Friday, April 17, 2015

STEM Mentoring Programs Invite Girls of Color into the Industry

New York City DOE creates opportunities to push girls towards STEM related fields

The Department of Education has developed programs to improve access to STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education for girls and black and Latino students.
Since 2001, the percentage of women working in STEM fields like computing and traditional engineering has been stagnant, while percentages of African Americans and Latinos continue to shrink.
A recent report by Change the Equation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes STEM education, identified a “diversity dilemma” in STEM professions.
The reports states, African Americans and Latinos have surged as a percentage of the U.S. population, but their share of critical STEM jobs has barely budged. In fact, African Americans and Latinos were less likely to pursue careers in engineering, computer science, or advanced manufacturing in 2014, than they were in the past.
Leaders of STEM-oriented companies are worried about the diversity of their workforce, said Linda Rosen, Change the Equation’s chief executive officer, to the New York Daily News.
The department of education, as well as community organizations, such as, Black Girls Code, a mentoring group for young black girls, introduces computer coding lessons to girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as TouchDevelop, Scratch or Ruby on Rails.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

University of Toronto Schools


University of Toronto Schools (UTS) is a university preparatory school, grades 7 through 12, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Located on U of T's St. George Campus, UTS offers high-achieving students a specialized curriculum and a unique co-educational learning environment that encourages creative interests and physical activity as well as a sense of social responsibility.
UTS graduates are admitted to highly-selective North American colleges and universities, many on scholarships. UTS is renowned for educating generations of outstanding graduates including two Nobel Laureates, 20 Rhodes Scholars and numerous leaders in commerce, industry, academics, the arts, sports, government and public service.
UTS is the only merit-based university preparatory school in Canada affiliated with a university and located on a university campus. Admission to UTS is based on overall performance. Financial accessibility is supported through a generously endowed bursary fund to which families may apply and which has been set in place to provide opportunities for qualified applicants.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Congrats to Mock Trial Winners!

Congrats to Naomi & Sarah for winning their Mock Trial Competition. 

The Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition is the largest and most established program coordinated by the Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis.  It serves more than 600 students from more than 65 schools throughout Missouri. During the summer, volunteer attorneys develop and write the mock trial case or problem for the regional and state competitions. After the case is completed, a manual is developed to help the students.  With the support of attorney volunteers, students tackle age-appropriate legal problems, engage in legal analysis, and ultimately try a case in a real courtroom before an actual judge and a jury made up of community members.

Join A Mock Trial Competition in Your Area - Highly Recommended!

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Study Confirms: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School

Remember how good you felt when Black History Month rolled around and you finally got to learn and talk about significant African American historical figures in school? Well, according to new research published in the Journal of Child Development, affirming a black child’s desire to learn about their race does more than just give them a personal boost, it helps them academically as well.
The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.
Wang explains:
“Our findings challenge the notion that ‘race blindness’ is a universally ideal parenting approach, especially since previous research has shown that racially conscious parenting strategies at either extreme—either ‘race blindness’ or promoting mistrust of other races—are associated with negative outcomes for African American youth.
“When African American parents instill a proud, informed, and sober perspective of race in their sons and daughters, these children are more likely to experience increased academic success.”
Wang’s study surveyed 630 adolescents from middle class backgrounds to explore how racial discrimination and prejudice in school affects their G.P.A., educational goals, and future aspirations. They found racial pride to be the single most important factor in guarding against racial discrimination, and discovered it had a direct impact on the students’ grades, future goals, and cognitive engagement.  Despite fewer instances of multicultural and inclusive learning in school and the increased frequency in which black students are treated more harshly than their peers, Wang’s study shows that teaching kids, especially black children, to take pride in their culture is an integral part of their success.

Wang sums it up:
“Our study provides empirical evidence that the longstanding practice in the African American community of cultivating racial pride and preparing children to face racial bias in society should be considered among appropriate and beneficial practices in parenting Black children.”


Thursday, February 19, 2015

African American Achievement Award

Congratulations to Naomi, Sarah, and Ezra for being awarded the 2015 African American Achievement Award from their high school
Diamond; Sarah; T. Christopher People; Keynote Speaker, President of Frontenac Engineering; Naomi, & Ezra

Friday, January 16, 2015

President Obama Proposes Free Community College for All

President Obama has proposed that two years of community college be available free for all students. Under the plan students would have to attend community college at least on a half-time basis. Students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and continue to make progress toward an associate’s degree or technical certificate.

Under the plan the federal government would issue grants covering three-fourths of all tuition costs with participating states paying the remaining one-quarter of a student’s tuition.  The White House estimates that the program would benefit nine million students annually and save them an average of $3,800 in tuition costs each year.

The White House did not specify where the funds would come from to finance the new program. With a GOP-controlled Congress, it undoubtedly will be very difficult for the President to establish a new massive public program.

While the new plan would seem to be highly beneficial to the educational prospects of African Americans, some Black leaders have expressed a fear that a free community college education will serve to drag down enrollments at four-year historically Black colleges and universities. Many of these schools are struggling financially. If large numbers of Black students opt for the free community college plan, enrollments at these four-year HBCUs might drop significantly

Thursday, January 15, 2015

IPRIDE congratulates Crystal on her acceptance to Rutgers University!!!

Crystal is a 2014 IPRIDE Honors Award Recipient. 
She is an honor student in her high school and has now been accepted into her 1st choice, Rutgers University!!! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Different types of Learners - What is your learning style?

Different Learning Styles Video
Learning styles encompass a series of theories suggesting systematic differences in individuals' natural or habitual pattern of acquiring and processing information in learning situations.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to spot a world-class education

In an exclusive adaptation from her new book, "The Smartest Kids in the World," Amanda Ripley encapsulates her three years studying high-performing schools around the globe into a few powerful guidelines.
The first time I went to an open house in search of a school for my own child in Washington, DC, years ago, I spent a lot of time staring at classroom bulletin boards. I hoped the children’s drawings, the construction-paper borders and the rules posted by the teacher would reveal the classroom’s secrets.
Was this a place where learning happened? Was this a place where children felt safe? Inspired? Curious?
It never worked. The bulletin boards did not speak to me. Now I know I was looking in the wrong direction.
Since then, having spent years studying schools around the world, I judge them differently. It’s not easy, of course. Every child is different. An outstanding school for one child might be hell on earth for another.
Still, when it comes to finding a school that is both rigorous and alive, full of spirit and learning, there are a few reliable tricks. Based on what I have seen from visiting schools on four continents, listening to kids, teachers, and parents and studying the research of other, smarter people than myself, here are a few tips from my own evolving guide to spotting a world-class education.

Watch the students

If you are trying to understand a school, you can ignore most of the information you are given. Open houses? Pretty much useless. Average class size? Not as important as most people think. Some studies have shown that smaller class sizes benefit children in elementary school, but other studies have found no clear relationship. In fact, some of the highest-performing countries (Japan, say, or Korea) typically have larger classes than the United States; and some consistently unimpressive education systems have among the smallest class sizes (Greece, for example, or Italy). Assuming class sizes are within a range from roughly 15 to 35 students, the research suggests that other factors, including the quality of the teaching, matter more than size.
Test data? More helpful, but very hard to decipher in most places. How good is the test? How much value is the school adding beyond what kids are already learning at home?
Instead, the best way to gauge the quality of a school is to spend time — even just 20 minutes — visiting classrooms while school is in session.
When you get there, though, it’s important to know where to look. Turn away from the bulletin boards and watch the students instead. Watch for signs that all the kids are paying attention, interested in what they are doing, and working hard.
Don’t check for signs of order; sometimes learning happens in a lecture hall, but more often it happens in noisy places where the kids are working in groups without much input from the teacher. Some of the worst classrooms are quiet, tidy places that look, to adults, reassuringly calm.
Remember that rigorous learning actually looks rigorous. If the kids are whizzing through a worksheet, that’s not learning. That’s filling out a form. Kids should be uncomfortable sometimes; that’s okay. They should not be frustrated or despairing; instead, they should be getting help when they need it, often from each other. They should not spend long, empty stretches of time transitioning from one class to another or waiting for the next activity. There should be a sense of urgency that you can feel.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Brown vs. Board of Education – 60 Years Later - A Presidential Proclamation



May 17, 1954, marked a turning point in America's journey toward a more perfect Union. On that day, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in our Nation's schools. Brown overturned the doctrine of "separate but equal," which the Court had established in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. For more than half a century, Plessy gave constitutional backing to discrimination, and civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People faced an uphill battle as they sought equality, opportunity, and justice under the law.

Brown v. Board of Education shifted the legal and moral compass of our Nation. It declared that education "must be made available to all on equal terms" and demanded that America's promise exclude no one. Yet the Supreme Court alone could not destroy segregation. Brown had unlocked the schoolhouse doors, but even years later, African-American children braved mobs as they walked to school, while U.S. Marshals kept the peace. From lunch counters and city streets to buses and ballot boxes, American citizens struggled to realize their basic rights. A decade after the Court's ruling, Brown's moral guidance was translated into the enforcement measures of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Thanks to the men and women who fought for equality in the courtroom, the legislature, and the hearts and minds of the American people, we have confined legalized segregation to the dustbin of history. Yet today, the hope and promise of Brown remains unfulfilled. In the years to come, we must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities. Because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together.

On the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, let us heed the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who so ably argued the case against segregation, "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody...bent down and helped us pick up our boots." Let us march together, meet our obligations to one another, and remember that progress has never come easily -- but even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 17, 2014, as the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate this landmark decision and advance the causes of equality and opportunity for all.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

‘Quilt University’ explores African-American cultural education

Written by Kevin Moore | |

Lucy Thelma Osbourne sees academia from a different perspective. Most people associate education with classrooms, teachers and textbooks. Osbourne, a woman now in her 80s who grew up in the sharecropping culture of the South, sees education as fabric, stitching and stories. She has shared her experience and thoughts on learning in her first book “Quilt University: Transforming Oral Learning into Academic Knowledge.”

Osbourne, who earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1999, returned to the University of Toledo to pursue a master’s degree in education. Her master’s thesis, which would become “Quilt University” 15 years later, was initially a struggle for her.

“I didn’t know what to write about. What I knew about was me. I grew up in a segregated town called Evergreen, Alabama, so I didn’t have the educational background for many subjects and wasn’t taught language well. Then I discovered a quilt my grandmother had made, which fell out of a cabinet when I opened the door. So I started reading quilt literature and looking at quilts going way back.”

Quilt-making played a prominent role in the South and in African-American families and neighborhoods. The process of making a quilt was a large undertaking that took up most of the day if not multiple days. Family members and neighbors would come together to make a quilt to celebrate life milestones such as a wedding, birth of a new child or someone going to college, with each person bringing scraps of cloth from everything ranging from drapery to flour sacks. While the group quilted, the family elders told stories and passed their knowledge down to the younger generations. Even the men in the community participated in a quilt-making project by gathering wood to build a frame on which the smaller sewn pieces could be stitched together to form the full quilt.