06-23-2018  6:15 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Wildfire near Maupin more than doubles in size

MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — A wildfire burning brush and grass near Maupin in north-central Oregon has more than doubled in size to 36 square miles (93 square kilometers).Fire officials say Saturday's efforts will include the use of helicopters to protect Maupin.The wind-driven wildfire is mostly...

Alaska city honors Guardsmen killed in crash after '64 quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A month after the second most powerful earthquake ever was recorded, the Alaska port community of Valdez remained in ruins.A hulking Alaska National Guard cargo plane's mission April 25, 1964, was to deliver Gov. William Egan to oversee efforts to rebuild the town on...

The Latest: Alaska city unveils memorial to fallen Guardsmen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on an Alaska city honoring Guardsmen killed in crash after 1964 earthquake (all times local):1:40 p.m.Four men who died on a humanitarian mission to help rebuild an Alaska town following the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded have been honored...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Lawsuits allege racial profiling in Portland-area businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Several African Americans are suing big-box stores and restaurants in Oregon, claiming employees at those places wrongly accused them of stealing because they were "shopping while black."A Portland law firm has filed five lawsuits alleging racial profiling at businesses in...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface.Criticism was swift on...

Chaos on the border inflames GOP's split with Latinos

When more than 1,000 Latino officials __ a crop of up-and-coming representatives from a fast-growing demographic __ gathered in Phoenix last week, no one from the Trump administration was there to greet them.It marked the first time a presidential administration skipped the annual conference of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Give up after scandals? Television history shows otherwise

NEW YORK (AP) — Say this about TV creators in 2018 — they don't give up easily.Three current shows — "Roseanne," ''Transparent" and "House of Cards" — have been crippled by scandal, but each plans to continue without their disgraced stars."The bottom line is...

Ornate NYC theater, used for years as a gym, to be restored

NEW YORK (AP) — For years, Long Island University's basketball team played in a French Baroque movie palace in downtown Brooklyn.The gilded wall fountains, plastered statuettes and towering, one-of-a-kind Wurlitzer organ pipes of the historic Paramount Theater were preserved by the...

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.Pantera's official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul's cause of death.His real name...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: Germany salvages campaign on Day 10 of World Cup

MOSCOW (AP) — Germany midfielder Toni Kroos scored a dramatic late winner to come from behind and beat...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Sanders says she was told to leave Virginia restaurant

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant...

Stars flock to the Dior debut of Kim Jones at Paris menswear

PARIS (AP) — In a week marked by big debuts, it was designer Kim Jones' turn at Dior Men on Saturday.The...

US moves 100 coffins to inter-Korean border for war remains

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The U.S. military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to...

1 dead after attack at huge rally for Ethiopia's new PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at Ethiopia's reformist new prime...

Lisa Loving Of The Skanner News

As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of Head Start this summer, Albina Head Start Director Ronnie Herndon says politics are threatening the effectiveness of the venerated group.

Long considered one of the most effective early childhood development programs in the country, today Head Start faces mandated changes from the federal government and a surprising lack of support from Oregon’s fractured education bureaucracy.

Operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start is considered to be one of the oldest and most successful anti-poverty programs nationally.

Yet in recent years it has been attacked for being ineffective in the wake of studies that showed the gains made by Head Start children “fade” after a few years in the public school system

In Oregon, the new Early Learning Council established by now-disgraced former Gov. John Kitzhaber opted last year not to award Albina Head Start any expansion grant money – the first time that had happened in the history of the organization. 

The Skanner News sat down with Herndon to talk about the program’s status and why it is crucial for kids.

The Skanner News: Last time we spoke, we were examining how the state decided not to give any expansion grant money to Albina Head Start. Your organization appealed that decision but the former director said there was no appeals process. What is the status of that situation?

Herndon: Nothing has occurred since this past summer. We did not get any expansion funding, even people who work at the state and most people involved in social services involved in the county think that was a terrible decision.

We have the state money that we already have, but we did not get any expansion money. So that means, given that we serve the largest number and percentage of Black children, that probably zero additional Black kids got served after the state spent an extra $300 million.

The Skanner News: What do you think about the Obama Administration’s “reform” proposals for Head Start? And why does it seem that the program that has been praised for years is suddenly inadequate?

Herndon:  Children who go through Head Start are more likely to graduate from high school, they're healthier. As a matter of fact, President George W. Bush credited Head Start with lowering the child mortality rate in the entire country because of our emphasis on health care. You have award-winning economist and Nobel Prize winner James Heckman at the University of Chicago who says said Head Start is one of the best investments we could make.

Now they’re saying, for it to work better or you have to make sure that all of your teachers have education degrees. And all this research that they talk about over the first 40 years, the majority of those teachers did not have a degree. They were well-trained; we train teachers on the job. It's like an apprenticeship program.

For a lot of low income women and women of color, college is not an option. Some don't want to go. If I'm already doing a job well, why do you tell me that now I have to go get a college degree?

And interestingly enough – this is almost laughable to me – in Head Start the majority of children are children of color. They're either going to be Black, Hispanic or Native American. You put those three groups together, that's probably 70 or 75 percent of all the kids at Head Start, historically.

Now look at all the early childhood experts in this country and see if they reflect that population. You will travel a long way before you'll see a panel that's made up of people who look like the population of Head Start.

TSN: In terms of politics and Head Start, how have the Republican presidents stacked up to the Democrats?

Herndon: Well, President Bush set up a panel that essentially said, okay, come up with the standards that you want, and we’ll see if you either meet them or don't meet them.

The Obama administration came out initially and said, every year, one third of all Head Start programs will be monitored and reviewed. Then they predicted that 25 percent of those programs will fail every year, and that now 25 percent of all the programs that are reviewed every year to have to re-compete for the funding

Now there are programs that have had perfect scores on their federal reviews but the mathematicians get together and say, you may have had a perfect score on your federal review, but you failed in this one assessment and now you have to re-compete for your grant.

They certainly don't do this in the Defense Department. Take the lowest 10 percent, based upon the number of mortar shells that didn't work, and your corporation will have to re-compete for its contract?

They don't do this in any other part of the government. It's an artificial floor.

In other words it literally undermines the program, which is exactly what Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind did

So here you are 50 years later, 31 million children have been through it including Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. He gives the credit for where he is now to Head Start.  A woman from California, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, she credits Head Start

TSN: What’s the most important thing for the public to know about our education system right now?

Herndon: To me the question is: Why can't we figure out why the system isn’t working? In my mind the reason is that we start out by training teachers very poorly. Education is probably one of the few occupations I know where instructors who have never done well in the subject matter are supposed to be teaching the neophyte teachers.

There is no requirement that an instructor or teacher in the school of education has ever taught a class to grade level, in reading or writing or math or anything. There is no requirement that a graduate of a school of education here in Oregon has learned how to teach a kid to read right – no requirement.

A woman came up to me about six years ago, she's teaching third grade reading – and she said, I was never taught to teach kids how to read.

So this is the fundamental flaw.

Start from the very beginning. You could say, we are going to ensure that during a person's experience in the school of education that 80 percent of their time will be in front of a person who was a successful practitioner, a teacher who had children scoring at or above grade level – pick your number, 90 percent? I'll go down to 80 or 85 percent of their children historically scoring at or above grade level.

To become a principal it's even more hilarious. They are not taught by successful principals -- it's just who happens to be here, get a certificate, another stamp on your butt, and now you’re ready.

Until we fix these fundamental flaws will be going around in circles, around and around. You can change the curriculum. No Child Left Behind, No Child to the Top, Race-Run-Walk to the Top, it doesn't matter.  

Unless you fix the fundamental flaw  -- which is teacher and principal preparation and training -- this is nothing but a shell game.

Find out more about Albina Head Start at www.albinahs.org.

Hear Herndon live on KBOO Community Radio at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, or listen to the podcast here

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