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California Teachers Happy over Loss of 'Race To The Top' Money

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The state of California was denied federal funding on “Race to the Top” in education and as usual the teachers association and some professional educators are saying that is alright. We have Black students lagging at the bottom of every category of every indicator of a successful education and they say that is alright that we did not get funding. Now when it comes to their salaries they scream that it is the money that counts. In doing a quick survey of Black publishers in California they are fed up with these associations wanting more money with our support with no accountability for educating our kids.

In a front page article by reporter Chris Levister, she quotes the head of the California Federation of Teachers Association Marty Hittelman as saying; “I won’t say that I’m in sorrow of California losing it. There wasn’t a great deal of support. The teachers union had opposed for example, basing teachers evaluations on standardized test they say are flawed”. Now mind you last year when these same teachers got lay off notices and President Barack Obama sent federal stimulus money to save their jobs not one peep came from them about lack of support.

As a matter of fact these teachers were out stirring up the community that our children would be harmed if teachers were impacted.

Let us take a look at who is impacted. The staffing of teachers in California is 70.1%white with only 27.9%ofthe students being white. You can see who gets the money but what about accountability and what is happening in our schools when it comes to African American students.

Black students make up 7.3% of the student population with 4.3%of us as teachers. According to the Department of Education African American students score (674) at the bottom of the Accountability Progress Reporting, Performance Index Report. The California High School Exit Exam places Blacks at 23% passing Math and 33% passing English Language Arts. They list our adjusted dropout rate at 32.9%which is 10%higher than the closest group. In some districts the dropout rate for Blacks is greater than 50 percent. Then when you look at over20,700 are expelled and over 770,000 are suspended each year, the question is who is in school to teach?

Now I am not teacher bashing but taking a realistic view of how African Americans are being treated in our educational system as students, teachers, and taxpayers, we are getting the short end of the stick. For your information when I ran for the school board I was the leading champion for higher teachers’ salaries. So I support teachers.

All I am saying teachers is you cannot have it both ways when it comes to receiving federal monies: you accept it when it comes to saving 72% white teachers jobs but refuse federal dollars when it comes to saving African American children.

Somebody Has to Pay for the Census

We are in the last inning of informing our communities to make sure to fill out their census form and mail it back in so federal dollars can return to our community. As always the people in charge get millions of dollars to educate the public on how important it is to be counted. And as always they pay people in non-Black communities and then in a last ditch effort come to us with a request to volunteer our services or provide free space to get the word out. They even go to local churches and ask the clergy to motivate and rev up the congregations to fill out the forms.

In the majority community they buy ads in papers, magazines, on television, sides of buses, billboards, sporting events and any place someone can think of. One thing I have learned in my dealing with public and private organizations is when you want something done that they are not currently doing somebody has to pay for it. When I was on the school board and came up with an idea, Dr. E. Neal Roberts would say where is the money? Somebody has to pay for it.

On my job at Kaiser everybody had ideas but top management would respond, sounds good but somebody has to pay for it.

In my personal budget when something needed to be done that was not a part of the budget the question I ask is: who is going to pay for it? The census wanted a spot on television during the Superbowl the commissioner said in response, who is going to pay for it, and the census did.

Locally we had some advertising dollars come into the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino specifically designated to be used in ethnic media where undercounts have always occurred that had not been reached by other means. Well, some well meaning staff person decided that they would send press releases to the Black Voice News and other community publications while taking the money and spending it in radio and even at the Date Festival. Then they told us they had no information on us when we contacted them. My question to them is how could you locate us for press releases and not for advertising?

Once again you pay to get the word out in high response communities then want us to volunteer and give our business up for free. Somebody has to pay for it.

Now what these county employees are doing is a disservice to the county’s policymakers because when the federal reallocations are done they will not have enough funds to provide for the people needing the services. Somebody has to pay.

Ray Smith, Riverside Public Information Officer, when questioned why we were not brought in on the plan earlier said staff was doing the plan but his office on Tuesday said they had to confer with the committee, he had no explanation. He also said that Latinos are considered the hard to count in Riverside. He was informed that the only legally adjudicated Black newspaper in the County is The Black Voice News to which he just said they would be placing ads after the Census forms hit.

That makes me believe there is an undercurrent to make sure Blacks are not counted and then blame it on those same Blacks.

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