New report details racial gap among US children

April 4th, 2014

(AP) – In every region of America, white and Asian children are far better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children, according to a new report appealing for urgent action to bridge this racial gap.

Titled "Race for Results," the report is being released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which for decades has worked to improve child well-being in the United States.

The foundation also produces annual "Kids Count" reports, with reams of state-specific data, but these generally have not focused on race. The new report tackles the topic head-on, with charts and ratings that convey dramatic racial discrepancies.

At the core of the report is a newly devised index based on 12 indicators measuring a child's success from birth to adulthood. The indicators include reading and math proficiency, high school graduation data, teen birthrates, employment prospects, family income and education levels, and neighborhood poverty levels.

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New report details racial gap among US children

ABC News Diversifies Its Decision-Makers

April 2nd, 2014

(The Root) ABC News, responding to the need to diversify its executive ranks, has completed the first year of a fellowship program in which three journalists of color learned producer skills. Three more are in the program for its second year, and it is preparing for a third, according to a spokeswoman for the program.

The network is satisfied that the on-air ranks are diverse but believes that the executive ranks need work, Sarah J. Hodd, a producer in the network's talent and development operation, told Journal-isms on Wednesday. "Ultimately, these are the people who are green-lighting," Hodd said. "We definitely aim to expand it. We can only see bright things for the future."

Jim Avila, senior national correspondent at ABC News and White House correspondent for Fusion, the ABC/Univision joint venture, noted the network's progress in a forum Monday night at International House in New York, "What's Not Being Covered by the Media . . . and Why?"

Full story…

ABC News Diversifies Its Decision-Makers

We need more Asian American kids growing up to be artists, not doctors

March 30th, 2014

(Guardian) Americans often measure success by the three M’s: money, Motorola, and Mercedes. Most Chinese immigrant parents, on the other hand, define success as getting straight A’s, graduating from an elite university, pursuing an advanced degree and becoming a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist or engineer.

Could this be why the children of Chinese immigrants are, on average, better educated and wealthier – with higher paying jobs – than the general US population?

Amy Chua (of Tiger Mother fame) and her husband and co-author, Jed Rubenfeld, seem to think so. In their new book, The Triple Packagethey compare differences in educational qualifications, median household income and occupational status to support their claim that certain American groups – including those of Chinese, Jewish, Cuban and Nigerian descent – are more successful than others because they share certain cultural traits: a superiority complex; inferiority; impulse control.

But just because these groups have achieved “success” doesn’t mean that these traits are responsible for it, nor that the high-paying, professional job is even what Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans aspire to achieve.

In our new study of Chinese, Vietnamese and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, sociologist Min Zhou and I found that Chinese immigrants are not only more educated than the average American – they’re also more highly educated than those they left behind. As highly educated immigrants, Chinese parents define success narrowly; more importantly, they invest their resources in achieving it.

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We need more Asian American kids growing up to be artists, not doctors

Black preschoolers more likely to face suspension

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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Black preschoolers more likely to face suspension

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

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.

Full story…

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

The Color of Money: Inclusive Casting Proves Profitable

March 17th, 2014

(Huffington Post) Remember college? All those late nights you whiled away debating topics ranging from geopolitics to burrito fillings? If you were lucky, you were that guy or gal who effortlessly won any and every verbal joust, not the one who suffered routine pummeling — even when you were an expert on the topic de jour.

I was the tongue-tied, babbling latter. Thankfully, pointless argument earns no social currency beyond dorm rooms (cable news being the one jejune exception), but I do relish those rare occasions I am proven right.

About eight years ago I was scheduled to record a commentary for the public radio show Marketplace. I was bumped due to breaking news — a disappointing yet common occurrence in news programming — and it never found it's way on air.

Full story…

The Color of Money: Inclusive Casting Proves Profitable

Uninsured rate drops due to health care law, but signups lag among Hispanics

March 15th, 2014

(PBS) The share of Americans without health insurance is dropping to the lowest levels since President Barack Obama took office, but sign-ups under his health care law lag among Hispanics — a big pool of potential beneficiaries.

With just three weeks left to enroll on the new insurance exchanges, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, finds that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months — or calendar quarter— of 2013.

Released Monday, the survey based on more than 28,000 interviews is a major independent effort to track the health care rollout. The drop of 1.2 percentage points in the uninsured rate translates to about 3 million people gaining coverage.

Gallup said the proportion of Americans who are uninsured is on track to drop to the lowest quarterly level it measured since 2008, before Obama took office.

“It’s probably a reasonable hypothesis that the Affordable Care Act is having something to do with this drop,” said Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor-in-chief. “We saw a continuation of the trend we saw last month; it didn’t bounce back up.”

The survey found that almost every major demographic group made progress getting health insurance, although Hispanics lagged.

Full story…

Uninsured rate drops due to health care law, but signups lag among Hispanics

Minn. legislator eventually apologizes for ill-considered, uninformed, racially dubious tweet about NBA, ‘streetcrime’

March 13th, 2014

(Yahoo Sports) Pat Garofalo represents District 58B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He's a 42-year-old fifth-term Republican first elected in 2004, and unless you were a Twin Cities resident with business before with the state House's committees on energy policy, state and local taxes or living wage jobs, you probably wouldn't have much reason to have any idea who Rep. Garofalo is.

(Unless, of course, you remember hearing about some dude who was mad that you might not be allowed to buy guns at the stadium on an upcoming Minnesota Vikings game day.)

On Sunday afternoon, he introduced himself to the world with a staggering bit of nonsense:

Maybe you read that missive and connected the "possible exception of increase in streetcrime" with the premise that NBA players on those folded teams would be out of work and, y'know, let loose to prey on humanity. Maybe you thought Garofalo was claiming "streetcrime" would increase because the folks who make up the NBA's fan base would no longer have their attention diverted by their favorite teams. (Nevermind that the NBA's fan base remains largely white … albeit not nearly as white as Garofalo's district.)

Full story…

Minn. legislator eventually apologizes for ill-considered, uninformed, racially dubious tweet about NBA, ‘streetcrime’

Senate blocks Obama’s pick for civil rights post

March 10th, 2014

(AP) – President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division was blocked by bipartisan Senate opposition Wednesday in an emotional postscript to the long-ago murder of a Philadelphia policeman and the legal help his killer received.

The vote against advancing Debo Adegbile toward confirmation was 47-52, shy of the majority needed under new procedures Democrats put in place late last year to overcome Republican stalling tactics.

In this case, though, to the dismay of civil rights organizations and the White House, Democratic desertions played a decisive role in the outcome. Eight members of Obama's party joined all 44 Republicans in preventing a final vote.

Obama swiftly condemned the action. In a statement, he called it a "travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant."

Full story…

Senate blocks Obama’s pick for civil rights post

Clarence Thomas: Americans Are More ‘Sensitive’ About Race Now Than In The 1960s

March 8th, 2014

(Huffington Post) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Americans are too sensitive about race, claiming the nation is more "difference-conscious" now than in the 1960s.

“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up,” Thomas said during a Tuesday appearance in Florida, according to Yahoo. “Now, name a day it doesn’t come up."

Thomas said "everybody is sensitive" about sex and race, or if "somebody doesn't look at you right, somebody says something."

"If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah," Thomas said. "Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out."

Full story…

Clarence Thomas: Americans Are More ‘Sensitive’ About Race Now Than In The 1960s
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