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The Souls of Black Boys

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Black males are now down to about 1% of current UCLA freshmen. It's neoliberal California, where black boys are destined for marginal labor if they're lucky or pipelined to prison if they're not. Still, community activists in Los Angeles are fighting back, trying to nurture and prepare the next generation of black organizers, scholars and intellectuals.

Dorner, Racism, and Police Repression

From the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

A central truth underlies the events surrounding Christopher Dorner's actions and demise: “Racism is endemic to all law enforcement agencies in the United States, and is part and parcel of the foundations of the United States government, its historic mission, and its systemic functioning.”

Does Signing a Petition Give Parents a Voice in Schools?

 

by David Bacon

The so-called “parent trigger” appears designed to achieve one result: increase the spread of charter schools under the guise of parental empowerment. Charter boosters may use the language of people power, but their funding comes straight from the oligarchs. “At its birth, Parent Revolution had a $1 million budget supplied by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Eli Broad Foundation, the Hewlett-Packard Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.”

LAUSD’s Apartheid Hall of Shame, Part 2: A View from the Classroom

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Black student “push-out” phenomenon is directly related to Black mass incarceration. Studies show that “African Americans go to the dean’s office for less serious offenses than do Latinos and whites.” Disruptive behavior is in the subjective perception of the beholding teachers, some of whom “go off about ‘these black kids’ and what are you going to do with these black kids ‘cause I can’t teach in my classroom with these black kids going out of control.” Predominantly Black schools and faculty are often no better. “South L.A. schools with significant or majority black faculty and administrators are just as culpable.”

Los Angeles Schools’ Apartheid Hall of Shame (Part One)

by Sikivu Hutchinson

It sounds like racial profiling in education, on a massive, institutional scale. “Black students are targeted, penalized and pushed-out in dizzyingly obscene numbers that predict and mirror their disproportionate numbers in L.A. County juvenile detention centers and adult prisons.” Those are the conclusions of a recent report on schools in the Los Angele Unified District, where Black kids are grossly overrepresented among students ejected from classrooms. What’s more, such collective punishment occurs “regardless of the racial background of the faculty and administration or racial demographics and socioeconomic background of a given school.”

High Stakes Teaching and the “Value-Added” Sham

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Los Angeles Times recently weighed in against the city’s scapegoated teachers, giving public school elementary educators low marks on so-called ‘value-added’ assessments – a term that is as corporate as they come. The new regime serves neither teachers nor students. Rather, “the intersection of high stakes testing and zero tolerance discipline policies have created a perfect storm for black and brown students already deemed expendable by teachers and administrators.”

DNA and “the Banality of Evil”

by Sikivu Hutchinson

First, the criminal justice system failed the Black victims of an LA serial killer. Now, the system embraces a family DNA aggregator approach that is certain to further stigmatize African Americans through shared genetic markers. “The wholesale over-incarceration of African American communities means that many African Americans are related to someone who has been convicted of a felony.”

 

Outsource It! Privatize It! LA School Reform in the Age of Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Acting on the ideological position that teachers are the root of all evil, and with the full support of the city's Latino mayor, the LA school board has voted to transfer one-third of its schools to private, charter management – including 50 brand new campuses. Corporate outsourcing now passes as education policy.

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