02-17-2020  8:54 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy

State and Local Leaders Push Back Against Fair Housing Changes

Trump administration proposes weakened regulation, tracking of housing discrimination

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Irresponsible Government Use of Facial Recognition Technology

The technology heightens the risk of over-surveillance and over-policing, especially in communities of color ...

Jury decides convicted Oregon meth dealer should lose home

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Yamhill County jury has concluded that police can seize the home of a woman convicted of a felony drug crime under Oregon’s civil forfeiture law.Sheryl Sublet, 62, pleaded guilty in 2018 to to selling less than 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, The...

Police seek suspect who robbed 3 Portland banks in 1 hour

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man robbed three Portland banks in less than one hour last week, according to the Portland Police Bureau.The robberies occurred Friday, The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported.The man wore glasses, a black beanie and flannel shirt.He robbed the Bank of the West on...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Professor suspended for calling police on black student

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A white professor at an Indiana university who called police to his classroom after a black student refused to change seats will not be teaching for the remainder of the semester, the school said in a written statement.No formal charges or disciplinary action was...

Bloomberg takes veiled swipe at rival's aggressive loyalists

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, Democratic presidential candidates campaigning were fixated on a rival who wasn't contesting the state. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg all went after billionaire Mike...

Ex-South African leader de Klerk sorry for apartheid comment

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African president FW de Klerk on Monday apologized and withdrew his statement that the country's former harsh system of racial separation known as apartheid was not a crime against humanity.De Klerk, the last president under apartheid, caused an uproar with...

ENTERTAINMENT

Snoop Dogg apologizes to Gayle King for rant over Bryant

NEW YORK (AP) — After days of blistering criticism, Snoop Dogg has finally apologized to Gayle King for attacking her over her interview with former basketball star Lisa Leslie about the late Kobe Bryant.“Two wrongs don't make no right. when you're wrong, you gotta fix it," he said in...

Voigt shocked paper ran her photo with Freni's obituary

Deborah Voigt was in California earlier this week when she got a text from a friend on the East Coast."So sorry to hear the news of your passing," read the Monday message.The Gazzetta di Parma newspaper in Italy had run an obituary of Mirella Freni, the great Italian soprano who died Sunday at age...

Lizzo talks diversity, self-confidence and femininity

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Fresh from winning three Grammys, singer Lizzo visited Mexico City for a private concert, surprising her fans with acoustic versions of her hits and a toast with tequila.The star from Detroit, who won best pop solo performance (“Truth Hurts”), best...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Rain postpones Daytona 500, dampening event, Trump's visit

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012,...

Portugal leaders rally around racially abused soccer player

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — The president and the prime minister of Portugal added their voices to a national...

GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors decision to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a...

Zuckerberg meets EU officials as bloc's new tech rules loom

LONDON (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met top European Union officials on a visit to Brussels on...

Popular Rwandan gospel musician found dead in police cell

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — A popular Rwandan gospel musician who in 2015 was found guilty of conspiracy to...

After gains in northern Syria, Assad predicts total victory

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated his forces Monday for consolidating...

McMenamins
By The Skanner News

By Teresa Wiltz, America's Wire

WASHINGTON — While achievement levels have improved considerably for minority elementary and middle school students, studies show academic performance among high school age African Americans and Hispanics has fallen to levels not seen in 30 years.

How prevalent is the achievement gap at the high school level?

On average, math and reading skills for African American and Latino high school seniors are at roughly the same level as 13-year-old white students, according to a November study put out by the Washington-based advocacy group Education Trust.

"We take kids that start [high school] a little behind and by the time they finish high school, they're way behind," says Amy Wilkins, vice president for government affairs and communications at Education Trust.

"Education is supposed to level the playing field," adds Wilkins. "And it does the opposite. … While many people are celebrating our postracial society … there is still a significant hangover in our schools."

African American and Latino students have made little to no progress in 12th-grade reading scores since 1994, according to the study, continuing to lag behind white students. Math achievement has also remained flat, with the gap between white students and those of color widening.

Causes for the disparity include: lowered expectations for students of color, income inequality and a lack of resources in low-income school districts, unequal access to experienced teachers, an increase in "out of field" teachers, and an "unconscious bias" among teachers and administrators.

These factors, experts say, produce an opportunity gap for students of color.

"A 12th-grade education in a more affluent neighborhood is not the same as the education in a less affluent neighborhood," says Dominique Apollon, research director with the non-profit Applied Research Center. "Top students in low-income schools don't have the opportunity to be pushed further and further."

School advocates say students of color, regardless of class, are frequently confronted with lowered expectations and requirements from teachers and administrators. Students in low-income schools are more likely to be given an "A" for work that would receive a "C" in a more affluent school, the Education Trust study showed.

They are also less likely to be given advanced-level coursework, an issue John Capozzi, principal of Elmont (N.Y.) Memorial Junior-Senior High School, where a majority of students are African American and Latino, sees as a civil rights issue.

"They have preconceived notions about minority kids," says Capozzi of his fellow educators and accreditation officials. "A large part of my job . . . [is] dispelling the stereotypes of our kids. It's long been embedded in society."

"African Americans and Hispanics have been denied access to the more rigorous courses," Capozzi says. All students, he adds, "should be thrown into vigorous classes" and be given proper academic support to ensure their success in college and work.

According to Education Trust, more white high school graduates were enrolled in college prep courses than were their African-American, Latino and Native American counterparts. Often, schools with large minority populations do not offer advanced classes.

Pedro Noguera, professor of education at New York University, notes, "Where there's tracking, [you have] obstacles to getting into the more rigorous classes, and the teachers aren't that committed to teaching. Those are all signs of a dysfunctional culture."

Even a middle-class background is no guarantee that minority students won't experience such obstacles. Wilkins says middle-class black teens are more likely to be placed in less competitive classes than their white peers, and a black child with high fifth-grade math scores is less likely to be enrolled in algebra in eighth grade, the study shows.

"A lot of the time, those [middle-class black] kids are in schools where they are in the minority," Noguera says. "If they don't have teachers that are encouraging them, they feel alienated."

Another obstacle for poor and minority students is that they are more likely than white students to have inexperienced and "out of field" teachers -- for instance, a math instructor teaching English or a science instructor teaching history. That, education experts say, is a recipe for disaster.

So is the prevalence of inexperienced instructors.

"Some of the least experienced teachers are put in classrooms with our most needy kids," says LaShawn Routé Chatmon, executive director of the National Equity Project based in Oakland. "This doesn't mean that new teachers can't serve needy students. But there is a trend of large numbers of teachers who aren't fully prepared."

The result? According to Chatmon, inexperienced teachers inadvertently perpetuate the achievement gap. Students performing below their grade must be taught at an accelerated level, she says. Teachers must be "warm demanders," showing students respect, encouraging them to be partners in their learning and communicating clearly that they are expected to master the subject matter, Chatmon says.

This is particularly critical in the early years of high school when students learn groundwork for more advanced coursework.

"All the research shows that ninth grade is a pivotal year, for all students, but in particular minority students," Capozzi says. "If you don't catch them in ninth grade, the rise in dropouts increases dramatically."

A longer version of this article appeared earlier on America's Wire.

America's Wire is an independent, non-profit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. America's Wire is made possible by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www.americaswire.orgor contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

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