Education

Ivory Toldson Taking the Lead in Educating Black Students | Harbari Gani, America!

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson declares himself the “myth buster” when it comes to researching the implications of racial biases on the education system serving Black students. He supports this claim by debunking well-worn biases and treading new ground that few within that system approach for solutions.

Black students are the most challenged population in America’s education system. They are examined through a kaleidoscope of negative stereotypes accumulated over 400 years and are fortunate to have a champion like Ivory Toldson, former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Howard University Professor changing the tides.

In his new position as President and CEO of the Quality Education for Minorities network, Toldson will have the opportunity to expand his research, providing educators across the nation with resources to strengthen minority education goals.

As a newly free agent, Toldson stretches his wings serving as the keynote speaker for the National Education Association Conference on Minorities and Women’s Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary. Toldson understands present research processes and practices are made toxic by societal and personal biases, but he offered jewels enabling educators and administrators to reached beyond these borders with his “10 myth busters” for your edification below. He says,

“…these are what I call the 10 biggest lies that I hear about young, black males. And the reason why it is important to understand that they are lies is because these are often used as the excuse for why certain people in our field aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do for our children.

Number 1 — There are more Black men in prison than in college.

  • In fact, right now there are more than 600,000 more black men in college than in prison.

Number 2 — 50% of Black boys dropout.

  • Most people believe that because of their interpretation of some very popular reports, including the Shot Foundation‘s report with a looked at graduation rates and not dropout rates. You have to understand the difference between graduation rates and dropout rates in order to interpret that report responsibly, but the true dropout rate among black males as characterized by the National Center For Educational Statistics is right around 12%. Now, that is nothing to clap about, but when we look at a room full of Black males and we think that one of them are going to drop out, that is not the type of perspective or mentality we want our teachers to go into the classroom with.

Number 3 — Black boys can’t read.

  • Now, most people are identified as non-readers because of our standardized tests. There are all kinds of reasons why a student who may be able to read functionally won’t do well on a standardized test, and if we don’t understand those reasons and just use these blanket indicators from the NAEP exam to say what percent are not proficient, and then interpret proficiency as their lack of an ability to do the things we need them to do in the school, then we are not going to exercise the best practices when we work with the students.

Number 4 — Black youth of today are more violent than any generation in history.

  • When in fact, crime among Black youth escalated in the 80’s, reached its peak by the mid-1990’s, has been going down since the late-1990’s, and this is generation of youth is the least violent of any generation of youth since before the 1960’s.

Number 5 — One in three Black boys will serve time in prison.

  • In fact, most of the reports that have claimed this have never looked at Blackmales as they exist right now. They use projections. The article that most people cite or the study that most people cite is by someone named Thomas P. Bonczar that did something called the “Double-Decrement Life Table” that looked at the year someone was born and then projected their odds of going to prison. He did this report over 10 years ago, and the only group of cohorts that had a one in three chance were those who were born a year before he wrote the report.
  • So, in other words, he was looking at 2-year-olds and saying they would have a one in three chance of going to prison based on what he thought would be an escalation in the crime rate, not a de-escalation, which is what we actually got.

Number 6 — Black boys are at a natural disadvantage because most are from single-parent households.

  • I have written two articles in this regard, but the summary of those articles is it doesn’t matter the composition of your household. It matters who your parents are. It matters the value they place on education, their engagement with the school, the socialization of their child to the academic environment,and it has nothing to do with who is in their bed.

Number 7 — Black students purposely underachieve because they associate being smart with acting white.

  • Now, there is a lot I can say about that, but I have written an article on it. You can see the evidence. That is not true. And in fact, among Black girls, most of the strongest surveys show that Black girls actually have the highest regard for education than any other group of students out there. And in fact, there is a lesser known function that has been constantly found in the literature, and that is called the “Attitude Achievement Paradox.” That is the fact that in most survey research Black students actually show a higher attitude about the abstract notion of education, but their achievement is not measuring up to that.

Number 8, Black males are avoiding the teaching profession.

  • Again, I have written an article about all of these. You will get the link soon. When you look at young, Black males who are college-educated, teaching is actually the number one profession. So you ask, why is it less than 2%? That is because we are only 5.5% of the population. Of that 5.5%, only 17% have at least a bachelor’s degree, and among those who go on to get their degrees in education — and this is a little-known fact, but it is in the report that I have written — Black males are more likely than any other race group to be promoted out of the classroom into administration.

Number 9 — Black men are underrepresented at institutions of higher education.

  • The nation has 12.7 million Black men who are 18 years and older, and we make up about 5.5% of the adult population, and 5% of those who are in college. Where we are underrepresented is the most competitive colleges. So, those colleges with selective admissions criteria have an underrepresentation of Black students. And those that have open admissions criteria, like community colleges, have an overrepresentation of Black students. And that is largely because a lot of the factors these students talked about earlier, especially a young lady who says she was advised to go to a community college when she clearly had the academic credentials to go to Michigan State.

Finally, Black men are a dying breed.

  • Now, one of the things we have to understand is that when we are in a nation that only refers — only uses the terms breeds, endangered, and species for black men and animals, then that is a problem. But in fact, black men have an increasing representation in the population. Our numbers are growing. White males, their numbers are decreasing. Now that doesn’t mean either one is in danger. But when all we are doing is using these types of terms to deal with humans, then we are dehumanizing them. “

~ Conference on Racial Justice and Education, Closing Plenary (Video)
More on Ivory Toldson Leaving White House Initiative on HBCUs Post – Higher Education

Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA) | May 30 – Oct 18, 2015

WILDERNESS INTO A GARDEN, DAEGU ART MUSEUM, SOUTH KOREA

30th May – 18th October 2015

In 2015 the Daegu Art Museum will present a solo show of Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist.

Approximately 80 of his pieces including sculptures, two-dimensional works, installations, and video works will be on display, showcasing his extensive range of art. The exhibition will be comprised of six sub-themes: money, play, empire, conflict, environment, and love.

 

Shonibare employs an adaption of individual elements upon which our common impressions of African people have been predicated in his own artistic idioms. His mannequins wearing traditional African costumes in bright, loud colors are a symbol, metaphor, and implication of the violent imperialism Western powers have committed in the past century toward the “black continent”. Hidden behind the mannequins’ humorous, hilarious actions is the artist’s criticism of the “monster of outrageous capitalism” dominating the spirits of people around the world. The Daegu Art Museum has paid special attention to his works since the topics he raises such as colonialism, post-colonialism, globalization, and cultural identity are inextricably bound up withKorea’s historical and cultural contexts… More

Yinka Shonibare, British/African Artist

via Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA) | Present.

The world does not aid Africa – Africa aids the world! – This Is Africa

Foreign developed nations often wax lyrical about their generous donations of aid to Africa. But a coalition of UK and African researchers has released research findings that illustrate how the continent actually loses over six times the amount it receives in aid.

via The world does not aid Africa – Africa aids the world! – This Is Africa.

Radio Stations Broadcast Lessons To Sierra Leone Kids Still Out Of School Due To Ebola

Radio Stations Broadcast Lessons To Sierra Leone Kids Still Out Of School Due To Ebola

Classrooms are empty in Sierra Leone, but education hasn’t ground to a halt.

School has yet to resume after last year’s summer break in the West African country due to the rapid spread of Ebola throughout 2014. According to AFP, more than 1 million school-aged kids in Sierra Leone — one of the hardest-hit nations of the epidemic — have been out of class for several months.

via Radio Stations Broadcast Lessons To Sierra Leone Kids Still Out Of School Due To Ebola.

What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola – The Washington Post

Nigeria‘s success with Ebola outbreak provides working model, contact tracing, to be implemented in the US. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, infectious disease expert confirms no new victims since August 31, 2014. Much of the success is credited to an alert and responsive community. What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola - The Washington Post

As concerns spread over U.S. hospital readiness, there are some lessons to be learned from Nigeria, where officials managed to get ahead of the fast-moving virus after it was brought into Africa’s most populous country by an Ebola-infected man who’d flown into Lagos. This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the outbreak could be coming to an end in Nigeria, with no new Ebola cases since Aug. 31.

via What Texas can learn from Nigeria when it comes to containing Ebola – The Washington Post.

Lions Go Global: Deepening Africa’s Ties to the United States

African Annual GDP, 2000-13

Africa is transforming from a continent in need of assistance to a continent of opportunity. Its economic growth is today second only to the East Asia region, which includes China,1 and Africa was home to 8 of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies between 2000 and 2013. Indeed, the continent’s GDP of more than $2 trillion in 2013 is now larger than India’s.

via Lions Go Global: Deepening Africa’s Ties to the United States.

Financial Juneteenth | 15-Year-Old Teen Launches Investment Firm, Writes Two Books |#OYRchallenge

Warren Cassell, Jr.

The 15-year-old budding entrepreneur first started his Island business at the tender age of eight. He supplied greeting cards to customers, the whole process of which, including the graphic designs, he did all by himself. The only help along the way for his business was a small capital outlay from his parents to get him started. He became successful and attained international customers.After his success in the greeting card company, young Warren turned his hand to making investments in hedge funds, private equity, and real estate, all by the time he had reached the age of 13. His company, the Abella Group, now has around 50 to 60 clients worldwide for whom he designs and maintains websites.

via Financial Juneteenth | 15-Year-Old Teen Launches Investment Firm, Writes Two Books.

Stepping Outside the Moral Matrix | On Being

Step outside of the Moral Matrix where everyone is wrong and you are right.

In his talk, Haidt breaks down human moral values into five basic elements, then shows how an individual’s placement on the liberal-conservative spectrum is determined by how much emphasis that person puts on each of these values. Once an individual settles into a particular place on that spectrum, that person becomes stuck in what Haidt describes as a “Moral Matrix” yes, he is alluding to the movie — we cease to be able to see a moral reality other than our own. The major thrust of Haidt’s talk seems to be that, even though it’s human nature to settle into a moral viewpoint, we can all benefit from “taking the red pill” and stepping out of our “Moral Matrix.”

via Stepping Outside the Moral Matrix | On Being.

Black History They Didn’t Teach You in School: Africans Invented Steel Over 2000 years ago | The Kaperville Daily News

Africa: home of carbon steel

Among the many inventions of Africa is carbon steel. Guess you thought it was the auto industry~

Did you know that around 1,500-2,000 years ago, Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria, in Tanzania, had produced carbon steel?

via Black History They Didn’t Teach You in School: Africans Invented Steel Over 2000 years ago | The Kaperville Daily News.