Friday, February 24, 2012

Black male teachers becoming extinct


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Take a moment and think of all the teachers you had between pre-K and twelfth grade.

Now, how many of them were black men?

For most people, this question won't take too long to answer. That's because less than two percent of America's teachers are black men, according to the Department of Education.
That is less than 1 in 50 teachers.

Terris King, 25, a kindergarten teacher at the Bishop John T. Walker School in Washington D.C., believes that for African-American children, having a strong role model in front of them can make a huge difference.
"I fit a void in their lives," King says, "A lot of them have never felt what it feels like to shake a man's hand, [have him] look them in the eye, and tell them right from wrong. They need those things. They need someone in their lives who's strong—-they need an African American male in their lives that's positive."

This year, King has just over fifty African-American children from low-income households in his classes.
"I look out of my window, and I see gentlemen that are standing on the corner, and I look at my boys, and I can say to myself what I'm going to teach in a day about what's right and what's wrong, might turn the path a little bit."

It's this kind of impact that Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he is trying to replicate in classrooms around the country. He launched the Teach campaign and is actively trying to recruit more African-American men to go into teaching straight out of college.

"I think all of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom," Duncan says, "But particularly our young black males. I think what we haven't talked about enough is that we're competing with the gangs, we're competing with the drug dealers on the corner, and when students fall through the cracks, when young people don't have that positive mentor, in a school setting, in the church or community, there's always a guy on the street corner that can say come my way."

But if you ask most African-American men why they don't teach, they'll tell you——it just doesn't pay the bills. King says, "Historically in our society there is an expectation that a man provides for their family. This is an added pressure, that warns against men becoming teachers because of the salary."
"I just want our teaching workforce to reflect the tremendous diversity of our nation's young people. [But] I think fundamentally we have done a poor job as a country, historically, of making the teaching profession attractive," Duncan says.

The newly launched RESPECT Project is one way the Department of Education is trying to do just that. By offering incentives to teachers and school districts that will increase starting salaries and provide more professional development and training among other things, Secretary Duncan hopes to eliminate barriers and concerns that may keep qualified candidates away.

"There are African American men all over the country with skills, and with passion, that can serve these boys in so many capacities that they don't even know," King says. "It makes a huge difference because [the students] are able to be comfortable with themselves, they're able to see what they'll become one day, and if those images are positive, it raises their self identity to another level."

King hopes that by reaching his young black boys early, he'll be able to help them build a strong educational foundation that will allow them to buck another troubling trend: the low number of African American males entering and graduating from college. A recent report from the Department of Education showed that males are now a distinct minority on campus—even at historically black colleges and universities.

"Its an honor for me to be here with them. I feel like I'm a part of a revolution in a sense because we get to see the future leaders of tomorrow starting right here. I think at Bishop Walker School, we really believe in our boys and we really believe that they can be anything that they want to be."

Real Estate Workers in San Diego Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud

By Danny Fenster

Here’s another reminder how the real estate and banking world have suffered as a result of major acts of fraud.

In San Diego, charges were unsealed on Tuesday against several real estate agents involved in a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme targeting “vulnerable, low-income immigrants” , according to a statement from the FBI.

Eric Elegado, Charmagne Elegado, Theodore Cohen, Minh Nguyen, Regidor Pacal, Alexander V. Garcia, Roman Macabulos, Ramin Lotfi, and Roderick Huerto face multiple charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture, says the FBI. The scheme resulted in losses of more than $15 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Eric Elegado owned and operated San Diego real estate and brokerage businesses and, conspired with others, obtained mortgage loans for unqualified buyers by falsifying salary information on loan documents, then submitted the documents to mortgage lenders, who eventually lent more than $50 million in mortgage loans.

“As a result of their scheme to defraud, defendants and others caused the mortgage companies, lending institutions, and financial institutions to lose more than $15 million,” says the FBI statement.
The defendants are scheduled to appear before US District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on March 28.

NY U.S. Atty. Bharara Telling Friends He Could Earn Up to $6 Million in Private Sector

By Charlie Gasparino
Fox Business News
All of the good publicity flowing from the crackdown on insider trading has one of the nation’s top law enforcement officials looking at what he might do in the future, and he’s seeing a lot of green.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District, is telling friends that if he should leave his job today, he could earn as much as $6 million in the private sector, according to people with direct knowledge of these conversations. Bharara’s private statements come as speculation grows in Washington that the politically savvy prosecutor might also replace his boss, US Attorney General Eric Holder, if President Obama wins re-election.
A spokeswoman for Bharara wouldn’t deny the conversations about Bharara’s private sector ambitions — or the possibility that he might replace Holder.
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The government-imposed California dust bowl

Of all the problems within California — pension and budget deficits, high unemployment, an over-eager environmentalist agenda and a failed taxpayer-funded green energy firm — add a government-made dust bowl to the list.

Yes, California farmers who produce much of the produce that our nation depends upon are being strangled by a government imposed water shortage. To understand this situation, you first need to know that two-thirds of the state’s water comes from Northern California while two-thirds of California’s population is in the southern part of the state. But the most disconcerting part of the water problems in California involves the very middle of the state — the Central Valley.

The Central Valley can also go by another name: the salad bowl of the nation and quite possibly the world.
Agricultural production in the Central Valley of California accounts for $26 billion in total sales and 38 percent of the Valley’s labor force. Farmers in this area grow more than half the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts. In fact, if you buy domestic artichokes, pistachios, walnuts or almonds, there is about a 99 percent chance that they were all grown in California.

But in order for these products to grow, the Central Valley needs water — and the past few years the government has been withholding that vital resource.

Much of California’s water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the federally owned Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). To understand the size, scope and capacity of these water systems, with California boasting a population of roughly 37 million people, these two projects deliver water to more than 27 million people. The CVP alone provides water to more than 600 family-owned farms, which produce more than 60 high-quality commercial food and fiber crops sold for the fresh, dry, canned and frozen food markets.

However, since both projects are under government control, something of a water war has ensued in California between Central Valley farmers and an environmentalist-driven agenda. The federal government is retaining water in the Delta to protect a three-inch fish called the delta smelt and other salmon species in the name of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Therefore those who depend on California’s unique water systems are faced with an ever-diminishing supply and are forced to make some tough choices.
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New poll says Obama has fallen out of favor with millennials

By Rebecca DiFede

It’s no secret that a large basis of Obama’s election was his widespread approval rating among young people. Colleges all across the country sprung to life in an effort to support his campaign, and soon his likeness was as ubiquitous on campus as the red Solo cup.

Being in college during Obama’s campaign was like living in a product placement ad. Everywhere I looked, there was a person, place or thing sporting some form of Obama swag.

From students with sweatshirts and buttons, to buildings with banners and posters, and even the monitors in the student union were updated with news of his climbing in the polls. All of his speeches were shown on the big screen in one of the dining rooms, and people crammed in like sardines to catch the cleverly rehearsed snippets of his Harvard education.

When he finally arrived at my alma mater, American University, to give a speech, it was as if Jesus Himself had agreed to appear and perform miracles for anyone who could get in. Although the speech was not due to start until noon, a line began to form outside the arena around 7 AM, and stretched all the way across campus, and halfway down Massachusetts Avenue.

I, for one, was appalled. I couldn’t understand how students who could barely get it together to roll out of bed for their 2 pm classes could start standing in line at 7 AM complete with tents, blankets and board games. Especially to listen to what amounted to the musings of a political sock puppet. Did they know something I didn’t?
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