Epically Failing a Generation

1. The state of Connecticut sentenced Tonya McDowell to five years in jail in part for sending stealing a free education. McDowell, who was homeless at the time, used a babysitter’s address to enroll her son in a school that was not in the district where she had last lived permanently. McDowell wanted to send her child to a school she felt was better and thus made a false claim about where she lived. Although she had lived out of a van and used a homeless shelter in the city where the school was, the state of Connecticut decided that McDowell stole about $15,000 of “free” education.

2. Major cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago are in the process of closing schools that either “underperform” and/or have low populations. As might be expected, these school closings are happening in mostly black and brown neighborhoods. In many cases, these public schools are being replaced by charter schools which are run by private entities. Despite what Waiting for Superman and a Viola Davis character will tell you, charter schools are not far superior to their public counterparts. Unless we mean “help some rich folks get in on this trillion dollar education industry” when we say superior.

3. The jobs report for February indicated that the economy added 236,000 jobs, thus making the unemployment rate the lowest since December 2008. Yay. Hold up, though. Somehow black people got, like, none of those jobs. The black unemployment rate held steady at just over 13%. Not so yay.

BYP’s Aisha Truss-Miller and Chris Buford Discuss Gun Violence, Obama Visit on NPR

Black Youth Project reps Aisha Truss-Miller and Chris Buford sat down with NPR’s Michel Martin to discuss Chicago’s gun violence crisis, and President Obama’s forthcoming visit to the city.

Featured on Martin’s radio program Tell Me More, Aisha and Chris discussed their experiences as young people growing up in Chicago, the systemic challenges young people face, and what they’d like to hear from President Obama tomorrow.