Geraldo Rivera on Hip Hop: Open Discussion

Geraldo Rivera recently said “hip hop has done more damage to Black and Brown people than racism in the last 10 years” What do you think?  Rivera on Hip Hop and Racism

Music and Black Youth: Open Discussion

This morning while watching News One Now with Roland Martin, Chuck D (Founder of Public Enemy, Artist/Musician, & Activist) commented on the connection between African Americans and music. He mentioned that taking away music programs in inner city schools is a detriment to Black Youth because Black people are gifted when it comes to musicianship and this limits the ability to pass on music education and the artistry to black youth. From what I understood, he did not directly say that this was a “conspiracy” to take away music from Black people, but it did make me wonder if there may be a hidden agenda behind the removal of important arts programs in public schools, especially those in urban education districts. So I will pose the question for open discussion: Is the removal of music programs in inner-city (or urban) K-12 schools a conspiracy that will have a negative impact on Black Youth?

Imagine America without Black People.

#BlackHistoryMonth

For everyone that comes across this post, I want you to really sit back and think about what life in this country would be like if Black people had never been chained and delivered to this country. I would great appreciate if you spent just a little bit of your mental time to consider exactly what it would be like if Blacks were never brought to North America, The Carribean, South America. This is not something that should be lightly considered.
If you would, please share with me your thoughts on the comments. I’m interested in knowing what you come up with.

I’ll start it off: If there were no Blacks, there would be not be a monopoloy on music by 6 record companies. There would be no allied victory in WWII and there surely would be internet for you to read this post on.

Student Loan Debt Hits a New High

1.2 Trillion dollars.

Let that sink in and after you get finished with that, this site will help you visualize what a trillion dollars actually is

In one way I reckon that large student debt is evidence that people are seeking their education, which is a wonderful thing. It enriches one’s life in numerous way, not just having the parchment that makes you acceptable to employers.
But on the other hand, I cannot help but ponder why an education is causing so many SO much financial burden. $1000+ student loan repayments, just 6 months after you’ve graduated? What kind of situation do the holders of these loans expect graduates to be in?
If you look at it from a business standpoint, opportunities are rarely richer or more guaranteed than loaning money to people who need to get an education in order to make money and hope to have a middle class lifestyle. It’s almost like ransoming education. School is so expensive, (or should I say the “better” schools)… it might be justified by the quality of education, but its also the weight that the degree holds, which allows for more opportunities for the holder, along with many other factors, but for loaners the more it costs for the learner the higher stream of income that one can expect. On $100,000 in student loans, one can expect a return of perhaps $125,000? Sweet! A college education is supposed to allow one to “make it”, but how can you make it when a mountain of student loan debt is weighing on you before you really have a chance to get started.
The first years of one’s career are the most lean, and they become even leaner when you have a $500 bill coming right along with it.

I propose that student loan debt be treated like a mortgage, because it is more akin to a lifelong investment than it is to a payday loan, which is what it seems like now. It should be structured at an interest rate that is no more that 1.25% and should be spread out over 30 years. That means a student borrowing $100,000 for the life of their education would be paying $105 a month. I think that is fair and solid. It would prevent predatory lending to students and allow them to not be burdened with a huge sum before they are able to establish themselves.

1.2 Trillion is a lot of money.

America’s College Promise Proposal

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2015

FACT SHEET: White House Unveils America’s College Promise Proposal:

Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students

Nearly a century ago, a movement that made high school widely available helped lead to rapid growth in the education and skills training of Americans, driving decades of economic growth and prosperity. America thrived in the 20th century in large part because we had the most educated workforce in the world.  But other nations have matched or exceeded the secret to our success. Today, more than ever, Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy without having to take on decades of debt before they even embark on their career.

Today the President is unveiling the America’s College Promise proposal to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost. Continue reading

Code.org wants to help you learn computer science 1 hour at a time.

http://code.org/ is trying to get students to do 100 million hours of coding, 1 hour a day. http://code.org/learn.

I think this is fantastic because we are in such dire need of computer science education. As I have said before, it is a way to bridge the skills gap, and the more computerized this world becomes the more important it will be to have the skills necessary to not only navigate, but manipulate it.

1 Billion Dollars for Early Childhood Education

President Obama has pledged 1 billion dollars for early childhood education; the federal government along with corporate sponsors are going to help kids get a leg up in life.

“The effort being led by the First Five Years Fund will challenge the private and public sectors to spend more on early childhood education. Among those supporting the campaign are The Walt Disney Co. with $55 million, the LEGO Foundation with $5 million and the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation with $25 million.”

Some questions to ponder are: How significant is this? and Does it bother anyone that there is a  corporate sponsorship of the earliest and most basic formal education of future children? Is this a trend that we will continue to see in the future?

Get your learn on!

Want to watch some enriching education videos? Use this link:  http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-places-watch-fun-educational-videos-online/ lists and enjoy your exploration. After all, there is more to education than science, math, and english. An educated mind is an enriched mind.

College Access & the Admissions Office

As a higher education professional who works with low-income, first-generation college students at a large, top-tier research university, I believe the admissions office plays the role of the “gatekeeper” in terms of providing access to prospective college students. Their practices and policies definitely lean in favor of those from higher income families who are more versed in the admissions process.

A recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Why the Admissions Office May Be Part of the Problem of College Access” discusses this issue.

“The admissions office, especially at highly selective institutions, is the agent that keeps these students out of college in the first place, by creating a game that is heavily skewed in favor of students from high-income, well-educated families.”

Like the author, who is also a higher education professional, I too believe that it is time to change the requirements and means of evaluating students for college admissions. Admissions requirements still weigh test scores as an indicator of college admissions by using scores to assess the success they believe students will have at their institutions. However, research should have taught us long ago, that low-income and/or minority students are are more likely to have lower standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, etc.), than their counterparts.

Additionally, other factors such as class rank (which can be heavily based on the amount of AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or honors courses students take, depending on the schools and their methods of calculating grade point averages and ratios), letters of recommendation, legacy status, and extracurricular activities are also weighted heavily. But what if a student from a lower socioeconomic status (SES) background had to work after school to provide for himself and contribute to the family income, and was unable to be involved in extracurricular activities? what if that same student was first-generation and no one ever talked to him about the importance of networking, building relationships with college officials, high school counselors, admissions reps, teachers etc. in order to get a great letter of recommendation or proofread his admissions essays? And what if that student made all A’s in all of his classes, but did not have the chance to graduate in the top 10% of his high school class because he was not in AP or IB classes? Finally, what if he did not have the money or additional resources needed for ACT or SAT prep classes, so he did not make high scores on his exams? Does he not deserve to be admitted into a selective university? Does his lack of money and social capital automatically mean that he will not succeed in college? After all, he did maintain high grades while being employed and taking on family responsibilities at home, which can sometimes make it more difficult to manage time effectively than students who are involved in clubs and organizations.

According to the article, if institutions want to continue to increase the enrollment of first-generation, low-income, or minority students, there should be an expectation that the admissions offices do more. I agree, but I also add, that additional measures and services must be implemented to support students before they set foot on campus, while they are learning how to navigate the college environment during their first-year, and beyond. These students come with a unique set of challenges that begin once they accept admission, and these challenges must be addressed not underscored or dumped into student affairs or students services offices. Academic affairs must also assist. It should be the interest of everyone entity on campus that has a connection with the students to understand and accommodate their unique needs, if the mission of the institution truly endeavors to provide them with the best education and opportunity for development possible.

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education http://chronicle.com/article/Why-the-Admissions-Office-May/150883/