08-09-2022  7:54 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

A statement from the county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments —...

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

WA GOP House member who voted to impeach Trump concedes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of two Republican members of Washington’s congressional delegation who voted to impeach Donald Trump, has conceded her reelection bid after being overtaken in late vote tallies by a GOP challenger endorsed by the former president. ...

Republicans shut of out Washington Secretary of State race

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Until Democratic state Sen. Steve Hobbs was appointed as Washington’s secretary of state last November, Republicans had a hold on the office for 56 years. Now, they've been shut out of the general election. Hobbs captured about 40% of the vote and easily...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son's birthday during the weekend. Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee's...

Lutheran bishop issues public apology to Latino congregation

Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, issued a public apology Tuesday to members of a majority Latino immigrant congregation for the pain and trauma they endured after the predominantly white denomination’s first openly transgender bishop unexpectedly...

8 minority jail officers settle suit over guarding Chauvin

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eight minority corrections officers who were working at the jail where a former Minneapolis police officer was awaiting trial in the death of George Floyd were awarded nearly jumi.5 million Tuesday to settle a lawsuit. The officers filed the racial...

ENTERTAINMENT

New this week: 'Day Shift' and 'Five Days at Memorial'

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES — One of the best movies of the year is finally streaming. “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda's tour-de-force...

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. ...

'P-Valley' explores Black strip club culture, gay acceptance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Katori Hall first pitched the idea to convert her popular play about Black strip club culture into the television series “P-Valley,” the Pulitzer Prize winner was either quickly rejected after meeting with networks or denied before she could fully explain the concept. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Biden, Democrats bet on long-term goals for short-term boost

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s legislative victories have aimed to position the U.S. to “win the...

AP PHOTOS: Serena Williams, the athlete and cultural icon

After winning 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams says she is turning her focus to having another child and her...

FBI's search of Trump's Florida estate: Why now?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence...

Hamas issues, then rescinds, sweeping rules on Gaza coverage

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers issued sweeping new restrictions on journalists after the...

In reversal, Brazil court reopens case of rainforest park

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After declaring the decision final, a state court backpedaled Monday and reopened a...

Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists prepared Tuesday to move a beluga whale that strayed into the Seine River...

Amy Wilkins, America

WASHINGTON—Tracey and Abby Sparrow, one a teacher and the other a nonprofit's vice president, both white, recently took to the pages of Phi Delta Kappan, a magazine for educators, to explain what stands between black males and academic success. The writers' methodology is questionable. They selected 10 black young men and boys as their storytelling devices. The end product is powerful, with bursts of compelling, almost tabloidesque narrative, accompanied by riveting photographic portraits. But the probable impact is devastating.

The Sparrows' version of these young men's voices resurrects and refreshes centuries-old stereotypes about black males, black families and black communities. Instead of providing educators who read Phi Delta Kappan with fresh insights or, better still, new tools and strategies to help black boys and young men succeed in often-dismal circumstances, the authors practically hang "abandon all hope" signs around their subjects' necks.

Co-opting the excerpted words of these young men, the authors attribute their academic failures to music, peer groups, absent fathers and mothers "more into street life" than mothering. Their characterization of black mothers is disturbing. Many black women must balance nurturing and educating their children with work and keeping households functioning. Why is it that imperfections of white mothers are rarely used as an excuse to shortchange white boys or blame the boys or their moms for low achievement?

My research comes from personal experiences with my son and interviews with seven other mothers of African-American boys. We know a very different story, one that educators need to hear about how schools systemically undercut, rather than nurture, the academic promise of black males.

According to the Sparrows, the boys don't mention anything about schools. What the Sparrows don't mention is that, as a rule, schools spend less on educating black children than on white children. They don't mention that students in schools with large proportions of students of color are almost twice as likely as students in mostly white schools to be taught science by someone who neither majored nor minored in science. Or that, even when black students score at the same levels in math as their white peers, they are only half as likely to be placed in an algebra class.

The Sparrows neglect to note that in middle and high schools, black male students are five times more likely to be suspended and 17 times more likely to be expelled than white males. Or that African-American kids are consistently steered toward less rigorous courses and less demanding college choices, while their white counterparts are encouraged to stretch.

We don't know why the boys quoted by the Sparrows didn't mention the numbingly dull classes, the frequently absent teachers, the nonfunctioning science labs and all the other ways in which schools cheat them out of strong educations. We can't say that the boys didn't because we don't know what the Sparrows edited out. Sadder still for too many of our children, dysfunctional schools are so much the norm that they and their parents can't imagine that school could ever be different or better. Therefore, substandard schools are hardly worth mentioning.

Finally, these boys, like the rest of our culture, are served a steady diet of media stories about dysfunctional African-American families and communities. Only on the rarest occasions are they delivered an honest critique of the deeply unjust policies and practices of American education.

It's clever to use students hardened to all the ways our school systems abuse them to tell educators a "ripped-from-the-headlines" tale that avoids the very issues over which educators actually have control. But it's also sleazy and neither new nor imaginative.

For generations, educators have passed the buck for the academic struggles of African-Americans. Instead of reinforcing negative preconceptions about our boys, the writers and Phi Delta Kappancould and should have challenged readers to acknowledge the ways schools systemically undercut and stifle the academic promise of so many of our sons and brothers.

Amy Wilkins is vice president for government affairs and communications at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C. America's Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

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