Board Member Concerned About Closing The Achievement Gap

I want to comment on the issue of board engagement with their constituents because it is a good one. Speaking for myself only, I can tell you that I count active "public" engagement as my weakest area of service. Yes, I talk to my constituents on the phone. I text them. They text me. I email them. They email me. As in many other areas, sophisticated forms of impersonal communication are dominating the interaction between some public officials and their constituents. It does not help that I am not a person who likes to do anything for show but I hold a degree in Political Science from NC State and I know that in the political arena, sometimes that is required in order for people to know you are working for them and on the issues that affect them and it also can inspire them to want to do more. In my letter to the three candidates for appointment sent the day after the July board meeting thanking them for their interest in serving, I told them that I would be contacting them shortly regarding forming a "real" Advisory Council for our district, in the hopes to improve in this area. Public solicitation of others who might be interested in joining will also occur before the start of this school year.

I am still studying the data regarding the achievement gap in our district and I am anxiously awaiting reports from the professionals working with us from DPI regarding their independent evaluation of the causes of this phenomenon. I do know already, however, that both the causes of this problem and the solutions are multifaceted. The first thing that we need to do is to focus squarely on the issue and I plan to push for that focus this year. In order to be effective, our mindsets have to be on helping eliminate the problem and not on laying blame. When we have teachers or principals who are struggling, we help them with what they need in order for their students to succeed. We have to take the same approach to our parents/grandparents/guardians who may not be doing what they need to do in order for their children to succeed. It will take a great deal of work at the community level for us to accomplish this critical piece of the equation but we can do it.

Teresa DeLoatch Bryant
District 2 Representative

Note: The above is in response to: “Edgecombe County Public Schools The Real Problem Keeping Black Students @ 30% Behind Their White Counterparts (Closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe)

See related:

Edgecombe County Public Schools

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Black Family Day On The Tarboro Town Commons Has Generated Much Discussion In Edgecombe County, Will It Go Forward?

Black Family Day

The June 13, 2011 Tarboro Town Council meeting generated much discussion about the proposed Black Family Day on September 3, 2011, on the Town Commons. Much of the discussion centered on the word “Black.” Black Family Day is more than a picnic, it is a cultural event. Much of the discourse about Black Family Day is not so much the event, but the location. A friend suggested, “All the taxpaying citizens of Tarboro have a vested interest in The Town Commons – undivided shares.”

The lack of Black history being integrated into the United States History curriculum created a void that is with us in 21st century. Additionally, the failure to include Black history in the curriculum deprived citizens of an understanding, tolerance, and /or an appreciation for Black culture. Numerous comments via social media and letters to the editor, suggested the need for this event and others that will give all the communities in Tarboro an opportunity to learn about Black culture and acquire a much needed appreciation for cultural differences.

Slavery destroyed the Black family in the United States; however Black people survived at the hands of Black women who “extended” themselves to everybody’s children, not just blood relations. Hence, this was the emergence of the extended family.

The extended family was a positive benefit. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and unrelated neighbors provide moral and in some instances financial support. Rearing “others” children became an accepted practice in Black Family life. Caring for others within the family structure and community was not only a value carried over from the African legacy.

Family structures in America, regardless of race and ethnicity, have changed. In the process, the role of the extended family has weakened. This was a greater loss for Black Americans because it had been such a tradition for the Black family and had played such an important role in the family‟s survival.

So many citizens don’t understand the significance for such an event as Black Family Day. Many citizens celebrate Civil War reenactments, create Civil War Trails for tourism, celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., but find it incomprehensible to celebrate Black Family Day. Black Family Day is simply the revival of the extended family.

J. Langston Hughes said it best in the essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" when he penned, “…We younger Negro artists now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they aren’t, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too… If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, as strong as we know how and we stand on the top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”

Florence A. Armstrong, Ed.D.

See related:

Read the article for yourself: Muhammad: Black Family Day ‘a day for everyone’

Black Family Day

Wake County Public School System Tata: Target Federal Funds

Happy Friday! Here is today’s BOE news.

Tata: Target federal funds

In his weekly press briefing, Superintendent Tony Tata said that WCPSS should make better use of federal funds to help boost achievement among low-income and ESL (English-as-a-second-language) students, according to the N&O.

In the News

Why one good teacher decided to quit (CNN)

Wake school board forums scheduled

Limitations on implementing districtwide teacher merit pay

LTEs/opinion

Shades of qualification

Thanks for staying engaged with WCPSS.

Enjoy your weekend and stay cool!!

See related:

Wake County Public Schools

House Speaker John A. Boehner To Roll Out A Two-Step Strategy As It Relates To The Federal And National Debt – Source: The Washington Post

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told his troops Saturday that he hopes to roll out a two-step strategy within the next 24 hours for raising the federal debt limit and restraining the national debt to avoid roiling Asian financial markets when they open Sunday, according to a participant in the conference call. (Read more)

Edgecombe County Public Schools The Real Problem Keeping Black Students @ 30% Behind Their White Counterparts (Closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe)

Someone Asked Me What Is The Real Problem Keeping Black Students @ 30% Behind Their White Counterparts (Closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe)

First of all I have posted my opinions on this blog and my previous blogs about issues affecting Edgecombe County Public Schools and Closing the Achievement Gap. I have served on the Closing the Achievement Gap Committee, PTO, School Improvement Team, Edgecombe County Public Schools Advisory Committee and other since the early 90’s long before I had a child in the system so it has never been just about my children. I just reposted this comment a couple of days ago and if you follow the “See related” in the post and do your damn homework you will be more informed. I have called out all folks, organizations and other who say they are concerned about education but are not doing a damn thing.

I am not going to continue to repeat myself about what I have done and what others are doing. However like I said in another post about the board appointment specifically talking about the make up of the district, I have no problem with you or others posting comments about what you feel the closing the achievement gap problems are and other issues but you will not do it in a post whereby the message in that original post gets lost.

Mr. Dancy

I would never demean the effort you put fourth on issues you dean important. However, I would like you to comment on the real problem keeping black students @30% behind their white counterparts (closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe).

You say what is the real problem keeping black students @30% behind their white counterparts (closing the gap statistics for Edgecombe). I have not had time to view the statistics and if you have then I have no problem with you posting the facts from the statistics and not your opinion only. Post the facts from the statistics and then your opinion. However your comments above is somewhat valid however there could be some underlying factors. One example I know for a fact that some white children when they leave and go to college their white parents hire them a tutor. So that means that someone could possibly be giving them better grades than they actually made.

The reason for this disparity is not the racial make up of the school board, the racial make up of the superintendent, or the racial make up of school administrators and teachers.

This is not totally true because I have stated on my blogs, in meetings be they in schools or in the community that when there were all black schools, there were some smart black children. These children went to college and they went on to work in the White House and other good jobs including the government. I have stated that we need to look at what worked then and incorporate it in the system today. Not going to go into a lot of detail because this means a wide range of things including when home economics, agriculture, auto body and more were offered. The staff back then were community based and were not only in touch with the children in school but in the community as well. In the white community, they are connected because the school system today are a white overwhelming majority. Take for instance G.W. Carver Elementary School had no black certified teacher to reach out to the little black children there. So to say that children can’t relate to those who look like them is also ignant as hell.

The gap between whites and blacks in our educational system is due to the value placed on education in households and communities throughout the county. When parents and the community devalue he importance of a good education and does not prepare children to be school ready before kindergarten and each night afterwards, student acedemic performance will suffer.

I have stated over and over again that this is a new day and some children of today are being raised by children because their parents are still children. These are not true parents in my opinion. I just told a Rev. at the last School Board Meeting that I am sick of (black folks) talking about the black parents are not involved. I said that some are not parents and that the black church, black organizations, individuals and others must reach out to the children and appeal to them so they will come to us for guidance. I said to him that the parents are going to resist so we must do all we can to reach out to these children. Hell I have been saying this for years because to keep talking about it is not accomplishing anything but failure.

What is being done by political activists / agitators to address this problem? What community programs exist? What outreach is being conducted?

I have answered the above to much degree in red above. I have stated that some community programs that suppose to be about children that there has been enough monies to come into the community that we should not be dealing with some of the things we are facing. So don’t go there with me about what I ain’t doing because again if you know me personally, do some research on me you will see what I am all about. I will allow others to speak for themselves.

(I know you and your wife have taken an active role in insuring you children’s success by preparing them at home and even volunteering in their schools. It would be euphoric is ever parent took an active roll in their child’s education and took responsibility for raising their children)

This is not about me and my wife because I have stated over and over and over again I was doing this long before I had a child in the system and will continue when my last child leave the system. I am a black male and a black voice for the children and I do what I do because in my opinion I have been ordained to do so. I recognize and understand that all parents are not going to take an active roll in their child’s education and also all of them are not going to raise their child as they should. Again I have touched on that above in red.

I realize that it is extremely important to you and others that black students and parents have black representation in positions of power, but I have not seen any real significant change in overall student performance regardless the hue of the person filling a position.

Again I have addressed this issue above in red. To say that black children can not relate to those who look like them is just too damn ignant. Don’t twist it because yes I can relate to all folks however some do not especially in these years. you see back in the day my grandma and others raised little white children that myself and others went to school with but today that type of relationship do not exist because times have changed. I repeat to say that some black children don’t perform better when they have a person of hue that looks like them, live in their neighborhood, goes to their church and the list goes on, that anyone who sees otherwise if ignant as hell. But then again they may can’t relate because they don’t know what I am talking about as it relates to that time I speak of in this paragraph.

If student achievement would be increased by every school board member being black, then I am all for it. All students need to be ready or college and workforce if this county ever hopes to become a economic power house and for oppertunity to flourish.
It all starts at home.

Student achievement increased by board members is just ignant as hell to me. The achievement must come from the staff that come in contact with the child on a daily basis which is the principal and teachers as it relates to the education. The roll of the school board is to deal with policy and procedures and to hold the staff accountable. The board should play a strong role in going to the REQUIRED TRAINING and learn all they can and to bring back good ideas that work in other systems across the nation.

It is my opinion that school board representatives must be actively engaged in their districts by soliciting from those they represent to see what the issues are. I do not see any of the board members doing that however they could be doing it over the phone or by whatever means. However when they do it in a meeting environment they open it up throughout the county because although a board member is elected by districts, they still represent the entire county.

Now my question to you, what in the hell are you doing since you want to make it about black folks and what they are not doing. Oh you can say anything because you hide behind a code name so therefore I can’t check you out.

I have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies only permanent interest.

Curmilus Dancy II
See My Bio – Dare you to read it!!