It starts with education

first_imgTeaching “isn’t rocket science,” said David J. Johns. “It’s harder.”Addressing an Askwith Forum on “Closing the Gap: African-American Educational Excellence,” Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, challenged his audience to tackle that difficult work. He called for honesty and rigor from educators, the community, and institutions like the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).Speaking in HGSE’s Askwith Hall on Tuesday night, Johns opened with a moment of silence for the slain Michael Brown of Ferguson, Mo., as well as other young African-American and Latino victims of violence, then dove right into the problems faced by many members of the African-American community.“It should not be the case that in America a child’s opportunity is determined by ZIP code or genetic code,” he said, quoting a line from the initiative that both President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have used. The program Johns leads is the newest of six such educational initiatives, he explained, describing it as “unapologetic and as intentional as we can possibly be” about leveling the playing field.How to achieve that was the subject of his engaging 50-minute talk, which was followed by a question-and-answer period. To begin, he said, educators need to have an accurate perception of the issues faced by students of color.“Children, especially disadvantaged children of color, are especially resilient — but they shouldn’t have to be,” he said. Discussing the hurdles faced by many students, he described poverty, hunger, and homelessness. “Children experience events that would break the average adult,” he said, asking his audience to imagine coming into school after missing a night’s sleep or even after witnessing a murder.Babies, Nerds, and Tweets | Harvard Graduate School of EducationDavid Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, shares solutions and strategies for closing the achievement gap in communities across the country.On Wednesday morning, about 200 Harvard students and others convened in front of University Hall in protest of the Missouri legal decision not to indict the former police officer who shot Brown dead.In his remarks, Johns also warned his listeners about the dangers of accepting and perpetuating negative images. Illustrating his point with slides and video of often very young African-American scholars and entrepreneurs — such as Thessalonika Arzu-Embry, who received her bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University at 14, and Moziah Bridges, who founded Mo’s Bows, a handcrafted bow tie business, at age 9 — Johns said, “There are still students who show up, face those barriers, and stand out anyway.”To begin to engage the problems and the stereotypes, Johns called for open discourse. Often, he said, that means “speaking truth to power,” calling out racism in all its forms and demanding opportunities and resources. “This is difficult work,” he acknowledged. “People don’t like to talk about race. They don’t like to talk about class. They don’t like to talk about the convergence of the two.”It also means being candid with young people and, perhaps most important, listening to them. Following a video of 11-year-old Marquis Govan testifying before the St. Louis County Council about the dearth of people of color on the police force and in other neighborhood roles, Johns noted that children are “asking us to care,” to demonstrate “that we see them, that we’re going to be honest about the mistakes that we’ve made, and that we’re going to support them.”Focusing on the role of educators, Johns emphasized three key points. Learning, he said, starts at birth, and families must be engaged in prenatal and early childhood care. “Why are we spending all this time trying to play catch-up?” Literacy, he continued, is vital, and must be supported and encouraged within families and communities. “If I can read, then everybody I know should be able to read.”He added that post-secondary success must be celebrated and supported “from birth.” Simply getting into a college is not enough, he stressed, and educational institutions must try harder to support students all the way to degree or certificate.The challenges, Johns acknowledged, are vast and need to be faced on a societal level. “Imagine,” he asked his audience, “how different our country would be if we celebrated half as much the people who choose educational achievement as those who dribble balls or sing songs.”Repeatedly, Johns returned to the role to be played by his audience — largely graduate students in education and teachers — with encouragement for their daunting task. “You all are the chosen ones,” he concluded. “Take care of yourself as you continue to do this work, because it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s valuable, and it’s essential.”last_img read more

AquaTrojans Swimming Results

first_imgEC hosted Batesville on Tuesday night and came away with 2 more victories on the season. EC Girls won 128-52 and EC Boys won 112-68.Individual winners include Mackenzie Schantz – 200 Free, 100 fly; Jackson Ketcham – 200 Free, 100 fly; Kyra Hall – 200 IM, 500 free; Matthew Badinghaus – 200IM; Ray Krider – 50 Free, 100 free; Aly Bailey – 1-meter diving; John Crawley – 1-meter diving; Caroline Walters – 100 free; Hannah Weber – 100 back; Jordan Marro – 100 breast; Nick Weber – 100 breast. EC won all 6 relays. The EC Girls won 84-48 and EC Boys had the first loss of the season 55-45 against Richmond and Indy Arsenal Tech.Individual winners included Mackenzie Schantz – 200 IM; Jackson Ketcham – 200 IM, 500 free; Nick Weber – 50 free, 100 free; Aly Bailey – 1-meter diving; John Crawley – 1-meter diving; Kyra Hall – 100 fly, 100 back; Brooklyn Gill – 500 free. The EC Boys travel to Centerville to face the Bulldogs on Saturday, February 1st.Courtesy of AquaTrojans Coach Brandon Loveless.last_img read more

Kotoko’s Felix Annan reacts to being dropped from Black Stars squad with sarcastic ‘Thank You’ tweet

first_imgThe tweet has elicited mixed reactions from Kotoko’s fans.While some have tweeted in support of Annan and expressed their disappointment in his treatment at Kotoko, others criticised the keeper for his reaction, which they say is unnecessary. Lol this thank you de3 ebi akutia 😂but I don’t think it was necessary oo now the media is coming to frame story to distract the team sekof this thank you ah well keep working hard to get your position back— I DONT FEAR HUUU‼‼💪 (@yeboah_kvngJnr) March 3, 2020 Kumasi Asante Kotoko goalkeeper, Felix Annan clearly isn’t pleased after he missed out on C.K Akonnor’s new Black Stars squad.Annan was in the Stars’ last squad for their AFCON 2021 Qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe, but did not play in either of the matches.However, he was left out completely as CK Akonnor drafted in Hearts of Oak shot-stopper, Richard Attah instead.The Kotoko goalkeeper has endured a tough season with the Porcupine Warriors having not featured in Kotoko’s last eight matches in the Ghana Premier League but he returned to the side for their FA Cup loss to Asokwa Deportivo.Annan had actually started the season as Kotoko’s first-choice keeper and captain, proving to be one of the safest pairs of hands in the country.His good form in recent years had seen him earn Black Stars call-ups with many predicting that he could soon take up a starting role in the national team.Asante Kotoko goalkeeper, Felix Annan has lost his place in the Black Stars squadHowever, those hopes appear to have been dashed, at least temporarily, by his lack of game-time at Kotoko.Annan has not played since he missed the club’s match against Ebusua Dwarfs, on January 19, after he got married that weekend, and has lost his place in the first team to Kwame Baah.After C.K Akonnor announced his 23-man squad, Annan tweeted ‘Thank You’, which many have interpreted to be sarcastic.He added two clapping emojis as well as a red dot, which, some believe, is a shot a Kotoko.center_img I will berate you for marrying in the middle of the season as a professional player but I believe you gonna come out strong, none of our keepers locally and abroad is better than you…keep believing because you are our number and is gonna come soon @van_felix12— MrOpare (@mista_opare) March 3, 2020last_img read more