Sunday, March 30, 2008

Clayton County Schools Crisis (Atlanta Journal-Constitution; 3-28-08; D3)

By: Megan Matteucci

Members: Quit or stay on?

Every member of the Clayton County School Board (Georgia) says his or her first priority is the district's 52,800 students.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools plans to revoke Clayton's accreditation unles it overhauls the school system.

SACS gave the district until Sept. 1 to meet nine mandates or become the first school system in the U.S. to lose accreditation since 1969.

The first mandate is to establish a governing board that is capable of fulfilling its roles and responsibilities. To do that, all nine board members must resign, said three top officials involved with the system's accreditation.

As of Thursday, the board has removed one board member and two have announced plans to resign.

For many parents, the question remains: Why are any of them still in office?

B. Brown's comments on the situation:

There seems to be a recurring theme in Clayton County right now and it is that the people in charge of the Educational system do not know what they are doing. For the second (2nd) time in five (5) years the county has been under investigation and the possibility of losing its accreditation has been hovering overhead.

I believe that the parents of the Hip-Hop Generation in Clayton County, GA should petition for the immediate removal of the nine (9) Board Members and absolutely demand that the county meets the other eight (8) mandates as soon as possible. Numbers are the key and parents have to step-up in big numbers to let the county know that the accreditation for the county must be saved at any cost.

Many parents have stepped up and made their voices heard, but in this day and age, you must be able to effectively get your point across legally! It takes some money, not necessarily a lot and effort! Effort is the key because many attorney's and organizations will work pro-bono. A movement is needed at this time!

Parents, the next time around, please nominate and push for good (quality) candidates to run for the School Board and vote for the best candidates that will sincerely help Clayton County improve its School System and restore it to a school system of excellence as it was up to the middle 90's.

Parents, it is up to you to LOVE, TEACH & DISCIPLINE your children and then demand that your children receive the best education possible from the school system he or she attends. When a child goes to school to learn, that means they have books, paper, pens, pencils and other items that they need to actually learn and achieve! If you don't see your children with any learning materials, ask them why they do not have any books with them and then check with their teachers. Believe me when I say this, the reason school systems have problems with securing and keeping good teachers is because teachers do not want to deal with kids that cuss them out, skip their classes repeatedly and just flat out don't know how to act. Too many children do not respect adults and they get that from their parents. Once again, parents step your game up!

One Love!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

State of the Black Union Address - 2008

New Orleans, LA - Morial Center

Written By: B. Brown of BREG

I had the opportunity to sit down and watch Part One (1) of the 2008 State of the Black Union Address. I had actually just got back in from jogging and I just happened to catch it when I turned on the TV.

I am always amazed when I watch forums of this magnitude because so many great ideas come out and are put to task. It makes me feel very good! I Pray that it makes you feel good too and charges you to take action. "Faith without action is dead!"

One of the topics was of course the Presidential Election that is coming fast. Obama and Clinton are in a heated campaign battle and McCain appears to have the Republican side of things wrapped up. I am personally an Obama supporter, however, I understand that it takes cooperation from both parties to actually get important issues resolved and that's the key to politics. Who can maneuver the best throughout the political landscape, be it local, national and/or international.

Healthcare is always a hot topic in the U.S. because there are so many people that do not have health insurance and basically cannot afford to get sick. It is a sad reality. Something must be done!

Education is one of the biggest issues in our country right now because recent reports have exposed cities like Baltimore, MD where only 27% of Black High School Males are graduating from high school. Let's wake up America! If young people are not even getting out of high school, then where are they going to be? Out in the communities doing what they have to do to survive. That's not good America!

At some point and time, we have to hold ourselves accountable and stop passing the buck. Our National Education System is a joke! "No Child Left Behind" sounds good, but it is definitely leaving kids behind. When a teacher has to pass a kid because they can only have so many failing students in a class is ridiculous. The kid must actually do the work satisfactory to pass the class. If we don't hold the parents and students accountable for coming to school and actually attempting to learn and behave properly, then we will continue to have the problems in our schools across the board. We must hold the students and parents accountable! As of right now, our schools are basically huge babysitting facilities!

Katrina victims still need help! This was another hot topic during the State of the Black Union Address. Let's actually teach our brothers and sisters in New Orleans "how to fish instead of giving them fish".

Our U.S. Prison System has more inmates than even bigger populated countries like China. Isn't that amazing. Young people, you must realize the system and the world you live in and stop contributing to your own demise. Drug Dealing and illegal activity is not your only way to financial success. Take pride in being intelligent and use your intelligence to learn even more so that you will be able to earn a living wherever you go.

Let me commend the Panelists that I watched this year during the State of the Black Union Address. Please continue your efforts to uplift, educate and inspire! Thank you!!!

Tavis Smiley - Founder of The State of the Black Union Address/Radio & TV Host/Author

Angela Glover Blackwell - Policy Link

Cleo Fields - U.S. Rep. - Baton Rouge, LA

Jesse Jackson - Rainbow/Push Coalition

Michael Eric Dyson - Georgetown Univ. Prof./Author

Ray Nagin - Mayor of New Orleans, LA

Naomi Churchhill Earp - EEOC

Stephanie Tubbs Jones - U.S. Congress (11th Distr. - Cleveland, OH)

Darron Boyce - Kirby High School Student (Memphis, TN)/Student & Youth Activist

Pastor Mel - Prison Ministry

Hip-Hop Youth, Education and Parenting!