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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Black-White Children's Achievement Gap Is Worsened by Unresponsive State Policymakers

Written by Featured Organization on 08 July 2013.

State policymakers' attention to teacher quality -- an issue education research shows is essential to improving schooling outcomes for racial minority students -- is highly responsive to low graduation rates among white students, but not to low graduation rates among black students, according to a Baylor University study.

The findings are evidence that "the persisting achievement gap between white and black students has distinctively political foundations," the researchers wrote.

The article, entitled "The Political Foundations of the Black-White Education Achievement Gap," is published in the journal American Politics Research. It is co-authored by Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, and Michael Hartney, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame.

The findings come nearly 60 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case aimed at promoting educational equality by declaring unconstitutional state laws that established separate public schools for black and white students.

But the researchers' findings show that inequality persists when it comes to education reform. "Instead of promoting equality of opportunity, America's system of K-12 education -- which relies heavily on state and local control -- may worsen political inequalities," the researchers wrote.

Surprisingly, even in states in which policymakers were more racially balanced, legislators were less responsive about closing the education gap, Flavin said.

"You might expect that in states that have more black students, government would be more attentive, but we didn't find that," Flavin said. "Whether analyzed at the policymaking level or the level of individual citizens' political attitudes, white students receive far more attention and subsequent response compared to African-American students."

For black policymakers, inaction on policies aimed at improving schooling for racial minorities might be related to the fact that they overwhelming tend to be Democrats --and teachers' unions contribute mot of their campaign funding to Democrats, Flavin siad. The unions are "adamantly against linking teacher evaluations to test scores. They have other ideas they think would help, like reducing class size and improving resources."

Whites are less likely to think an education gap exists or to see it as a priority compared to blacks. Whites also are less likely to think that the government has a responsibility to close a gap, the researchers found.

"It's when white students are doing poorly that you start seeing state legislators pass more controversial bills like linking teacher pay and evaluations to student test scores," Flavin said. "And white citizens only seem to be alarmed when white students' performance drops."

For the research, racial disparities in student outcomes were measured using National Assessment of Education Progress scores as well as high school graduation rates. While there was a period of dramatic improvement after the Brown v. Board decision up until early 1990s, the gap between the two racial groups has stagnated or even slightly increased since the early 1990s, according to the study.

To analyze state policymaking, the researchers measured 12 state-level reform policies tracked by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Those policies include such actions as paying teachers more for teaching in high-poverty schools (so-called "combat pay") and tying teacher pay to student achievement.

To analyze citizens' opinions on education, Flavin and Hartney used a variety of nationally representative public opinion polls.

The study concludes by noting that the most recent and widespread efforts to address educational inequality have come not from state policymakers but rather from federal ones.

Those include the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which required states to document and report student test score data by racial and ethnic subgroups; and more recently, the "Race to the Top," a competitive grant program that makes willingness to decrease achievement gaps, particularly to increase minority students' access to highly effective teachers, a key factor for states to be awarded federal money. •

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