. Interested ones can also connect with PurchaseBlack on their Facebook page, @PurchaseBlack on Twitter, YouTube, or on Google Plus.

Photo Caption: Brian Williams, the founder of Purchase Black




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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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