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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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Confident Teachers Help Preschoolers More with Language and Literacy Skills

Written by By Jessica Orwig on 10 June 2010.

Confident Teachers Help New research suggests that pre-school students may gain more language and literacy skills if they have teachers with higher levels of confidence in their abilities. However, in some cases students only saw gains when their teachers also had classrooms that emphasized emotional support for the children.

"Emotionally responsive relationships between teachers and children may be the way by which the self-efficacy of teachers can have a positive influence on children's literacy," said Ying Guo, co-author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in education at Ohio State University.

The new study was published in a recent issue of the journal Teaching and Teacher Education. Guo and her co-authors examined how teachers' confidence in their teaching abilities - what researchers refer to as "self-efficacy" - affected children's learning progression in language and literacy skills.

The research involved a large, multi-state study that included 67 teachers and 328 of their students. Participants were followed over the course of 30 weeks.

Teachers were given a short questionnaire that measured their self-efficacy on a scale from one to five. The survey asked questions like "How much can you do to get through to the most difficult students?" and "How much can you do to keep students on task on difficult assignments?"

The level of emotional support in the classrooms was measured by trained coders who coded how teachers and students interact with each other from videotapes collected during an approximately two-hour standardized classroom observation. The coders rated the quality as low, mid, or high based on a numbering scale from one to seven.

Students were given tests of language and literacy skills at the beginning and end of the 30 week period to assess improvement.

Results indicated that students whose teachers had high self-efficacy showed gains in one measure of early literary skills called print awareness, in which students were asked questions like "Show me just one letter on this page."

However, children only showed gains in vocabulary knowledge skills when they had a classroom that offered emotional support in addition to having a teacher with high self-efficacy.

"Classroom quality is important, and students seem to learn more when they have emotional support in the classroom," Guo said.

The study found that some of the factors that affected teachers' self-efficacy were certification degree and years of experience. Teachers who possessed an elementary certification had higher levels of self-efficacy than those who possessed a pre-school certification.

While the data from this study can't explain why, the researchers speculate that the additional training needed for an elementary certificate may have led these teachers to be more confident in their teaching abilities than those with pre-school certification.

An interesting result showed that teachers who had more years of pre-school teaching experience also had lower levels of self-efficacy.

"It is not that uncommon," explained Laura Justice, co-author of the study and a professor in the School of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State.

"Fresh teachers who are straight out of training think that they can change the world. Then, when they get into the work place they realize how serious and difficult their jobs really are. This is why we think self-efficacy may decline among some pre-school teachers through the years," she added.

Some of the research Justice works on involves analyzing the factors that determine the quality of teacher instruction. One of her studies found that teachers' self-efficacy was one of the few variables that affected instructional quality. "This study looks more in depth at how teacher efficacy may contribute to classroom quality, which may contribute to children's academic achievement. This paper is bringing everything together."

This research was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

 

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