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tv   Congressional Black Caucus Forum Examines Racial Diversity in Education...  CSPAN  September 23, 2017 5:51am-8:02am EDT

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>> good afternoon, everyone, and thank you so much for joining us today. today's education brain trust is called from brown to fisher, increasing racial diversity to improve educational equity. i am melanie newman, the chief public engagement and communications strategist for the nacp legal defense fund, the
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organization i am proud to say i work for and that is responsible for brown and fisher. so i want to give a little bit of -- hello? oh. i want to give -- sorry. i want to give a little bit of background about myself. i am, i've been with the legal defense fund since march of this year but worked in the obama administration and on the hill for quite some time. but this issue and the reason i am happy to be here with all of you today is personal to me. i am originally from new orleans but also went to school in selma, alabama. which i'm sure all of you are familiar with. my father, dr. norwood, was the first black school superintendent in selma, alabama -- [applause] thank you. and when he -- in 1987, he was the first black school superintendent in selma, alabama. and when he arrived, selma was a very integrated school system.
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the selma city schools were incredibly integrated. they had, though, what is called in-school segregation. they had a tracking system where the majority of african-american students were in level three or remedial courses, forcing them to graduate from high school without taking basic classes like algebra i. and in his two-year term as superintendent, he eliminated that program. the schools are now very segregated. white students attend mostly the county schools, but also private segregation academies that still exist today in selma, alabama. and so that history has stayed with me. it is why i do the work i do, and it is why i'm here with you today. thank you again for joining me here for this very inspiring conversation and this incredible panel that we have. with that, i would like to introduce our host today, congressman bobby scott. [applause]
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>> thank you, melanie, for hosting today, and it's certainly a pleasure to be here with my colleague, danny davis. danny from chicago, give danny a round of applause. [applause] i don't see any other members here. okay. it was more than 63 years ago that the supreme court issued a unanimous decision in brown v. board of education, and in that decision they said that education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. and these days it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if denied the opportunity of an education. such an opportunity is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms. then they concluded that in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
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we followed that with recognizing that we fund education through the real estate tax guaranteeing inequality, we followed through with the esea, elementary and secondary education act, where under title i we put money into low income areas so there'd be a fighting chance. we went further to no child left behind which recognized you not only have to get the money straight, you have to get the achievement straight. and if there are achievement gaps, you have to find them and do something about it. unfortunately, as everybody knows, no child left behind had such a cookie cutter approach that it was not effective and last about a year and a half ago we passed the every student succeeds act maintaining the requirement that you assess whether or not there are achievement gaps and have a credible plan to do something about it. now, we're in the process now of implementing the every student succeeds act, and everybody has to make sure that your local,
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state and local school systems are actually following the law. but we've, unfortunately, during that time seen integration kind of slowly dissoft. we went through -- dissolve. we went through several years, decades of tearing down segregated schools, but as melanie just noticed, we're still -- segregation is alive and well in the public education. as time marched on, the deliberate work of the courts has kind of fallen aside. there have been really some alarmingly hostile decisions that have come along making it even more difficult to integrate even if you want to do it on a voluntary basis. to add insult to injury, the end of the obama administration there was a $12 million grant program for those localities that wanted to voluntarily integrate giving them technical
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assistance. $12 million nationally. the problem that they have is you've got to do it right because otherwise somebody's going to file suit, and you may have a little legal complication. it can be done, but if you don't do it right, you will, you'll mess up and have to dismantle your program. i say "unfortunately" because when new administration came in -- although many people had applied for the money, they decided not to award any of the grants. and so we're going, going backwards, and we're seeing more and more segregation. k-12 is getting worse. more than -- excuse me, more than 20 million students of color are attending schools that are racially, essentially racially segregate. that's up from about 14 million just a few years ago. the gao report that was done in
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2016 found overwhelming segregation by race and class, found that the high poverty areas, the schools are underresourced and overdisciplined and much less likely to have the kinds of services and resources needed, more likely to expel or suspend students. now, that situation is going on still now. those attending the segregated schools are less likely to enroll in college and graduate and we need the make sure that those opportunities are there. and so some of the questions that we have on how to improve diversity in education, how do we improve the racial climate, and that's become complicated because everybody knows that we have to have, we have to respect the first amendment. and we're trying to have a welcoming atmosphere. and when students feel unwelcomed and leave, there's a question whether that violates
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title vi of the civil rights law. now, they say, well, we've got freedom of speech. just wave confederate flags and make the situation bad. but let me tell you, freedom of speech does not give a pass on hostile work environments under title vii. you had the freedom to say what you want, but when you say enough to create a hostile work environment, then you violated title vii. we have to see whether or not some of this freedom of expression is so bad that you violated title vi in not having a welcoming attitude and atmosphere where students actually want to attend. and then we have to look into what role does admissions to colleges play under all of the affirmative action initiatives that have been going on, some in court and some you can do, some you can't do. and if we're going to close the achievement gap and prepare all students for the 21st century, we have to address all of these
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questions. and that's why we're delighted to have such a distinguished panel today on all phases of education. we look forward to their comments and look forward to their specific recommendations so as we consider the higher education act and pursue oversight on the every student succeeds act, that we can make sure that our students are getting the education to which they have a right according to the supreme court. thank you very much. [applause] and i'm just advised that bonnie watson coleman from new jersey is here. bonnie. thank you. danny, are you going to have comments now? okay. are, we're going to call my colleague, danny davis, who is a former member of the committee on education and the work force and distinguished, hard working member from chicago, danny davis. [applause]
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and then, bonnie, you going to be next? >> thank you very much. and, bobby, what i really wanted to do is commend you for the outstanding leadership you have provided as the voice for education for democrats in the house. and i don't mean black democrats, i mean all democrats in the house of representatives. [applause] bobby scott. the other thing i would say as i listened to what the plight might be in selma, alabama, is to suggest that it's not much better in chicago, illinois. people think of chicago as a big, bustling city, progressive. every kid in my neighborhood goes to a school with all black children. they don't even think about going to one that is not. every once many a while a little
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bit -- in a while a little bit of busing takes place, but the other problem is that many people seem to have forgotten the whole issue of integration and what it also meant relative to opportunity. there's nothing to do, i don't think, with individuals just simply wanting to be in the same place. but what they want are the same opportunities, the same results, the same protection under the law. the only thing i can say is that we must continue to strive, strive no matter who is not striving. my mother used to tell us that right is right if nobody's right, wrong is wrong if everybody's wrong. and this issue of providing opportunity for young people to move america forward in less
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than isolated ways is a challenge that we must continue. i thank all of you for coming and thank the panelists for being here. [applause] >> thank you, danny. bonnie, did you want to make comments? bonnie watson coleman from new jersey. [applause] and while she's coming forward, i want to recognize my colleague from virginia, don mceachin. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. >> good afternoon. >> first and foremost, i want to thank bobby scott for all the work that he does and the champion that he is for educational equity in his service here in congress.
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and secondly, i just want to say that i'm proud to be a part of, a co-chair of the task force along with danny and some other members as we challenge these issues with regard to education equity in our cbc. and thirdly, i want to say i come from the state of new jersey that's got some of the best schools in the country. and i come from the 12th congressional district that has places like princeton and west windsor which represent some of the best schools in the nation. i also represent trenton, new jersey, and plainfield, new jersey, and those are the schools where you have the concentration or poverty, the concentration of minorities and a, the tools that are outdated and the facilities which are outdated. and it's something that we have fought for and we continue to fight for. because our children, irrespective of the zip code from which they come, deserve a globally-competitive education.
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and as the gentleman says, segregation in and of itself doesn't have to be the problem. hanging out with those that look like you need not be the problem, it's hanging out in the environment that has the same tools and opportunities and encouragement and expectation of you is the same. and so it is our responsibility to insure that our children are not left behind on any level. education is a very important issue for me. public education is an extremely important issue for me because i think education is the equalizer, and public education is the means by which those, the majority, can get their opportunities. so i applaud you for being here, and i thank this magnificent, brilliant panel for what they're going to share for us. let us learn and be energized and awake and alert and ready to mobilize on behalf of our children. thank you and god bless. [applause]
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>> my colleague from virginia, donald mceachin. [applause] >> i wanted to stop by and, first, say thank you to bobby for the leadership that he's given on this issue, but i also have a special thank you to bobby that i will probably say a couple or three times more this week. i don't get to be his colleague, but for his unselfishness, you see, because he allowed there to be a lawsuit filed over his district because the court decided that too many african-americans had been put into one district, and they broke it up into two. so i'm bobby scott's residue. [laughter] this is what happens after you break up his district. there are no more majority african-american congressional districts in virginia, but there are two african-american congressmen from virginia -- [applause]
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and that's in large part because of bobby scott. [applause] i want to say hello to dr. abdullah. virginia state. you see we got our orange on. i'm not a virginia state alum, but they're in the district. [laughter] good to see you, sir. and professor robertson, it's always good to see you, ma'am. it's good to see all of you all, because this is the next frontier, educational equity. as we go into the 21st century, how do we achieve that. a what does it look like, and what does it mean. i promise you this, these are thoughts that will be carried forward by the congressional black caucus in one form or another as we try to address this very important issue. thank you for being here, have good luck with your deliberations. we look forward to hearing what you come up with. [applause] >> and now, now we'll begin with the program and, melanie, if you'll rejoin us. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> thank you, congressman scott. we are going to open with greetings from mr. john king, president and ceo of the education trust and former secretary of education under president barack obama. [applause] >> good afternoon, everybody. >> good afternoon. >> thank you, melanie, for the introduction. thank you, congressman scott, for your extraordinary leadership on behalf of education equity. certainly want to recognize the other members of the congressional black caucus who are here and those who are not who are all leading on behalf of education equity. and i just want to ask us in this conversation today to consider three things. one, this is not your ordinary school year. when i was a teacher and a principal, i loved the start of the school year because at the start of the school year, you
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haven't made any mistakes yet, right? there's all possibility. but this year our kids come back to school having seen kkk and nazis march across a college campus, some of our kids come back to school in the context of a travel ban that is aimed at a particular religion. right? some of our kids come back to school knowing that they and their families may be deported because of policies of this administration. so it's in that context that we have this conversation. so this is about what we as people who care about education, care about children are prepared to do to protect our kids. the second truth that we have to grapple with is that despite it being more than 60 years after brown, we have so far to go in insuring equality of opportunity in our schools. and congressman scott pointed out we have places around the country that are more segregated today than they were 10 or 20 years ago. all right? we have places where
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african-american students are graduating at a rate 20, 30, 40 points below white students. we have the reality that african-american students who start college are 22 percentage points less likely to graduate than white students. so part of the frame for this conversation is the urgency with which we must work to close those gaps. and the reality that today a majority of the kids in our public schools are students of color. a majority of the kids in our public schools are in families that are eligible for free and reduced price lunch. if we fail as a society to educate our low income students and students of color, we have no future. our economy has no future, our democracy has no future. that's why this conversation is so urgent. the third framing piece i think it's important to remember is that there is a lie being promulgated, a lie about affirmative action, a claim, a claim that isn't true about what
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our higher ed campuses look like. the reality is today african-american and latino students are underrepresented at our selective admission schools. african-american and latino leaders are underrepresented in the highest ranks of corporate america. so we have to be clear that the need for affirmative action, the need to expand opportunity remains and part of how to we do that is through strengthening our schools, p-12 and higher education, and that work couldn't be more urgent which is why i'm excited for this panel, because this is an esteemed panel of experts who are going to help us think about what we can go do not a year from now, not ten years from now, but tomorrow to change that. but we've got to do it in an environment of vigilance and urgency. because for our kids, their lives are at stake. i'll close with this. i am standing here today, had the opportunity to serve president obama as secretary of education because of great new york city public schoolteachers. [applause]
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my, i grew up in new york city, in brooklyn. my mom passed away when was 8, my dad when i was 12. my life could have gone in a lot of different directions, but i was blessed to have a series of teachers at ps276, mark twain junior high school on coney island who save my life. that's what's at stake in this conversation. will[applause] so thank you all for being here, thank you again, congressman scott, for bringing us together, and let's get to work. [applause] >> thank you so much for those inspiring words. we are, next, going to hear from mary katherine ricker, the president and -- i'm sorry, executive vice president of the american federation of teachers. my apologies. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> thank you so much. good afternoon. my name is mary katherine ricker, and i'm actually a middle school english teacher currently serving as executive vice president of the american federation of teachers, and it is -- i am so grateful to be here and be with all of you and to be able to, i'll help launch this panel from brown to fisher: increasing racial diversity to improve educational equity. it is an honor to be among such distinguished panelists including one of my sisters in the labor movement, carla motts. [cheers and applause] and i bring you greetings from the other 1.7 million teachers, professionals, school support staff, public workers, college faculty and health care workers in the american federation of teachers. our president, randi weingartenen, really wishes she could be here today and, of course, our secretary-treasurer,
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loretta johnson, has been all over the place. you have probably had the chance to see her. all of us at aft would especially like to thank ranking member scott for his tireless leadership on issues that impact our members and the communities we serve. taking those actions that reduce racial and socioeconomic segregation and offering solutions to address disparities in our public schools, in our colleges and our universities. that work is not lost on us any day, and he is there every day doing it for us and with us. for more than a hundred years, the american federation of teachers has been laser focused on improving public education and enhancing the voices of the professional educators in our work both inside and outside of the classroom. as part of that work, we at a aft have worked tirelessly to form partnerships and create relationships, the sort that
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allow us to fight forward and reclaim the promise of public education. .. >> >> to have access to a high
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quality public education across the country in every community. that drive for justice is motivating us to defend those three recipients with that rhetoric coming out of the white house will of white supremacist and fringe groups to privatize them profit off of our children and young people educational opportunities to protect voting rights for everyone no exception. [applause] >> we made some progress over the years that there's still work to be done but john pointed out that this is no ordinary beginning of a school year. we will of not let our
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defense is below our doors sits on the sidelines we know who is behind it we know it is donald trump and mike pence and betsy de voss we're with you to protect those rights for all students in all citizens. i am looking forward to hearing from our distinguished panel regarding the challenge of bigotry and racism and about there it is to help us overcome these challenges. today's panel will help us to desegregate our schools and communities to provide better educational opportunities for all americans. they give so much for having
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a spee a part of this we look forward to seeing shoulder to shoulder with you for better education for everyone. [applause] >> so i will introduce our distinguished panel starting on the left with the chair of civil-rights and my colleague senior counsel at the naacp. professor at university school of richmond school of law and the president of the naacp and we will also hear from secretary treasurer
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national education association here in the front row. [applause] and president of united teachers in the audience. [cheers and applause] founder and president and dr. abdullah president of virginia state univ. [applause] professor of law. [applause] and andrew nichols from analytics. [applause] we will also hear from a sophomore in industrial and labor relations at cornell university. saudia will start with the
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opening remarks and now we go to kathryn. >>. >> thank you to the members of congress to bring us together i just want to set the stage of this administration is bent on rolling back civil rights so this panel could not be more urgent that we need to be armed and are working together because we cannot rely on the administration because of us commitment we have had up until now and what is directly in front of us with the department of
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justice budget proposal to priorities one was to take a look rescinding regulation the other is to evaluate more than 90% with respect to segregation's though one of two priorities is what is and to those desegregation in efforts that would be devastating that is not hyperbole we know that it will be because we saw that with the reagan administration in a cave man with a plan and ended as many as they could and entered into very narrow agreements. we know how bad it could be
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and that they're radically segregated two days of we don't act date as long get better we also know from the civil-rights enforcement in the '60s and '70s allowed for meaningful integration that began with students in schools. rigo see that it's a more because the reagan administration ended meaningful desegregation work. with the department of education and department of justice with respect to racial justice to see from the united states supreme
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court that was up and tell now we have a new bottom we have to be painfully aware to be armed in arms to be the best that it has been up until now so there are legal tools available i am excited to hear what others will say but it is up to us in the schools that are children attend we have to be there for everybody in every community. so volunteer and become the elected official to figured
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it out how it is but we know from that recent data though we also segregate within the schools. and i worked with the department of education and. so we know from the database almost no high-school offer calculus we also know 33 percent of high a latino enrollments are protected so even within schools we have that segregated opportunity separate and apart we should say we have high expectations that is within our control and i'll let you
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know, the u.s. commission on civil rights is committed to monitor civil rights policy including the trump administration and advocating for better civil-rights policy. [applause] >> hello. and senior counsel at the naacp prior to that i was a trial attorney with the educational opportunities section. and i have cases in several jurisdictions so a lot of people meet me to find out
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and they are appalled. they think that segregation is a thing of the past for pro let them be surprised to find out most of the cases that have worked space have been around for 50 years per gross of the idea that segregation is a thing of the past there are hundreds that originated in the '50s they and '60s that are still open and ongoing that have been never desegregated and what i mean by that it is segregation that is maintained by the state that
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these cases are all across the country it is so important that you spread the word because it is very much an issue. so the response isn't bad but it is the resistance then those that are protesting against segregating in school because of they give the opportunity to black children the now will be taken away from their children. so that is something that is happening. the so a few words about our challenges that segregation
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is something that is entrenched in our society that the segregation in academy is still a round and then to start around the 1970's so that court orders a school to desegregate often what happens is with the assistance of day private school who takes the white students a they did have to go to the public school with black children. it is the case in most school districts where there are segregation academies. they are still going to other schools in their very good at what they're doing and another problem we're running into and to further
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segregation between the black community and white community to get to the school and deep into the community as possible. and then they go on to the white community so would be difficult for the black children to get there. they are still the same place so when you talk about desegregation but the communities are segregated you have an issue you literally cannot separate the schools so it is a very unpopular idea. and over the years to curtail the remedies to desegregate the schools and
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that is a very difficult issue that if there was more aware and us but the laws change in that regard. part of the reason desegregating schools is very important aside from the obvious ones that when you desegregate there are resources and then to offer those offerings with equalize access sometimes school started out with a civil rights community the teachers with ph.d. with those crass corporation -- crash courses so that period
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of desegregation so that is definitely something to keep in mind with segregation but certainly that is what they you want to do. [applause] >> if you are sitting next to when mtc please be over to the middle of your rows of those individuals who were standing can find a seat quickly so we can accommodate as many as possible. [inaudible conversations]
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get comfortable. get close. me your neighbor. we have seats on the left side of the room. [inaudible conversations] so now we will keep the show on the road to end on time. raise your hand if you are seated next to in mtc. now i will turn over to a professor of the richmond
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school of law so please reduce yourself at the beginning for those who are just joining us. >> first things to the congressional black caucus so i want to talk about funding and the issue of resources i can talk really loud. [laughter] so i will talk about school subsidy is it is critical to the resources that they get and the opportunities for growth and to currently have a system of funding that is broken and any effective.
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that is called san antonio independent school district and with the of board of education though why we hear in the crisis we are in today. the court held there is not a federal constitution without federal mechanism to address funding between school districts. why is this matter that data shows that often tracks because the school systems are funded in many places. so one of the challenges that we face is, how did it and made worse and not funded effectively or
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succeed on that equal level of their peers. severity anyways oftentimes property taxes is a key reason but i want you to understand more why. research is very clear fell low income children the 40 percent more resources for croats to be on a level playing field. that does not provide additional funding. to call is funding for ehrlich's state and local funding what they found 21 states get less funding and
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only 12 states have progressive funding. but two-thirds of our states get the same or less with higher concentrations of poverty. that sets them up for failure to provide those resources needed and the second paying is now they have standards for each grade level. however that unfortunate reality they're not tied to those standards or to the cost of educating children whose succeed at learning. instead often times the
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amount of funding is how much is available in the budget? and then reverse engineer so those that are now linked to those goals with low levels of funding we don't have that accountability systems. so what should we do about this? to push for the right to go to federal court with equal access to an excellent education with the recognition of congress but we need a mechanism with the supreme court said we recognize that to do better.
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many have not done much better. with that federal mechanism to ensure that excellent education for all children. [applause] >> afternoon. i am sure the naacp task force for quality education for all. so i feel like he is an old friend and other members of the panel. looked at what is going on in our school system with nine members of the task force and to do empirical
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work to listen to pros and cons advocating for charter schools with the traditional teachers who are advocating now everybody talks about brown v. board of education we believe that is the door that opens to a quality to get a quality education. so what i hear is i am wondering how we can guarantee a quality education to pass a resolution of looking at charter schools but then with mr. trump we thought we should look across the board
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because it is truly in danger that we probably will not be around if we go block that current trend. we took it upon ourselves and found some very interesting things perpetratperpetrat ors schools. african-american parents and educating your chances are to commence with a deficient education so because of the push for quality education that charter schools have a leg up.
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and the to start to desegregate schools there is always one pushing against desegregation for pro that is moving for vouchers and home schools they went to magnet schools and then finally with the charter schools it is a movement to refund or privatize public education. [applause] don't clap because i lose my time. [laughter] we call for a moratorium and then we can get some accountability. so with those letters seeking quality education if
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your kid is in a quality charter school that is fine but we care about all children. not just a few who can move around. that isn't new but taking taxpayer dollars so being want to make sure the parents will get into the school. and in the suburb and to have the alternative schools in the suburbs. so then they have to go through some veteran at a time survival tell you. we found they all have different charter schools.
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are they public or private? there is a concentration and what we recommend of the traditional school as you talk about massachusetts and california funding and we also think we need to mandate that reauthorization system and we should eliminate for-profit charter schools. there is no reason to make money off of the back of our kids. [applause] >> afternoon. leer the teachers' union out of miami. [cheers and applause]
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the fourth largest school district despite the concerted efforts to dismantle public education so i think my colleagues because they touched upon those points to only highlight a few. that his win the white family wanted to keep those white children segregated. in with that voucher increase. and with that desegregating of schools without reagan administration to decrease in court oversight with every segregation so everything is very intentional lido want our
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kids to have adequate education and then with the taxpayers i appreciate what they set about charter schools. . .
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we see that it is turned into corporate welfare because were giving taxpayer dollars to these charter schools entities and they are doing it for business and is not about educating the child because the not education experts. i don't say that to put down a charter school because we know there are good ones out there pullovers in florida is the case. we have a charter school operators that don't have a clue as to what it is to be an education expert in their running the schools but for the money and what happens is that the taxpayer dollars that go into the schools and once the schools get shut down they keep that school and keep that property so this is corporate welfare and we are funding people to have these corporations. what we're seeing is happening
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in our florida state legislator they passed a law and in one of the things that allowed for was to have teachers that were uncertified for that are uncertified to teach in the most vulnerable communities and think about that -- our communities are black and brown communities that need the most resources that need the most help, now we have a state legislator that is saying to our communities that we don't need anybody that knows what they're talking about teach you? why? it is about on educating our communities and let's keep our communities ignorant and keep our community segregated and keep them poor. there is a racial, income and racial segregation happening in this country and it won't get better. the point is is that we know these things are happening no income and in quality for what
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are we going to do about it. it starts at the local level and we need to start electing people that care about our communities, people that are care about what's going on in our schools and whether you have a child in the school system it is about our future and about creating opportunities and making sure that our schools are still the last equalizer. schools are good for me. i am a first generation american here in this country and my parents are immigrants and i believe that public schools are good for you and how many are, school graduates? [cheering] that is the majority of this audience here and we have to stand behind our public schools and have to fight because it is our children in our future and we cannot just sit idly by as we have people that are systematically dismantling our public education. >> thank you. before we move on to the dais we will bring up this tonya clay
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house. principal at clay health consulting inc. and former deputy assistant secretary for the 12 education. [applause] >> thank you for allowing me to be here today. i don't actually know all that has been said and i apologize for getting here late but it goes to some of the issues that -- this isn't going to count against my time, is it? [laughter] i was just coming from a panel that was talking about the 13th amendment in policing and how it contributed to mass incarcerations and on the panel
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my focus was about what is happening in our schools and how that's contributing to the mass incarceration to students of color. i kept talking about statistics that were gathered and it is particularly important for me to be here today because i do believe that public education system is foundational to the success that we have in our communities and i am a proud product of the public education system. my parents both are public educators, principals in the education system and is fundamentally believe this is how we are going to achieve the success in our society. i was privileged to work with from secretary john king and i appreciated the ability to be able to help manage a portfolio that spoke to the need to ensure
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that not only is the focus on diversity in our classrooms but to understand how that is, in effect, achieving quality public education. i just want to go over a couple of things because i know there are so many experts on this panel and they want to focus on able to do and help you understand that the need and understanding of this issue is real. not only in the federal level will not in this administration, but on the national level but also from the state. at the department, we convene working groups across the board within the department working to understand how it is that we could help our district to achieve quality public education and part and parcel to that was ensuring that we had a diverse classroom and integrated teacher workforce.
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that in and of itself is the way to help ensure that type of quality education. in these working groups we convene bringing together state and local educators, administrators and those in the district to understand what are your needs and these are people that desire to make sure they are providing the best for their students. we came together and we had to convene and develop recommendations and out of that was developed an actual grant program in order to help enable there to be some focus on diversity within our classrooms because that is so important. evolution of brown versus board was not just about ensuring that we had a black child sitting next to a white child but about resources about ensuring that we have the necessary resources for all of our children and because of the way we are set up and because of the way that
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financing is on today we understand that that necessarily means that you have to have a diverse integrated classroom. this is why we have such a focus on this and is a priority. knowing this and coming from the recommendation that we have at the state and local educators we had the grant program but we also knew that we couldn't that cannot be it. even as we were leaving the administration, up until two days before we left we were having meetings with foundations and how can we help and what else can be done with forward and what is the strategy. in my one minute a minute tell you what else we did in the urine. we do this because we understood this is dire and the appreciation for how it is and how this works in our schools. so, i think there is a lot of things going on right now and want to leave you with this
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because i want you to understand that even as we talk about the issues of public education and the need to ensure that we are not defending our public education system and that were not sending other resources to privatize schools never wanted to necessarily have it in the first place. let's be clear about the reason why private schools were created. the point is this is that there is massive coalition out there that are working on these issues and that we need to engage in that process and make sure that we are there for our local and state educators and our administrators were looking for collaborations and resources. we need to be the ones who are speaking to those others because right now we cannot necessarily rely on the national federal government to provide the resources that we are trying to do but there are avenues in which we can assist. since we left the department there have been upwards of five different communities that i participated in. the ford foundation, harvard,
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number of things are coming up, national coalition of school diversity, all of this is out there in our grasp and i do believe we have the unique opportunity right now to not simply stand by, although our public education system is being attacked. we need to take it and use this time to say if you want a public quality education system don't ignore what we know and the quality public education system is necessarily means we have a diverse, integrated classroom. we have the resources we need to ensure that all of our children are educated and we of the ticket to contract teaching workforce that is there that is culturally competent and appreciative of our students needs and that this is the way we need to ensure that we are immediately affecting what is happening in our school system. i encourage all of you as we continue to converse about how things have evolved to think about how you can be instructive
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and instrumental within your district, working with the school board and helping them and giving them the support they need as we move forward because waller public education system is under attack it is up to us to show that this is how we will succeed in our society and not allow ourselves to go backwards because we are selective amnesia about how and why our public education system was put together because it is about the success of our community, communities of color, so that we are all successful productive americans. thank you. [applause] >> you so much. we will move along with the secretary-treasurer of the national education association. [applause] >> good afternoon everyone. you congressman scott and the
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cdc for sponsoring this wonderful panel. i am princess moss and i'm the daughter of two public school bus drivers who my dad didn't finish school because he had to go back farm to help his family. the mother graduated from a school. the one thing they instilled in me that the path to success was a great public education. they instilled in me that the way out of our small town of virginia was through a great public education. i want that same opportunity for every little boy and girl, for every student here in america. that pass out has led me to represent the national education association as their secretary-treasurer and i bring
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you greetings on behalf of president and vice president and are 3 million members. we are driven by a vision of a great public school for every student in that same vision that my parents instilled in me as a child. we want we want to be able to do what each of you want to do and that is help students, parents and the communities they live in be the very best and achieve the most success they can. in all of our history we have always advocated ways to improve education but now we are fighting for the very existence of public education. whether public education lives or dies in this country is in
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our hands. and should we choose to accept the mission, we have learned to do. public education policy has shifted from leveling the playing field into turning education into competition for winners and losers. we must step forward and champion equity. we must drive excellence and success among all students, strong future for public education depends on equity for all students and equity and equality are not the same thing. our students must be a first priority and not an afterthought. we are separate and it is
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unequal, it is a race and class based system that drives decision on resources and support. more than 60 years after brown versus board, we know that year after year our black and brown and poor students are cheated, cheated without fail. we do diminish every student succeeds act. our voices are being heard on the local level on the ground. we can determine what success looks like for our students under this new education law co-authored by congressman bobby scott. for us it is simple arithmetic. what we see is what we want to see in every school. that is our vision. we want to find the best schools
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the most successful students are providing and we want that for all our school and wonder how many of you know that 80% of the richest families send kids to neighborhood public schools. you know why? because they are fabulous schools. everyone -- i am a music teacher. those schools with art, music, physical education, counselors, how about updated technology and infrastructure to view that technology. are there ap classes, other afterschool programs? those are some of the things we have been encouraging our schools to look at, to build and equity checklist, and equity checklist of all the things that
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make a public school great and demand that they be offered in your own school. the every student succeeds act offers us that opportunity. in our country today, public school children are more racially isolated now than at any point in the past we for decades. there is data that speaks to the fact that african-american students are six times more likely than white students to attend high poverty elementary school. the list goes on and on. i am not going to repeat what you have already heard. but my friends, we have work to do. the vision of an ea is very simple. every student deserves quality public education. every student whether they are
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hispanic or not, white or black, nativeborn or immigrant, prosperous or poor or gay or straight deserve access to quality public education. we are at a crossroads, we have the responsibility, each and every one of us in here, as they say in the baptist church, to say -- to speak up and speak out on behalf of of what is right for our students, for public education and our communities they serve, thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you and we will continue with those on the dais. >> good afternoon. i am doctor gibson. i want to thank representative scott for having me on the panel.
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i am here as representative of kenneth gibson senior, my grandfather. after fighting a world war ii he used the g.i. bill to go to the university of northwestern chicago and went on to become the first black regional director of the irs for the midwest region. from there, he put his eight younger brothers and sisters through college, through school including his two children, my aunt and my father, kenneth gibson junior, and continue that legacy with myself and my little brother. when i went to a liberal arts college in california and decided to become a teacher, post graduation, my grandfather was probably the only one who was supportive of that choice. he told me a couple things.
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he told me brown the board and desegregation was about access to resources. but he told me it came at the cost of cultural competency among the teaching ranks in front of children. [applause] >> so i became a teacher in los angeles public schools and i supported my students in passing the unified school system and the middle school to which i was a science teacher, i was the first black teacher for my middle school children in my school. i was sanctioned by my latino woman principle for having my children read maia angelo. because it was a ninth grade reading list book and i was teaching eighth grade.
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cultural competency is something that was sacrificed and is not talked about, we talk about the byproducts of desegregation. i don't care if kids go to schools in a monolithic environment. of the teachers cannot have a level of cultural competency to represent the people who are in front of them. [applause] >> i am from new orleans and chicago. while i was a teacher, climbing through the ranks, became a department head, hurricane katrina hit my home, my mother and brother had to evacuate. i was 22, i i had the answers to the world and i knew nobody would listen so i applied to harvard, got accepted, went through a program about school leadership, started a charter school network, in new orleans at the time, the public school
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system was decimated. there was nothing and they were unwilling to reopen public schools. charter was the only option. we open six schools the first year, 11 the second, 16 the third. it had never been done before. i went on to become the founding principle of one of those schools, went on to support my students and advancing in ela and math. what do i do that was different from other schools? i fired all the security guards and all of the custodians and i hired teachers, resources, allocated to students, to direct service, to their needs, made all the difference in the world in learning. we got students at reading level because we got class sizes down numfour-1 -- 4-1 in some situations. and we retained many of those
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teachers who came from new orleans public schools that many schools do away because they had cultural competency and integrated them with people with the resources. this was the bastian for something new and within two months, one of my children in new orleans was killed. i had never lost a child before in my educational career and two things hit me. one, you cannot create educational opportunities for children without creating opportunities for the adults and their environment to advocate for them. cultural competency is critical. my grandfather's lessons still sit with me and i run an organization where we do green tech manufacturing, train adults in digital competency, cultural competency so they can advocate for the children.
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i'm still in education because i believe what my grandfather said is true. the only way to address the issues brown versus board wanted to create or the world it wanted to create is create economic development for communities. thank you. [applause] >> i am the president of virginia state university. i would like to start by thanking my congressman who was here earlier and our past congressman bobby scott for all the great work he does. i would like to thank my childhood congressman, danny davis. i am from chicago, a product of chicago public schools and i thank you for your support of education, higher education, black colleges and universities in virginia state university. as we look forward to improving
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educational equity it is important to understand the importance of minority serving institutions. whether they are hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges, predominantly black institutions, west virginia state university is a member. i am a product of hbc and in my family it is a family business. my mother and my aunt went to howard university. i went to howard university. me and my brother in law went to howard university. my wife went to tuskegee university. my sister went to fitch, my other sister went to dillard. my brother-in-law went to tennessee state university, my three sister-in-laws went to florida a and m university. [cheers and applause] >> can't take them nowhere.
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my son took classes at mccook university before beginning at morehouse college, my daughter attended hampton university before transferring to virginia state where she is now. so that is a 1.5 generation and i'm talking about the impact on an entire community. when you continue to have a conversation about improving educational equity it is important not to forget what helped move the needle for 150 years. our institutions have been on the forefront of black higher education and equity for our entire existence. whether that means partnering with local school districts or training the next generation of teachers, of leaders, now universities always overrepresented in terms of the number of professionals that graduate. i am proud and happy we live in
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a country where so many young people have the choice to go where they want to go. it is fantastic and i believe the choice of a college or university is an intensely personal choice that must be made with families and for those who make the choice to go to whatever institution they choose, i applaud them and support them but i believe every young african-american young person should have an hp see you on their list when considering college. [applause] >> i am not telling you where to go but everyone should have it on their list so they can look at it, compare it to other schools and make a choice that is best for them and their families. what can we do to provide access and opportunity for young people? we have to make sure we continue to support the dreams of young people by increasing pell grant, when it can be used, having it
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tied to inflation so more young people can have access to college. if young people can chase their dreams, if they can go back to their community where they came from and have an opportunity to make a difference with their college degree then we are doing something. we have to make sure we support the institutions whether they are private or public, four year or two year, hbc you, hsi or predominantly white institutions, they are committed to providing quality access, educational justice for young people, we have to support those institutions with federal dollars or state dollars or our own dollars, make sure those institutions are supported because those institutions aren't supported there is no choice. i am proud of her matriculating through cornell and wish her nothing but the best.
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when she is coming to make her decision she can't choose one or the other. whether you attend a minority institution it is important we all band together to support to make sure our children have that choice to chase their dream, the first step towards greatness, first step towards excellence is a chance or an opportunity, those institutions in the business of doing that are on the forefront of a new economy. thank you very much. >> i am john britton. i think the house of representatives member bobby scott for hosting this discussion on education. i call him my congressman although i live in alexandria, virginia, five legislative districts from his district but
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i still claim him for his tremendous work on civil rights and role is the ranking member of house education and workforce committee and i salute the distant panel members for their depth and breadth of knowledge about the diversity from brown to fisher. i was too young to enlist in the brown legal struggle but trained by lawyers on the brown team about segregation and integration such as my mentor, professor reed at charles hamilton senior professor at howard university school of law and my fellow connecticut not maker. 63 years since brown, the education community and political struggle for equity and education focused on the remedy to illuminate the sins of hyper segregated schools compounded today by high
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concentrations of poverty of students and families. web du bois, scholar, human rights leader, predicted in 1906 the problem of the 20th century is the color line, the relation of the darker and lighter races of men and women in asia and africa and america and islands. if he were here today in 2016 i believe dubois would have renewed that for the 21st century too. today schools are more segregated than in 1954. a little story about northern school segregation in the 1950s. although i did not really know it until i became a law professor i grew up in
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connecticut, a factory town known for its hat manufacturing. my hometown is in fairfield county, the gold coast of connecticut with towns like greenwich and westport. i was the only african-american student in my elementary school grade 1 through 6 until my promotion to junior high school in 1956. the board of education recently opened the newly built junior high school for grades 7 through 9 in the north end of town within walking distance of my home. at the opposite end and the other part along the scenic long island sound, homes occupied -- part of norwalk municipality, social, racial and economic status in adjacent towns, one of the wealthiest townships in connecticut, then and now, the board of education decided to go
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to the new junior high school 7 miles across town over a drawbridge, up a steep hill during inclement weather, bypassing nearby junior high school within the neighborhood zone and only two miles away in a 6 to 8 minute drive time and named after famous sounding scholar and inventor. why didn't they attend benjamin franklin junior high school? the reasons were visibly racial. i did not recognize until 22 years later armed with a law degree, the junior high school comprised of all white students while in contrast benjamin franklin consisted of majority of white students, most from public housing developments. in my civil rights advocacy and scholarly rights, the protests
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by mainly caucasian during school desegregation cases was in the words of several civil rights leaders, not really about us but the bus as african-american students, not the bus but us. today, race, ethnicity, together with poor children, special needs children, students with disability representing law, k-12 education and beyond. the brain trust title, increasing diversity to improve education asked the question what is the best remedy to close the achievement gap? 45 years of legal experience devoted to school improvement, the answer is clear. in the final title of the brain trust, cool diversity and school integration.
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i believe in the educational and other benefits of school diversity to reduce school segregation and improve student use. i began to close with a shameless self-promotion i want to call your attention to an upcoming national coalition of school diversity, the fourth annual conference entitled the struggle, the struggle that must win. advancing school integration through activism through policy reform. i am a founding member of this coalition. it will take place in new york city october 19th, it is expected to bring together 400 people from across the country to discuss the strategy for reducing racial and social economic isolation in elementary schools and secondary schools. it focuses on empowering communities and the next generation of leaders, racially
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and socially back integrated schools, well documented in addition to the achievement gap, research shows students attending integrated schools are better for global economy, have improved towards democratic participation and demonstrated enhanced thinking and problem solving skills despite the overwhelming research on the benefits of diverse environment segregation tied to educational and equity is a persistent challenge in our nation's public schools. finally i leave you with a quote by supreme court justice ellen ash peters who wrote the majority opinion in the landmark school desegregation case decided by the state and not the federal court in 1996, extremely significant vision in a school case by new jersey's supreme
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court. although the constitutional base for the plaintiffs claim is the deprivation they themselves are suffering that deprivation has an impact upon them. the entire state and its economy blues not only social and cultural fabric about material well-being, on its jobs, industry and business. economists and business leaders say the state's economic well-being is dependent on more skilled workers. literate and well-educated and point to urban poor as an integral part of our future economic strength. it is not just their future depends upon the state but state future depends upon them too. [applause]
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>> i'm andrew nichols, director of higher education research and data analytics at the education trust which we work to improve education outcomes for students of color. am looking forward more about our work also thanks to new congress man's got to i a facts, not alternative facts. i want to tell you where we were in 1975. one in four, 25% of young white adults had a bachelors degree. that number is now 37%. with we are talking about young black adults, we are the same place young white adults were in 1975, just one in four young
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black adults have a bachelors degree or more currently. we have come a long way, in 1975 we were at 10%. we made significant ground in 40 years so we have to figure out how to catch up. to catch up the first thing we have to do is get more black students into the right colleges, not just college but the right colleges. the second thing is to assure the black plastic go to college complete. we have a completion crisis on our hands. over the past 40 years we have done a good job getting the message out in telling people to go to college. if you look at the immediate college going rates for icicle graduate we have done a really good job of that. what you will see is these rates have improved for everyone, black, latino, whites, we have a
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lot of work to do as far as rigorous coursework. we need to do better and figure out a better way to give working adults pathways to postsecondary education. people who did not go to college need to figure out better ways to give file access, can leave these folks behind for degree attainment for black students. although we gained postsecondary educational access we need to be more nuanced in this go to college message we rollout to young folks. not all colleges are created equal and attending the worst college is a recipe for disaster leaving you saddled with debt, no degree and can't pay it back.
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black students accrue a lot of debt. the average black student receives a bachelors degree, cruz $27,000 in debt. this is $8000 more than white graduates oh. we have an issue with black students and rolling. if you look at the enrollment trends you will see black students are disproportionately enrolling at community colleges and for profit institutions like the university of phoenix. in fall of 2015, 53% of black students were at those institutions compared to 40% of white students. although community colleges and for-profit institutions are accessible means of access to college, by and large community colleges are reasonably affordable but have low completion rates. one in four black students who enroll at community college graduate with certificate or some type of degree in six years
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compared to 45% for white students. if you look at for profits these institutions are pricey and have low completion rates lower than those at community colleges. fewer than two of ten black students receive a bachelors degree in six years at a for profit institution. these are pretty pricey. when you drop out you recruit a lot of debt and have no degree to pay it back so that leaves you at risk of defaulting on your loan. that counts for 7% of students, 35% of loan default. a recent report looking at black student success, the graduation rates of black students at nonprofit private institutions and public institutions and institutions that give black students the best chance for
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earning a degree. between 40% to 45% of black students graduate with a degree from the institutions but on average the black graduation rate for trails the way graduation rate by 20 percentage points. the gaps are significant, very large gaps but 20% have low gaps or so this tells us what we know. under the right conditions black students can graduate at high rates and can graduate at rates equivalent to their white peers. in the report we talk about comparing similar institutions and a lot of work revolves around this. we compare institutions that enroll the same students with similar resources, the same socioeconomic backgrounds and similar levels of academic preparation and we find out often 20 to 30 percentage point difference in the graduation rate. we have identified schools 100 miles apart, the same students
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with 30% graduation rate, 50% graduation rate. when campus leaders get serious about student success and equity they improve graduation rates significantly. this requires looking at your data, figuring out the challenges and problems. is the development of math course, introductory math course, is it not enough or adequate college advising or an issue with campus climate? i don't know if you saw the news clip in the times earlier this week about black students being invited to the college president's house and thought it was appropriate to have centerpieces, serving black food and not even asking what it felt like to be a black student on campus. imagine what it feels like to wake up and be a black student on campus and trying to focus on your academics amid all the other things happening on that campus? this last piece, one final thing we discussed in the report deals
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with underrepresentation of black students and what we call elite selective institutions that have more resources than most and high completion rates. this was pointed out in the new york times article last month that highlighted how black students are more underrepresented now than 35 years ago at top institutions. this is troubling. black students should attend institutions too, they prepare future leaders in business, politics, they give people a leg up. we need black students to be in those environments and have access to those networks and resources. second, they are educating our future leaders. it is important for them to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and people with diverse perspectives. is another panelist mentioned there is a lot of research that connects interacting and diverse learning environments with increases in learning and
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leadership development, gains and graduation rates and persistence and reduction in bias which is important right now. we need to think critically about who has access to what types of institutions. affirmative action policies are critical here. we need more affirmative action, not less. thank you for your time. [applause] >> thanks to the panel. we are going to call up jay lexi a clark who is a labor relations student at cornell university. she is going to give some remarks and kick off audience questions. [applause] >> can everyone hear me? i think bobby scott for having me and the audience today, thank you to all the panelists.
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so much of what you were saying in tampa, florida resonated and i will share with you, public education was never a safe ground for me or any minority student. first time i was reminded of the fact that i am black was in school. first time in second grade when my classmates started noticing my hair was different from theirs and proceeded to hit the curls in my face with lunchbox. the second time i was reminded that i am black was fifth grade when my teacher told me and my black classmates don't bother to do work, your unintelligent asteroids anyway. the third times that reminded me would be the moment that fostered my interest not only in going to college but researching intersection between race and public policy was when i was in middle school trying to go to high school. we have a system where you're at
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the school is dependent on where you live. my mom was on the phone thinking about raising -- why can't they go to your school? they don't ever succeed, what she was referencing was the cousins and family and friends in my neighborhood who ended up as high school dropouts. my mom wanted for me an equal opportunity to have quality education but they turned me down because i couldn't afford to live in a more expensive neighborhood or parents understood the political system and more funding for their school or just because of property taxes the school would get more funding overall. i said okay, this is what i want to understand. if i somehow got to college and
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understood, maybe i could find the solution to the situation not only that i was facing but my committee was facing as well. i got to college and realized the fight for justice does not end there. the most recent incident at cornell university demonstrates white students proceeded to beat on a black student and -- until he was bleeding. this incident and so many before it were reminders minority students, not only are we susceptible to micro-aggression but it can turn into physical aggression. we like equal opportunity for educational resources and academic and emotional support, that was my experience and i found the ronald mcnair scholars program. the first time my identity as a black woman from low social economic status was not seen as a source of limitation but as a pillar of strength worthy of
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support and acknowledgment. don't know if you know of ronald mcnair was a black man who during his time, the public library and who called the police on him so he would not have access to the education a public library could provide. that same black child would go on to reach the stars sparking a federal funded programs that would go on to not only acknowledge our racial past but we would try to actively go forward to fight against racist policies that infect institutions today. so i am not sharing my story that is reminiscent of so many other recipients to elicit sympathy. i am sharing my story in the hope that my passion brings action to others because one of the largest injustices all of you could do today is not support the programs like the
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ronald mcnair scholars program. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. a long round of applause for that. that was wonderful. thank you so much for sharing your experience and commitment and promoting the air scholars program. thank you to all the panelists for sharing your remarks, your experiences, your histories. you cannot -- one thing i failed to mention, i'm a graduate of florida and m university. in tallahassee, florida, founded in 1887, thank you so much. moving on i would like to open the floor to questions from the
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audience so please don't be shy. panelists have a lot to share with you. we would love to hear from you. please come to the mic in the middle of the room. >> thank you. i'm doctor alan arnold. i work at science and technology education government agency. i won't say which one. my question is being inside government the problem in the programs i work with is the actual application or mission to the federal government. a person working in government, how do you increase application from schools and teachers from organizations to get them to get the funding? the actual question. >> we can take responses from
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those on the dais and if you want to address that as well. >> i will start and say i appreciate the question. it was a concern we had at the department. one of the ways we dealt with was just getting out there. one of the things i did a lot was try to attend and participate in not just conferences but meetings, engagements with administrators, teachers, parents to educate them about our grant program because often people didn't know what they didn't know and i tried to make sure they were familiar with a variety of programs they might have access to. that was the first step we took. we did that religiously.
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so it was considered effort. i could never find the secretary talking to people but at the same time he put all of us out there as well, part of that contingency trying to make sure that we knew people knew what grants were offered not only through -- a variety of different grants obtained not just k-12 but through afterschool programs as well as programs that could assist the entire family. that is what we did. i don't know what the ability is right now inside government but things like this, trying to have conversations, particularly important for us to provide
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useful proposals. >> i am a teacher in dc public schools. [applause] >> before teaching i taught in charter schools. before attending this panel i was at the teacher luncheon, a representative from ellison mentioned the idea of charter schools that are doing well, why aren't they sharing best practices with public schools? i have always operated under the guidance that if something is going well in public charter schools if you are starting public charter school because you have an edge why are you not sharing that with public schools. how do we start a dialogue between public, and public charter schools. >> i think part of the charter school authorization was lost because they came through a
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difficult time but it is not accepted. part of the vision for the charter school, it would be an incubator and innovator, that is why they have more lax procedures and rules, to test things and infuse it into the public school system. that has to be structured in. it is not going to happen by chance, someone has to look at the other part of what charter schools is supposed to do to stop competition between charter schools and traditional schools, that is my opinion. anybody else? >> i want to thank you for your wisdom and insight. i am a practicing school psychologist with miami-dade public schools and private practice. my question surrounds
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homeschooling. i wanted to know, in my private practice i actually have the majority of private clients are black, different ethnic backgrounds but i see a trend with private parents. maybe most of them avoid homeschooling and these children especially the ones, we have gifted education in florida but these kids are extremely bright, some have a place for children in private schools and private schools they can afford they find a lot of issues so i just wanted to know your thoughts because i had to learn about homeschooling and with some of the kids and parents being able to support them because there is the choice they have taken and i have seen these kids grow up. it is amazing to me because choice does matter and
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everything is not right for everybody. >> we only have time for two or three more questions. you have a question for the panel, that will be great. >> many of my peers including my -- around third or fourth grade took their black boys out of public school for one purpose. having significant resource, finding that a better way, it goes back to the point if you look at schools there is a very small percentage of black male teachers going around social media and around the news about black male teachers in the absence of that and the effect it has on students ability to matriculate successfully through the public education system. i witnessed that with my peers,
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and my nephew -- because the school system has not been set up to serve that population effectively particularly the brighter ones. >> thank you. we will take the next question. >> i have a different opinion obviously. i think homeschooling may have a place for some kids but we are trying to grow our kids into a global society and what is needed is for them to know how to interact with everyone and they may get academic education but they don't get the other parts they need. the homeschooling started to re-segregate, get away from brown versus board. i have a different opinion about that. >> we will take the next question. >> thank you for being here. i'm a special assistant on k-12
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education opportunity center for american progress. a lot of you spoke about desegregation and that is still something to talk about 60 years after brown versus board of education. i don't know if everyone is following this, but the past couple months in jefferson county, alabama, the gardendale school district attempted -- there we go. to secede from jefferson county public school district. my question is how do we navigate this space where we have a secretary of education who rightfully stress tested local autonomy, not everybody can do everything the same way but local agencies are not always good actors. how do we combat local agencies doing a disservice to black
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children and brown children? >> i want to highlight for the audience on a table outside there are two interesting articles, specifically, one is by nicole hannah jones and the other by the nation. i would like to knows the gardendale case is a different case. >> i will say this. school districts across the country are experiencing the phenomenon where communities within school districts are looking to succeed -- secede from the broader school district to keep their resources within their community. the problem with that statement is it is often not their resources they are keeping in their community but a situation they have gratefully accepted the resources and as soon as they secure those resources they look to secede. we are seeing that around the country. erica wilson is a unc professor
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of law who does a lot of work around school secession issues. she posits we need to think about this entrenched idea of localism, that local communities should be the provider of the school system and think about whether we need a more regional school system so the resources are allocated. what we are often seeing his largest districts like jefferson county that essentially one part of the community which is often divided by racial lines says we will succeed and host our own school district. this is not new. this is certainly not new. when some of my cases got started one of the first things school districts did when faced with brown versus board was say we will fix this. instead of desegregating, we
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will make a new school district and draw the lines around the white residence. now our school district only includes white residents. when they say we have to desegregate we don't have to do it because that is not part of the school district. it used to be the case law provided a remedy. i have had cases where the court essentially said you did this to undermine our desegregation efforts. you can't have a separate school district. the law has changed over the years. part of the reason the law has changed is the public has not paid attention so it is important for everyone to educate themselves about these issues because it is happening all across the country. >> a comment on that one question as well. too often in american education policy we are sacrificing our children on the altar to local control. that is the history of the
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country in terms of local control. there is great state control over education but this notion of local control is used as a tool to privilege the more advantaged, disadvantage black and brown children and poor children so we need to push back on the idea, i write a lot in my work and i will do a shameless plug for the book, pathway sql education opportunity, talking about regionalism. we also talk about the need for shifting the understanding of federalism that local control is often used as an excuse for inequality and injustice and toward a system for all children with excellent education and that still allows innovation at the local level but doesn't use local control is an excuse for inequity. >> can we get the name of that
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book? >> the enduring legacy of rodriguez, greater education opportunity. we co-edited it together. it is important for a variety of solutions getting to equal educational opportunities. >> if you would like to learn more about the jefferson county case, desegregation which has 100 cases active, please go to www. we will take the last two questions and wrap it up for the day. >> my name is abel mcdaniels at the center for american progress. most of our city work focuses on small-scale efforts like voluntary opt in programs with districts or trying to set up more intentionally diverse charters. i was curious if any panelists or speakers have fought on a
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larger scale desegregation efforts, something more immediate than litigation strategies? >> really, the most innovative strategies are the regional strategies just mentioned. the idea of bringing communities across lines on a voluntary basis, litigation in many cases is not an option because you can't prove potential segregation. the option has to come from grassroots movements to integrate across not just school boundary lines but district lines. those are the most viable options. >> one more thing. our county has implemented where we have a lot of schools that are academy magnet programs to do just that, make sure we have opportunities for students to go to different schools in
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different zip codes and it has worked to a certain extent but at the same time certain communities will try because of local control to buy seats for their students in their communities so those seats are kept for them and not students from other places so we are trying to do a lot of things that are implemented but we need pushback from communities. >> last question. >> good evening. i am from miami, florida and i am with the delegation of the united states. my question is for all the teacher organization leaders. i have been listening to radio stations with stereotypical view of public educators as teachers. a lot of them saying we don't work well with children or teach them well so they are using us as a pounding board to deter
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people from coming to public education and that is not true. a large group of us are very well-equipped and our teacher organizations are educating us to educate the children. a lot of them, the information i heard on the radio was these teacher unions are putting bad teachers out there and protecting them so our children are not getting a good education. i want to know how we are going to change that. because i teach children to read. i just met with the student i talked to read in first grade, an engineering student at florida state university civil engineering that was taught to read by me and visited me every year in his senior year. i have met with hundreds of those that i taught. to say public education teachers
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are so bad we have to open charter schools and private schools to well educate our children, i want to know how we are going to change that because it is not true. we need better respect from the public and that. i want to know how we are going to change that. [applause] >> what i would say is you need to tell your story in the grocery store. you need to tell it everywhere you go and you need to encourage your colleagues. we are letting someone else write our narrative and that is wrong. we have to write our own narrative and that is in our hands. i would encourage each and every one of you, we all have stories. tell your story about the positive things that are going on in public education. tell your union your story, so
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we can put those stories out there as well. no one is going to do that for us. it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we write our own narrative and not public education opponents do that for us. [applause] >> what i would like to add is we have to realize it is fake rhetoric. it is intentional to try to say poor things about public education because that is the way we dismantle it faster. i asked earlier how many of you are public school graduates and almost the entire audience rose their hands. you all are professionals. you are educated beings doing amazing things in your community. public education couldn't have
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been that bad. we have to change that rhetoric. we cannot allow people to say those things. we have to make sure we tell people public education is good. it is certainly good for me and we have to realize when they are attacking unions they are attacking the middle-class. they don't want unions to exist. why were unions creating? it was for minorities, civil rights, justice, income equality. if we break down unions we are back where we started which is where we are going. [applause] >> i want to give our higher education panelists a chance to close out the event. can you tell us about diversity and higher education and the importance of ensuring diversity, the fisher case was about affirmative action and we see that issue before the supreme court again.
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if you can give your thoughts on that before we close. >> to summarize, the literature is very clear on the importance of diversity on campus generally come inside the classroom as well. they talk about all types of different gains and learning development, cognitive thinking, critical thinking, leadership development and things of that nature. one of the things that is important is not just having diversity on campus but ensuring when there is diversity on campus -- that is the key piece. when you have interactions on campus you get higher gains from having those students there so students are learning from each other, faculty members, that is the critical role here. >> i hate to sound like a running commercial for hbc yous
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but the first institutions that allowed fewer diversity that opens up their doors to people of all colors and all races were black colleges and universities. the first university in virginia that allowed education for men and women together to receive a collegiate degree was virginia state university. when you start talking about diversity it is important that we make sure all our students have access and understand what life is going to be like as they go out into the work world but it is important to know hbc you have always been on the cutting edge of these opportunities for everybody. .. [applause] have a good afternoon. [inaudible conversations]
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you're watching book tv on c-span two. television for serious readers. this weekend on book tv on a afterwards program new york times magazine contributor susie hansen recalls her travels abroad. also this weekend hillary clinton reflects on the 2016 presidential election. videogame developer so we quinn on being cyber bullied and what can be done to stop it.
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and northeastern university president discusses the need for continuous education to keep up with changing technology. that is all this weekend on c-span to book tv. television for serious readers. now we kick off the weekend with tom vasili. he talks about his efforts chicken to mid desperate to community kate the strategy. [inaudible] members and guests i have the honor of introducing a friend and academic colleague who also happens to be a best-selling author speaker, commentator and senior level management strategist. he has worked with the presidents and popes


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