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Ending Segregation Through Duplication

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A federal judge will appoint a third party to address segregation imposed upon Maryland’s public historically black universities, issuing a middle-of-the-road decision that does not completely fulfill the requests of either side in a bitter and long-running court case.

Judge Catherine C. Blake on Wednesday ordered the appointment of a “special master” who will create a remedial plan and monitor its implementation under court supervision. The plan is to create a new set of unique or high-demand programs that build on the strength of Maryland’s four public historically black colleges. It will also include a yet-to-be-determined amount of funding for marketing, student recruitment, financial aid and other initiatives over the next decade.

But the plan will not be allowed to include a proposal that had proven highly controversial among Maryland’s public higher education institutions — transferring programs from some traditionally white state institutions to its historically black universities.

The judge’s ruling could prove to be the culmination of a lawsuit stretching back to 2006, when a group of historically black college and university supporters called the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education sued the state for violations of the Civil Rights Act and the Constitution’s equal protection clause. At the heart of the suit was whether the state had effectively caused segregation at its historically black universities by allowing traditionally white universities to duplicate historically black institutions’ programs — preventing the historically black universities from drawing a diverse set of students with successful programs.

In 2013, the court ruled unnecessary program duplication in the state’s higher education system has effects of segregation that the state could not justify. The parties subsequently went through mediation but could not agree on a path forward, and they submitted competing proposals to remedy the situation in 2015.

The case continued in court until Blake’s ruling Wednesday. She wrote that none of the proposed remedies were proper.

“The court finds that neither party’s remedy, as currently proposed, is practicable, educationally sound and sufficient to address the segregative harms of program duplication at HBIs,” the judge wrote. “At least in part, this results from parties’ failure or inability to consult with the other side in crafting their proposals.”

Nonetheless, advocates of the state’s historically black universities supported the judge’s decision. They welcomed the judge’s plan as one that should end harmful program duplication, provide historically black institutions with more resources and help those institutions stand out by creating in-demand clusters of programs.

“She’s putting an end to program duplication going forward, and so that’s a win,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, a public historically black institution in Baltimore. “I think it’s a win for the state, I think it’s a win for Morgan and it’s a win for taxpayers, because you don’t necessarily have to now pay two or three times over for programs that were being offered at Morgan.”

The court’s order requires Maryland to end the segregation-era policy, said the lawyer leading the case against the state, Michael D. Jones, in a statement.

“The most important area of inferiority was to deny the black schools exclusive, unique, well-funded programs,” said Jones, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. “With this order, Judge Blake brings that era to a close.”

Read more @ Inside Higher Ed

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DCPS Back to School Block Party

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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On Saturday, September 22, join Mayor Bowser and interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander at the DCPS Back to School Block Party at Anacostia High School.

The Back to School Block Party will feature free food, fun activities for all ages, and performances from DCPS students. Local partner organizations and DC Government agencies will be on site to provide helpful information and resources, including college and career guidance, health and wellness resources, and information about food access programs.

RSVP HERE.

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Education

More Africans-Americans Are Teaching Black History

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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New figures show African-Americans are more prone to homeschooling in an attempt to teach their children black history. Should black Brits follow suit?

A NEW report has found that homeschooling is becoming the new way for African-American parents to teach their children about black history.

NBC News reports that 220,000 African-American children in the United States are homeschooled and The National Home Education Research Institute recently revealed its findings, stating black parents are becoming frustrated with enrolling their kids in public schools where U.S. history classes lack black history discourse.

Sheva Quinn of Byron, Ga., told NBC News that she quit her job in 2014 to dedicate time to educating her children, and to ensure that they become “very good readers” with a “solid foundation in African-American history.”

According to VIBE, in 2015, the National Council of Social Studies stated that less than 10 percent of total course hours are devoted to African-American history. When schools include black history in their curriculum, they cover very little of it.

“If you look at what happens in public schools, in terms of the curriculum, you could end up thinking that African-American history starts with slavery and ended with Martin Luther King and that’s just not the case,” said Cheryl Fields Smith, associate professor of Education at the University of Georgia.

The National Home Education Research Institute’s study also discovered that homeschooled black students outperformed black students who attended public school on standardised tests, scoring within the 42 percentile.

“With parents taking their child’s or children’s education into their own hands, they can fill in the gaps and provide a personal touch while teaching black history education.

Read more HERE….

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As D.C.-area schools grapple with overcrowding, parents wonder why enrollment projections are so off

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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In Montgomery County, a Washington suburb with sought-after public schools, Bethesda Elementary School opened an eight-classroom expansion three years ago to relieve pressure on the overcrowded campus.

A year later, the school spilled over again into a portable classroom. When this school year started Tuesday , it had four portables and 639 children — 80 more than it’s built to hold and 100 more than school system demographers predicted six years ago.

Bethesda Elementary is far from the most overcrowded campus in the Washington region. In Montgomery alone, half of the county’s 205 schools exceed 100 percent capacity, and some hover around 150 percent.

Montgomery’s approximately 161,500 students make it one of the largest school systems in the country, and it’s been growing by about 2,500 students every school year — the equivalent of a new high school.

Read more @ The Washington Post

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