01-21-2021  12:02 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
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NORTHWEST NEWS

John Hairston Becomes First Black CEO of Bonneville Power Administration

29-year employee appointed to new role by U.S. Secretary of Energy  

Natural Gas Terminal Plans In Oregon Hit Snag Over Permit

The ruling was hailed as a major victory by opponents of Jordan Cove, which would be the first such LNG overseas export terminal in the lower 48 states.

BIPOC Caucus Unveils Agenda for 2021

12 members of the state House and Senate name 10 areas of focus

Online Events Honouring Dr Martin Luther King are Underway

 From a jazz concert and a reading challenge to an online film festival we are all invited to celebrate Dr Martin Luther King and complete his work

NEWS BRIEFS

St. Andrew Parish Announces 2021 Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Awards

The Community Service Award went to cameron whitten of the Black Resilience Fund ...

Applicants Sought for Free Girls’ Summer Wilderness Science Education Expeditions

The programs provide 16- and 17-year-old young women opportunities to travel with professional scientists, artists and wilderness...

Portland Center Stage Welcomes New Literary Manager Kamilah Bush Following Nationwide Search

As literary manager, Bush is charged with deepening the literary and artistic core of Portland Center Stage ...

St Andrew's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Features Marilyn Keller

On Sunday, Jan. 17, the St. Andrew community will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 9:30...

VA Portland Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccinations for Portland, Vancouver-area Veterans

Portland and Vancouver-area veterans 75 years of age and older to receive a phone call to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. ...

Protesters gather, damage Democratic headquarters in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A group of protesters carrying anti-President Joe Biden and anti-police signs marched Wednesday in Portland streets and damaged the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Oregon, police said. Some in the group of about 150 people smashed windows and spray-painted...

Proud Boy organizer arrested in Florida over riot at Capitol

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Two Florida men, including a self-described organizer for the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were arrested Wednesday on charges of taking part in the siege of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, authorities said.Joseph Biggs, 37, was arrested in central...

Music City Bowl between Iowa and Missouri canceled

The Music City Bowl between Missouri and Iowa was canceled Sunday because COVID-19 issues left the Tigers unable to play.The game scheduled for Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee, is the second bowl called off since the postseason lineup was set on Dec. 20, joining the Gasparilla Bowl. Overall, 18...

No. 17 Iowa, Missouri renew rare rivalry in Music City Bowl

Missouri (5-5, SEC) vs. No. 17 Iowa (6-2, Big Ten), Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESTLOCATION: Nashville, TennesseeTOP PLAYERSMissouri: RB Larry Rountree III has rushed for 972 yards and 14 touchdowns on 209 carries and ranks fourth in the SEC. He’s the 23rd SEC player to surpass 3,500 career yards...

OPINION

Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman Issues Statement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2021

We see painful parallels between the America in which King lived and the present day ...

This is America: White Privilege, Black Lives Matter, and Violence at the Capitol

The violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol on January 6 is nothing new. ...

SPLC Action Fund President: Attempted Coup Displays Organized, Extremist Violence Plaguing the United States

Insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists ...

Commentary: Exit in Disgrace

Will Trump leave in the middle of the night, embarrassed by his four years of crude, rude, lying, and beyond belief incompetence? Or will he be escorted out by a secret service detachment? ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Mobile labs take vaccine studies to diverse neighborhoods

NEW YORK (AP) — Lani Muller doesn’t have to visit a doctor’s office to help test an experimental COVID-19 vaccine — she just climbs into a bloodmobile-like van that parks on a busy street near her New York City neighborhood.The U.S. is rightly fixated on the chaotic...

Biden revokes Trump report promoting 'patriotic education'

President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a recent Trump administration report that aimed to promote “patriotic education” in schools but that historians mocked and rejected as political propaganda.In an executive order signed in his first day in office, Biden disband Donald...

Analysis: Biden issues call to unity that comes with urgency

WASHINGTON (AP) — As newly inaugurated leaders often do, President Joe Biden began his tenure with a ritual call for American unity. But standing on the same Capitol steps where just two weeks ago rioters laid siege to the nation's democracy, Biden's words felt less like rhetorical...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: A showdown at the border in ‘No Man’s Land’

Border tensions are boiled down to two families in “ No Man’s Land,” an uneven independent thriller with some redeeming qualities. Its heart, and homages to classic Westerns, are in the right place even if the work as a whole is neither as impactful nor epic as the filmmakers...

Inauguration fashion: Purple, pearls, American designers

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple.Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a...

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman: 'Even as we grieved, we grew.'

NEW YORK (AP) — The country has a new president and a new literary star. In one of the inauguration's most talked about moments, poet Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant Wednesday as she called out to the world “even as we grieved, we grew."The 22-year-old Gorman...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Hollywood on the Potomac: A-list turns out for Biden-Harris

A full-throated, supremely confident Lady Gaga belted out the national anthem at President Joe Biden's...

Mobile labs take vaccine studies to diverse neighborhoods

NEW YORK (AP) — Lani Muller doesn’t have to visit a doctor’s office to help test an...

Some COVID-19 mutations may dampen vaccine effectiveness

Scientists are reporting troubling signs that some recent mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19 may modestly...

Organists offer soundtrack to jabs at medieval UK cathedral

SALISBURY, England (AP) — David Halls isn’t a doctor, nurse or ambulance driver, but he wanted to...

Music stars slam UK's 'shameful' failure on EU touring rules

LONDON (AP) — Dozens of U.K. music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say...

Asia Today: Sri Lanka reopens to tourists after 10 months

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka reopened to foreign tourists Thursday after a nearly 10-month pandemic...

MLK Breakfast 2021 Watch Now
Rebecca Nuttall for NNPA

The latest report by A+ Schools revealed that the achievement gap between White and Black students continues to decrease. However, at the rate it is narrowing, it would take 40 years to be eliminated.

Even more disappointing is that the report also notes that while Black student achievement, as demonstrated through performance on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests, has increased, a decline in White student achievement also contributed to narrowing the gap.

Despite an unclear picture of how the achievement gap is changing, the report, released in mid-November, concluded that high schools, which have the largest achievement gaps in the district, remain the key areas most in need of improvement. Despite gains made in elementary schools, PSSA scores for grade 11 declined in all subjects.

"Gains made in earlier grades are disappearing in high schools. That threatens our youth's future prospects for achieving the Pittsburgh Promise, college or job training, and becoming independent members of our community," said Carey Harris, A+ Schools executive director. "These issues deserve our urgent attention."

The achievement gap narrowed at all grade levels except third grade. Overall, since the previous school year, the gap narrowed by 0.3 percentage points in math and 1.8 percentage points in reading.



The total gap for the 2009-2010 was 28.7 percent in reading and 27 percent in math. However, at Oliver, Carrick, Brashear, and Westinghouse high schools the gap was greater than 50 percent.

"High schools are very much where our greatest efforts need to be," said PPS Superintendent Mark Roosevelt. "The results at high schools are still unacceptable."

Upon announcing his retirement in October, Roosevelt touted the creation of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship as one of his greatest accomplishments. When you look at schools with grades 9-12, disparities between Black and White students exist in their eligibility to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Promise.

More than 60 percent of White students were eligible for the scholarship in every high school where White students attended. However the highest percentage of eligible Black students at any school was 52.3, dropping as low as 20.9 percent at Langley High School.

One requirement for eligibility is that students must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. On average 39.9 percent of African-American students meet this requirement as compared to 74.4 percent for White students.

The report also examined differences in achievement at different types of schools. Magnet schools and charter schools had higher percentages of Black students who scored proficient or advanced on PSSA tests.

"Overall, we see progress in schools across the district. We have good examples of district and charter schools that are educating students to high levels," Harris said. "But there is much more work to be done, especially in our high schools."



The report states that in comparison to all PPS students, Black PPS students made greater gains. However, the relationship between the increase in dropout rates at many schools and the high percentage of Black males who dropout of high school, might have impacted these numbers. If poor performing Black males are dropping out, they are not being tested with their higher performing counterparts.

Two high schools where the student body is predominantly made up of African-Americans, both above 80 percent, have seen the highest drop in graduation rates. Oliver High School went from 79.7 to 44.7 percent and Westinghouse High School went from 83.2 to 67.6 percent. However, graduation rates at Peabody High School, which is 92.8 percent African-American, rose from 72.2 to 80.5 percent.

The report also examined changes in student enrollment. Despite increases during the 2008-2009 school year, enrollment throughout the district continued to decline during the past school year, reaching its lowest point in four years for all grade levels except K-5.

Last week, A+ Schools mailed their sixth annual report to 20,000 city households with children enrolled in PPS and children ages 5 and under. The report will also be available in local libraries, city schools and at elected officials' offices, or by calling A+ Schools and can be accessed online at www.aplusschools.org.

Photo: A+ SCHOOLS—Carey Harris addresses the audience at a community discussion. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart.)

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