Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Black preschoolers more likely to face suspension

Friday, March 28th, 2014

(AP) – Black students are more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools – even as tiny preschoolers.

The racial disparities in American education, from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline, were highlighted in a report released Friday by the Education Department's civil rights arm.

The suspensions – and disparities – begin at the earliest grades.

Black children represent about 18 percent of children in preschool programs in schools, but they make up almost half of the preschoolers suspended more than once, the report said. Six percent of the nation's districts with preschools reported suspending at least one preschool child.

Advocates long have said get-tough suspension and arrest policies in schools have contributed to a "school-to-prison" pipeline that snags minority students, but much of the emphasis has been on middle school and high school policies. This was the first time the department reported data on preschool discipline.

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Chinese-Americans wooed by the GOP over anti-affirmative action in public universities

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

(San Jose Mercury News) Chinese-Americans were exhorted Sunday to redouble their opposition to the proposed California constitutional amendment that would reinstate affirmative action in public universities.

If passed by the Legislature and then by state voters, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 would jeopardize their children's chances of being admitted to state universities, opponents told more than 150 people gathered at a "Stop SCA 5" forum at the Cupertino Community Center.

"It would be a serious mistake to let the Latino caucus secure the vote of all Democrats," said Ward Connerly, author of Proposition 209, which SCA 5 would overturn. Connerly's proposition outlawed consideration of race in University of California and California State University admissions. He called SCA 5 "a violation of all democratic principles."

Frank Lee, of the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, said, "No student should be favored or degraded because of race." He vowed that the institute would sue if the initiative passed.

Proponents have said that SCA 5 would simply allow admissions officers to consider applicants' race.

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Hispanics often lead the way in their faith in the American Dream, poll finds

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

(Washington Post) After five days painting hotel rooms in Ohio and an all-night bus ride, Jorge Garcia reached his Falls Church home at 4 one recent morning. His wife, Sara, was waiting up with hot Bolivian-style soup in the small house he had remodeled with friends.

In the living room, a silver-framed photograph on a cabinet showed their daughter Vanessa clutching her diploma from George Washington University in 2008, the first person in the Garcias’ extended family to graduate from college. The second came soon after, when their younger daughter, Paola, finished at James Madison University.

After years of sacrifice and struggle in a new world, the Garcias had achieved their highest goal.

“It was hard,” said Jorge, 51, bleary-eyed as he sipped tea the day after returning from Ohio. He reflected on his earlier travails — stumbling over English, suffering ethnic slurs in silence. “Everything I have endured,” he said, “was all so my girls could succeed in America.”

In their determination to succeed and faith that education and work would lift their families from humble circumstances, the Garcias reflect the attitudes of many Hispanics in the United States.

A recent national survey by The Washington Post and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center points to some surprising findings. In many cases, Hispanic residents’ faith in the American Dream exceeds that of whites and African Americans — an optimism that contrasts sharply with the current economic status of Hispanics.

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Obama wants to stop ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ for minorities

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) President Obama plans to launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the "school-to-prison pipeline."

The initiative, which Obama calls "My Brother's Keeper," is to be unveiled Thursday, the official said. It will mark the latest in a series of efforts by the president to spur social change outside the stalemated legislative process.

The move also represents an escalation of Obama's efforts to directly target the problems faced by young men of color.

During the last five years, Obama has met privately with groups of minority teenagers and young men in their communities and at the White House. But in his State of the Union speech, Obama pledged to go further, saying he would bring more of his resources as president to bear on the social problems that get in the way of success for minority youth.

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The truth about the Tiger Mother’s family

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

(Guardian) Amy Chua has been accused of many things – a cruel approach to parenting, gratuitous use of cultural stereotypes, a talent for sensationalism – but cowardice isn't one of them. She provoked uproar with her 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, charting her unbending rules for raising her daughters, and spent two years dealing with the fallout, including death threats, racial slurs and pitchfork-waving calls for her arrest on child-abuse charges.

She might, therefore, have been expected to take an easier road with her follow-up. Instead, she and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, have written The Triple Package, which is devoted to one of the most inflammatory subjects imaginable – why some cultural groups soar ahead in the US (while others, by implication, fail). The book charts how three specific qualities, which they argue are essential to success, are passed down through the generations, often through the family.

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Clinton aids push for more reading in Latino families

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

(SFgate) Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined forces Tuesday for a cause dear to both, initiating a public service campaign encouraging Hispanic families to read, sing and talk more to their young children so they're better prepared for school.

About a quarter of all babies and toddlers in the U.S. are Hispanic, but these kids are half as likely to have family members read to them and a third less likely to have songs sung to them than white, non-Latino children, according to a recent report by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

The effort is part of the "Too Small to Fail" campaign started last year by the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, a San Francisco nonprofit. A partner in the effort is Univision Communications Inc., a New York-based Spanish language media company that will run a series of public service announcements and news programs with segments on the topic.

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Giant ad with white woman welcomes Howard University students

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

(USA Today) A Giant store ad featuring a white model to target Howard University's predominantly black student body is raising eyebrows.

Nearly 87% of Howard's undergraduate and graduate students are black, according to the university. White students make up less than 3% of the student population.

The ad appeared in Giant's circular specific to the new store near Howard's campus. Tweets criticizing the ad started appearing Saturday.

 

In a statement e-mailed to USA TODAY Network, Giant said, "Unfortunately, an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad, and we apologize for this oversight. We wish all Howard University students a successful semester."

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San Jose State faculty condemn alleged hate crime, criticize administration

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

(San Jose Mercury News) San Jose State faculty leaders formally apologized this week to a black student allegedly bullied for weeks by his white roommates, saying the reported abuse should have been stopped sooner.

" … This despicable behavior may have been significantly reduced had it been addressed promptly," says a resolution passed by SJSU's Academic Senate.

The senate executive committee also begged the administration to renew its focus on diversity and to follow through on earlier suggestions for change.

Last month, four white SJSU freshmen were charged with misdemeanor crimes, accused of tormenting their black roommate for weeks. The four students — who reportedly told police that the abuse was just a prank — have been suspended while their criminal and campus discipline cases proceed.

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Three white college students file racial discrimination complaint against professor over lesson on structural racism

Friday, December 6th, 2013

(Salon.com) A black female professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College was formally reprimanded by school officials after three of her white male students were upset by a lesson she taught on structural racism.

Shannon Gibney says that the students reacted in a hostile manner to the lesson in her Introduction to Mass Communication class, with one of them asking her, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?”

“His whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America,” she explained in an interview with City College News.

Gibney says that, after this initial comment, another white male student said, “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?” These students continued to argue and disrupt the lesson until Gibney told them that if they were troubled by her handling of the subject, they could file an official complaint with the school’s legal affairs department.

Full story…

Children of “tiger parents” develop more aggression and depression, research shows

Friday, June 28th, 2013

(CBS News) In 2011, Amy Chua sparked a nationwide debate when she championed her tough-love parenting style in the book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Critics said the iron-fist child-rearing approach of the Chinese-American mom was too intense, stigmatizing or even damaging to the child.

New research and a just-published memoir suggest the critics may be right.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, followed more than 250 Chinese-American immigrant families with first- to second-grade children in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two years.

"We found that children whose parents use more authoritarian-type parenting strategies tend to develop more aggression, depression, anxiety, and social problems and have poorer social skills," said Qing Zhou, an assistant professor of psychology who led the research.

Zhou, who heads the university's Culture and Family Laboratory, said the findings were based on interviews, parent-child interaction activities, and cognitive and academic assessments of the child. Her team measured how frequently parents use authoritarian-type of disciplinary strategies – like verbally criticizing the child and demanding the child do things without explanation.

Full story…

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