Insight News

Sunday
Dec 21st

Commentary

Run, Princella, run!

Some voters in Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District will believe Princella Smith is just too young to be a congresswoman.  Doing business on Capital Hill requires wisdom and life experience; at 26-years-old, Smith is a baby.  Of course, age was not an issue for Edward Rutledge, who at 26 signed the Declaration of Independence.  Nor was age an issue for Amelia Earhart, who at 25 set an altitude record for female aviators. 
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Would you want your child to grow up to be like?

Are Black role models different than white ones?  General use of the term means a "person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others".  The image of the “First Black” in a position in the mainstream is usually made as a reference to social roles to which all should aspire.  Taking an evaluation of some “first Blacks” brings questions of their competence and whether they’ve shown qualities other Blacks should imitate.
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Title I fund formula disadvantages many children it was created to help


NNPA Columnist

(NNPA) - Title I was created “to ensure all children a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.” However, the formula for distributing Title I funds is stacked against the very children it was most intended to help. The current formula (a complex combination of four formulas) favors large districts regardless of their child poverty rate while children trapped in areas of concentrated poverty in mid-sized cities and rural districts are seriously disadvantaged. The inequities between and within states are blatant and must be rectified in this reauthorization cycle.

Why should Mississippi, the state with the highest concentration of Title I eligible students (27.2 percent) and the highest concentration of child poverty (30.4 percent), get an average allocation of $1,318 for each Title I eligible student while Wyoming, with the lowest percent of Title I eligible students (11.6 percent) and a three times lower child poverty rate (11.6 percent), receives an average of $3,149 per Title I eligible student—a $1,831 difference per child?
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Regulate health premiums or reform benefits will be lost to many


The President and Congress successfully overhauled the healthcare system in a major way, making it possible for nearly four million Americans to get needed healthcare insurance. Despite this great – and historical – news, more work remains. One of the remaining obstacles we have to overcome is making sure health insurers can’t raise their premiums by an exorbitant amount. Without oversight on this front, the benefits of the healthcare bill will be lost to many.

Insurer Anthem Blue Cross in California plans to raise its insurance premiums by 39-percent, a move that has many customers on edge. The company has put the rate hike on hold for now, but the very thought of such an increase from any insurer has legislators moving quickly to act.  U.S Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) and U.S Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) are pushing legislation that would prevent insurance companies from raising premiums without prior approval from a regulatory body. Some states already have this step in place, most do not.
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In the age of Obama, is the movement for reparations dead?

Like many Black Americans, the Project 21 Black Conservative Leadership Network called the US Senate’s “apology for slavery” resolution “useless”.  But, Project 21 seems to be singing somebody else’s agenda when they say: “apologizing for slavery and segregation will be used as a lobbying tool to acquire reparations payments.”   Is the concept of reparations for Blacks a dead issue and is Project 21 contributor Jimmie L. Hollis right in urging the Senate to “move on”? Hollis says: “As an American of African ancestry, I think this apology is ridiculous and useless.  It is just another ‘feel good’ action.  If we are to start apologizing for every injustice and wrong done in the past, we will spend the next few decades just apologizing.”

Most American descendants from slaves would agree “an apology is not enough.”  In 2010, a disproportionate number of African Americans are in jails and ensconced in judicial systems. Unemployment among Blacks remains, as it has for decades, twice that of Whites.   Black institutions, social agencies, education and communities are typically funded below rates for Whites.  Yet, in the face of America’s institutionalized pattern of discrimination, this cadre of young Blacks steadfastly stands for the status quo.
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What we mean by “educational reform”

The Board of Education and the administration of the Minneapolis Public Schools are committed to creating educational reform throughout our schools in order to raise academic achievement for all students.

What do we mean by “educational reform?” We mean evaluating district practices and contract rules to make changes that research has shown are most essential to raising academic achievement and closing the achievement gap. These changes include:

•Adjusting the way we hire and retain the very best teachers in our schools by developing a less rigid and more flexible system
•Achieving stability for our students by strengthening the practice of “mutual consent,” where principals and teachers agree that each teacher is the “right fit” for the needs of a particular school
•Reducing  teacher turnover, the current practice of moving teachers around frequently from school to school based on rules of seniority rather than keeping stable teaching teams together with a principal leader
•Improving accountability at every level in the Minneapolis Public Schools
•Moving toward the establishment of performance-based pay for all teachers and principals, where the academic achievement of students and other growth measures are part of performance evaluation and compensation, rather than pay for the number of years teaching

As always, our financial status affects every decision we make.
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Reflections of Fidel
: Sisterhood between the Bolivarian Republic and Cuba

-April 18, 2010 
(Taken from CubaDebate) 
Translated by Granma International

I had the privilege of talking for three hours last Thursday 15th with Hugo Chávez, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who had the gentility to once again visit our country, this time arriving from Nicaragua.

Few times in my life, perhaps never, have I met a person who has been capable of leading a genuine and profound Revolution for more than 10 years; without a single day of rest, in a territory of less than one million square kilometers, in this region of the world colonized by the Iberian peninsula which, for 300 years, ruled over a surface 20 times greater, of immense riches, on which it imposed its beliefs, language and culture. One could not write the history of our species on this planet today and overlook what took place in this hemisphere.
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