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St. Luke Community UMC Mobilizes To Take Buses To Protest Rally In Jena, Louisiana

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

 

St. Luke Community United

Methodist Church

 

 

 

 

Media Advisory

 

 

 

 

for immediate release – September 7, 2007

 

 

 

Media Contact: Vickie Washington

Email: vw4854@yahoo.com

Phone: 214.669.2708 Fax: 214-821-3791

 

 

 

 

WHAT: Journey [ 2 [ Jena St. Luke mobilizes to take Buses to Protest Rally in Jena, Louisiana

WHO: St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church

WHEN: Thursday, Sep 20, 2007, 12:01 a.m.

WHERE: St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church

5710 East RL Thornton Frwy.–(I-30 East)

Dallas, TX 75223

 

 

 

 

Call this # to book passage on the bus 214-821-2970

COST: Bus is $35.00 per person, round trip

 

 

 

 

EVENT: St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church has mobilized to Journey 2 Jena. Two buses have been chartered to take over 100 people to the Protest Rally in Jena, Louisiana, where thousands are anticipated to convene to demand Justice and Freedom for the Jena 6. Persons interested in securing a seat on the bus, should call the church office at 214.821.2970. Please go to Journey 2 Jena Yahoo Group for updates regarding seat availability.

 

 

 

 

Prior to the trip, on Wednesday evening, September 19th at 6pm,

there will be a Citywide Prayer Meeting and Rally. The offering

collected will be donated to the Jena 6 Defense Fund.

.

PHOTO

OPPS: All events open to media photographers.

 

 

A church reaching up to GOD and out into the Community.

Jesus saves and liberates us for discipleship in the community.

 
Houston Millions More Movement
jena >

Posted in African American, Black, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Jena 6, Jena Six, Legal, NAACP, Race, Racism, St. Luke Community UMC | Leave a Comment »

National Attention on Jena Six

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The racially charged case of six black teenagers charged with attacking a white student in the small town of Jena, La., has stirred nationwide attention, with civil rights leaders planning to attend protests next week and well-known lawyers taking an interest in the case.

After a jailhouse meeting with Mychal Bell, one of the defendants in the case, The Rev. Jesse Jackson told ABC News Monday that charges against the six boys — dubbed the “Jena Six” — should be dropped or reduced to misdemeanors.

“We want the Jena Six freed and sent to school and not to jail,” he said, urging white and black residents of the mostly white town to peacefully work out their differences. “They should forgive, reconcile, redeem and move on. Instead you have these mounting tensions.”

More

Posted in African American, Al Sharpton, Black, Civil Rights, Congressional Black Caucus, Criminal Justice, Jena Six, Jesse Jackson, Legal, NAACP, Race, Racism, Southern Poverty Law Center | Leave a Comment »

NAACP Landmark Discriminatory Lending Lawsuit

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, August 23, 2007

The NAACP filed suit in Los Angeles federal court against 14 of the country’s largest lenders, alleging systematic, institutionalized racism in sub-prime home mortgage lending. This is the first known lawsuit that challenges such lending practices on a broad scale. The suit was announced at the NAACP’s 98th annual convention, themed “Power Beyond Measure,” in Detroit through July 12.

According to the lawsuit, African American homeowners who received sub-prime mortgage loans from these lenders were more than 30 percent more likely to be issued a higher rate loan than Caucasian borrowers with the same qualifications.

“We are asking our members and all African American borrowers who bought or refinanced a home in the last five years to come forward and tell us their stories or at least re-examine their mortgages,” said NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond. “They can help us correct these egregious, demoralizing practices that too often turn the so-called American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”

Other studies cited in the lawsuit demonstrate that disparities are pervasive. In fact, upper income African Americans are more than twice as likely to receive higher cost loans as their lower income white counterparts. Just this morning, USA Today reported that the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s most recent study underscores this point, finding that discrimination against minorities persists in mortgage lending. The Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FDIC have all made similar observations.

“Lenders named in the suit, on average, made high cost sub-prime loans to higher qualified African Americans 54 percent of the time, compared to 23 percent of the time for Caucasians,” said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes.

Mortgage lenders named in the lawsuit include: Ameriquest, Fremont Investment & Loan, Option One, WMC Mortgage, Long Beach Mortgage, Citigroup, BNC Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders, Encore Credit, Bear Sterns First Franklin Financial, HSBC Finance and Washington Mutual.

“The NAACP is bringing this suit as part of its longstanding demand that offending lenders stop discriminatory practices and bring their activities into compliance with federal law including the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Civil Rights Act,” said NAACP Interim General Counsel Angela Ciccolo.

Even when creditworthiness and other risk characteristics are accounted for, African Americans are still significantly more likely to get higher rate loans. According to the lawsuit, these statistical disparities are not mere coincidences, but instead are a result of systematic and predatory targeting of African-Americans borrowers.

“My credit record warrants a better interest rate,” said Amara Weaver of the Waukesha County NAACP in Wisconsin, whose mortgage was shifted to a sub-prime lender immediately after closing on a property in her neighborhood that had been a drug den. “As a professional if I get treated that way, I know those who are less fortunate are victimized more often. This situation lets me know I can’t expect equal treatment and that is frustrating.”

“It’s extremely frustrating,” added Michelle Allison of the NAACP’s Merced Branch in California’s Central Valley. She refinanced with a major lender and was locked into a prepayment loan and now owes $100,000 above what she initially requested. “It’s like being over a barrel. I just wanted to be treated fairly and receive the best service. I was not given options or enough information for me to make an alternate decision. I want to get back to where I was financially before I received my loan.”

NAACP branches across the nation are addressing the predatory lending issue. In Michigan, the Detroit branch’s executive director Heaster Wheeler chairs the state’s Predatory Lending Task Force. He and others have met with Gov. Jennifer Granholm who has instructed the state insurance and banking commissioner as well the state’s civil rights office to coordinate with the branch to craft further legislation and use their authority more strictly to enforce current laws. The Washington, D.C. Branch has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons. Through workshops, seminars, church meetings and other gatherings it has been discovered that the typical predatory lending victim in that city is an elderly African American female who is single and on social security. They are encouraged to refinance for home improvements and other reasons. The NAACP’s Connecticut State Conference has a committee to address predatory lending issues and has been actively engaged in assisting individuals in their cases. They are also encouraging legislative action and are conducting community education initiatives.

In addition to the NAACP’s Legal Department, the organization and the proposed class of its members are represented by Feazell & Tighe LLP of Austin and Kabatek Brown Kellner LLP of Los Angeles and the law office of Gary L. Bledsoe.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Posted in African American, Announcements, Civil Rights, Financial, Law, Mortgage, NAACP, Predatory Lending, Race, Racism, Real Estate | Leave a Comment »

National Black And Brown Re-Entry Summit Agenda

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 19, 2007

THE NATIONAL BLACK-BROWN SUMMIT ON RE-ENTRY & RECIDIVISM
AUGUST 19-22, 2007
THE ADAMS MARK HOTEL
DALLAS, TEXAS.
________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, August 19

4:00 – 7:00 pm On-site Registration
6:00 – 8:00 pm Opening Reception

************************************************************************************
Monday, August 20

7:30 am – 8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:00 am Continued Registration (all day)

9:00 am – 10:30 am Opening Plenary

Presiding: Carmelita Pope Freeman, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Richard H. Jacques/ CEO, Second Chance Education Development.

Invocation: Bishop Charles Bledsoe, CEO National Church Empowerment Consortium

Greetings: Richard Roper, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas

Welcome:

Dr. Elba Garcia, Mayor Pro Tem

Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., Chancellor
Dallas County Community College District

Rosa Rosales, LULAC President

Dennis Hayes, President and CEO, NAACP

Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Danny K. Davis, U.S.
Congressman from Chicago; Author, Second Chance
Act of 2007

10:30 am – 12:00 pm CONCURRENT PANELS

1. The Second Chance Act: Its Impact on Federal, State & Local Agencies

Moderator:

Richard H. Jacques/Second Chance Education-Development

Panelists:

David Robison, Proactive Approaches to Community Supervision, CROSS

Gary Bledsoe, Attorney and Member of NAACP National Board; Former Texas NAACP President (Invited)

Congressman Danny K. Davis, 7th District Illinois, Second Chance Act

2. Re-entry: Homelessness, Housing Assistance & Other Support Services

Moderator:

Roman Palomares, Chairman, Homeward Bound; Former LULAC Chief of Staff; and, LULAC National Housing Commission Member

Panelists:

Tina Naidoo, Program Director of Texas Offenders Re-entry Initiative
Crystal City Representative

David Robison, The Ex-Offender Mortgage Program (TEMP)

3. Juvenile & the Re-entry Process: Issues & Concerns

Moderator:

Durrand Hill, Chief Prosecutor – Juvenile, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office

Panelists:

Israel Pena, Phoenix Project, Gang Intervention

Mike Griffiths, Director, Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center

4. Ensuring Success for Male Students at Cedar Valley and Mountain
View College

Moderator:

Leonard Garrett, Ph.D., Vice President of Student Support Services and Enrollment Management, Mountain View College, DCCCD

Panelist:

Jonas Young, Director of Testing Serices at Cedar Valley College, DCCCD

Joel Riley, Counselor and Professor of Human Development at Cedar Valley College, DCCCD

Raymond Lee, Director of ASSET Program, Mountain View College, DCCCD

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm LUNCH

Presiding: Rene Martinez, Dallas Independent School District

Invocation: Pastor Larry Gardner, Potters House

Greetings: Roberto Alonzo, State Representative

Vicki Hallman, Regional Director, Dallas Parole Division,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Rafael Anchia, State Representative

Introduction to Speaker: Dianne Gibson, Community Courts Program Manager, Office of the City Attorney Dallas Community Courts
Keynote Speaker: Craig Watkins, Dallas County District Attorney

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CONCURRENT PANELS

5. Black/Brown Issues for Re-entry, Similarities/Differences, Community

Moderator:

Hector Flores, Immediate Past President, LULAC; Head of Minority Recruitment, Dallas Independent School District

Panelists:

Adelfa Callejo, Attorney; Chairwoman, Dallas Hispanic Coalition

Gary Bledsoe, Attorney and Member of NAACP National Board; Former Texas NAACP President (Invited)

Will Harrell, Chief Ombudsman, Texas Youth Commission; Former Director of Texas ACLU

Michael Lee, CEO Operation Oasis/CROSS

6. Overcoming the Barriers for the Returning Felon: Education & Employment

Moderator:

Edward Elizondo, LULAC District III Civil Rights Committee Chair; EEOC Outreach Program Manager, Retired

Panelist:

Charles Dillon, Program Director Operation Oasis/CROSS

Katrina Eddins, Project Rio, Texas Worksource

Joan Sanger, Career Edge Systems

7. Life Guide America, Making Good Choices

Moderator:

Treva McDaniel, Program Director, North Central Texas Urban League

Panelist:

Robert Pitre, CEO Life Guide America

8. Best Practices: Getting Offenders Back on Track- The Prosecutors Role In Re-entry

Moderator:

Chikita Tatum, Director Mercy Inc.

Panelist:

Lateefah Simon, Director-San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, Re-entry Unit

Paul Henderson, Assistant District Attorney, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

9. El Centro/ Bill J. Priest –Employment, Education, Enrichment for the Offender Population

Moderator:

Clifton White, Parole Supervisor, Dallas Parole Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Panelist:

Leslie Shelby, Ed.D., Dean of Instruction, Bill J. Priest Institute

Chuck Waldrop, Director Center for Government Contracting-SBDC
Bill J. Priest Institute

Roderick Caples, Community Job Developer
City of Dallas Offender Re-entry Initiative

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tour A –
Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Day Resource Center
1010 Cadiz, Dallas, Texas 75215

Community Resource One-Stop System (CROSS) Re-entry Program
1402 Corinth Street, Dallas, Texas 75215

************************************************************************************
Tuesday, August 21

7:30 am – 8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:00 am Continued Registration (all day)

9:00 am – 10:30 am Opening Plenary

Presiding: Richard Sambrano, LULAC TX Civil Rights Committee Chair

Invocation: Bishop Charles Bledsoe, CEO National Church Empowerment Consortium

Greetings: Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff

David Kunkle, Chief, Dallas Police Department

Terri Hodge, Texas State Representative

Speaker: Gerardo Maldonado, Regional Director, U.S. Bureau of Prisons

Speaker: Madeline Ortiz, Director for Rehabilitation and Re-entry Programs Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

10:30 am – 12:00 pm CONCURRENT PANELS

10. Basic Civil Rights & the Returning Felons

Moderator:

Richard Sambrano, Texas State LULAC Civil Rights Committee Chair; Retired Mediator from the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Panelists:

Will Harrell, Chief Ombudsman, Texas Youth Commission; Former Director of Texas ACLU

Jeff Blackburn, Innocence Project Attorney, Amarillo, Texas (Invited)

John Walker, Desegregation and Civil Rights Attorney, Little Rock, Arkansas (Invited)

11. Re-entry Program: Addressing the Underlying Issues – Substance Abuse & Mental Illness

Moderator:

Shalonda Richardson-Grant, Specialized Parole Officer, Texas Youth Commission

Panelists:

The Honorable Jerry Cruzotte, Judge

The Honorable Robert Frances, Judge

Michael Laughlin, Senior U.S. Probation/Pretrial Services Officer/Offender Workforce Development Specialist, U.S. Probation/Pretrial Services Office of the Northern District of Texas

12. Influence of Gangs on the Returning Felon to the Community

Moderator:

Heath Harris, Chief Prosecutor – Gang Violence, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office

Panelists:

Ernesto Chaplin, Director Ernesto Lucio Ministries

Cornelius Moore, Unit Supervisor, Dallas Parole Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Amy Allen, Dallas Gang Initiative, City Attorney Office, City of Dallas

13. Best Practices: Prison Fellowship

Moderator:

David Robison, CROSS Representative

Panelist:

William Anderson, Arizona State Director Prison Fellowship, Operation SOAR

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm LUNCH

Presiding: Gloria Campos, Channel 8 Anchor

Invocation: Pastor Larry Gardner, Potters House

Speakers: The Honorable Lena Levario, Judge Criminal District Court

Royce West, Texas Senator from Dallas

Introduction of Speaker: Michael Lee, CEO Operation Oasis/CROSS

Keynote Speaker: Mark Early, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Former State Senator and Attorney General for State of Virginia

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CONCURRENT PANELS

14. Women and the Re-entry Process: F 3-Females, First & Foremost

Moderator:

Ana Yanez Correa, Director of the Texas Criminal Justice Policy Coalition

Panelists:

Evelyn Schaffer, Assistant Regional Director, Parole Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Andrenett Hayes-Jones, Parole Supervisor, Parole Division, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

15. Criminal Justice Sentencing & Supervision & Their Role in Recidivism

Moderator:

Gaylord Thomas, Manager, City of Dallas Offender Re-entry Initiative

Panelists:

The Honorable Lena Levario, Judge District Court 104

Jeff Blackburn, Innocence Project Attorney, Amarillo, Texas (Invited)

Gwen Broadnax, Dallas Probation – Outreach Coordinator

16. CROSS/Homeward Bound/City of Dallas Offender Re-entry Initiative/Dallas County Community College District Re-entry Program

Moderator:

Roman Palomares, Chairman, Homeward Bound; Former LULAC Chief of Staff; and, LULAC National Housing Commission Member

Panelists:

David Robison, CROSS Representative

Richard H. Jacques, CEO Second Chance Education Development

Gaylord Thomas, Manager, City of Dallas Re-entry Initiative

17. Best Practices: Washington, D.C. Re-entry Initiative

Moderator:

Fred Jones, Victory 2000

Panelist:

Rahim Jenkins, Director, Washington, D.C. Re-entry Initiative

18. The Job Lead Generator-Workforce Re-entry Initiative

Moderator:

Chris Pipkin, Operation Oasis/CROSS

Panelist:

Victor Pratt, Director Job Lead Generator

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tour B (if needed)

************************************************************************************

Wednesday, August 22

8:00 am – 10:00 am LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST

Moderator:

Ana Yanez Correa, Director of Texas Criminal Justice Policy Coalition

Speakers:

Jerry Madden, Texas State Representative

Terri Hodge, Texas State Representative

Yvonne Davis, Texas State Representative

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Summit Summary & Analysis

Presiding: Carmelita Pope Freeman, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Posted in African American, Black, Civil Rights, Congressional Black Caucus, Hispanic, LULAC, NAACP, NABSW, Race, Racism, U. S. Department of Justice | Leave a Comment »

NAACP Joins GSN Project Based On New Series ‘Without Prejudice?’

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 19, 2007

Poll, program combine to create provocative approach to opening discussion on raceJuly 25, 2007

The NAACP is excited and proud to be part of a groundbreaking new broadcast and social experiment aimed at helping Americans overcome issues of social prejudice in all its forms. A new Zogby poll underscores the need for that exercise to begin in earnest.

Most Americans believe they don’t make race based decisions…but think their neighbors do, according to a landmark poll by Zogby International commissioned by GSN. The survey is a powerful follow-up to the July 17 premiere of Without Prejudice?, a TV game show that gives people across the country an opportunity to participate in a thoughtful, productive conversation about prejudice. The NAACP, through its Hollywood Bureau, is a consultant for the program that airs Tuesdays at 9 pm (EST) on GSN.

“This is an opportunity for the NAACP to more fully engage in a discussion of prejudice and bigotry and to explain to a wider audience the bases for these ills and how we can rid society of them,” said NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond. “We look forward to our participation and the success of this innovative series.”

The NAACP and GSN will host an upcoming town hall meeting on race, diversity and prejudice.

The survey of more than 10,000 Americans, one of the most comprehensive ever conducted on prejudice according to Zogby, explores attitudes about race, religion, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance and politics. This “Report Card on American Prejudice” is part of a wide-ranging effort by GSN to spur a national dialogue on intolerance and bigotry.

“Our network is proud to sponsor the Without Prejudice Project,” said Dena Kaplan, GSN’s Sr. Vice President for Marketing. “This pioneering effort – which includes the poll and the broadcast of our new game show – will help provoke a national conversation about our inner-most feelings toward race, religion and other issues that define the way we, as Americans, treat one another. GSN hopes the initiative will raise the awareness of prejudice in our nation and create an agenda for positive change.”

Using distinguished pollster, Zogby International, GSN commissioned a poll designed to explore Americans’ preferences and biases. The poll findings will serve as a barometer of the country’s tolerance and a platform for honest discussion. Among the poll�s findings are:

On Race: While 67% of respondents claimed to have no preference themselves between a white, black or Arab clerk in a convenience store, 71% said, “most Americans” would seek out the white clerk; 73% said in the event of a shooting, most Americans would expect African Americans to be involved; 55% said in the event of a drug bust, most Americans would expect African Americans to be involved; 53% said in the event of identity theft, most Americans would expect whites to be involved;

On Political Affiliation: When asked which political party most Americans believe to be responsible for many of the gravest problems facing the world:

  • War: 62% blamed Republican vs. 14% Democrat
  • Global Warming: 56% blamed Republican vs. 10% Democrat
  • Prejudice: 52% blamed GOP vs. 22% for Democrat
  • Poverty: 49% held Republicans accountable; 29% Democrats
  • Crime: On this issue, respondents reversed the trend, with 42% blaming Democrats vs. 23% for Republicans

On Religion: By a wide margin, those polled felt Muslims are the most likely to engage in terrorism (83%) and are far more likely to cause a war (42%); 37% believe Catholics are most likely to be involved in sexual abuse – far more than any other religious group; 15% believe Protestants are most likely to commit domestic violence, followed by Muslims (13%); the poll turned up virtually no negative views toward Jews.

On Sexual Orientation: On gay marriage, 62% said they believe Americans oppose it. Yet 58% would elect a gay person for President – about the same as an Arab-American (57%).

On Disability: When asked to choose whom they believed most Americans would least want to work with, 26% of respondents said someone who is morbidly obese. Twenty-two percent said someone with facial disfigurement. Respondents thought Americans would object much less to deaf and blind co-workers.

Every episode of Without Prejudice? features five contestants under the collective microscope of five strangers charged with deciding which contestant they feel is most deserving of a $25,000 cash award.

To stimulate further conversation, GSN will launch a comprehensive outreach effort including Public Service Announcements, an online forum (featuring snap polls, blogs, discussion guides and community building resources from our partners) and print, TV and online media.

GSN is also partnering with other leading advocacy groups on the Without Prejudice Project, including YWCA, GLAAD, NCLR, and CAIR. To learn more, please visit www.gsn.com/withoutprejudice. For the entire Zogby/GSN poll, visit www.zogby.com. More on the NAACP can be found at: www.naacp.org.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

About the Without Prejudice Project
GSN created the Without Prejudice Project to provide an opportunity for people across the country to participate in a thoughtful, productive conversation about prejudice. Using distinguished pollster, Zogby International, GSN commissioned a poll designed to explore Americans’ preferences and biases. The poll findings will serve as a barometer of the country�s tolerance and a platform for honest discussion. To stimulate the conversation, GSN will launch a comprehensive project including PSAs, an online forum (featuring snap polls, blogs, discussion guides and community building resources from our partners), a PR effort, and print, TV and online media. GSN is partnering with leading advocacy groups on the Without Prejudice Project, including NAACP, YWCA, GLAAD, CAIR and NCLR. To learn more, please visit http://www.gsn.com/withoutprejudice/.

Posted in African American, Black, Civil Rights, Dallas NAACP, NAACP, New Orleans, Race, Racism | Leave a Comment »

LEADING EDUCATORS, SCHOLARS, AND RESEARCHERS LEND SUPPORT TO CIVIL RIGHTS ORGS. CALL FOR “MULTIPLE MEASURES” IN “NO CHILD” OVERHAUL

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dr. George H. Wood – (740-448-3402)
for immediate release Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More than 100 leading educators, scholars, and researchers have sent a letter to members of the Senate and House education committees in support of a call from civil rights groups that any overhaul of NCLB include “multiple assessments of learning and multiple indicators of school performance.” Twenty-three civil rights and disability organizations, including the National Association of Colored People (NAACP), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), ASPIRA, and the National Alliance of Black School Educators, conveyed that message to Congress in an August 7 letter. The groups called for changes in NCLB that would assess schools “in ways that produce high-quality learning and that create incentives to keep students in school.”

Among the 117 signers of the letter are policy makers Nebraska Commissioner of Education Doug Christensen, Massachusetts State School Board member Ruth Kaplan; leading measurement and evaluation experts, including Gene Glass, Edward Haertel, Robert Linn, Lorrie Shepard, Richard Shavelson and Eva Baker; educational researchers Linda Darling-Hammond, Howard Gardner, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Henry Levin; civil rights advocates Nadine Cohen and Clyde Murphy; and leaders in school renewal including Ted Sizer, Wendy Puriefoy, Pedro Noguera, and John Goodlad. (Complete list of signers at http://www.forumforeducation.org/foruminaction/index.php?page=39

The letter of support explained that “current administration of federal educational policy has, through its exclusive emphasis on (primarily multiple choice) standardized test scores, both narrowed the curriculum in many schools and led to a focus on lower level intellectual skills” as opposed to “the higher-order thinking skills our democracy and economy require.” It has also undermined efforts to develop more valid assessments of learning for special needs students and English language learners, while increasing incentives to exclude students from school.

Lorrie Shepard (Dean, College of Education at the University of Colorado and President, National Academy of Education) praised the effort to push for multiple measures: “Measurement experts are keenly aware of the limitations of standardized tests. That’s one reason that the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing require that critical educational decisions be based on more than a single test score. We also know from 20 years of research on the effects of high stakes testing that greater and greater pressure to raise test scores exacerbates the known weaknesses of standardized measures. The call for “multiple assessments of learning” and “multiple indicators of school performance” would provide some protection against the narrowing and dumbing down of curriculum that occurs in response to multiple-choice accountability tests.”

The letter emphasized that using multiple sources of evidence, including performance and locally-based assessments, provides many benefits to education and accountability:

  • The use of an index of measures of school performance provides a better picture of overall school performance;
  • Multiple measures supports a balanced approach to school improvement, insuring that a single-minded focus on standardized tests does not lead to narrowing the curriculum or to inappropriate practices such as keeping out or pushing out students who do not test well;
  • A range of assessment types is the only means for assessing a comprehensive range of content and skills;
  • Performance assessments provide for a focus on higher-order thinking skills.

The letter also noted that NCLB calls for multiple measures of student performance and a focus on higher-order thinking skills, but little in the administration of the legislation had aided such outcomes. The writers explained, “Our experience with the law as educators, policy makers, researchers, and parents over the past five years has shown us that the current law and its implementation have discouraged the kinds of state and local assessments and reporting systems needed to make educational progress and to validly assess all of the students in our schools.”

Eva Baker (Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA) indicated she hoped that this effort would lead to improving “NCLB to encourage student accomplishments that include but go beyond transient test scores. Every student needs to demonstrate skills and knowledge in technically sound ways that will serve them in school and work.” Linda Darling-Hammond (Ducommun Professor of Education and co-Director of the School Redesign Network at Stanford) noted that moving to such assessments would also “direct more attention to the higher order skills and content which are necessary for our children in the economy of the 21st century.”

George Wood, Director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, and a school principal, praised the focus on higher-level thinking skills. “Many of us in the field know that the reliance on standardized test scores as the only measure of school success is narrowing the school curriculum, particularly for our most school-dependent children. This is a crucial civil rights issue; denying our children access to the skills and content which make democratic citizenship possible consigns them to second class citizenship and economic hardship.” He went on to note that he was pleased with the response that calls for multiple measures of school and student success have received in Congress and expressed optimism that NCLB reauthorization would fund such options for states and districts.

The full copy of the letter and a complete list of signers may be found at http://www.forumforeducation.org/foruminaction/index.php?page=391

The civil rights group letter is available at www.edaccountability.org

Posted in Civil Rights, Education, Education Reform, LULAC, NAACP, NCLB, No Child Left Behind, Politics, Testing, Urban Education | Leave a Comment »

GOP’s Contempt at the NAACP Annual Convention

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Friday, July 27, 2007

The GOP’s continued contempt is clearly exposed at the NAACP Annual Convention.

More Than A Thousand Words

naacp2.jpg

A Picture of the GOP on Civil Rights

  • Standing in the middle of 10 podiums, nine of them empty but waiting for Republican candidates, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo asked, “Do you think we should wait a few minutes to see if these other guys show up?”
  • Ten Republican candidates were invited. The others either did not respond to the invitation or cited scheduling conflicts – just too busy to make it.

Tancredo gets standing ovation from NAACP for showing up.

(DBB Note: The insult of it is compounded by the arrogance of total disregard.)

Posted in Civil Rights, NAACP, Politics, Republican | Leave a Comment »

DISD Supt. Hinojosa To Speak At Dallas NAACP

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Monday, July 23, 2007

Save the Date!

Dallas ISD Superintendant Michael Hinojosa will speak at the August 7, 2007 general meeting about Dallas Achieves. Come ask questions regarding Dallas Achieves and Dallas ISD.

The July general membership meeting has been rescheduled to July 24, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center.

Posted in Dallas ISD, NAACP | Leave a Comment »