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Blacks Still Make Up 58 Percent of New Orleans

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans is narrowly retaining its black majority after Hurricane Katrina, while the suburbs around the city lost a slightly greater share of their white population, a study released by The Brookings Institution found on Wednesday.

The study, made possible through advanced access to U.S. Census Bureau numbers also released on Wednesday, determined that while blacks left the city at a much faster rate than whites, New Orleans was still 58 percent black during 2006. It also found that the six suburbs around New Orleans lost 8 percent of their white residents and 5 percent of black residents.

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Posted in African American, African American Politics, Black, Black Politics, Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans | Leave a Comment »

New Orleans’ Failed Education Experiment in Privatization

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Monday, September 3, 2007

 

Privatization runs amok in the post-Katrina New Orleans school system.

At his first public meeting before becoming the new superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District (RSD) in late spring 2007, Paul Vallas took questions alongside his sponsor, state Department of Education Superintendent Paul Pastorek (“the two Pauls,” as they have become known). At one point, Vallas was scolded by a member of the audience for referring, as nearly everyone has, to the current state of public education in New Orleans as “an experiment.” The scolder was a white teacher, who reminded the two Pauls that black people might be sensitive to the idea that they were subjects of an “experiment,” what with the memory of the Tuskegee syphilis protocols and other past unpleasantness not yet entirely forgotten.Mismanaged and undersupplied, the Recovery School District resembled, at the end of the 2006-2007 school year, nothing as much as a failed experiment. It consisted of 22 schools, enrolling perhaps 9,500 students, nearly all of them African American. The other 20,000 public school students in the city of New Orleans (my son among them) in the second year after Katrina were scattered among five officially “public” schools, supervised by the elected Orleans Parish Public School Board (NOPS), and 31 charter schools, answerable either to the local school board or to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

Before Katrina, NOPS had been responsible for 130 schools and 65,000 students. Now, each charter school, operating under an agreement with either BESE or NOPS, maintains significant independence under its own board to hire and fire faculty, select curricula, engage vendors, and determine whether current students are meeting criteria to remain in the school, once admitted. For the most part, schools chartered by NOPS have some leeway to establish admission policies; most chartered by BESE do not, being officially “open admission,” though wiggle room for selectivity remains. One significant common denominator between NOPS and BESE charter schools is that teachers serve without the protections once afforded by a union; they can be punished for public speech, fired without review, and, in general, serve without protection from capricious administrative actions or the limited security they enjoyed when tenure rules were in place.

As state legislators wrote the statutes in the fall of 2005 that allowed the state to take over “failing” New Orleans schools following Katrina, there was a widespread notion that every school that reopened in the city would reopen as a charter school. This was an intention expressed publicly by the ailing superintendent of education (Cecil Picard, since deceased and replaced in March by Paul Pastorek), and one widely embraced by the same crowd that had promoted school vouchers and had been historically hostile to the “public” part of public education. But with too few chartering entities stepping forward, a significant number of students remained unable to locate and enroll in either a charter school or any of the five schools remaining under the control of Orleans Parish. (Those five were schools that had not been designated “failing” and also were not swept up by chartering entities. They do have selective admission criteria.) Those students became the responsibility of the Recovery School District that the state legislature devised in 2005, as did the several thousand students who migrated back into the city after the beginning of the 2006-07 school year.

The story of the RSD is, in part, a story of how the idea that public entities (either systems or individuals) were not fit or competent to run public schools came to dominate the reconfiguration of public education in New Orleans. That narrative was combined, of course, with the narrative that only private, market-driven forces can effectively improve school performance and carry on the tasks of public education.

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Posted in African American, African American Education, Black, Black Education, Charter Schools, Education, Education Reform, Mayoral Takeovers In Education, NCLB, New Orleans, No Child Left Behind, Public Education, Race, Urban Education | 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 »

All the Poor Left Behind

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Posted in Education, New Orleans, No Child Left Behind, Politics, Poverty | Leave a Comment »

Judge Finds Officer ‘Not Guilty’ in New Orleans Brutal Beating of 64 Year Old Black Man

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Saturday, July 28, 2007

The choice: “Submit or be illegally beaten?”

See if your own eyes deceive you.

Robert Davis, 64 year old black retired school teacher in New Orleans, was beaten viciously by New Orleans police resulting in a broken nose and an eye fracture – after being taken down by four officers.

The officer’s defense attorney stated the severe beating was provoked. “People want to resist police. There seems to be a lot of it down here.”

Was Robert Davis an innocent man who just asked a question about the New Orleans post Katrina curfew – a question that outraged racist police officers ready to demand physical submission or else?

One Fox News analyst stated: “But when you think, If you’re getting beaten by four people, is your natural reaction to try to defend yourself and try to cover your face or take your two hands and put them behind your back?”

New Orleans Prosecutor Kate Bartholomew stated: “.. to injure Mr Davis like this was not noble.”

More Video Here

Posted in African American, Black, New Orleans, Race, Racism | Leave a Comment »