"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, December 16, 2013

Black Men in Newark Get Drama Class in Prison

Black men in Newark are getting literature and drama classes in prison. What are black boys in Newark getting in school?

Let's ask our new Senator and our Governor who thinks he is presidential material if they know.

Here is some educational information for New Jersey's elected representatives and their corporate privatizers and scam artists in New Jersey. Since they are in the process of ruining and privatizing one of the best public school systems in the nation with Common Core's gravy train being pulled by Pearson, PARCC and Achieve, some of us are wondering when you are going to pull the curtain on this wizard.

Testing and punishing teachers and students,  labeling children, their teachers and their schools failures is not an education policy. Try funneling some of that slimy, corporate dough into music programs and teachers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and teachers. These huge corporations can survive a few billion dollars of cuts in their bottom line.

Thanks to amazing, brave journalists, writers and educators, the charade is coming to an end.

The Play's the Thing, Chris Hedges, Truthdig and Common Dreams.

The mass incarceration of primarily poor people of color, people who seldom have access to adequate legal defense and who are often kept behind bars for years for nonviolent crimes or for crimes they did not commit, is one of the most shameful mass injustices committed in the United States. The 28 men in my class have cumulatively spent 515 years in prison. Some of their sentences are utterly disproportionate to the crimes of which they are accused. Most are not even close to finishing their sentences or coming before a parole board, which rarely grants first-time applicants their liberty. Many of them are in for life. One of my students was arrested at the age of 14 for a crime that strong evidence suggests he did not commit. He will not be eligible for parole until he is 70. He never had a chance in court and because he cannot afford a private attorney he has no chance now of challenging the grotesque sentence handed to him as a child.

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