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Summer’s Here, Let’s Keep Our Kids Reading

I t’s been a long, challenging school year, and kids are ready for a well-deserved break. But education experts are issuing a warning to parents.

“Children, in particular, need a break from the demands of formal schooling,” Matthew Boulay , founder and CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, told The Los Angeles Times . “No child, however, should take a break from learning.”

The challenge is making sure students retain a year’s worth of learning—this is a problem particularly for children in low-income families.

During summer breaks, the achievement gap tends to widen. Students in higher-income families typically improve their reading skills, while kids on the opposite end of the socio-economic scale could lose up to three months of reading skills during the break, The Times reported.

Father reading to daughter

Source: Biz Jones / Getty

Des Moines, Iowa’s Merrill Middle School Vice Principal Diane Kehm told WHO-TV that parents must be an example to their children.

“Parents and guardians should be good models,” she said. “And if our students see their adults in their lives reading, they’re going to be more apt to pick up a book or read something other than social media on their phones, tablets or whatever other devices they’re using.”

She also recommended turning reading time into a daily routine. Kehm said as little as 15 to 20 minutes per day would suffice.

Literacy experts also suggest contacting local libraries, which typically have a range of summer reading programs for students at all grade levels.

SOURCE:  L.A. Times , WHO-TV

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Here's What These People Would Do To Improve Education 46 photos Launch gallery

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Educators Examine Minority Teacher Retention Crisis

B lack teachers say they face numerous challenges  in public schools that cause many to leave the profession. Indeed, the teachers of color shortage “has as much or more to do with retention than recruitment,” a ccording to a recent report from NEA Today.

Although recruitment efforts have improved over the past years, minority teachers often find themselves victim to the same policies that impact their students.

Travis Bristol , a Boston University assistant professor, shared his research on Boston’s Black educators during a panel discussion at the 2017 Education Writers Association National Seminar , NEA Today reported.

Donte Little was one of the former educators interviewed by Bristol. Little taught in Boston Public Schools and noticed that students were regularly treated like criminals. He left after an incident in which the principal “frisked” young students in a search for cellphones. “This isn’t a prison,” Little told Bristol.

If Little’s resignation is any indication, antiquated policies can create caustic environments for teachers of color. While studies show that students perform better when the teaching staff is as diverse as the student body, many of the schools that most need teachers of color are often low on resources.

Such a combination means that newly recruited teachers of color lose the optimism that attracted them to the profession. For this reason, educators are calling for more significant efforts to retain teachers of color.

Becky Pringle , vice president of the National Education Association (NEA), believes that teacher retention is central to achieving racial justice in education.

Pringle said that the retention rates of teachers of color was indicative of a larger problem: lack of leadership by teachers of color. Pringle says that the NEA is committed to training current and future teachers of color to lead in their schools so that they are empowered to change policies to improve their working environments and, ultimately, student outcomes.

SOURCE:  NEA Today

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Here's What These People Would Do To Improve Education 46 photos Launch gallery

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Ohio Jury Still Deliberating In Samuel DuBose Fatal Shooting

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Juror Reveals That 2 Holdouts Caused Cosby Mistrial

A juror in the Cosby sexual assault trial has come forward to reveal details about the deliberations that led to the mistrial .

ABC News reports that the juror said two holdouts refused to join the other 10 jurors who voted to convict the entertainer.

Bill Cosby , 79, faced three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. The two holdouts refused to go along with the others on the first count of digital penetration and the third count of giving the alleged victim drugs that would make her unconscious without her knowledge.

On the second count, however, 11 of the jurors voted to acquit. That count asked them whether she was unconscious or unaware during the incident.

The unidentified juror, who spoke exclusively with ABC News, said that the holdouts were “not moving, no matter what” on counts one and three.

Cosby’s former friend  Andrea Constand   accused him of drugging and molesting her at his home in 2004. He declined to testify at the trial but has maintained that the encounter was consensual.

She’s one of at least 40 women who have accused the fallen star, once nicknamed “America’s Dad,” of drugging and sexually assaulting them. However, Constand’s complaint was the first criminal case against him. The jurors did not consider those other alleged incidents during deliberations, the juror told ABC.

Interestingly, the jurors “voted overwhelmingly” that Cosby was not guilty on all three counts in an initial non-binding poll, the outlet reported. It’s unclear what caused the vote to shift.

The juror painted a picture of 12 angry jury members on the edge of physically fighting each other. One male juror punched a wall so hard that he may have broken a knuckle.

“They had five sheriff’s deputies at the door and they could hear us and they kept coming in because they thought we were already fighting,” the juror told ABC.

SOURCE:   ABC News

SEE ALSO:

Camille Cosby Joins Bill Cosby In Court for First Time

Bill Cosby Lawyers Say Prosecution Is Keeping Black Folks Off His Jury

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Eric Garner’s Family Awaits Justice In Form Of Federal Charges

I t has been nearly three years since Eric Garner,  an unarmed Black New York City man, died after police officer Daniel Pantaleo used an illegal chokehold on him on July 17, 2014. Garner’s death was etched into national memory when his final words, “I Can’t Breathe,” became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter and people of color brutalized by police officers.

Needless to say, Garner’s family has patiently waited for justice and charges to be brought against Pantaleo, who was previously disciplined by the NYPD for abusing his authority during an unnecessary stop-and-frisk incident in 2012. But where are the answers that the family needs?

The Department of Justice met with Garner’s relatives during a closed meeting Wednesday, reports the NY Daily News . Instead of offering a decision on whether to prosecute any of the officers involved in the Black father’s death, officials could only say that their investigation was still active. “ We shouldn’t have to wait like this ,” said Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr , who added that the continuing probe was “ frustrating .”

Civil rights icon Al Sharpton also attended the meeting, saying, “ The bad news is we were not told that they’re going to move forward a prosecution .” Sharpton joined other civil rights activists and Garner’s family to pressure federal authorities to bring a case against Pantaleo after a state probe ended without charges made against the officer, writes the News.

Garner was stopped by Staten Island, New York police, who accused him of selling loose and untaxed cigarettes, in July 2014. Pantaleo was seen on a bystander’s cellphone video putting Garner, who refused to be handcuffed, into a chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy. Garner, who had asthma, is heard gasping “I can’t breathe.” He was later pronounced dead, and a medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused in part by the chokehold.

A Staten Island grand jury cleared the officers involved in Garner’s death of criminal wrongdoing, but federal authorities launched their own investigation, reports NBC New York . And a year after the Black father’s death, New York City settled with the family for nearly $6 million.

Despite being discouraged, Carr said, she is hopeful that an indictment will be made. “ Always, no matter how dim it looks, I’m going to be confident ,” Carr said, according to NBC.

SOURCE: The Associated Press NY Daily News NBC New York

SEE ALSO:

Court Questions Lawyers In Eric Garner Case

Two Years After Eric Garner & Mike Brown, Here We Are Again

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