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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Indy's John Harris Loflin and José Evans' Big Gig at International ED Conference

By Doug Martin

Below is, first, a press release from public school activist John Harris Loflin, director of education and youth issues at the Black and Latin@ Policy Institute. 

(Loflin's research has appeared here at Schools Matter in various forms, in my blogs, as well as a guest blog posted by Douglas Storm which was picked up by the Washington Post Answer Sheet.) 

Following Loflin's press release is a press release from Indianapolis City-County Councilor José Evans, who will give the keynote address at this South African education conference.  

To local urban educators, families, students, youth advocates, and community members:
     Continuing a string of yearly international presentations on urban education (Tel Aviv 2011; Caguas, Puerto Rico 2012; and London 2013), the B&LPI will address the closing session of the South African International Conference on Education.

      Jose Evans will talk on the topic of, “Hip Hop and the Pedagogy of Recognition: Their Relationship to Reducing Violence” to Attendees from 20 countries who have registered.                                         (http://aa-rf.org/conferences/saice2014/)

       B&LPI research and discussions reveal both Indy and South African cities like Cape Town (CT) share similar problems, though CT's are much worse. Mayor Ballard has publically recognized the issues: 14-17 year old males not in school, not employed, some with criminal histories, hanging out and little to do...  Indy’s murder rate for 2013 was 17/100,000. CT’s was 46/100,000 for 2012!

        So, what is it about public education on a global level that dis-engages certain students?  My travels to Mumbai, Sydney, La Paz, Sao Paulo, London, and Puerto Rico show it’s usually cultural minorities (class, color, ethnicity) who are disaffected. Why? Problems arise when the student’s home culture is not the same as the school’s culture.

       The colonial and now post-colonial experiences of Black South African children and youth with education and violence will be the key to appreciating why some Marion County students resist and then reject schooling--even to their own detriment, and so set themselves up for the tragic possibilities of personal or community violence. 

     The institute looks forward to sharing our insights when we return home.
John Harris Loflin

Director of Education and Youth Issues


For Immediate Release

September 9, 2014
Media Contact:
Kimberly Nance: 317.327.4242

Evans to Speak at South Africa International Conference on Education
Indianapolis – City-County Councilor José Evans (R-D1) will give the closing keynote address this month at the South Africa International Conference on Education (SAICE). The global education forum will take place Sept. 21-23, 2014 at the Manhattan Hotel, Pretoria, SA.

Evans, who is a two term City-County Councilor and John Loflin are the founders of the Black & Latino Policy Institute (BLPI), whose mission is to identify, investigate and promote solutions affecting Black and Latino communities. On behalf of the BLPI, Evans will present "Hip Hop and the Pedagogy of Recognition: Their Relationship to Reducing Violence" to an international audience. This opportunity allows the BLPI to share innovative education reform approaches that can benefit black children in South Africa in addition to Indianapolis. Upon his return, Evans will present this research to the Indianapolis community.

SAICE-2014 is "an international refereed conference dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practices in education." SAICE- 2014 aims to offer a platform for academics and researchers from all over the world to deliberate, network, and present a wide range of perspectives and expertise in the pursuit of excellence in education.

Also while in South Africa, Evans will join a delegation of business, political and education leaders on a tour of the estate of the late Nelson Mandela.

Councilor Evans, recognized internationally as an education reformer, has keynoted education conferences in the United States of America, Israel, Puerto Rico and London.

"I am honored to give the closing keynote address and share my ideas for improving learning on a global stage, and I’m eager to represent Indianapolis and the United States as I share some revolutionary ideas about K-12 reform with the world," said Evans.

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