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 Horner to Receive Carma Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award New York, NY (BlackNews.com) -- Esteemed African-American ...
Governor Quinn, Illinois Lead National Effort CHICAGO, IL - The second round of Illinois’ Cyber Aces ...

Archive for March 16th, 2015

Combatting Racial Hostility: Opening ReMARCs

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
By Marc Morial, President & CEO

National Urban League

It’s never easy to confront evidence of the dark undercurrent of racial hostility that still flows through the landscape of modern-day America.

But the pain inflicted by the video of Oklahoma fraternity brothers gleefully joining in a racist chant is particularly acute, knowing that it was recorded at the same moment tens of thousands of us were gathered in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the brutal assault on civil rights known as Bloody Sunday.

One encouraging element of the ugly incident has been the leadership shown by University President David Boren. A former Governor and U.S. Senator, President Boren’s swift and unequivocal response showed the moral courage the University and the nation need to confront this issue.

How could young men on post-Civil Rights Era college campuses revel in such racist antics without compunction? The answer is complex, but part of it may be connected to the destructive re-segregation of our schools and communities.

Studies have shown that interaction with people of diverse backgrounds and race has a powerful effect on racial attitudes. Because of lax enforcement or outright removal of federal desegregation decrees, the vast majority of children attend schools where 90 percent of their peers look like them.

We need to recommit to the principle of equality of opportunity for our children – not just for our children’s sake, but for the future of the nation. So that when young people hear their peers expressing racial hostility, it won’t take a viral video to make it stop.

NAACP Applauds President David L. Boren’s Leadership in Staunch Repudiation of Racism in Fraternity Racist Chant Video

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Baltimore, MD – In light of the video of the racist chant by a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma’s administration’s response, the NAACP released the following statement:

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:
“As the sun sets on the 50th anniversary celebration of the Selma to Montgomery march, we are reminded that attitudes of racial intolerance and structural racism are not only of the past but continue today.  We were outraged to see young people— and potentially our nation’s future teachers, police officers and judges—speak in such a cavalier and joking fashion about lynching — an act that killed almost 5,000 people, both White and Black, during one of the darkest periods in American history.  We applaud President Boren’s leadership in staunch repudiation of racism at his school and against the perpetrators of an extremely hurtful video. We call upon all college presidents and other authoritative figures to act in similar fashion when confronted with racism and other discriminatory actions on their campuses.  We commend the students, faculty, and staff who have denounced the behavior of this fraternity, but we cannot stop there. We invite them and anyone else across the country that is against racial intolerance, to stand with us in the ongoing fight against all forms of racial injustice from college campuses to our neighborhoods to our workplaces.”

Race & Justice News: Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: The Sentencing Project

School-to-prison pipeline

Compendium of Suspension Trends for Grades K-12

A new report from the Civil Rights Project at University of California, Los Angeles examines national trends in the 3.5 million public school suspensions during the 2011-2012 school year. In “Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap?” researchers reveal significant disparities in the risk for suspension based on students’ race, gender and disability status, rank suspension rates for 48 states, and examine trends for every district in the nation. At the secondary education level nationwide, black students had a suspension rate of 23%, compared to 18% for students with disabilities, 12% for American Indians, 11% for Latinos, and 7% for whites. Among students with disabilities, black males had the highest suspension rate (34%), followed by Latino males and black females (23% each). After many years of widening, the report notes the overall suspension gap between blacks, Latinos, and whites narrowed slightly in 2011-2012 only because white suspension rates slightly increased.

The researchers conclude that excessive use of suspensions as a disciplinary tool is harmful to all students, and should be alarming because of its contribution to the school-to-prison pipeline and disparate on the academic achievement and life outcomes of historically disadvantaged children. The report recommends eliminating excessive and disproportionate discipline, providing effective training for educators, and implementing discipline policy changes and practices that are informed by research.

Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

While black boys are suspended three times as often as white boys, black girls are suspended six times as often as white girls, according to data from the Department of Education for 2011-2012. These data form the basis of a new report by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Priscilla Ocen, and Jyoti Nanda, titled “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.” Produced by the African American Policy Forum and Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectional and Social Policy Studies, the report illuminates the unique ways in which racial bias contributes to stricter discipline for black girls. Among their recommendations, the authors call on schools, policymakers, and philanthropic organizations to include girls in research, advocacy, and interventions; to review and revise policies that lead to unwarranted levels of and disparities in discipline; and to identify signs of sexual abuse and support girls who are pregnant or parenting.

A recent analysis by researchers at Villanova University concluded that in addition to racial bias, black girls face colorism: darker skin tone significantly raised black girls’ odds of being suspended. Tanzina Vega of the New York Times has also illustrated the consequences of disparate school discipline through a profile of a young girl suspended from school and charged in juvenile court in Georgia.

Reforms

School Discipline Reforms in Texas, Minneapolis, New York, and California

Recent Texas legislation has produced an 83% decline in children prosecuted in adult court for school violations, reports the Austin American-Statesman. By restricting police officers from issuing citations for most Class C misdemeanors that occur on school grounds, such as for fighting and disrupting class, these bills kept nearly 90,000 juvenile cases out of adult court and are encouraging schools to handle most disciplinary issues internally. A 2010 report from Texas Appleseed showed that police citations had grown dramatically and were disproportionately issued to black and Hispanic students. While skeptics claim that the laws reduce campus safety, advocates argue they “encourage more thoughtful use of the court system.”

Minneapolis’s schools superintendent, Bernadeia Johnson, writes in the Washington Post that new policies have produced a nearly 50% drop in the city’s school suspensions and referrals in the past year. Last year, the district adopted new standards that emphasized alternatives to suspension and it ended suspensions for the youngest students for nonviolent infractions. This year, the district has announced that it will review cases of potential excessive discipline based on race. Johnson plans to further review discipline policies, as black students are still punished more severely even with the lowered discipline rates. As she explains: “To close the achievement gap between white and minority students, our district must drastically change its approach to discipline.”

In New York City, even as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has not completely eliminated the practice of issuing suspensions for defying authority, it has newly ruled that principals must now get approval from the Education Department before such suspensions are issued. In California, USA Today reports that teachers suspended 200,000 students for “willful defiance” last year, down from 350,000 two years ago. California Department of Education data show that black students have accounted for roughly 20% of such suspensions since 2011, despite accounting for about 6% of student enrollment.

Iowa’s Racial Impact Legislation Having Modest Impact

The Associated Press finds that Iowa’s racial impact legislation, the first law in the country enabling lawmakers to assess the potential racial impact of criminal justice bills, appears to be having a modest effect. A review of 61 impact statements issued since 2009 suggests that the policy has been “helping to defeat some legislation that could have exacerbated disparities and providing a smoother path to passage for measures deemed neutral or beneficial to minorities.” Only 6 of 26 bills projected to have a disproportionate effect on people of color became law. Bills that were rated as having no or a positive effect on people of color were nearly twice as likely to pass. While other factors contributed to these outcomes and lawmakers underuse these impact statements, legislators say that this tool has shaped their debates. Former Rep. Wayne Ford, the law’s author, said, “What we started years ago has begun a movement.” Legislators in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Washington have recently introduced racial impact statement legislation.

Based on an analysis of four states currently conducting racial impact analysis (Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oregon), Jessica Erickson’s comment in the Washington Law Review makes three recommendations for states considering such legislation. First, criminal justice bills should automatically trigger racial impact statements, as states where this is not the case produce fewer impact statements. Second, states should more clearly define the scope and categories of analysis to be included in the impact statements. Finally, states should impose procedural requirements, such as public comment or comparison with alternatives, to encourage lawmakers to preempt new sources of racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Juvenile Justice

Unwarranted Racial Disparities and Increasing Punitiveness in Juvenile Justice

Whether they self-reported low, medium, or high involvement in delinquency, black and Hispanic boys were more likely to be sent to a correctional institution than their white counterparts, according to a study published in Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice by Tia Stevens and Merry Morash. “Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Boys’ Probability of Arrest and Court Actions in 1980 and 2000: The Disproportionate Impact of ‘Getting Tough’ on Crime” reaffirms that racial disparities in youth detention cannot be entirely explained by differences in offending. The study also demonstrated increasing punitiveness for all young boys: “although boys self-reported less delinquent behavior in 2000 than in 1980, the proportion [of all boys] charged remained the same, … those charged were less likely to be diverted and more likely to be convicted,” and judges became more likely to send convicted boys to correctional placement. The authors attribute these changes to developments such as juvenile justice’s shift in the 1980s and 90s from informal remedies and rehabilitation to formal intervention and punishment, the increased presence of police in schools, and zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Youth of color – particularly black boys – have borne the brunt of this shift, particularly at the stage of arrest.

Drug Law Enforcement

Racial Differences in Drug Arrest Rates Cannot Be Explained by Drug Offending or Community Contexts

In “Race Differences in Drug Offending and Drug Distribution Arrests,” published in Crime & Delinquency, Ojmarrh Mitchell and Michael Caudy evaluate three prominent explanations for racial and ethnic disparities in drug arrests: differences in the extent of drug offending, differences in the nature of drug sales, and racially biased law enforcement. They tested these theories using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which revealed that in comparison with whites, African Americans were 247% and Hispanics 60% more likely to have been arrested for drug distribution by age 29. Mitchell and Caudy found that the disparity between Hispanics and whites was largely explainable by neighborhood context: the disproportionate presence of Hispanics in neighborhoods with crime problems and heavy police presence. But they found that the black/white arrest gap cannot be explained by differences in selling patterns or by neighborhood context; rather, this disparity appears to be driven by racial bias. The authors propose de-emphasizing enforcement of low-level drug offending so that “a considerable amount of … law enforcement’s discretion would be reduced and, consequently, implicit racial bias would be restrained.”

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to Address Better Business Bureau 88th Annual Dinner Meeting on March 19th

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will speak at the 88th Annual Dinner Meeting of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago & Northern Illinois (BBB) on Thursday, March 19, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

In addition, PNC Bank will serve as presenting sponsor of this year’s event. Scott Swanson, president of PNC Bank, will have the honor of introducing Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, our featured speaker.

The 88th annual meeting will be emceed by NBC Chicago Co-News Anchor and Reporter Allison Rosati. Receiving the Torchbearer Award is Dayle Gillett of The Inland Real Estate Group of Companies. Jason Knowles of ABC 7 will be presented the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media and Michael Stanczak of Hanson Material Service will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We are honored to award these recipients that exemplify the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB.

This year’s event has been made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors:

PNC Bank, Combined Insurance Co. of America, Discover Financial Services, Inland Real Estate Group, Inc., Abt Electronics & Appliances, Access One, Inc., Airoom, LLC, BMO Harris Bank, Bridgestone Retail Operations, Brouwer Brothers Steamatic, Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), CDW , ComEd, Coyne College, Delaware Place Bank, DeVry Education Group, Empire Today, LLC, Four Seasons Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Gary Lang Auto Group, Godzecki, Del Giudice, Americus, Farkas & Brocato, Hanson Material Service, Hilton Chicago, J.C. Restoration, Inc., MB Financial Bank, Medley’s Moving & Self Storage, Midas International Corp., MiniMoves, Inc., Napleton Automotive Group, National Van Lines, Inc., Perma-Seal Basement Systems, Inc., Restore Construction, Inc., Sears, State Farm Insurance Company, US Cellular, Walgreens, West Suburban Bank, Wireless Central LLC, ABC 7 Chicago, CBS 2 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, Tribune Media Group, WGN TV, Apple Vacations, SEARS, Abt Electronics & Appliances, Tiffany & Co.

For more information on the 88th Annual Dinner, contact Tom Joyce at tjoyce@chicago.bbb.org or go to www.bbb.org/chicago/news-events/events/2015/01/AnnualDinner/.

Side-Swiped by Wreak-less Misgivings, Many Forget That We’re in the Army of the Lord!

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President, Probation Challenge


CHICAGO, IL – Have we forgotten that we are suppose to be soldiers in the Army of the Lord? The LORD thunders at the head of His army; His forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?  Joel 2:11.

Have we forgotten that the Church is liken unto a hospital for the spiritually wounded and for their healing? Have we forgotten that we are instructed the principles of God in the Church (which is the body of true baptized believers in Christ) and then afterwards the healed returns back into the highways of life to spread the gospel of Christ?

We are in a spiritual warfare!  The scriptures clearly states: “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”  Ephesians 6:10

When we make a conscious decision to settle into our own biased ways, not obeying the laws of God who we committee to as our chief commander, we become established in the wicked ways of the world. When our heart becomes callus, cold and careless, how then does one realize they have  strayed away from the biblical land marks… and how can we realize that we’re calling  right wrong—and wrong right?

God in his infinite wisdom knew that humans would have difficulties tolling with the spiritual principalities of darkness! These dark areas of life would be brought-on by man and woman’s sinning and falling from grace in the Garden of Eden. Unequally God knew that Satan would seize that garden experience as an opportunity thereafter to effect every human’s life.

Is there a command in serving in the army of the lord:  Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

God looking down the corridors of time saw you and I forthcoming and knew that Satan would at every turn seek to rob, steal and kill all followers of his son Jesus Christ! But God through Christ intervened and foiled each evil-trap!  Weather we care to believe it or not, we are at war with the evilness that follows the dictates of Satan who is not a friend, but enemy to those who love God.

In the army of the Lord, many pits and landmines are set with the expectance of blowing saved-warriors off the planet. Where are the dangerous zones in life? Only God reveals to each faithful warrior what, when, where and how!

How could any human survive the trauma put into place by Satan’s designed to swallow-up the believer? Well, God gave his believers a ‘trump card’ which represents great power over the head of Satan, and is wisely known as the Whole Amour of God! That armor was then and now known as The anointed word of God!  It is the anointing that breaks every yoke that binds us.

The historic documented experience of which the bible speaks are full of precious promises—which are wrapped up in hard-core-truths, coupled with great word of wisdom… and it all became authority in the flesh when spoken from  the mouth of Christ the Lord! Yes, those anointed and appointed Holy Scriptures would lead followers from earth to glory.

· Christ gave the believer the blessed assurance that; Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8.  Christ gave a word determining who might come to rob from the believer; Ye shall know them (deceivers) by the fruit they bear. If a tree brings forth apples, how then could it produce peaches?

· We have been command to watch as well as pray.  Know all deceivers … which would include those saying they come in the name of the Lord.  Know those who honestly labor among us.

Watch for those who are Sayers rather than Doers. Always remember that Satan is a thief:  John 10:10. The thief cometh but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have [it] abundantly.

· John 10: 10.

· A thief can be whomever or whatever: Ministers, Politicians, Teachers, Doctors and yes, those that falsely labor among us. Satan is transformed into an angle of light—with the end being destruction.

In the army of the Lord but not for the love of money: John 10:10.

The Lord speaks to the Rich:  “1. Rich and wealthy among us: Go to now, [ye] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you]. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.  3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.“ James 5: 1-3. Thus says the Lord and not I!

With the word of God as a map to glory we will dodge the pitfalls that laid in wait for us! Christ has quite an advantage, for He sits high and looks low, which means he is able to note those sinful traps set to entrap (incarcerate) us. We have only to  remember that Satan has only the power we grant him. Knowing the promises of God, how can we become lost in our daily travels when the navigator (God) of the earth is at the helm?

Because of some political ambitions and their aim to mislead God’s people (for the sake of money), voters have been side-swiped by perpetrators who invoke the name of God for spiritual references. These spiritual misuse of Biblical dialogs have been used by large in the African American and Hispanic communities… primarily because of their  great love for the Savior.

Blacks have more than often suffered at the hands of political betrayers who would have the public believe that they are the hope. Then coming down the pike is Satan knowing the love for certain fruit will bring what they desire… however, Satan will counterfeit all desires to fit his means to destroy.

We now laboring under the foresight of God, ought not to judge, but merely serve as a fruit inspector.  As a dutiful inspector, you will know them (deceivers) who come among the believers as wolves dressed in sheep clothing! Note that many deceivers wear smiles and even carry a bible which they dare to read!

2 John 1:9-11. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Example the tree and its bark while observing its foundation! Now ask yourself the question: Is the person seeking to sell their political conviction… on a firm foundation or planted on sinking sand?

We are mislead on many fronts simply because we opt to avoid God’s biblical plan of salvation and in doing so… refuse The Christ who choose for us… Life and Life more abundantly. Stay a loyal solider in the army of the Lord and don’t retreat until you hear the voice of God commanding that we do so!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey is founder and president of Probation Challenge and The PCC Internet Network

WWW.ProbationChallenge.org—The Truth Network

“Playing While Hurt” By Author Terri V. Steward Brings Much-Needed Awareness to Domestic Violence

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

“Generational Curse and Domestic Violence: The Twain Shall Meet Over and Over Again”

Terri V. Stewart's book Playing While Hurt

Valdosta, GA (BlackNews.com) – Terri V. Steward, author of the new exclusive Playing While Hurt, brings awareness to domestic biolence while sharing her personal revelation in dealing with the scars of generational curses. In this book, she communicates with her readers the transparency of being a child of domestic violence and on track for being doomed to the same reality, except for one major factor that is revealed through the writing of her story. The book will release March 7th, 2015. Randall Godfrey, former University of Georgia Bulldog, as well as former Dallas Cowboy and Tennessee Titan writes an inspiring call-to-action foreword while Jessie Tuggle, former Valdosta State University Blazer and Atlanta Falcon writes an effective afterword.

This book is a “love” story about Stewards mother who falls prey to domestic abuse because she is in search of love. She becomes a victim of her circumstances, but not in the way one would imagine. Steward takes readers along with her on a quest in trying to understand her mothers journey and she allows them to arrive at closure at the single moment that she does the same. She details her mothers encounters with her abusive husbands throughout the book, and does not shy away from the truth, nor does she dramatize the facts. She is honest, raw, and courageous in her words. She is strengthened by her mothers strength. Her mother is more than a conqueror, and this is made clear in Steward’s first book, Playing While Hurt.

The realistic imagery and attention grabbing stories take you to a place of wonder. The narrative causes you to think and it challenges you to question your own relationships with the ones you love. Reading this book is like re-living every moment, second by second, with Steward and her older brother, which creates a sense of connection to the story itself.

Terri Steward is an author with a message; her mission is to tell her story so she can help anyone she can through the horrors of domestic violence. She has earned a number of degrees ranging from Sociology to Special Education to Education Specialist and continues to evolve into the woman she hopes to be. She has many passions and talents, and is on the road to pursuing every last one of them. Hailing from South Georgia, she brings light to the mystery of the South, and provides insight to those unfamiliar with the culture of “silence.”

For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit www.getitwrite-consulting.com/authors/terri-v-steward/ or Amazon.com
About Get It “Write” Consulting, LLC
Get It “Write” Consulting, LLC is a black owned indie publishing company whose mission is to provide high quality literature that affects change in peoples lives. Its owner, Caterina M. Orr, has received her Master of Arts degree in English and Masters in Science degree in Publishing. Her goal is to work with all people, particularly people of color, to aid them in telling their stories. “So many times, African Americans remain voiceless when their stories could possibly help others bring about closure in their own lives. Our ancestry is that of griots, great storytellers, and Get It “Write” Consulting, LLC is vested in bringing those stories to light,” Orr comments.
About NoMORE.org
The unfortunate viewing of the Ray Rice incident has brought light to a tragic epidemic that plagues this society. According to The Huffington Posts “30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics that Remind Us Its an Epidemic,” three women are murdered everyday by a previous or current partner. In 2011 alone, 1,509 women were killed by men with whom they were acquainted; 926 were intimate partners and 264 of them were led on by arguments. This epidemic concern has drawn more attention year after year as the statistics take its climb on the rating ladder. According to Safehorizon.org, one out of four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; 60% of the actual abuse occurs in the home shared with the abuser. Women ages 20-24 are at a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, contributing to intimate partner violence being the leading cause of female homicide, pregnancy deaths, and injuries. Furthermore, according to Feminista Jones of Time.org, Black women are almost three times as likely as White women to experience death as a result of domestic violence. It is one of the leading causes of death for Black women ages 15 to 35. Nonetheless, Black women are also less likely to report or seek help when victimized. Get It “Write” Consulting, LLC has partnered with www.NoMORE.org to break the silence. NO MORE is a public awareness and engagement campaign focused on ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Its website states “64% of Americans believe if [society] talked more about domestic violence and sexual assault, it would make it easier to help someone.”

Photo Caption: Book cover and author, Terri V. Steward


Women’s Business Development Center Hosts Webinars in April

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Webinars offered in April by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) include:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Noon – 12:30 p.m.

“Finding Your Way When You Are Stuck: Working Your Way Through Growth Analysis Tools”

Description: This webinar introduces business owners to GrowthWheel®, a new curriculum offered by the Women’s Business Development Center. After participating in this free orientation session, business owners use a GrowthWheel® tool to self-assess where they are in 20 areas related to four key challenges:  an attractive business concept, lasting customer relations, profitable operations, and a strong organization. GrowthWheel® is a hands-on, owner driven, action-oriented way of analyzing these issues, while working with a certified WBDC business advisor/coach.

Cost: Free

Registration: http://goo.gl/Z6t4rC

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Noon – 12:30 p.m.

“The Next Employee: Getting Ready”

Description: If you are a business owner in the hiring phase, join this webinar to learn how to build a relevant job description for the position, and create a profile to describe the attributes of the right person to fill the job. Prerequisite: Live Orientation Webinar entitled “Finding Your Way When You Are Stuck: Working Your Way Through Growth Analysis Tools.”

Cost: $10.00

Registration: http://goo.gl/tMYnlk

Wednesday, April 29, 2015, Noon – 12:30 p.m.

“Raising Prices via Raising Value”

Description: Join this webinar to explore topics that will include: basic types of benefits and value that your client can get from your product/service; how to evaluate the importance this value is to your customer; describe how your product/service creates this value and how this value might be improved in the future; explore how to estimate and quantify how much the customer will pay for a product/service with this value. Prerequisite: Live Orientation Webinar entitled “Finding Your Way When You Are Stuck: Working Your Way Through Growth Analysis Tools”

Cost: $10.00

Registration: http://goo.gl/OnMOed

For further information about these or other WBDC workshops, visit http://www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477. Now in its 29th year, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. More information is available at www.WBDC.org.

A Student Aid Bill of Rights: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for quality, affordable higher education for all Americans.  Today, a college degree is the surest ticket to the middle class and beyond, but it has also never been more expensive.  Everyone, from elected officials to universities to business leaders, has a part to play in making college affordable for all students.  The President has already made historic investments in college education affordability, and earlier this week, he announced a Student Aid Bill of Rights – a set of guiding principles behind his vision for affordable education.  In his address the President urged everyone to visit WhiteHouse.gov/CollegeOpportunity and sign this declaration, because together we can ensure students who work hard for a college degree do not graduate saddled with debt.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, March 14, 2015.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
March 7, 2015

Hi, everybody.  Earlier this week, I visited with students at Georgia Tech to talk about the importance of higher education in the new economy, and how we can make it more affordable.

In an economy increasingly built on innovation, the most important skill you can sell is your knowledge.  That’s why higher education is, more than ever, the surest ticket to the middle class.

But just when it’s never been more important, it’s also never been more expensive.  The average undergrad who borrows to pay for college ends up graduating with about $28,000 in student loan debt.

That’s why my Administration has worked hard to make college more affordable.  We expanded tax credits and Pell Grants, enacted the largest reform to student loan programs in history, and fought to keep interest rates on student loans low.  We’ve acted to let millions of graduates cap loan payments at 10 percent of their income, so they don’t have to choose between paying the rent and paying back their debt.  I’ve sent Congress my plan to bring the cost of community college down to zero – because two years of higher education should be as free and universal as high school is today.

But all of us – elected officials, universities, business leaders – everybody – needs to do more to bring down college costs. Which is why this week, I unveiled another way that we can help more Americans afford college.  It doesn’t involve any new spending or bureaucracy.  It’s a simple declaration of values – what I call a Student Aid Bill of Rights.  It says that every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education.  Every student should be able to access the resources to pay for college.  Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan.  And every borrower has the right to quality customer service, reliable information, and fair treatment, even if they struggle to repay their loans.

That’s it.  Just a few simple principles.  But if we all rally around these principles, there’s a lot that colleges, lenders, and the people you sent to Washington and to your state legislatures can do to realize them across the country.

So if you believe in a Student Aid Bill of Rights that will help more Americans pay for a quality education, I’m asking you to visit WhiteHouse.gov/CollegeOpportunity.  Sign your name to this declaration.  Tell your families, and your friends, and fellow students.  I’m going to ask Members of Congress, and lenders, and as many business leaders as I can find.  Because making sure that students aren’t saddled with debt before they even get started in life is in all our interests.

In America, a higher education cannot be a privilege reserved for only the few.  It has to be available to everybody who’s willing to work for it.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Attorney General Holder Responds to Arrest in Officer Shootings in Ferguson, Missouri

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Sunday regarding the arrest of Jeffrey Williams in the shooting of two law enforcement officers outside the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department on Thursday:

“This arrest sends a clear message that acts of violence against our law enforcement personnel will never be tolerated.  The swiftness of this action is a credit to the significant cooperation between federal authorities and the St. Louis County Police Department.  The ATF’s ballistic imaging technology has played a critical role in the ongoing investigation.  I commend both the ATF and St. Louis police for their tremendous work in identifying this suspect.

“In the days ahead, we will continue to partner with the authorities in St. Louis County to secure justice for all those affected by this heinous and cowardly crime.  And we will continue to stand vigilant in support of public safety officers and the communities they serve.”

Illinois State Board of Education Announces March 18 Board Meeting in Springfield

Posted by Admin On March - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education will convene for a regular business meeting on March 18 at the ISBE offices in Springfield.

All State Board of Education meetings listed on this agenda will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Board office no later than the date prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education, Phone: 217-782-2221; TTY/TDD: 217-782-1900; Fax: 217-785-3972.

Chairman Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting

March 18, 2015

Location:  Illinois State Board of Education, 100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will also be audio cast on the Internet at:  www.isbe.net

10:30 a.m.

I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A.    Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Public Participation

III.   P-20 Council Update

IV.    Presentations and Updates

A. Student Advisory Council Presentation

B. SIG Progress Update

C. National Lewis University New Teacher Preparation Model

D. Senate Bill 1 Model Results and Edunomics

Break for Lunch

V.    Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

A. *Approval of Minutes

1. Plenary Minutes: February 11, 2015

B. *Rules for Initial Review

1. Part 50 (Evaluation of Educator Licensed Staff under Articles 24A and 34 of the School Code) Updates references to the new testing system, per P.A. 98-972, effective August 15, 2014, and addresses the use of the climate survey results in principal evaluations.

2. Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education) Updates references to the new testing system and emphasizes the responsibility of charter schools to on form to State and federal requirements pertaining to English learners, as is required under P.S. 98-639, effective June 9, 2014.

3. Part 600 (Enrollment of and Payment for Nonresident Students at the Philip J. Rock Center and School) Authorizes the enrollment of students from out of state at the school portion of the Philip J. Rock Center and School, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements and the school has space available that is not needed for eligible students from Illinois.

C. *Rules for Adoption

1. Part 25 (Educator Licensure) Addresses changes necessitated by recently enacted legislation (P.A. 98-751, P.A. 98-872 and P.A. 98-917) Concerning requirements for the educator license with stipulations endorsed for career and technical educator, the superintendent’s endorsement and the principal endorsement, respectively. One public comment was received, supporting the rulemaking.

2. Part 33 (Programs for the Preparation of Superintendents in Illinois) Makes a technical correction in section33.70 to correct a reference to “principal” preparation program. No public comment was received.

3. Part 235 (Early Childhood Block Grant Program) Incorporates requirements specific to the ExceleRate Illinois quality rating and improvement system and proposes standards for programs serving children from birth to age 3. Three entities submitted public comment and changes are being proposed in response to the comments received.

4. Part 252 (Driver Education) Makes a technical change to update a web address in Section 252.20(e). No public comment was received.

D. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million

1. Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Center Grant Continuation

2. Request for Sealed Proposals for College Entrance Assessment

3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Grant Agreements

E. *Special Education Expenditure and Receipts Report

End of Consent Agenda

F. Review of Annual Financial Profile

G. Consideration of Approval of Dominican University Alternative Secondary English Language Arts Program

H. Consideration of Approval of Relay Graduate School of Education Programs

VI.    Discussion Items

A. District Oversight – Monthly Update (Superintendent Koch)

B. Legislative Update

C. Other Items for Discussion

VII.   Announcements & Reports

A. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements

B. Chairman’s Report

C. Member Reports

VIII. Information Items

1.  ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Reports (available online: http://isbe.net/board/fiscal_admin_rep.htm)

IX. Closed Session

X. Approval of Closed Session Minutes

XI. Adjourn

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