Why Low Performing Schools Need Digital Media

Why Low Performing Schools Need Digital Media
Craig Watkins, Huffington Post, January 9, 2011

When the social and digital media revolution gained momentum at the dawn of the new millennium, no one would have predicted that less than a decade later black and Latino youth would be just as engaged as their white, Asian, and more affluent counterparts. Across a number of measures — use of mobile phones and gaming devices, social network sites, and the mobile web — young blacks and Latinos are beginning to outpace their white counterparts. For years the dominant narrative related to race and technology in the U.S. pivoted around the question of access. Today, the most urgent questions pivot around participation and more specifically, the quality of digital media engagement among youth in diverse social and economic contexts.

Picture this: In the very near future the population in many of the major metropolitan areas in the U.S. will be significantly shaped by young Latinos and African Americans. A recent estimate from the 2010 U.S. Census data finds that U.S. Latinos make up nearly 25 percent of the U.S. population under age 20. Themedian ages for Latinos and African Americans is, respectively, 26 and 30. This is compared to a median age of 39 among non-Latino whites. Forty-five percent of children younger than five in the U.S. belong to non-white groups. The population that public schools educate in America will reflect these seismic demographic shifts.  (Read more)

The Politics of Kush and Orange Juice #TaylorGang

Wiz Khalifa generally likes to stay above the clouds. His critically acclaimed mixtape “Kush and Orange Juice” unabashedly describes his favorite recreational activity. In almost any of his music videos you can find Wiz laid back, with his eyes low sparking some green stuff. Whether he’s “waken and baken”, as he commonly tweets, or “in the cut rollin’ doobies up”, he never ceases to mention his affinity for living the green lifestyle. If rappers could be given government jobs, Khalifa would be the czar of green jobs. Although Wiz wasn’t on the frontlines of the debate surrounding proposition 19 (a ballot initiative that sought to legalize many marijuana related activities) that lost in California in November, his music clearly tells what side of the debate he was on.

Look What Sarah Palin Done Started

When celebrity moose killer Sarah Palin released her “bulls-eye” map putting democratic opponents in shotgun cross hairs many people felt her rhetoric had gone totally over the top (every one of course but the Tea Party and Fox News). It was clear to see that Palin, just like most Republicans, were not just recruiting but riling up “angry white people” who felt like they were “loosing their country” and wanted to “take it back”. We saw signs at Tea Party rallies in front of the White House that said, “We came unarmed this time” and a even a gun toting March on Washington.

A Double Standard in Case of Missing Black Teen?

A Double Standard in Case of Missing Black Teen?
Sheryl Huggins Salomon,  The Root, January 9, 2011

Would there be more media attention to Phylicia Simone Barnes’ disappearance if she were white? Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi suggests that this is the case. “I can’t see how this case is any different from Natalee Holloway,”Guglielmi said, according to ABC News. “Is it because she’s African American? Why?”

He also noted with regard to the media’s priorities, “Birds are falling out of the sky in Arkansas and two-headed calves, and this girl may lose her life.”

The 16-year-old North Carolina teen, who, acccording to reports, is a straight-A student, went missing on Dec. 28 during a visit with relatives in Baltimore. Baltimore Metro Crime Stoppers has offered a cash reward of up to $2,000 for her discovery. As of Sunday, Baltimore police were saying that they fear the worst, but if you think you know anything about her disappearance, call the tip line that have police set up for her at (855) 223-0033.  (Read more)

December 27, 2010 – January 2, 2011

Fewer babies having babies
Emily Bregel, Times Free Press, January 2, 2011

Urban Meyer gives final game ball to high school student Ian Lockwood
Jason Lieser, Palm Beach News, January 1, 2011

Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict
Ana Carbajosa, The Observer, January 2, 2011

A message t o the Somali youth in 2011
Staff Writer, Raxan Reeb, January 1, 2011

Curfew only one tool against teen violence
Izaskun E. Larrañeta, The Day News, January 1, 2011

Rally for safety in Palmetto
Paradise Afshar, Bradenton News, January 1, 2011

Congolese youth, be the vanguard of the peaceful revolution and salvation of your country!
Stff Writer, Bay View, January 1, 2011

Universities Are Challenged as Demographics Shift
Reeve Hamilton and Jon Marcus, New York Times, January 1, 2011

School reform math in Baltimore: Fewer suspensions equals better results
Jane Sundius and Shawn Dove, The Washington Post, December 31, 2010

Youth beaten for insulting foreigners
Linda Kabeni, Sowetan Live, December 29, 2010

My Word: Gang injunctions perpetuate racial bias of the system
Wilson Riles, Inside Bay Area, December 29, 2010

Obesity: A supersized problem
Angie Long, Desmopolis Times, December 29, 2010

The Power of Words
Michael Lashinsky, Maplewood Patch, December 28, 2010

Why Are Black Political Leaders Going To Bat for For-Profit Schools?
R. Asmerom, The Atlanta Post, December 27, 2010

The Limits of Learning
Staff Writer, The American Consevative, December 27, 2010

Today in Post-Race History: Nigger x 219

*Someone please cue my righteous indignation music*

It seems that we have officially reached the end of days.  Birds are falling out of the sky; dead fish are coming in with the tide.  News outlets are doing their best not to refer to Jared Loughner’s acts as ones of terrorism, and simply make efforts to describe him as a crazy person (because white people only do this kind of thing when they are mentally unstable, and we all know how violent mentally unstable people are.  Besides, it’s only terrorism if you shoot Americans in the name of Allah.).  And soon you will be able to read Huck Finn without ever having to set eyes upon the word, nigger.

Why is Will Smith busy being a stage dad when we need him most?

Unemployment falls to 9.4 percent, black teen joblessness still highest

Unemployment falls to 9.4 percent, black teen joblessness still highest
Associated Press (via The Grio) | January 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. That was because more Americans found jobs, but also because some people gave up on their job searches.

The Labor Department says employers added 103,000 jobs in December, an improvement from November but far below most analysts’ expectations.

Private employers added a net total of 113,000 jobs last month. Government shed 10,000.

The previous month’s African-American unemployment rose to 16 percent and has now dipped slightly to 15.8 percent, while black teen unemployment declined to 44.2 percent, but remains the highest of any group.

More people were hired in previous months than the government first estimated. The government’s revisions showed the economy added 210,000 jobs in October, above the previous figure of 172,000. November’s total was revised to 71,000, up from 39,000.  (Read more)

Has Kanye West lost his mind? The Video Monster


So, Kanye West has lost his mind with making the video Monster. Many feminist blogs have written on its images and meanings. Next week, I will add my voice to this rising chorus. However, this week I would like to know what you think about the video. I deliberated on if I wanted to show the video on the blog, but I think it needs to be seen.

Universities Are Challenged as Demographics Shift

Universities Are Challenged as Demographics Shift
Reeve Hamilton and Jon Marcus, Texas Tribune (via NY Times), January 1, 2010

In August, 60 years after the University of Texas admitted its first black student, the school welcomed the first freshman class in which white students were in the minority.

White students, who accounted for 51 percent of U.T.’s freshman class in 2009, made up 48 percent in 2010. Black and Hispanic students represented about 5 percent and 23 percent, respectively, with Asians and other races making up the rest.

The state’s flagship university passed the demographic milestone earlier than some had anticipated, reflecting a similar shift that is rapidly taking place at other top-level educational institutions across the country.

Although the changing demographics of college campuses may be grabbing the headlines, the more compelling issue is how the growing number of minority students presents serious social and academic challenges for financially strapped universities, even as the schools are under pressure to boost graduation rates.

Nationally, 52 percent of Hispanic students and 58 percent of black students are unable to earn a bachelor’s degree in six years, compared with 40 percent of white students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  (Read more)

Pennsylvania Parents Sue Lower Merion School District For Wrongly Classifying Children As Special Needs Students

Pennsylvania Parents Sue Lower Merion School District For Wrongly Classifying Children As Special Needs Students
Huffington Post | January 4, 2011

More than three years ago, parents and students in suburban Philadelphia filed suit against their school district for classifying black children as special education students improperly. Finally, a trial for Blunt et al v. Lower Merion School District has been set.

In July 2007, eight black families filed a class action lawsuit in federal court and claimed the district had failed to provide a proper education to their children.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer:

[The lawsuit was filed] on behalf of “all present and future African American students” in the district who, “because of defendants’ acts and omissions…are denied access to the general education curriculum; are placed in below-grade-level classes; receive a modified curriculum; and/or are sent to separate, segregated schools which provides them with an education inferior to that provided their Caucasian peers.”  (Read more)