Sunday, May 15, 2016

"NAACP-organized panel debates state of education for blacks in Racine"

From The Journal


"RACINE — With local black students continuing to fall behind their white peers at Racine Unified in terms of graduation rates and test scores, a panel of seven community leaders found little consensus on the cause of the gaps or how to close them.

"In a discussion Saturday afternoon organized by the Racine Branch of the NAACP, leaders of the district and local government defended recent initiatives, such as the Academies of Racine, that they say are helping to cut into these achievement gaps.

"However, community and union leaders said some of those initiatives are either off target, too hasty or not enough.

"'This sounds good, but it doesn’t complete the picture — it’s a whitewash,' said The Rev. Ernest Ni’A, pastor of Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church. 'If you can tell me that our children will have an equal opportunity of completing the program, then receiving the employment they deserve, then I’m ready to talk, but right now that does not exist.'

"The panel marked the end of the Racine NAACP’s two-day 'State of Education: Impact on African-Americans' at Gateway Technical College’s Racine campus, 1001 S. Main St.

"The event began Friday with speakers and a panel addressing local black youths, while Saturday morning focused the various education options for parents in Racine.

"Speaking before a crowd of about 50 people, the event’s final panel Saturday afternoon included Ni’A, Racine Police Chief Art Howell, Racine Unified Deputy Superintendent Eric Gallien, Racine Unified School Board President Mike Frontier, Racine Education Association President Aaron Eick, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and Mattie Booker, a former Unified teacher and former NAACP Education Committee chairwoman.

"Over the course of a discussion which lasted more than 90 minutes, the panel addressed a number of topics ranging from:
  • Efforts by the district and county to expand full-day 4-year-old kindergarten programs as a way to close the achievement gap before it begins.
  • Deprioritizing testing — which Eick described as “what institutional racism looks like in urban education” — and instead focusing on making the district more nurturing.
  • Hiring more minority teachers that minority students can look up to address the achievement gap.
  • Helping more black students access advanced placement courses.

"Police in schools"

"In a discussion about the high rate that blacks are suspended in Unified school — 21 percent of blacks compared to 4 percent of whites in 2015, according to state data — Howell addressed a plan between the district and the Racine Police Department to bring the community-oriented policing model into schools through school resource officers.

"Howell acknowledged that many in the black community are suspicious about officers in schools, but he noted that the officers will be trained to deal with youth, will build relationships with students and take a more 'surgical' approach to discipline.

"Eick expressed concern that officers in school would make it difficult for students to make mistakes without severe consequences.

"Ni’A, however, lauded the idea of having officers in schools who are trained to work with youth, understand the culture of the students and get to know individual students."

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I wonder if they discussed the disintegration of the black nuclear family?  You can jump up and down and announce all sorts of "initiatives," but it doesn't mean squat if a kid has to return to hell whenever he/she goes home.  With little or no support from their families, these children are doomed.

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