Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Qualitative Indices for Urban America

One of the discouraging realities of modern day life in our nation is the constant theme of publishing data and statistics on the demographics of urban life from the lens and perspectives of those who lack depth, scope and authentic insight and real time data about the lives and realities of people in urban America. Far too many people seek to report and publish a Misery Index especially for urban venues.

Far too often these narratives are full of sterile and empty statistics which purport to cover the economic and quality of life for residents of the city yet just the opposite happens. The paradigms and templates many of these urban planners, non-profit executives, academics ignore the reality of life in the corridors and avenues of the city. Many of these inferences are based upon models which do not replicate the real life metrics of life in the city and of course many of the architects of these white papers and studies lack the authentic insights from the people who are the subjects of these metrics and statistics.

When this paradigm is focused on the urban communities of America the demographics are depressing and too often negative. There is always a sense of despair, failure and crisis in most articulated demographics about Black folks in the city. Grievance reporting is something I will never endorse or affirm.

I believe this constant theme of decay and failure creates a collective sense of failure and hopelessness in to many Black venues. Therefore I propose a new set of standards, lists, metrics and rankings be created that articulate the positive attributes and accomplishments of the urban residents especially its Black residents. There is a place for the metrics of love, happiness, progress, civility, solidarity, and community.

The architects of these new metrics must reflect not only the demographics of the city (read majority Black folks) but they must be comprehensive, novel and free from the metrics and contamination of the past templates and paradigms that indicted and demonized every behavior and aspect of life for city residents.

Let's run numbers and create metrics and paradigms on those in the community who are happy, productive, and engaged in activities that promote progressive outcomes. Designing a nation with our ideas is my canvass for the community

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Black Sudents in Peril

The media accounts documenting the disproportional rates of suspensions between Black and white students in our country's school districts of course is not a newsflash to many interests including of course Black parents in school districts all across America.

The contempt for Black students is similar to what their parents encounter. The soft bigotry of low expectations shares the lesson plan with disparate rates of expulsion and suspensions for Black students. The landscape of academic success in our nation for Black students is full of obstacles navigation is perilous in all levels of education in our nation from kindergarten to the university venue for Black students.

The more important issue now is how Black families and their students can navigate around these inequities and obstacles. Black parents must develop their own lesson guide to disarm educational officials, teachers and even students who discount the educational goals of Black students. We must embrace our own self-worth that we are worthy of respect and our offspring deserves superior educational efforts and outcomes. Black parents must develop strategies that equipped them to combat, reject and influence educational systems that have contempt for our offspring. Instead of lamenting the horrors of a destructive pathological educational system that has contempt for Black students now is the time to develop our own lesson plans that produce motivated students and students who can themselves defeat the waves of contempt for them that exist in our classrooms across our nation.

The revelation of systemic disproportional suspensions of black students in the DC region's school districts is disturbing and troubling on a number of layers beyond and above educational concerns. One wonders if this same horrid disparity exists in private and parochial school venues. The portrayal of black students has always been contaminated with ugly themes some of which include themes regarding genetic inferiority.

In our nation the incongruent levels of parity and inequality have often received attention in the criminal justice area and in some health care terrains to observe this inequality surface in our educational systems is truly a concern worthy of state and federal intervention. Our government must create a reporting metric that provides transparency and disclosure to minority parents about the incidents and comparable rates of suspensions between student racial groups. One of the constructive attributes of recent federal educational legislation was the right to make evaluations and contrast academic outcomes based upon racial groups.

The importance of superior educational outcomes is heighten more by the troubled economic realties of the new world order. Parents of black students must be in the vanguard of programs and laws which impact the future of their children this focus must involve best practices and uniform guidelines which ban disparate punishment and remedies for troubled students to the delivery of superior educational programs .