27
April , 2017
Thursday

19th Arrest in Statewide Crackdown on Child Porn Traffickers                                             Chicago, IL ─ Attorney General Lisa Madigan ...
Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court Could Void 2016 Primary and General Elections Jerroll Sanders WASHINGTON, D.C. ...
Submit a public comment to the Internal Revenue Service: Scrap the proposed “Exception From Passive ...
Movie Poster New York, NY (BlackNews.com) -- African celebrity activist Suzanne Africa Engo has launched ...
It takes a strong person to allow their scars to tell their life story ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today commended Senate lawmakers for unanimously passing a bill ...
Five plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Subscribe to Steppenwolf's  landmark 40th season and see five not-to-miss ...
   Giannoulias campaign challenges Kirk to answer, 'yes or no, were you shot at?'   Chicago, IL  - ...
  (Brady responds to GDP)                                                                                                                                                     Chicago, IL - The U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that the ...
New Web Site, www.GovernmentShutdown.org, Has All The Answers Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -  A new web site ...

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Racial Discrimination at Strayer University

Posted by Admin On April - 25 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Strayer University leadership under fire for racial discrimination and abuse of power 
By Sandra Wyckoff
Bryan Jones, President of Strayer University

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – In separate complaints filed in Virginia and Tennessee, employees at Strayer University, one of the largest for-profit college systems in the US, have alleged systematic racial discrimination and sexual harassment by the institutions leadership. The suits further allege that Strayer President Bryan Jones attempted to use bribery and other coercive acts to cover up these activities.The complaints allege among other things that Mr. Dub Taylor, a prominent Professor of Business at Strayer, was offered promotions including the title of Vice President for the expressed purpose of firing another African American employee, Ms. Gina Reed.

He was later fired for refusing to dismiss Ms. Reed. Ms. Reed alleges in her complaint that she was discriminated against because she had filed a sexual harassment claim.

Mark Lazarz, attorney for Mr. Taylor and Ms. Reed, comments, “This may seem like an ordinary story of workplace dysfunction, but the sinister and cynical use of one African American to fire another African American demonstrates a new low in corporate malice. In a week where United Airlines has used jackbooted tactics to remove a passenger from a plane, we must remain vigilante in calling out bad actors and holding their feet to the fire.”

Strayers situation is particularly troubling because over 60% of their student body is African American.

When contacted for comment, Mr. Taylor stated, Over the past year, I trusted Brian Jones with my career and I thought that he would guide me to better my career in higher education. I would never have thought that he would gain my trust and then attempt to get me to do something unethical.

When asked if she was surprised by the actions of Strayer and its president, her response was incredulous, Surprised, shocked, but more than anything, I was disappointed. In specific reference to Mr. President Jones, Ms. Reed stated, I felt like this was the ultimate betrayal… It was a total shocker.

Attorney Mark Lazarz has expressed sincere frustration at the situation. He comments, I am continually surprised by the actions of corporate leadership. Mr. Jones was recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) by Speaker Paul Ryan. I am committed to seeing justice done in this case!”

 

Photo Caption: Bryan Jones, President of Strayer University

 

School Districts’ Annual Financial Profiles Reveal Consequences of Inadequate and Inequitable State Funding

Posted by Admin On April - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

  Many school districts incurred debt to cover normal operations

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) voted to approve the Annual Financial Profiles (AFP) for school districts statewide. ISBE created the 2017 AFP by analyzing school districts’ fiscal year 2016 Annual Financial Reports. View the 2017 Annual Financial Profiles at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/School-District-Financial-Profile.aspx.

Statewide in FY 2016, the increase in total operational revenues exceeded the increase in total operational expenditures, leading to a slight increase in school districts’ overall scores for financial strength. However, more than a fourth of all Illinois school districts issued short- or long-term debt to sustain normal operations. School districts pay interest on outstanding debt, which decreases the funds available for education services in the future. Many school districts also eliminated staff and programming to reduce operational costs.

“Illinois school districts’ financial health has improved over the last year, but at what cost to students?” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Illinois must overhaul our school funding model, which is the most inadequate and the most inequitable in the country. Every school district in the state is having to make hard choices to cover the day-to-day costs of keeping their schools’ doors open. Forcing school districts to rely primarily on taxing local property wealth to fund education inherently means the students who need the most will receive the least. We expect dedication, innovation, and improvement from our administrators, educators, and students; we owe them the resources necessary to meet those expectations.”

Statute requires the AFP analysis to count mandated categorical program (MCAT) funds as revenue, though school districts received their final FY 2016 quarterly MCAT payment six months late. School districts have not received any MCAT payments for the first three quarters of FY 2017.

The profiles provide school districts and their stakeholders with information on school districts’ financial integrity. School districts receive a score from 1.00 (lowest financial strength) to 4.00 (highest financial strength) and a corresponding designation (4.00 through 3.54: Financial Recognition; 3.53 through 3.08: Financial Review; 3.07 through 2.62: Financial Warning; and 2.61 through 1.00: Financial Watch).

ISBE developed the AFP in 2003 in consultation with experts in finance and lending, credit agencies, and school district business officials in order to promote sound financial management. The profiles examine five key indicators of financial integrity: fund balance to revenue ratio, expenditure to revenue ratio, days cash on hand, percentage of short-term borrowing ability remaining, and percentage of long-term borrowing ability remaining.

ISBE provides tools and guidance on financial management to all school districts seeking assistance and to school districts designated in Financial Watch.

Rep. Stratton Legislation to Severely Limit Pre-School Expulsions

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, passed legislation through the House to severely limit pre-school expulsions by childcare providers Thursday, pushing to end an extremely harmful practice that disproportionately hurts children of color.

 

“Preschool should be a time when we invest more resources than ever into a child’s growth and development,” Stratton said. “It should not be a time when providers expel young children due to perceived behavioral issues.”

 

Stratton introduced House Bill 2663, which limits early-childhood providers from expelling vulnerable students with perceived behavioral issues. Instead, providers would be encouraged to use community services available to them to work with the children and families to address behavioral issues that students might display. Research shows that Illinois preschoolers are expelled at a rate three times higher than their peers in elementary school and high school, with young boys of color having the highest rates of suspensions and expulsions. Moreover, an expulsion in the earliest years leads to higher expulsion and suspension rates in later grades.

 

“Our children have so much talent, but the preschool-to-prison pipeline makes it harder for our children to realize all of that talent,” Stratton continued. “Ending the practice of expelling preschoolers when other interventions are more appropriate will ensure all Illinois children have equal access to a quality childhood education.”

 

House Bill 2663 passed the House and currently awaits action in the Senate.

 

ASPIRA Charter School Educators Sign Contract With Management

Posted by Admin On April - 6 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New contract averts what would have been first strike of a charter school network in U.S history.

 

CHICAGO, IL – Educators at ASPIRA’s charter schools voted overwhelmingly late last week to approve a tentative agreement with management — and at 5PM on Monday, the union’s leadership signed the final contract with ASPIRA management, formally ending the possibility of what would have been the first strike in U.S. history of a charter school network. ASPIRA runs four publicly funded Chicago charter schools serving roughly 1,800 mostly Latino students. ASPIRA educators – all members of ACE, “A Council of Educators” within ChiACTS Local 4343, which represents educators at 32 charter schools in Chicago – negotiated with management for a new contract for ten months. In February, 99% of members who voted authorized a strike, but management settled with educators on March 9, a week before the strike date, agreeing to many of the teachers’ demands.

 

ACE educators voted almost 7 to 1 in support of the new contract. Several members on maternity leave did not vote, and the 103-member bargaining unit currently has roughly a dozen vacancies, bringing the vote total to 67 in favor, ten voting no and ten not voting.

 

“This new agreement will help stabilize staffing, open the door to long-term improvements in our schools, and guarantee working conditions that allow us to continue to provide our students with a truly exceptional educational experience,” said Marines Martinez, the acting president of ACE. “There is nothing we want more than to concentrate on our work in the classroom, helping our students grow intellectually and emotionally into the outstanding adults they all have the capacity to be. This agreement allows us to move beyond the challenges of the negotiating process and focus our energies exclusively on the needs of our students.”

 

ASPIRA educators argued that any agreement needed to cement working conditions that would support the sustainability of ASPIRA’s four schools and the students who rely on ACE members for a quality education. The bargaining team fought hard for terms that would address those concerns — and have welcomed the opportunity to move forward from what was often a difficult negotiating process.

 

“We work as a real team in our schools,” said ACE member Tito Rodriguez. “Our principals, teachers, mentors, counselors, advisors and support staff all share a profound commitment to our students, their parents and the larger community — and this agreement allows us to build on our shared solidarity and continue to provide the quality education our students both need and deserve.”

 

The agreement encompasses the last ten months that ACE educators bargained with management after their previous contract expired, and educators will be back at the bargaining table with management working on their next contract beginning this May.

 

“After parents, teachers know best what students need, and our sisters and brothers at ACE have used that knowledge and the collective bargaining process to make crucial improvements in their schools,” said Chris Baehrend, president of Chicago ACTS Local 4343, the parent union of the ACE council. “ACE has also held Aspira accountable for their use of our tax dollars, more of which will now be dedicated to resources in the classroom. This is an important victory for all ChiACTS members, as it demonstrates that when educators with a union voice take a principled stand for their students, they can make their schools more effective educational communities, better able to help students attain bright futures.”

Jay-Z and His Mom’s Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship Program Now Open for Students

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

April 30, 2017 is the deadline to apply 
Rapper Jay-Z and His Mom

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – The Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship provides financial support to high school students as well as undergraduate students entering college for the first time. The purpose of the scholarship is to help under-served students who may not be eligible for other scholarships.

Students who have either graduated from high school or earned their G.E.D. may apply. Minimum grade point average is 2.0. Students must have a strong desire to go to college and earn their degree. Students must also have a desire to give back to their communities.

The scholarship fund was established by Gloria Carter and and her son Shawn Carter (better known as rapper/ business mogul Jay-Z) to offer a unique opportunity to students who have been incarcerated or faced particular life challenges but still want to pursue higher education. The program gives them a chance that most other programs do not offer. The Carter Foundation is a firm believer in helping young people not only reach their career goals but also establish a secure future.

Students up to age 25 may apply. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room and board, books, fees and other college-related expenses. All high school seniors, undergraduate students at two-year or four-year institutions and vocational or trade school students are eligible.

All applications must be submitted by April 30, 2017. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted.

For more details and/or to apply for the Shawn Carter Foundation scholarship, visit:
www.JayZscholarship.com

To apply for hundreds of other 2017-2018 scholarships, visit:
www.ScholarshipsOnline.org

 

Rauner Administration Unable to Back Up Governor’s Claims with Concrete Plan for Funding Higher Education

Posted by Admin On March - 31 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Members of the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee questioned Gov. Bruce Rauner’s education secretary Thursday about comments made by the governor contradicting his record of slashing funding for colleges and universities. Education Secretary Elizabeth Purvis was unable to outline a concrete strategy for funding higher education, despite the governor’s claims.   

“For the past two years, Governor Rauner has slashed funding for our universities at unimaginable levels, only to follow up by saying he wants to expand higher education. Today we gave his administration a chance to prove that these promises weren’t all talk, but were met with nothing but excuses and obfuscation,” said state Rep. Kelly Burke, chairwoman of the committee. “We don’t need more off-the-cuff comments and unrealistic political promises. We need a real plan to invest in education and stem the outmigration of young people who leave Illinois for colleges in other states and never return. Unfortunately, the Rauner administration showed that it has no plan.”

Earlier this month, Rauner stated he planned to “put more resources into our state university system” and help “expand their footprint” around the state. Despite these claims, Rauner has slashed funding for colleges and universities by $2.3 billion throughout his time in office, nearly a 60 percent reduction in funding. Purvis offered committee members no new solutions to back up the governor’s promises.

“The Governor’s office has no plan for the future higher education in Illinois,” said state Rep. Christian Mitchell, a member of the Appropriations – Higher Education Committee. “The Governor’s office likes to give lip service to caring about college affordability, but the savage cuts that Mr. Rauner has made show his true colors: college is good enough for his kids, but not for yours.”

After Rauner Comments, Appropriations Committee Asks Administration to Outline Higher Education Plan

Posted by Admin On March - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee will ask Gov. Bruce Rauner’s top education advisor to explain comments made recently by the governor contradicting his record of slashing higher education funding at a hearing on Thursday, March 23, at 8 a.m. in committee room D-1 in the Stratton Building.

On March 8, Rauner stated he planned to put more state resources into the state university system and help “expand their footprint” around the state. Committee members have invited Dr. Beth Purvis, Rauner’s secretary of education, to detail Rauner’s plan, and how these comments are consistent with the significant reductions to higher education funding contained in the governor’s budgets.

WHO:

House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee

 

Beth Purvis, Illinois Secretary of Education

 

WHAT:

Hearing on Rauner plan for higher education

 

WHEN:

Thursday, March 23

 

8 a.m.

 

WHERE:

Stratton Building – committee room D-1

 

401 S Spring St.

 

Springfield, Ill.

Fairfield University and Aldrich Museum Announce Summer Institute Partnership

Posted by Admin On March - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Text and Context: Teaching and Learning Through Contemporary Art and the Written Word
A professional development program for K-12 educators and creative professionals.           

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Fairfield University are pleased to announce the beginning of a partnership with the creation of the inaugural Summer Institute — Text and Context: Teaching and Learning through Contemporary Art and the Written Word. Summer Institute is a professional development opportunity for K-12 educators and creative professionals, presented by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Fairfield University that will take place at The Aldrich, June 27 to 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. The cost for Summer Institute is $400, which includes all workshop supplies.

With contemporary art as core content, participants will discover innovative strategies for integrating the arts across disciplines in this four-day institute led by Aldrich and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum teaching artist, Jeff Hopkins, MEd, and Fairfield University faculty in the English Department, Professors Sonya Huber and Carol Ann Davis, and Fine Arts Department, Professor Jo Yarrington. Participants will investigate the text-based exhibitions on view at The Aldrich and session leaders will draw from the ideas posed by the exhibiting artists, while exploring the work in the galleries and leading activities and conversations that question the roles of introspective observer and critical commentator regarding both society and self. The program will draw connections between creativity and learning, and strengthen visual literacy skills and inquiry-based teaching methods. Participants will also have the opportunity to recharge their imaginations through a range of participatory art-making and writing activities.

Each day, participants will engage in an on-going mixed-media project with Jeff Hopkins, laying the foundation for arts integration. This exercise will be complemented by exhibition-inspired sessions led by Fairfield University faculty who specialize in cross-cultural and social justice studies, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Additionally, participants will engage with regional experts in the arts who will showcase best practices in museum teaching pedagogy. Throughout this innovative program, there will be the opportunity to connect with colleagues across grade levels and disciplines.

“The Aldrich is thrilled to establish an educational partnership with Fairfield University. This collaboration is an expression of our shared commitment to highly effective, multi-faceted teaching and learning. We are particularly excited to engage with the University’s English and Art Department faculty, who share a like-minded interest in developing innovative strategies for cross-disciplinary thinking,” says Alyson Baker, executive director, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

“Fairfield University is excited to enter into an educational partnership with the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield,” said Christine Siegel, interim provost. “Our first joint-venture draws on strengths in innovative teaching and learning that characterize both of our institutions, and we look forward to the many programming opportunities that our collaboration with such a forward-thinking and creative institution as the Aldrich, will provide.”

For more information and to register, visit: http://bit.ly/2mCQweY

Vol. # 49, No. 138

Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools.  In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.

 

 

18,000 Books For At-Risk Youth

Posted by Admin On March - 15 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Local Youth Rugby raises 18,155 Books for Bernie’s Book Bank

    Rugby Illinois challenged youth athletes to make a difference in their local community and give back to those in need. Local rugby clubs across the Chicagoland area and state will came together, collecting books to be donated to Bernie’s Book Bank. Battle of the Books, ran for two weeks, with team’s rucking it out over who can collect the most children’s books.

Bernie’s Book Bank collects, processes and distributes quality new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland. The goal of this program is to raise more than a thousand books to help increase literacy and grow the love for reading. Rugby Illinois teams that will be competing to earn a new set of jerseys for their rugby clubs.

Clubs who participated include:

CLUB                                   BOOKS       DONATIONS            TOTAL BOOKS

Chicago Blaze Academy            884            $1,760.00                4404

Taft High School Rugby             3532                  –                    3532

Chicago Northwest Narwhals      2616         $330.00                  3276

Lake Forest Harriers Rugby        2768                –                      2768

Naperville Chiefs                      1865                 –                     1865

New Trier Rugby Club, Winnetka 1410                –                    1410

Arlington Stallions                       900                 –                    900

Totals                                     13975         $2,090.00              18155

The partnership between Rugby Illinois and Bernie’s Book Bank on this event is teaching young men and women to give back through sport as well as social and civic responsibility.

About Rugby Illinois:

Established in 2007, Rugby Illinois is the governing body for Rugby Union in the state of Illinois at the high school and younger level under the national jurisdiction of USA Rugby and the global jurisdiction of World Rugby.

Rugby Illinois is organized exclusively for fostering national and international amateur rugby competition, combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency and contributing to the health of the youth of Illinois through sponsoring and conducting programs dedicated to the promotion of physical activity and fitness purposes.

Rugby Illinois is an official 501(3)3 organization. Rugby Illinois is proud to oversee the growth of youth rugby in Illinois on behalf of USA Rugby.

Enlightened, Inc. Delivers $200,000 Gift to Howard University’s School of Business for the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Education & Research

Posted by Admin On March - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Groundbreaking Center of Excellence will address the employability and competitiveness of the next wave of Cybersecurity 
professionals in the region

Dr. Barron Harvey, dean, Howard University School of Business; Antwanye Ford, president/CEO, Enlightened; Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, president, Howard University; and Andre Rogers, executive vice president/CFO, Enlightened, celebrate the $200,000 gift from Enlightened Inc., initiating the CECER partnership.

 

Washington, DC  -Enlightened, Inc. has partnered with the Howard University School of Business to create the region’s premier Center of Excellence for workforce development, professional training and research in Cybersecurity. The Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Education and Research Center (CECER) will be housed at Howard University. Enlightened has gifted $200,000 to the university, signifying the new partnership.

 

With continued cyber attacks across many government and business sectors, the industry is projected to see the demand for highly trained cyber security professionals and executives increase exponentially in the Greater Washington area and nationally.

 

“The CECER will address growing challenges Cybersecurity companies face recruiting and hiring qualified professionals. As a native Washingtonian and longtime supporter of Howard University addressing diversity and workforce development issues is long overdue in such a lucrative industry. Being able to not only change the trajectory of current professionals in the region but also local residents is an endeavor that we at Enlightened are proud to lead”, said Antwanye Ford, President and CEO of Enlightened.

“We need our students to see people like themselves and have mentors to guide them to get where they need to go,” said President Wayne A.I. Frederick in a release distributed by Howard’s Office of University Communications. “Two of our concerns are data recovery and data security. I can ensure you that the best students are here at Howard University.”

 

The CECER will provide dynamic resources to the business community, higher education partners and local residents as they advance their knowledge, understanding and competitiveness in the Cybersecurity Industry.

 

Ron Busby, president/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers Inc.;  Dr. Barron Harvey, dean, Howard School of Business; Antwanye Ford, president/CEO, Enlightened. 

“The Howard University School of Business thanks Enlightened, Inc. for their generous donation to the CECER. Their support for this center provides unique and innovative programming for our students as they enhance their skill sets, competencies, and broaden their interest in the Information Systems and Cybersecurity industry. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship through the Howard University CECER”, said Dr. Barron Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.

 

Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U. S. Black Chambers Inc., echoed the sentiments:

“When it comes to the opportunity gap in the tech industry, the obvious problem is the lack of tech training and education needed to compete for contracts and business ownership in the tech industry,” Busby said. “Antwanye Ford’s program is a stellar example of how Black leaders can begin to narrow the opportunity gap in the tech industry.”

 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The historic main campus sits on a hilltop in Northwest Washington blocks from the storied U Street and Howard Theatre. The University remains committed to further enhancing its strategic positioning as one of the top research universities in the nation.

 

About Enlightened

Enlightened, Inc. (“Enlightened”) is an award-winning, HUB Zone certified, Information Technology (IT) and Management Consulting firm dedicated to helping our clients achieve success in meeting their objectives and solving their problems. Enlightened provides the highest level of service to our clients because we are thinking about their problems even when they are not.

 

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