Grade With Purpose!

With 7 years of experience teaching business and computer concepts to high school students, there were many challenges I was able to manage and grading miracles I was able to create with integrating technology in my learning lab. In fact, technology helped me to develop my former business students’ academic discipline and innovation with rigorous projects to assess their knowledge and skills. Further, I was able to provide timely as well as personalized feedback through grading software and online management systems! Reflecting back, there were many resources that helped change the grading game for me as a facilitator and consequently prepared my high school students for their college, careers, and life!! Thus, grades and meaningful feedback, if carried out effectively, can result in more career opportunities and impactful life lessons for our future leaders!

Since many people in the Baltimore region are discussing new grading policies and procedures, it motivated me to blog this month about education. After reading Superintendent Dallas Dance’s Op-ed: “What’s in a Grade?” and browsing through Baltimore County’s new grading manual, immediately I reflected on my own grading experiences as a teacher. So let me to take you on a 400-meter dash filled with questions, concerns, my own experience, and finally — passing the baton to you! Although the Olympics is officially over, my mind is still racing about how I can encourage Education Leaders to compete and grade with purpose, putting student’s needs in 1st place!!

“First 100 – How Can We Accelerate, Running the Grading Curve?”

  • The first thing that came to my mind about Baltimore County Public Schools’ grading initiative was: “Releasing this grading manual publicly in the beginning of the school year is probably giving teachers more anxiety and pressure to become more accurate and specific with their grading – the same anxiety a runner has when “taking his or her mark”.
  • Second, I thought of the potential burden that teachers may have if they don’t have the proper support or resources to provide their students with timely and meaningful feedback along with personalized lesson planning. Therefore my question is, ”Who is going to ensure that teachers are “set to go” and grade efficiently?”
  • Third, when teachers upload their grades online, we cannot forget how parent involvement could turn into cyberbullying via email regarding grades. Not all parents do this, but a furious few is more than enough! With that being said, what type of protection and intervention is available for teachers when parents and students respond aggressively about grades while they are transitioning to this new grading approach?
  • Fourth, how will Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) new grading system and report card layout impact high school students when colleges review their applications? Based on this new grading system, will students in the future experience culture shock when transitioning from school to college or work?
  • Finally, I know some educators are thinking, “Before unleashing this policy, perhaps the school system could have first provided them with:
  1. a co-teacher in order to give proper feedback to each student,
  2. an administrative assistant to answer incoming phone calls as well as emails from students and parents specifically regarding grades, which could be a potential distraction for teachers staying on track with outgoing calls to parents about some of their student’s disruptive behavior
  3. a private counselor and a doctor on site to manage their blood pressure or mental health between classes
  4. a class monitor to assist with tracking attendance, lateness, behavior, and team projects so that the 2nd portion of the report card could be filled out accurately, and
  5. tech support available to help them to effectively and efficiently grade using online management systems.”

Yes, teachers are CEOs running a major business and they need additional personnel and partners to support the needs of their students, in addition to, their very own managerial duties! So it’s great that Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) recommends that departments work more collaboratively instead of teachers working in isolation! However, what about the one-person departments? Yes, there are teachers in secondary education who teach all grade levels! So, will “all teachers” really have the time to connect with their peers across the county and how will this grading initiative be executed in a timely fashion so that students will feel supported through this new grading system?

My concern is that if this grading strategy isn’t clear for students and teachers, it may cause some serious problems related to accuracy because let’s be honest, “grades have never been a 100% accurate reflection of students’ achievement”. This is because they have been distorted by bias, lack of resources, and constant education reform. Thus, in the midst of this “Race to the Top” education reform, the effort of BCPS is appreciated, but we must straighten out the “grading curves”!

Second 100 – Now We Are at the “Straight Away” – “Making the Transition & Finding Your Comfort Zone!”

After reading Baltimore County’s grading manual’s quote, “Conduct and skills are critical and belong on the report card, but they should not distort the academic grade. Separating the academic grade from the conduct grade holds students accountable for both.”  – I agreed with this concept as a student and disagreed as a former athlete. I began to reflect on my sports background analyzing “team sports” in correlation to grading. For example, only a certain amount of players can be on the court or the field at a time. So let’s say that “playing time” in a competition is equivalent to a grade because most players look forward to scoring or receiving accolades when participating in a game or event. Generally, most teams have policies set up so that when athletes come to practice late, they have to run extra laps or do a certain amount of pushups. In addition, if players do not display positive conduct towards their teammates and coach, even the referee – the player would be penalized with a technical foul, loss of an offensive possession, or the loss of playing time. Yes, there are consequences for behavior and poor choices in sports. Inappropriate behaviors are challenged almost immediately in order for players to understand the importance of discipline and respect!

So do you think it’s totally fair in education to create chances for some children to half-way complete assignments or turn in their work late without a reasonable excuse? Is it fair for some students to have the possibility of receiving 50% if they completed 25% of their work or even receive the same grade as the student who was punctual and hardworking? Also, let’s keep it real – “What about students who are caught cheating? Will these students receive a 50% bailout in the future?” Now let’s think about how this grading system would impact the morale or the work ethic of the students who seriously prioritize their time in order to achieve success! Therefore, I believe there has to be an accountability system, especially for secondary schools to ensure they will meet college and career expectations. Additionally, I would like to point out that this learning approach with extended time to support student’s achievement discussed in the grading manual is perfect for elementary and middle schools so students would not be discouraged from trying harder and becoming more responsible for their learning outcomes. However, I believe by grade 7, the grading policy should change. If the grading process is consistent with academic discipline and learning support systems from pre-K to 7th grade, then 7th grade and beyond should be more tailored to prepare students for college, careers, or entrepreneurship demands!

See, I’ve learned that “grades” are like paychecks in education. I recall my former high school students trying to negotiate grades at the end of every quarter like salaries. The more I used online grading, the more frequently I was approached by my students. Sometimes I felt like it (online grading) interfered with them actually learning because most students focused on immediate results instead of enjoying the adventurous process of learning. Some students rushed through their work just to be finished before most of their classmates and others were practical enough to put in the necessary time for their final product – conscious of their professional development. Then, others did enough to get by and were cool with a capital “C”. Whatever the student chose to do, it showed when they had to present their final product to the class. As a result, my students and I learned that the truth will reveal itself at some point in the game, when their skills were tested with a performance assessment or with an impromptu quiz.

So I predict that some students are going to take advantage of this grading policy – not to necessarily have a second chance to truly learn a concept, but a second chance to cram in some work for a better grade. Depending on the student – content will be going into his or her short-term memory just for the grade, not for the knowledge. This is just my perspective from teaching high school students and observing how they reacted to grades and what they were willing to do or not do for grades, especially if they feel what you are teaching them is not relevant to their lives at that current moment. So how can we convince more students to be satisfied with the learning process or find relevance in the assignments they receive? Perhaps, pay them for their effort or not give them a grade at all?

Furthermore, in this grading manual, grades are “separate yet equal” in importance. Therefore, my question is, “How will teachers hold students accountable for their behavior or attitudes without deducting points from their final grade?” Perhaps, taking away privileges such as recess, but parents want their children to have more recess for health reasons so that may not be as effective. Maybe giving parents fines for their children’s intentional bad behavior or giving parents the option to observe their child in school from their smartphones to reduce conduct issues would be effective? 🙂 Imagine if we would follow the police department’s’ initiative, by putting body cameras on students or placing cameras in all classrooms to help teachers’ grade students behavior more accurately and report it more efficiently? Well, that may not be a great idea because this type of surveillance system may support the school-to-prison pipeline even further. Can you just visualize teachers along with the administration reviewing video after school because often it’s tough for teachers to write behavior reports in the heat of the moment while simultaneously managing class? Perhaps that is why grades should be impacted by behavior because teachers would have less issues during class if students knew it was going to impact their grade. Some parents would argue that they would not have a true representation of their child’s knowledge deducting points from their grades. Then, I would argue that allowing kids to turn in their work late is not a true representation of “being responsible” if you give them “full credit”. This is a gray area I think BCPS should reexamine in their grading manual because I think “extra credit” is still available to students if you are allowing students to find new ways to make up work to increase their grade.

We, also, need to equally consider how a student’s attendance and behavior impacts their classmates in terms of learning achievement, classroom procedures, and group work progress. Both attendance and behavior alone can impact grades from being equitable, accurate, specific, and timely. For example, during group work if there are some students who are being playful, how can grades be totally equitable? More importantly, there are students who are being bullied during class and have low achievement due to anxiety. Thus, grades may not be an accurate representation of those students’ learning abilities. So to report behavior separately does not tell the entire story of how behavior impacts not only the student’s grade who chose to misbehave, but the total class or group learning outcomes.

Not to mention, teachers who are not providing students with multiple teaching approaches or may not have all the resources to address students’ diverse needs and learning preferences. Consequently, a student may receive low grades because he or she is not engaged with how his or her teachers teach. Yes, I do believe that teachers alone are not effective in order for their students to achieve! It takes technology, experiential projects, and strong business partnerships to bring more relevance to academics! Ok, I know this race is a little wordy, but you must endure with me! Now let’s pick up the pace! We’re almost done!

2nd Curve – The True Test of Your Endurance at the 300 Meter Mark: “Reflecting on Why You Are Truly Running This Race!”

In retrospect, I was a little “old-school” with my grading in order to keep order in my class. Holding students accountable for their behavior or irresponsibility were factored into their final grade. It helped me manage my class based on professional standards, but some students were going to socialize and be a distraction regardless. However, what mattered most was how I structured my students’ learning experience. My lessons had to be extremely organized and creative, yet flexible enough to allow my students to guide me in the right direction. For example, after every class assignment, my students would work on enrichment activities such as using the internet as a research tool and experience real-world application projects in order for them to see how our content exists outside of the classroom. Notably, during each unit, we had team projects to promote social learning and collaboration! Project-based learning definitely impacted my students behavior and attitudes in a positive way! It can also increase attendance and lateness to class because students will actually look forward to the variety of experiences you provide them with and enjoy taking ownership of their learning with personalized projects.

Additionally, integrating technology as a quick way to execute formative assessments and provide immediate feedback accelerated my former students learning and changed their attitudes about how they wanted to improve their progress. When I would provide more formative assessments consistently, it created a chance for me to cover more material during the school year. Furthermore, I believe web management systems such as Edline, now acquired by Blackboard, can accelerate teaching and learning for teachers and students who need to improve their organizational skills, thus achieving more throughout the school year! In fact, using Edline, along with Easygrade Pro, allowed me to upload comments to assist students with achieving their learning goals with reminders and notes about how they could improve. Another excellent grading resource was using Google Docs which allowed me to coach students during class projects or writing assignments providing detailed feedback conveniently online.

Most critics say technology takes away from human contact, however, I was able to effectively communicate and motivate my students to complete their assignments by actively commenting in their Google documents or on their wiki workspaces – which was just as encouraging as human contact. Imagine a student riding the bus home receiving an email alert from their teacher after school giving them some feedback on a project. Do you think the student will feel supported and encouraged to work on their project for homework? In most cases, yes, based on my experience. Thus, technology can bring you closer to your students by becoming their virtual assistant!

Throughout my educational race, I’ve learned that the secret to success is simply providing multiple learning accommodations for my students in order for them to develop successfully, which is stated in BCPS’s grading manual through technology and teamwork! For example, over time, I changed my grading style – becoming more flexible with classwork, allowing students to complete assignments at home if they needed more time and I was more firm with projects in terms of deadlines to better prepare students for college expectations and career demands. Therefore, homework kind of phased out with it either being an opportunity to have more time to complete classwork at home, work on school projects in order for students to make my deadlines or take out time to study online sources, or take online practice assessments. (Look on your left under the Book Overview section for examples) Please note, providing online assessments for homework can save teachers time with grading and if students have any additional concerns, the teacher can address those needs during class because students’ progress can be tracked electronically through certain grading software.

Moreover, transitioning to online learning included a lot of experiments, trials, errors, and successes so I enjoy sharing my experiences with Education Leaders to help them make sound decisions for both teachers and students! In fact, about two years ago, I discussed this topic at a local board meeting in Baltimore County. I made predictions based on my teaching experience using online management systems between 2009 and 2013. Therefore, I humbly acknowledge that grading was a complex experience, but with access to technology I acquired a lot of wisdom and truly discovered something promising about education. That is why I am still running in this educational race! What about you?

“Come on now, stay with me! We’re almost done!”

Keep in mind that in sports, no one gives you much credit for how well you did in practice because what really counts is how you perform in the game or during a competition! So I suggest that drills and homework should not be uploaded as actual achievement grades, but participation grades because students are participating in their progress to master their learning. More importantly, as educators, we have to work and grade smarter – not so hard that you lose your strength at this point in the race! You’ve come too far and impacted too many lives to give up right now! Our students need your motivation as well as your unique gifts that you delight them with every day! So endure! Breathe! Push further! Stay encouraged! No one can do it like you! You are a champion! Your creativity and dedication matters!

Finally, reflecting back on the sports life, no one ever gave me extra points for practicing my game before or after practice. I had to motivate myself and want to become a better athlete which applies to student’s attitudes about their education, especially in secondary schools! Remember, homework is practice and if the teacher aligns his or her formative and summative assessments with homework assignments, students should not have to be a great test taker in order to pass the class, if students apply themselves the same way they do in their social lives or participating in their extra-curricular activities, such as sports!!

The Last 100 Meters – “The Final Stretch is When You Give It All You’ve Got!”

For the final 100 meters, I wanted to share some final thoughts for teachers who are on the verge of quitting this race! My overall goal as an education consultant and motivational coach is to assist with retaining teachers when they are considering other career options due to education reform or policy decisions. Trust me, there is hope!

Based on my experience with Baltimore County Public Schools, I would like to point out that I believe a globally competitive graduate must have sports discipline, but the way this current grading policy is set up, does not demonstrate the total appreciation and respect for the type of work ethic and accountability that I’ve experienced in sports in order to achieve great success! I agree with the grading initiative in terms of students being accountable for achieving, setting learning goals, and tracking their progress! Yes, I agree, we should support students’ emotional and social needs with intervention programs that build up their character, help them manage their stress, and conquer their learning obstacles, while preparing them for success!

Even as adults we have to join support groups or constantly review content that we may not have mastered for professional development. We may not get points, a promotion for it, or a pat on the back, but I’m sure we all have found out that becoming more competent and able to master our jobs can be just as rewarding. Therefore, we have to show our students to accept that they may not get the grade that they wanted, but it should not deter them from putting in more effort to achieve a life or career skill. In fact, people or organizations may not give you a second or third chance to get a better grade or rating, but you still have to work hard if you want to achieve more and take your talent to a higher level! So I’d rather students be prepared to understand the concept of work ethic and strategic planning early so they will not have to face unnecessary obstacles during college or throughout their careers.

More importantly, we have to ask ourselves, “What is Equity?” in terms of grading in this globally competitive world? Remember this summer, we had to ask ourselves about fairness during the Olympics in Rio after the Women’s 400-meter dash. Take a look!

If you look at the end of this race, Allyson Felix and another runner came over to Shanae Miller to help pick her up and congratulate her for winning the race. I wonder how those ladies truly felt about the outcome of that race after the hard work they put in preparing for four years to achieve the Olympic gold, silver, or bronze medal?

I can relate to this actual race reflecting on my career in education, however, sometimes your hard work may not matter to those who will have political power with or without you being on their team. So, Education Leaders, you must continue to play with pride and dignity, knowing you can and will make a difference in your students’ lives!

Here’s the baton:

Let me see what kind of answers or solutions you will provide for these open-ended questions related to equity in education:

1. Are we going to allow students to win by the rules or allow students to leap to the finish line while others chose to win the proper way – striding and striving for excellence?

2. Is the education race the same or equitable if everyone is not treated with the same expectations or respect?

3. Does equity create opportunities for students or education leaders to cheat in order to compete?

4. Will “equity” that everyone is striving for create “new achievement gaps” for students who were privileged by the traditional rules of education?

5. Are we making changes in grades because we do not want our students to experience failure or education leaders do not want to look like failures?

6. Essentially, how can we find that balance of power for all students to achieve and learn valuable lessons about respect, empathy, discipline, perseverance, and teamwork?

Finally, we have to be extremely careful when implementing grading policies such as this because lack of accountability is the reason why so many people are suffering in this world today personally and professionally. Think about how a grade or even your behavior has impacted your mental, emotional, social, or economic situation today. With that said, teachers along with our future workforce depend on our commitment as a community to enforce equity by applying ethical and moral reasoning to our instructional and political decisions!

Now, we’ve made it to the finish line! I appreciate your endurance and let’s continue to run this purposeful race together!  #competewithpurpose and #gradewithpurpose!

Marian Moore is a former instructor from Baltimore County Public Schools and an aspiring consultant for Superintendents, school officials, and education supporters!

compete-with-purpose-business-card-goal-1

Cited Sources:

Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Ph. D. “What’s in a Grade.” The Baltimore Sun. September 3, 2016. Web. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-dance-grades-20160903-story.html

Division of Curriculum and Instruction. Baltimore County Public Schools Grading and Reporting Procedures Manual, 2016. http://bcps.org/academics/grading/Grading-and-Reporting-Procedures.pdf

Baltimore County Public Schools High School Sample Report Card  http://www.bcps.org/academics/grading/ReportCardHigh.pdf

Marian_Competes Reply: https://twitter.com/Marian_Competes/status/750069209372110849

EasyGrade Pro’s Website http://easygradepro.com/

Google Docs https://www.google.com/docs/about/

Instructor Companion Site: Principles of Business, 8th Edition http://www.cengage.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20bI&product_isbn_issn=9781111426941

Public Comment: Board of Education Meeting. October 12, 2014 https://plus.google.com/102878542061602434531/posts/jQ2e2wE7qZp

Public Comment: Board of Education Meeting. August 9, 2016  https://plus.google.com/u/0/102878542061602434531/posts/NAivQPDDVJo

 

Examview Assessment Suite – https://www.turningtechnologies.com/products/ExamView

NBC Sports YouTube Channel:  Bahamas’ Miller dives to beat out U.S.’ Felix for 400m gold

USA Today: Shaunae Miller dives for a gold medal in women’s 400-meter

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The Big Upset!

My blog this month is dedicated to my father, Glenny “Duke” Moore, who ascended on Friday, February 5, 2016. He fought for his life all the way to the end and has passed the baton to many people who looked up to him as a father figure or friend. His life – the good, the bad, and the ugly inspire me to try to connect with everyone – despite our differences or our different circumstances because it’s the right thing to do.

cooldaddy

Thank you, Daddy, for encouraging me to fight for my rights as a woman and mother. Your time, support, and listening ear really set me up for future success! Now that you are in the spiritual realm, I know that you are putting in a good word for me to the “Most High” to create new pathways for me to contribute more to society and live your legacy of love that you demonstrated to me and your grandson, Nigel Moore. I’m still trying to process you not being here physically to listen to my blogs or speeches before I publish or recite them. It was truly fulfilling watching your face light up with pride after I would share my writing with you. You genuinely enjoyed my evolution and my efforts to become an advocate for civil rights in education. You were my #1 supporter and I know every success I experience from this day forward was because you took out the time to just listen and talk to me about life! I am so grateful to have had you in my life! I love you, forever!

Your Super Star,

Pooh

Now, let’s get back to business as I refocus on my mission to coach and motivate whoever decided to read my message today!

This blog is also dedicated to Africans and African Americans, who are celebrating Black History Month. I encourage you to continue to believe in yourself even if some people treat you as if you are unworthy of true happiness, respect, or opportunities in life! More importantly, this blog is for all of the victors who have endured unfair adversities due to their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, income, or by simply using their freedom of speech and expression.

Therefore, I would like to share a sports analogy with you I entitled: “The Big Upset”.

This month, we are approaching a critical part of the high school and college basketball seasons when teams have to play with unity despite their individual differences. Now February is usually the turning point for a lot of basketball teams and this is the time when players collectively decide whether or not they want to be the champions of their region, state, or division. Also, by this time of the basketball season, teams have celebrated some wins and endured some losses! As players or spectators, we all know that the winning results during March Madness reflect the outcome of hard work, courage, & perseverance. As a former athlete, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what your season record is or how many star athletes you have on your team, “the championship title is not discriminatory”. The final title belongs to the individuals or team who are not complacent and have a strong desire to win for a greater purpose than themselves!

Now, of course, the fans and critics expect the team with the winning record or the team who have powerful and talented players to win the big game – just like money, power, connections, and prestige usually help people win political positions. But, in sports, most biased fans, would not expect the athletes on the underdog’s team as having the caliber or capacity to help win “the big game” or championship.

Moreover, even some team members only endorse their “star players” as the ones who could help win critical games during the regular season, overlooking players who often watch the game from the bench. So can someone who has been called a “practice player” or a “bench warmer”, compete on such an elite level? Furthermore, can the team who were titled “The Underdogs”, from a different division compete with the division who has the most resources, fans, and corporate sponsors? Of course, they, “The Underdogs” can! So when the “Big Upset” happens and anonymous athletes become (what seemed like) “an overnight success”, everyone who’s watching and playing the game discovers humbly that, “All you need to win is to believe in yourself and have a courageous heart”.

So, my readers, don’t lose the game of life believing only certain people are meant to be victorious. In fact, we can be so predictable with the negative attitudes we have about ourselves or the types of outcomes we create for our lives, that people actually invest big money into industries that support our sometimes defeated attitudes – like the prison, mental health, illegal drug, and medical industries. Thus, now is the time for us to explore economics and research the political science that runs this world! We have to collectively understand that, the “Big Upset” happens when political fans lose “big money” on the underdogs win or new winning attitudes!

With that said, “Never underestimate the power of the underdog” if you feel like one because the championship goes to the team who takes the most calculated risks and have the most heart! So please find the winner inside of you and make championship history! Over the next few decades, I want to hear about you or your children, during Black , Hispanic Heritage, or Women’s History Month! I want to see you and others collaborating to make World History just like our ancestors! Yes, “YOU” – because from this day forward, you are not giving up on yourself or the legacy you could create for generations to come!

In closing, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard my former high school basketball coach, Breezy Bishop say, “You’ve gotta have heart!” Who would have thought that such a common phrase that I often laughed at and imitated in high school could get me through such a complex political game situation in my personal and professional life. I just know from my experience with sports that when you come to a game wanting to win, you have to get in a competitive mental zone that no one can take you out of, “not even white supremacy”! I never would have thought I would be going “head to head” with white supremacy in the education system, but God will put you in game situations in life that will help your team to become believers again, achievers again, and winners again because freedom, respect, and opportunity belong to all of us! Not just them, but “US” too!

Happy Black History Month to everyone! Study History and Make History! Until next time, please check out my video collection from my local board of education meetings over the past three years. I am available to speak on many issues regarding education, instructional technology, economics, and policies related to equal opportunities for teachers, employees, and students! Take care and Power to the People!

This Case is Closed in order to Open a Door Full of Opportunities!

Hello Education and Civil Rights Supporters,

Yesterday I received a response from the Office of Civil Rights through the Department of Education about my legal case and I wanted to share with you the actual letter from the Team Investigator. I am not surprised from this response and the lack of support from the individuals that were involved with my case. This situation showed me how loyal political players are to a team or organization even when their teammates make decisions that are against their “own” personal belief system. In other words, when you are a part of a social group, religious group, fraternity, sorority, sports team, coalition – some people chose to be loyal just to be “a part of a whole” and give up their soul’s purpose to remain wealthy, prestigious, or popular in the public’s eye. At some point during my case, the decision-makers could have exercised their social responsibility to make this wrong – Right. However, due to my “courageous words”, “untimeliness” or “Black Pride”, my case had no relevance or a chance for justice. Overall, there are several arguments that outweigh being untimely in my case, but I will allow you to be the judge once you read the long awaited letter I received.

More importantly, I want to share with you what I’ve learned from this entire experience and my 35 years of living on this earth:

1. United we stand, divided we fall.

2. Some of us talk, laugh, and gossip about each other, more than we actually help each other. Sometimes we compete more than we actually collaborate with each other.

3. More African Americans need to be supportive of each other and work together on the issues that impact their communities.

4. Instead of helping the ratings of popular shows such as Scandal and Empire or sporting events such as March Madness and the NBA finals which are distracting you from what is really going on in the world, please actively and equally support a person who has been killed, mistreated, or retaliated against. We must avoid television more often and tune into our own lives.

5. I often frequent Baltimore County’s Board of Education meetings to speak on behalf of the African American community and my race is often underrepresented.

6. I understand as working parents it can be very challenging to attend certain political events, but your presence can truly make a difference in your child’s future and your future as well.

7. As an African American community, we should become more involved in politics because there is power in numbers. Check out the ratings for Scandal, Empire, March Madness, the Super Bowl, and the NBA Finals, then you will see how many corporations are supported by the Black community as we die, along with, being mistreated everyday. Check out those deadly and discriminatory statistics as well.

8. I’ve witnessed people of other social groups get exactly what they wanted or witnessed them receiving a fair chance for justice due to political involvement, access to money, and massive amounts of participation from their peers.

9. We judge each other too much and fear judging those who strategically plan our lives and life outcomes.

10. African Americans, along with other races, should seek to learn and study the law as a community in order to defend themselves for being mistreated or misled. Knowledge is power! Ase’!

11. African Americans should come together as a community and analyze school budgets and state budgets whether you are working or not because it impacts your life either way.

12. Whether you are working or unemployed, your thoughts and views matter and could possibly change the hearts of others, creating a more compassionate agenda in politics.

13. Some of us give up too easily! Don’t lose your vision or your hope!

14. African Americans should continue to team up by creating opportunities to support their children and families with financial literacy programs, career opportunities, and entrepreneurship training. Change the financial and employment statistics for our community by seeking resources both online and in the community!

15. African Americans should have more moral and legal assistance available to them in school and at the workplace to assist them with their internal grievance cases.

16. A Cultural Sensitivity and Emotional Intelligence class should be a High School graduation requirement.

17. When African American leaders try to help other African Americans, it’s called favoritism; when a certain racial group help its race, it’s called an equal opportunity. We need to define equal opportunity and match it with affirmative action.

18. People in power will retaliate against you if you speak out about injustice regarding their social group and will use their power against you while demonstrating a positive image to the public’s eye.

19. People in power will take the truth you speak personally and play the role of God in your life if you allow them to, but remember we all are Gods and Goddesses, the original image of God. We are Creators!

20. Some leaders get overly comfortable in their positions and think they can get away with retaliation and mistreating others, but this behavior will not be tolerated if enough people stand up against it! We have to organize and strategize to change the status quo!

21. We have prejudice people who are working with our children and working beside us everyday. Therefore, we have to pray that they will change their hearts because one day their children will need help too; one day they will need help. Pray, but be proactive with your legal matters.

22. We have to build each other up because there are too many people who will not give us the tools for success due to racism, classism, sexism, and corporate greed.

23. Why did I think the education system that has been discriminatory towards African American teachers and other races was going to respect my hard work as a teacher?

24. Why did I believe an education system that at one point did not want African Americans to read and write – would support my African American son’s educational opportunities?

25. Why did I believe in a government that was originally created to mentally, physically, and spiritually enslave African Americans would actually give me and my son justice?

26. Why did I think an African American leader would have the power to bring justice to my case when majority of his bosses may have been racist, biased, or even sexist?

27. Why did I think a female leader, who happened to be of another racial group would support an African American mother and son’s discrimination case?

28. Should I believe that female leaders would support a mother or woman on these types of complex issues no matter their race or religion? Will a woman of another race fight for my civil rights to the point of losing her identity because she connects with my heart and knows she would not have been accepted totally for the way she actually looked on the outside?

29. Are women powerless, disrespected, overworked, or too vindictive in corporate America? Maybe each area I acknowledged is relevant and that is why we cannot progress as corporate women with total satisfaction.

30. Were female leaders influenced by male leaders in order to treat my case as an untimely case or did my team leader arbitrarily make the decision herself because I was standing up for myself firmly?

31. Why did I believe that justice would be served because everyday an African American is killed or spirit is killed due to classism and racism without justice being on their side unless the national media is involved? Sometimes, the media’s attention doesn’t help the dire matters we are facing as a nation.

32. African American families united is the biggest threat to White Supremacy and through this experience I’ve witnessed how some white people do not want black people to help and love one another. We see it every day – our families under extreme stress and living in unfair conditions causing us to divide because individually we have prejudice or different belief systems.

33. We are blaming each other for the hurt that White Supremacy or the Elite has caused us to experience through organized religion, politics, monetary policies, media channels, and education. Stop blaming each other and continue to love and support your family despite your differences!

34. White Supremacy was designed to make African Americans and poor people not BELIEVE anymore or to think that they do not deserve freedom or opportunities. White Supremacy continues to make us feel inferior by using laws against us in order to lower our self-esteem enough to believe that individuals with fancy titles are superior to us.

35. We cannot be equal, if the law or policy constantly divides us as a people. Some people believe poor and being privileged to receive an equal opportunity just don’t mix, but I know if our decision makers did mix the two together, our economy would be a lot stronger and our communities would look like a portrait of progress. I truly believe that politics should empower people, not make them feel unaccomplished or stagnated!

Although on this legal document, it appears that I did not experience racism, discrimination, or my son did not experience retaliation, we absolutely did! I have the proof and some of you have witnessed the evidence. The Office of Civil Rights is supposed to support African Americans and underrepresented groups, but through my case, you can see that clearly this did not happen. It appears that I did not do my job in a timely and a respectful fashion. So please let my lesson, be your lesson and make sure you are not on “CP Time” when submitting your documents. Also, please do not act “too black” or be “too much of an intellectual” because you will not receive justice unless you take your case to private court. As we all know, sometimes through the court system – justice is not a guarantee.

Lastly, this is just the beginning of my career in civil rights and my obligation is to help those who can’t politically help themselves. I believe that when one door closes, another opens and I know there will be some people who are going to support me with my efforts to represent African American children within the school system and African American adults in the workplace. Thank you for your support and please become more active in changing your family lifestyles and community!

Here is my closing prayer for myself and you:

Dear Mother-Father God,

I will not allow the negative events or people’s negative thoughts to interfere with my spirit today. Today is a new day and it has a new purpose. I will renew my mind, heart, and spirit. I will be in the present. I will not escape what agenda you have brought to me today, but try to use my time wisely and purposefully. I will share and use my gifts today with the intent to impact lives and uplift spirits. I will be fair. I will try to be patient and understanding. I will use team approaches to elevate the consciousness of people around me. I will make some decisions that people may not like, but for the betterment of our future. I cannot waste time being fearful by procrastinating or not speaking up when I am being mistreated. I deserve better, we deserve better as a human race! My innovative thoughts and courageous decisions will be for the advancement of this country. I cannot allow the day-to-day challenging events hinder me from my overall mission. I cannot allow the unreasonable decisions that people around me make disrupt the bigger vision I have for the work I have committed my life to. I will not allow the past to affect my present or future unless I am taking the time to improve upon an area I’ve neglected. My personal and professional growth is my priority. I must embrace my growing pains because it is a part of my achievement. I am grateful for all people and events in my life; for it is what allows me to see the world differently. Every event is controlled by Divine timing and I have to allow nature to take its course in certain areas of my life. When the time is right, we can all rejoice for the blessings that will be poured into and out from our lives by acting on our faith! Together we will win and when we stand in solidarity, we are world champions! Remember that believing in your worth is defeating your doubts! Do not stop believing! Faith is why we are all in this race! The finish line of an accomplishment may be closer than we realize, although there are many more milestones to achieve! We humbly have our arms open to the opportunities that the Divine Mother/Father God will present to us. We will receive our blessings and opportunities with humility and gratitude; Despite the hate and confusion around us, we should continue to love and forgive! We should continue to love because love will love us back if we open our hearts! I pray that each and everyone is encouraged by my words! I hope your souls are touched because we have a lot of work to do! Please don’t give up! This world needs you! Amen to the Creator and to my ancestors who give me courage, passion, and new purpose each and every day!

BE ENLIGHTEDSincerely,

Marian Serena Moore & on behalf of Nigel Malik Moore

Sources used in my blog suggested for further reading:

TV By the Numbers

Empire is Fox’s Highest-Rated New Show in Years!

12 Extremely Disturbing Statistics About Police Violence and Black People That Should Alarm You

For Harriet – The Myth of the Welfare Queen: How Classism Worked Against Black Women

Jay Jones – Black Economics Equals Black Power

A Blueprint for RESPECT – U.S. Department of Education

Ed.Gov -Teachers Get R-E-S-P-E-C-T

9 Biggest Lies About Black Males and Academic Success

The Root – Texas Elementary School Teacher on McKinney Pool Party

Morgan the Scribe – To Rachel Dolezal: A White NAACP President Could Have Been a Powerful Thing

Black Enterprise – Financial Literacy Page

U.S. Department of Education Civil Rights – Case Processing Manual

Graduation Reflections & Key Notes!

Graduation time erupts a slew of emotions from places in your body you did not even know existed. Your cheeks may swell up and turn red, your fingers may tingle, and your heart might just palpitate with panic. It may feel like a tornado is in your stomach, then your legs might shake helplessly, and you may literally heat up like a volcano. I know that was dramatic, but you know what I mean. Some of you will really feel this before you walk across the stage.

Furthermore, I recall sitting at many graduations – whether it was mine, a relative, or former students – fighting my sentimental side. I remember going through a metamorphosis – trying to hold back my tears of pride, fear, relief, confusion, and happiness wrapped up into what ended up being an extremely ugly cry.

Now, we cannot forget the infamous moments at graduation when you hear proud voices in the audience, saying: “Yeah, that’s my Baby!” Next, you may hear a sea of whispers with reactions such as, “Pause – wait a minute, look at those pumps! I hope she doesn’t fall in those stilts and look at him with those celebrity shades on – I thought he was getting a diploma, not a Grammy. LOL. Then, you may hear random voices in the crowd including students and teachers gossiping, ”You know he should not have been the valedictorian or they just passed her because the principal was tired of her frequent visits to the office.” Furthermore, the helpless teachers and principals are replying in their anxious minds, Don’t blame it on me, blame it on the alcohol from Happy Hour, I mean the “No Child Left Behind Act”. Lastly, parents are sitting in the audience wondering, “Why didn’t my child get an award? I worked hard doing those projects! I’m joining the PTA next year! I am tired of the educational politics!”

Ok, back to my graduation speech – Accomplishing a task that has a plethora of personal stories that have taken you through phases of defeat and victories which included mismanaging and maximizing your time, good and bad relationships, late nights and early mornings; in sickness and in health, laughter and anger, finding strength during times of weakness; teaming up with people when you needed leaders to motivate you along the way; not to mention, the after class discussions, negotiating grade policies with teachers hoping for some compassion when you know you did not deserve it; Finally, at the end of the year, you want to become spiritual and say prayers like, God please touch this teacher’s heart. I promise I will go to Sunday School with my mother next week.” I could go on and on with the ups and downs of senior year. I’ve witnessed many of these predictable moments from my high school teaching experience!

One more reflection for students in particular…do you remember in the beginning of the school year setting goals to have straight A’s and then at the end of the first quarter, you said, “She could had at least given me a B.” Second quarter, you promise yourself that you are going to change your life around and become more organized. Unexpectedly you develop this nonchalant attitude by the third quarter saying, “Well, I am just going to “C” my way out of this!” Finally fourth quarter, you are in the counselor’s office, asking him or her, “Isn’t a D passing? or “What if I fail the final, then what’s going to be my final grade?” Next, you find out you’re not walking across the stage because you have obligations. Your response is: “Seriously? It’s not my fault my school was too cheap to purchase an eBook.” Now it’s  the two week count down and you just need to find those dusty textbooks. You are so stressed out and you finally say, “Whatever, let me just pay these fines so I can go to prom and ” turn up” at  graduation. ”By the way, I do not like the phrase, “Turn up”; just trying to fit in with some of my readers. Love you! Anyway, the stories can go on forever and I hope you finally can laugh about it! This graduation season, you can sigh with relief because you have achieved a monumental goal and you are on the path towards making many more achievements. So congratulations to everyone who made it through a challenging and rewarding school year! I hope you will experience fulfillment during your next endeavor!  I salute the Class of 2015!

CONGRATULATIONS,  CLASS OF 2015!

In closing, here is an excerpt from the first draft of my eBook, “Can I Inspire You With My Imagination?”. I guess I will role play as Superintendent or a political figure. This will be my keynote speech for a high school graduation. Please read below:

“Greatness can be defined in many ways because we all think and view life differently. However, I can stand tall today and humbly acknowledge that “I AM GREAT”. Why? Because my GOD tells me every day that I am great! Even when a person looks, listen, deliberately laughs at me, and judges me negatively or treat me as if I am insignificant, I can stand before you and say only my God can judge me. Also, I can be meek and forgive my doubters because they do not understand my greatness; but my final prayer is for those who perceive me in a negative way to be blessed with wisdom and understanding so that they can acknowledge me and others for our unique greatness.

I, also, can stand before you and accept that I am a winner Why? Because my Higher Power told me that when you complete a task, an annual project, or even a day’s work you are a winner whether you are in the front or in the back of this race called life. You can stumble, you can fall, or even crawl to the finish line, but you are still considered a winner. In fact, this year may not have been your best race, but you are still a winner! You do not have to win an award such as the Teacher of the Year, Employee of the Month, or Student of the Week in order to believe in the greatness in which you possess, but someone has to be chosen to be recognized.

So maybe you could recognize yourself instead. What is it that you possess that no one else can take away because you are wonderfully and uniquely made? Reflect and become aware of the talents, skills, and hobbies you have or pay attention to what others have acknowledged about you. Then, begin strategizing on how you can develop and market your skills, talents, and hobbies, which one day can become your dream career or even a successful business. So now that I’ve shifted your mind on what is so unique about you, how do you feel right now envisioning about how you can make your passion pay by being in tune with what brings you joy or makes you feel fulfilled?

Now I want to again focus on the word, “greatness”. Something we all have, yet in a traditional education system, some people just do not meet the standard. Well, how is that so? When you measure my greatness to your greatness, I am not good enough? Even when I produce results, I am not good enough because of this standard or barrier that the traditional education system has created. For decades education’s traditional standards are based on content competency only, which means if I am not competent in a certain content area or if I do not comprehend how you deliver information to me, then I may be called a failure.

It’s so unfortunate that these traditional standards have impacted lives of students – determining their successes and failures in life, directing their college and career paths based on test scores and even influencing their future socio-economic status. With this type of linear education infrastructure, some students and teachers are kind of confused about the direction they want to take. There is an imbalance between what they are currently doing in the classroom or professionally and what they really want to do with a passion. However, if properly supported by your parents, teachers, or leaders, your true existence will be clear and inspired with great purpose!”

© 2015, Marian S. Moore,  All Rights Reserved

If you are interested in reading more of the first draft of my eBook, check it out on Amazon’s website. I hope that today I Inspired You With My Motivational Speech!”

Take Care,

Marian Serena Moore

Economizing Education Through Entrepreneurial Thinking

Globally Competitive Unit/Lesson Plan:

This sample education leadership unit and lesson plan was inspired by Marian S. Moore. She is a Business Education Consultant, Instructional Designer, and a Globally Competitive Coach at Compete With Purpose, LLC.

Focus:  “Economizing Education Through Entrepreneurial Thinking”

Objective: Students or Education Leaders will be able to analyze the critical areas that impact the school system’s balance sheet in order to develop a cost effective economic plan with innovative ways to implement an equitable annual budget.

21st Century Subjects, Themes, and Skills Applied

The book and informational text explored in this unit plan is, Good to Great, by Jim Collins which can be used to provide an interdisciplinary lesson. The following core subjects, themes, and skills are explored in this unit plan:

Core Subjects:

  • Mathematics – Financial and Statistical data are analyzed throughout the reading.
  • Social Studies/Economics – Corporate case studies and historical events are provided.
  • Science – Psychology of Business and Leadership are discussed. The information covered in this text is based on research.
  • English, Reading, and Language Arts – The use of analogies to describe career concepts or competitive characteristic traits are evaluated.

21st Century Themes:

Global Awareness, Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy, Civic Literacy, and Health Literacy

21st Century Skills:

Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Skills, Productivity and Accountability, Leadership and Responsibility.

Common Core Standards That Will Be Met:

English Language Arts Standards: Reading Informational Text Grade 11-12; English Language Arts Standards: Writing – Grade 11-12; Speaking and Listening – Grade 11-12

Mathematics Standards: High School Statistics and Probability Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data ; Making Inferences and Justifying Conclusions

Lesson Plan Motivation & Open Discussion:

School Systems Accounting Equation

Reflective Thinking: Think about scenarios in your life when you’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. Biweekly, we often spend money without paying attention to the details of our daily spending. Some of us over time, will apply for credit and ask our creditors to help us pay for our impulsive spending without analyzing the benefits or costs of each product or service. Additionally, we often spend based on our immediate “wants”, not prioritizing our financial needs into the equation.  Should we compare cost or demonstrate patience while determining what to purchase? Should we examine whether the latest trendy technology is worth buying, when there is a cheaper alternative that will provide us with the same advantages? Yes, I agree, we should consider the “opportunity cost” when making purchases personally and professionally!

So as education leaders, do we want our personal spending habits to carry over into our school system’s annual budgets? Do we want to manage the school system’s budget as if we are living paycheck to paycheck or by impulse? As education leaders,  can we come up with innovative ways to increase revenue for the school system that will help balance the school system’s budget increasing its net worth and financial stability? More importantly, I believe we should address the brutal facts associated with our liabilities in order to prevent biased financial decisions to impact the net worth or reputation of our school systems. Examples such as institutional racism which includes lack of equal employment opportunity or inequities in schools based on lack of equal access to resources should be factored into the equation because often education leaders’ resignations are due to these types of working conditions. Therefore, these examples I just shared with you demonstrate that education can be an expense, not an investment when political and racist decisions are being made by our education leaders as well as policy makers. Furthermore, I predict that these “Liberal” Liabilities will lead school systems toward a Doom Loop, a concept acknowledged by Jim Collins in his leadership book, “Good to Great”. To further inform you, I encourage you to read page 183 to analyze the scenarios of the Doom Loop and the Flywheel Effect in Leadership. After reading, please discuss and identify with others examples of your school system’s Doom Loop and Fly Wheel Effect. So I believe that as community members, we should try to continue the game plans that are working and help solve critical educational problems together as a team!

Introductory Lesson: Flywheel Effect vs. Doom Loop

Reading Informational Text: “Good to Great”: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Other Don’t written by: Jim Collins.

Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Explored: Assets, Liabilities, Owner’s Equity, Acquisitions, Permutations, Cumulative Value, Bankruptcy, NASDAQ, Operating and Capital Budgets

Leadership Concepts: Flywheel Effect, Doom Loop, Hedgehog Concept

Lesson Summary: After Education Leaders are fully engaged with the opening discussion about the accounting equation in small groups as well as an entire group, they will be encouraged to read an informational book about leadership. This opening activity will create an opportunity for participants to make academic and professional connections with not only the financial accounting equation, but new leadership concepts, such as the Flywheel Effect and the Doom Loop. Students are encouraged to choose any team concept such as a marriage, family, sports team, executive team, club, business partnership, or leading an organization as a personalized model in order to scaffold into their group discussions.The leadership scenarios that support the Flywheel and the Doom Loop are described on page 183. Each scenario listed could either positively or negatively impact the school system’s annual budget and overall organization effectiveness. Therefore, this will give students and education leaders an opportunity to make an academic connection with their school system in a new and meaningful way.

Instructions: Students or Education Leaders will read in groups, “Chapter 8: The Flywheel Effect and the Doom Loop”. Students or Education Leaders are encouraged to highlight, take notes, and write down questions or concerns, throughout the reading. After completing the chapter, students will discuss in groups the topics that were covered in chapter 8. Then they will create a graphic organizer on their papers or device to further discuss the chart on 183 by providing educational or professional examples that relates to each concept. This outline or graphic organizer will be  used as the foundation for the unit plan, which will help students and education leaders with their final performance assessment.

Performance Assessment Introduction

Application Project:  Before we work in teams,  Students and education leaders should be encouraged you to read the following passage for homework about “Knowing and Understanding Your Role as a Team Member”. This topic will be discussed in the beginning of the next class. The facilitator should encourage students and education leaders to use a historic sporting event, such as a March Madness game or even a little league game, to support my personal narrative entitled “Know and Understand Your Role as a Team Member.pdf”:

This globally competitive passage I decided to write will provide the facilitator with an analogy to promote dialogue with students and leaders in order to prepare them to collaborate on a challenging real-world application project. As a globally competitive coach, it is important to address team issues beforehand to encourage sportsmanlike conduct before, during, and after team projects.

Performance Assessment

Throughout the unit, students and education leaders will use their information, media, and technology skills to gain more knowledge and resources to expand their educational experience.

For example:

1. Jim Collins Flywheel Effect and Doom Loop

Article: How To Go From a Good to Great Team

Video: Flywheel and the Doom Loop

2. The Accounting Equation Resources

Article: Accounting Basics: Financial Statements

Video: An Introduction to the Balance Sheet?

3. The Difference Between an Operating and Capital Budget

Article: Differences and Similarities of Capital and Operational Budget

Video: Types of Planning: Strategic, Tactical, Operational and Contingency Planning

Note: Allowing students to engage in watching educational videos motivates self direction because some students will seek additional videos or articles that are helpful for their project in order to become more of an expert on the subject matter.

Application Project: “When the Classroom Meets the Real World”

School Systems Accounting Equation

Creative and Critical Thinking: View the Accounting Equation illustration once again and read the summary below that includes open ended questions in order to devise an economic plan that would address the costs and benefits of annual spending for your local school system.

“Now in a community, people invest in the education system each year by paying taxes. This is very similar to shareholders or stockholders who invest in a public company. Our local board of education, like the board of directors of a company, makes policies and decisions that impact the well-being of our citizens and the productivity of our communities. Therefore, if we are pooling our money into an education fund like investors pool their money into a mutual fund or a particular stock, then the economic benefits depend on the investor’s participation.

If your voice isn’t heard, then your child’s voice isn’t heard. If your child’s teacher voice isn’t heard, then your child’s education advocate has no power in the school system’s decision making process. Therefore, we, as a community, should become more involved in the budgeting process of our local school system. Our children, neighbors, family’s futures, local economies, or the safety of our neighborhoods are impacted by something as simple as an annual proposed budget. So with that said, I encourage you to get involved in analyzing your local school system’s expenditures.

Maybe after reading your school system’s budget, you will determine perhaps that your local superintendent’s budget team should provide the community with more information that support each expenditure or provide financial ratios that shows how the investment of technology affects costs such as summer schooling. You may notice a trend in summer schooling cost reduction due to technology investments, which will create more opportunities for money to be reallocated for more engaging projects during the normal school year. It is important that you keep track of trends like this so you can suggest where the school system’s funds should be redirected.

In addition, be fearless and ask your school system to become transparent about employee turnovers and provide financial ratios due to job dissatisfaction or even discrimination. Maybe the department of human resources should provide more quantitative and qualitative data that provides a cost and benefits analysis related to employee turnover as it relates to equity, the department leadership in which the employee resigned, or the way in which administrators evaluate their employees. We all know that a healthy employee yields a healthy organization. So students as well as employees who are directly affected by leadership can be a cost or a benefit to the organization. Therefore, the community has the right know how our school leaders are impacting the school system’s annual budget, along with their employees and student’s well-being.

More importantly, if the public becomes more active and views its local school system’s budget online, they will see a visual representation of how their tax contributions are being allocated. After viewing the itemized spending, I am sure, the community would like to provide input and suggest some simple solutions. This is the overall purpose for this unit and lesson plan. Therefore, instead of privately complaining to each another about teachers, the quality of education, or even the cafeteria food, I urge you to become public local leaders, change agents, and more involved in the decision making process by speaking up about your local school system’s financial activities.”

Now it’s time to take care of some business! So can you collaborate with others and develop an economic plan that will decrease the funding amount requested from the local, state, and federal government annually? How can we increase funding in the private sector to leverage out the costs invested by the government? How can you devise a plan that economically stimulates the school system’s financial stability?  Use your local school system’s FY Annual Budget plan for your reference and model for your economic plan. In addition, ask yourself: “Is my local school system developing solid economic systems generating more global business partnerships and recurring revenue in order to fund academic initiatives appropriately?

Here is financial planning source that shows how the personal financial decision making process can be used for personal and corporate finance. Our students can use this 6 step process in a business education class as well as our education leaders when preparing for an operations and capital budget.

Source: The Financial Planning Process

Additional Academic Challenges for the Unit:

1. Corporate Reports: Students can further research the companies mentioned in the Good to Great book by examining the annual reports for each company. Some of the companies mentioned in “Good to Great” were: Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Kimberly-Clark, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo. This particular activity would allow students as well as education leaders to play the exact same role that Jim Collins and his team of researchers did by analyzing the good and great companies featured in his book. Perhaps during this corporate research activity, the achievements, challenges, and future plans explained in the annual reports of U.S. companies could help students to evaluate the fiscal budget of their school system better. I believe this project is a great opportunity for Common Core to be executed by students as well as education leaders making sure their financial and management decisions are aligned with globally competitive corporations.

2. Hedgehog Concept Public Speech:  Read Chapter 5: The Hedgehog Concept. Next, create with your leadership team a simple concept in three circles that will change your school system from “Good to Great”. The Hedgehog concept includes the following three questions: (1.) What are you deeply passionate about? (2.) What you can be the best in the world at? (3.) What drives your economic engine? Then, compose a 3 minute public speech pitching your team’s “Hedgehog Concept” to your local board of education. Remember to keep it short and concise!

3. Avatar Leadership Style: Read Chapter 2: Level 5 Leadership. This will be your opportunity to customize a leader digitally! Use character traits of several leaders that you admire or traits you believe would make a great leader in order to digitally personalize your ideal leader. Think about the type of leader you aspire to be and create an Avatar. You may use www.voki.com or any other technology tools to personalize an Avatar that meets your expectations. Use an audio media program to recite the characteristics of an effective leader. Then upload the file to the online Avatar program. You also have the option to create a video presentation and give yourself a leadership fashion makeover while providing to your audience a description of an effective leader.

Conclusion:

Now that we have adopted the Common Core standards, it is time to devise a complementary fiscal plan that includes a balanced investment between the public and private sectors. Currently, I am working on an economic plan for the education system that will create an ongoing partner network of support from stakeholders input that will empower our global society’s output. The overall objective of this unit and lesson plan is to encourage students and education leaders to not allow discriminatory and political decisions negatively affect our education system’s annual budget. This will inspire all school systems nationwide to help shift from “good and great” so that our future workforce will be prepared for their colleges and careers.

In conclusion, I’ve applied real world lessons similar to this in my high school classroom. My business students researched public corporations and even analyzed federal spending, which had given them a competitive college and corporate advantage. As an education leader, I believe relevant lessons like this will have a progressive impact on our society if we promote as well as integrate financial economics in our monthly communication with our students as well as community.

© 2015, Marian S. Moore, All Rights Reserved

My name is Marian Moore and I discuss topics like this in my eBook, “Can I Inspire You With My Imagination?“. Thank you, in advance, for reading and I look forward to establishing global partnerships in education in the near future! Take care!

Sources:

Collins, J. C. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap–and others don’t. New York, NY: HarperBusiness.

http://www.jimcollins.com; http://www.investopedia.com; http://www.beginnersinvest.about.com; http://www.investorwords.com; http://www.study.com; http://www.championshipcoachesnetwork.com; http://www.smallbusiness.com; http://novella.mhhe.com; http://www.nolo.com, http://www.accountingcoach.com; http://www.corestandards.org; http://edglossary.org/; http://www.merriam-webster.com; http://www.voki.com;

Flip the Script on Racism : How Does It Feels When The Joke Is On You?

In case you did not know, “racism” is unconstitutional but currently many racist people are not being accountable for their unlawful actions. So let’s imagine a world where people were actually responsible for their racist decisions. (Updated June 5, 2016)

What if a person commits an act of racism and it automatically reduces his or her credit score by 200 points? If you thought that was a heavy hitter, envision after you’ve made a racist remark, immediately receiving a $500 citation. Oh, and if a person’s racist remarks happened on multiple occasions at the workplace, the repetitious racist’s wages would be garnished for an entire year!

Now for all you Education Reformers out there, what if your local board of education created an equity policy, giving a fine for those of you who commit a racist act towards a child! Yup….those funds in your Summer or Christmas Savings account is going straight to the kid that you racially intimidated or mistreated! That’s right, direct deposit, Baby!

So try being racist after we’ve had a major criminal justice reform in the next decade! Trust me! I guarantee you that we will have more African-American lawyers, legal literate citizens, and diverse political players by the year 2030 to ensure justice for all!

Furthermore, what if someone reports job discrimination and the prejudice employees who denied a qualified candidate due to race would actually be sentenced to jail? Then, after being released from jail, the racist “Human Resources” felon could hardly find employment or get a school loan to prepare for new job opportunities. That’s right, institutional racism will no longer exist and racist individuals are not welcomed to work for our newly improved affirmatively active institutions unless they are willing to pay the cost! Therefore, “prejudice people”, you better think about your every move because it’s going to be some overworked black women and underpaid black men waiting for you to say or do something racist so they can file a claim! Now, say something!

Just because you are mistreating African-Americans at an alarming rate doesn’t mean we will continue to be defeated because my ancestors created the human race! Thus, I guarantee we, the human race, will change the game by learning the law and supporting each other to become more business savvy instead of trying to get TV time or acceptance from people who do not care whether we live or die! Soon, instead of protesting, we will be progressing because we are going to put in the work, strategize, help ourselves, and do for ourselves!  Some people may call this black segregation, but it’s called rebuilding a nation and restoring our African legacy!

Now just when you thought being a racist was awful enough, did I mention that there are legal discussions about getting points added to your driver’s license and increasing your car insurance premiums if you commit a racist crime because the community would rather not have prejudice people driving around with harmful attitudes towards citizens of different cultures? You know racism is starting to “drive people crazy” and we cannot have people cruising our streets with DUI’s: Driving Under the Influence of Racism. “Oh No, Not in my Neighborhood!”

By the way, some urban lobbyists are arguing that if you are a repeat racist offender while driving, your car would be repossessed and if it’s paid for, the ownership would be legally transferred to the victim of your hate crime. In fact, a legislator told me yesterday that they may call this law, “Thanks for the New Whip Act” or “You’ve Just Got Carjacked Act” – a little play on words to explain “reverse racism” in a culturally sensitive or insensitive way. It all depends on how you choose to receive this information.

Also, I hear Congress is planning on making some critical moves behind the scenes in the next 5 years so be prepared to hear lots of sirens!”

As a result of our policymakers’ dedication to reform the criminal justice system, racist people will be pulled over more frequently with the government’s effort to hire more Black and Hispanic people as nontraditional policemen and women. Yes, brothers and sisters, the block will be hot after this law is enforced. My only fear is that this initiative may cause a lot of confusion on the road and traffic jams on the streets because there may be so many African-American or Hispanic police pulling over other police who are racial profiling. Ironically, this policing program will help prevent a lot of senseless killings and arrests by training a nontraditional police force to “police the police”. What do you think? Is it worth the investment? Now wait a minute, before you lose your religion, I’m sure it’s a lot cheaper to hire a nontraditional police force than having current police killing innocent people and paying their families’ millions of dollars in reparations each year!

Moving on to other biased headlines – Imagine if every racist is required to confess to the world that they are racist and publicly apologize to his or her victims on our local and national news. We all know our taxpayers do not want to give racists a second chance because they are poor role models for our community so it must be broadcasted! Therefore, the goal is to continue to oppress these inconsiderate individuals, through the mainstream media. Just think about the racist felon who may decide to relocate and start a new life after serving his or her time in prison, but the local and national news stations aggressively showcase their jail profile pictures – looping them every thirty minutes. Not to mention being acknowledged by our government leaders and news reporters as “Thugs” or “Corporate Criminals”.

“Is that how we are supposed to love and judge our neighbors?”

Seriously though, would anyone want their family member or friend to experience this type of “prejudice public embarrassment” on the daily news, internet, or in the local newspaper regarding racism? Obviously, there are a group of powerful people who are quite entertained over the defeat and powerlessness of other races; just the act of writing this racist news to you is overwhelming for me and no one gave me a race card to play with; I’m just playing the hand that I was dealt in this political game. More importantly, anyone who mentions the race card regarding this blog has the equal opportunity to change how you deal or cut your cards – using your political privilege to create choas in our communities while broadcasting your biased view of who we are as an African American race.

So maybe collectively, we should change the ratings of some of these “networks who do not support our net worth” as human beings! Just envision the FCC fining all television networks that frequently promote violence toward black people or strategically edit their programs to showcase the negative behavior of black people after being antagonized or retaliated against. I believe as a nation, we should team up and not watch television stations or programs that do not follow the script to support, love, and respect all people! Ok, changing channels……

In the business news, we’ve heard on Wall Street that soon national banks and other financial institutions will have a bang for the American people’s buck!”

Check this out: In order to reduce the national debt, extreme racists will no longer have access to credit or the privilege of buying a home due to their lack of character and capacity to love. This concept may actually assist racists with raising their credit scores overtime if they manage their cash budget well. So being racist does have its benefits if you play by the rules and throw that “race card” away. Unless, racist people fall into this “Tubman Trap”: See lawmakers are, also, working on not allowing extreme racists to have the privilege of having bank accounts after achieving a certain amount of offenses. If they continue to execute their racial crimes, these “culturally challenged people” would no longer have access to their bank funds. In turn, they would have to transfer their funds to their victim’s bank accounts as a form of reparations. It’s almost like investing in the worth of someone valuable or paying it forward to a family who you’ve  racially intimidated, discriminated, or retaliated against. So this fiscal policy is probably going to be called Transfer the Tubmans Act or The Underground Railroad to Financial Freedom Act. It’s still under deliberation – so what would you name this fiscal policy?

Speaking of the money market, a savvy businesswoman told me at a networking event the other day that there are some big time investors who are developing a stock market index that would capitalize on the amount of racist people who are going to be incarcerated or penalized and the industries who would profit from it. Sounds like Dow Jones will be up and in the green until racism is off the market! I bet stock brokers are definitely banking on this speculative trend believing this would indeed be a long-term investment for the buyer’s market. Now personally, I would like to sell those stocks short because I wouldn’t want to build my wealth on hate and greed. That’s not the African way and it should not be the American way to do business! Building a wealthy nation full of opportunity and prosperity for everyone is what I envision.

Ok, so here’s the segregation segment that may really connect to your heart if you are able to connect the dots.”

Unfortunately, I have to announce to the world that a Congressman told me that by the year 202o, when a person has been identified as a racist, he or she would have to put a permanent black dot on his or her forehead – sort of like a scarlet letter to alienate racist people from the kindhearted people of society. Sadly, these individuals with black dots on their foreheads will walk around with people staring at them with hatred in their eyes, talking about them behind their backs, maybe even laughing at them because they have multiple dots on their forehead. So for once “radical racists” would finally know how it feels to be different or to be an easy target for mistreatment.

For those of you that made it this far reading my blog, I just want to say that it’s extremely excruciating to broadcast that the loving people of society may look at the “black dot people” (BDP) and panic for their lives or their family’s safety. Therefore, I shared this long and dramatic interpretation of racism in order to ask the world, “Who really wants to live in this type of racial political chaos? Who wants to live in a war zone led by white supremacy? Who deserves this type of racial treatment or limited lifestyle? Lastly, why is it such a threat to give “all people an equal opportunity” for living their God-given purpose or mission in life??”

Just conceptualize a world without racism and the positive effect that it would have on society, globally. However, until everyone is accountable for their racists’ actions and reactions, the news reports will remain the same and people will continue to live in anger, fear, as well as, oppression!

I remember my mother telling me that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “You cannot legislate love”, which is a profound statement and makes me further question the legislation of hate that my ancestors endured in America. So if we enforced the law which states that, “Racism is unconstitutional”, would the loss of privilege influence racist people to love and respect other races? Now that is the type of reverse racism, I would love to vote for!

“We all know that we were not born racist and obviously racism is taught. So what is the solution to racism in our personal and professional relationships?”

Maybe business leaders should treat their employees as if their employees’ may be their future bosses or future references; Perhaps, citizens should treat their neighbors and perfect strangers as extended family; Maybe parents or guardians should treat their children the way the would like to be treated when they are elderly – with care, understanding, and time; Also, when you make judgments about a person, make sure it’s not to promote their problems, misfortune, or lack of support; but to seek out their potential or to help them discover their purpose. For, you never know if that person, who you are negatively judging, will have to judge you or make a decision for you and your family outcomes in the future. Therefore, this is what “we all can do” within our families, neighborhoods, and communities to gradually erase the imprint of racism and unfair competition that have made the progress of our human race so stagnant.

Well, I hope my blog wasn’t too racy. However, I would like to boldly state that:

“The Life of a Black Person is No Joke!”

So if some of my jokes are not funny to you because they are about you or your behavior; then, NOW is the time for you to change how you write your personal and political script. Thank you for your efforts!

In conclusion, I truly believe that education has the potential to be our country’s new “Economic Stimulus Package”, but Education Leaders have to respectfully receive the truth about racism within the school system. In fact, it doesn’t take a person with a lot of credentials to make progressive changes in education so maybe the school system should lower their educational standards and create new pathways for their communities to help meet the needs of our children’s future. It’s more productive and less expensive to work as a team than it is to treat each other as opponents!

So stay tuned for a legislation that I’ve been working on that will have a profound effect on the institutional racism that exists within the school system. I am so elated and grateful about the work, the potential partners, and supporters of my fiscal policy entitled, Equity Restitution Plan for School Systems Nationwide. I am ready to lobby and hold education leaders accountable for some of their unjust decisions towards African-American and low-income children so please check out my first draft!

 © 2015, Marian S. Moore, All Rights Reserved.

 Disclaimer: “No part of this publication may be used, reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying or any other electronic or mechanical methods without the prior permission of the publisher. For permission request, email the publisher Marian Moore at competewithpurpose@gmail.com.”

Equity Restitution Plan for School Systems Nationwide – Marian Moore, January 2015 – Public

Cited Sources in my Blog:

Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Web link was retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/aboutocr.html, where you can file a complaint about experiencing discrimination or retaliation based on your race, religion, age, or disability within the school system.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Web link was retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/index.cfm, to inform the public about the types of discrimination employees may experience.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Web link was retrieved from https://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm  to inform the public about how to file a discrimination claim.

Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com: Pietila, Antero. Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2010. Print.

Hidden Colors 4: The Religion of White Supremacy via Tariq Live YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsuCOvTOdj0

For additional information about Hidden Colors documentaries, visit http://hiddencolorsfilm.com/

Federal Communications Commission – Consumer Complaints https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

African Way Link IKG Cultural Resource Center- Anthony Browder, Director https://www.ikgculturalresourcecenter.com/

Boyce Watkins http://boycewatkins.com/

 

It’s Time to Accelerate in Education!

I am a grateful and fortunate former educator, who was exposed to the Framework of 21st Century Learning at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland! In fact, I helped managed a Business program that integrated Business Education and Information Technology (IT) for students in grades 9 through12. What an experience collaborating with some amazing students on innovative business lessons and IT based application projects!

In this blog I would like to share some of my thoughts on how students can apply 21st century skills during class and what my hopes are for our current students around the nation! I know that our new education reform, Common Core, has had mixed reviews. However, I support students being college and career ready which is the core objective of our new education reform. My main purpose in collaboration with our education reformers is to advocate for teachers and students in order to voice what I know can be effective for students based on my 7 years of teaching in a computer lab. My hope is to help assist Common Core and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills have a smooth transition for school systems nationwide. In fact, Common Core, PARCC, school officials, and other partners want to hear from us as parents, teachers, and students so we can take part in shaping our own communities by being active participants in developing our future workforce! Therefore, I would like to provide you with an overview of ways to empower our students to be globally competitive using the Framework of 21st Century Learning.

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Source: http://www.p21.org

I. LIFE & CAREER SKILLS

My Personal Reflection:

I believe the most lasting impact I made as an educator was assisting my students to become more organized and accountable for their own success using technology. Goal setting and being consistent with my lessons was a great model for them because they were able to develop academic discipline that could be beneficial for the workplace. I tried my best to create relevant academic connections with each unit by either using the internet to interact with real world websites that students would either use as future consumers, merchants, investors, or household managers. Therefore, my business students were constantly using 21st century skills such as:

  • Leadership and Responsibility – Working as interns or teacher assistants on projects that would help our school activities to be executed efficiently and effectively.
  • Initiative and Self-direction – Experiencing Webquest projects that would prepare them for independent research on the college and career level.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability – Quarter projects that include real world scenarios ranging from creating business plans to apps to solve problems relevant to individuals or businesses.
  • Social and Cross Cultural Skills – Experiencing innovative team projects that included diverse learners collaborating in order to achieve a common goal through video presentations, entertaining skits, news broadcasts, talk shows, or sales demonstrations.
  • Productivity and Accountability – Using a web management system such as Edline or PB Works increased productivity and positive outcomes for students’ academic performance with up to date grades as well as course material accessible 24-7 .

My Professional Projections:

Civic & Business Literacy for low and middle income students is vital for racial and social academic disparities in education. Therefore, increasing civil and business literacy will close the academic and career achievement gaps. I guarantee that it will reduce the amount of legal victimization cases as well as increase employability and financial literacy for society as a whole.

Target Goal 1: All students in grades 6-12 should be required to complete a series of Personal Law and Business Law courses. In fact, there should be an academic target for each grade. For example, grades 6 through 8 could focus on increasing reading comprehension skills through real world scenarios. This could be done by reading contracts or applications and reviewing technical writing in order to successfully purchase a brand new or used car using critical thinking skills.

Target Goal 2: All students should be required to take an Entrepreneurship course before graduating high school.

By eleventh grade, students should be challenged to enhance their creative and technical writing skills by developing a business plan. This real world project encompasses all of the academic skills learned in Kindergarten through tenth grade from Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, to Technology.

Target Goal 3: Execute learning opportunities for Financial Literacy that focus on planning for each phase of students’ middle to high school career by creating financial budgets for summer career camps, attending junior or senior prom, taking college courses, participating in academic competitions, and/or starting up a small business. Encourage students to be more involved in making responsible economic decisions with their birthday monetary gifts, allowances, or holiday funds! The overall objective for this life and career target is to have a financial literacy initiative for each grade level. For example, a required Principles of Insurance & Planning for Future Car Expenses unit for 9th and 10th graders, who are about to earn the privilege of driving.

II. 4 C’s: COLLABORATION, COMMUNICATION, CREATIVE & CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

 My Personal Reflection:

The 4 C’s encapsulates every skill that is needed to ensure our students will be an asset to any person, organization, or global community. Applying the 4C’s in my learning lab, I recall my students being project managers, accountants, teachers, event coordinators, editors, marketing managers, public speakers, computer technicians, programmers, consultants, entertainers, and entrepreneurs right before my eyes. We had a lot of memorable moments! That is what school is all about: Creating scenarios or situational events that will allow students to have on-the-job training and personal development while in school! Promoting leadership in creative ways for students to experience a task or a skill that they’ve never challenged themselves with before or giving them a chance to apply a skill they enjoy in order to influence them to make productive contributions to the class experience is definitely “21st century learning”! One thing I know for sure, a student will never forget a relevant or meaningful experience! As you can see, a teacher never forgets meaningful experiences either!

My Professional Projections:

Target Goal 1: Utilize the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiative in new and meaningful ways that will support life as well as career skills. For example, support home economics in order to increase academic achievement for girls to be more interested in STEM careers or support their future responsibilities of managing a home. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary trades such as Culinary Arts, Fashion, Interior Decorating, Carpentry, Cosmetology, and Mechanics could be a great addition to classroom activities which directly connects with Science as well as Mathematics. Think about the academic connections you can make and the teachers or industry workers you could team up with to implement the 4 C’s in your classroom!

Target Goal 2: Create in-house jobs for students to explore all of their 21st century skills with the help of business partners. School internships or being an outsource for local companies is advantageous to our future business leaders. In fact, I’ve interacted with ninth graders who could have been an asset to a company based on their skill set. So as education leaders, we have to strategically plan for career opportunities for our students to work on their career portfolios as early as middle school to be used in the future when applying for college or employment.

III. INFORMATION, MEDIA, & TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

Business Education, Telecommunications, and Information Technology projects will progressively change the way we execute lessons in our classrooms. Yes, schools are literally incubators developing our students to be prepared for the Information, Media, and Technology Age! Since Information Technology (IT) is the core infrastructure of businesses and how businesses stay competitive across the world, it is imperative that we expose students to developing their marketable talents using Business Education, Telecommunications, and Information Technology as early as elementary education! In fact, computer programmers are in high demand as well as media and technological skills are needed at every level of employment. We know this because as professionals we constantly use technology to enter data, manage databases, schedule meetings, analyze data, present at meetings, communicate through social media, and to train employees using video instruction in order to increase production or profits. We, also, observe various professionals using technology from the medical field to operating a hair salon. It’s just the way we do business and students should be developing these marketable skills now so they can be independent adults and productive professionals!

Check out this video on YouTube via www.code.org:

My Personal Reflection:

Applying Information/Media/Technology skills were the norm at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology. Therefore, my business students experienced the advantage of being current with global events and capturing real time corporate data such as stock pricing, interest rates on current banking products, or even car and house loan pricing for budgeting projects. Furthermore, I executed a wide range of information, media, and technology application projects. For example, my students actively participated in stock market games, federal spending research projects, corporate research, business news reports, video interpretations of content, and learning games using web applications that supported financial, business, and entrepreneurship literacy. These variety of skills really allowed my students to experience virtual reality, providing a sneak preview of what it felt like to be an adult or professional!

My Professional Projections:

Target Goal 1: Provide students with opportunities to become Microsoft Office Certified in Information System Management programs and Information Technology web applications.

Every middle school infrastructure should have a Business Education and Information Technology model in order for students to become professionally certified or receive college credit for taking proficiency exams. I truly believe middle school students need initiatives like this in order for them to feel as sense of accomplishment and as a result influence them to further develop in whatever core subject or 21st century literacy area they personally connect with as a future career. Here are a few sources that will be helpful for the middle and high school grades:

Microsoft Office Certifications – Middle Students should be certified in at least Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook in order to have the effective skills to manage as well as operate a business.

Information Technology Certifications – High School Students should graduate with 1-2 programming languages so they will be able to become self-managers and diverse communicators when working on corporate projects.

Collegeboard’s CLEP Exams – High School Students can earn college credit and save money on college tuition as well as time sitting in a college course that may not be challenging to them, resulting in receiving a college degree faster.

Target Goal 2: Provide students with access to video editing and graphic design programs as well as media centers that will give them the technology tools they need to succeed as an entrepreneur or employee.

Performing and Visual Arts integrated with all content areas is a MUST! The Arts make learning so much more engaging and entertaining! Through telecommunication and video production, students can explore all aspects of the core subjects with a strong emphasis on reading, language arts, math, and science. When you instruct students to dive deeper with your content area encouraging them to plan, organize, and execute learning experiences by making connections to a variety of core subjects, you are assisting them with retaining empirical knowledge. Let’s use the 21st century learning core subjects for an example of how education leaders can make learning realistic, relevant, and right!

English, Reading or Language Arts – (1.)Writing commercial scripts for a local business new marketing campaign or (2.) Using social media and developing a video to produce a public service announcement about the latest school events.

Mathematics/Science – (1.) Producing an instructional video on how you can use algorithms in our daily lives or (2.) Learning computer programming techniques using Microsoft Excel or Access programs.

Economics – (1.) Creating a financial plan using Microsoft Excel and utilizing a scholarship app  to support students with their search for funding their college experience; also, (2.) Originating a video documentary of the cost and benefits of executing a new Civil Rights Movement.

Geography/History –  (1.) Developing a video game that allows you to plan for road trips across the United States in order to learn geographic terms and concepts or (2.) Producing annual plays about ancient African history and its cultural impact on every continent.

In closing, in order for all school systems to be globally competitive within the workforce, it should be required for students to be knowledgeable with using Microsoft Office applications, skilled with graphic designing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Fireworks, familiar with video editing software, and proficient in 1-2 computer programming languages such as Java and C++. So here are a few programs you should consider for your school’s technology plan:

11 Best Video Editing Software via http://www.mashable.com

Adobe for Students and Teachers

Microsoft Web Applications

Please take a few minutes and view this video, “Learning Code is the Best Thing You Can Do This Year” via Elite Daily

I encourage you to use the websites and videos in this blog to continue your journey making the necessary technological changes that will equip students for a successful life beyond the classroom! If you are interested in learning more about my professional workshop concepts that are included in this blog, please feel free to purchase my eBook, “Can I Inspire You With My Imagination?” to read a sample of what topics I could cover for your organization. Thank you and I hope that you are ready for this wonderful New Year, 2015! Great events are approaching for you and me! Happy New Year!!

“Race” To The Top – Redesigned

Let’s role play!! Today, I will be your facilitator and we will team up in order to analyze how racism, a negative behavior, can be transformed into unifying behavior with the support of the education system.

Good day, class. Please take a look at the board below.

Racism2

So is this statement a fact or an opinion? Well, it depends on the person who is viewing this statement. I’m sure readers would have diverse answers and explanations depending on their age, gender, race, social group, personal experiences or the source of information they use for statistics. However, over time in education, we’ve learned that some opinions have become facts and some facts have become opinions in relation to science or world history. Thus, this type of real-world discussion about race relations is just what the 21st century English classroom has to prepare for when collaborating with Social Studies and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teachers. Furthermore, the supposedly facts as well as statistics related to racism have constantly been misinterpreted to the public. So this interdisciplinary topic would be an engaging way for students to seek the truth and define justice through Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, as well as, Technology for a rigorous race-related research project. Then, students will experience how it feels as adults to determine what is fact or fictitious. Even as adult readers and researchers, we do not know what to believe sometimes based on the statistics that are revealed to us publically. However, racism as a class lesson, especially with teenagers, is an example of a deep interdisciplinary lesson that could encourage them to embrace diversity better while in school preparing for the future workforce. Therefore, a strong emphasis on race relations in school will persuade students, in my opinion, to formulate sustainable solutions for the future of humanity if facilitated to them in an unbiased way.

Hence, I believe each high school graduate should be required to take a Diversity & Humanities class which will incorporate real historical text along with current events that will help students critically think for themselves on how we need to correct race relations in order to uplift humanity. For example, from my perspective, “Every time I hear news about an African American man, teenager, or child being a victim of a hate crime, I think about the victim and also think about the mother; the mother who gave birth to a promising male or female who was robbed of his or her dreams or reality. “ These racial crimes are hurtful, but must be acknowledged because our African children have been taken from the world for centuries and if it is still happening today, then there “must” be some academic intervention strategies that focus on these types of social issues in school for our future leaders. On the other hand, in the 21st century classroom, all students should know more of the historical truth about the indigenous people of Africa and their leadership roles that helped build the foundations of America. I know for sure African American students will become more confident about their self-worth knowing the rich and royal heritage of their ancestors. Also, I believe students of other cultures will even have a new found respect for Africans or African Americans when they learn about ancient African history in a positive light. These world history lessons I speak of could be implemented with the purpose to embrace the development of all cultures giving honor or credit to the African creators of the human race and its contributions to all civilizations. This would be an excellent way to enforce an equity policy in education where curriculum writers should be guided to diversify the information that is accessible to students. In this future Diversity 101/Humanities class, I envision that each academic indicator will embrace the truth about all cultures in order to educate students about both the deliberate or systematic racism of Africans as well as the celebratory accomplishments of all cultures that were inspired by ancient Africa. If education systems spend more time celebrating cultures instead of misleading cultures through omitted facts about world history, we can reconnect as a human race. Once humanity’s history is clarified, then diversity training can be delivered to enlighten students on how to acknowledge our differences with the same common goal: To be respected and elevated as purposeful leaders!

Additionally, the racial issue relating to role and leadership of women in society should be acknowledged more in class discussions. For example, if teenage African American girls were exposed to more positive models of themselves in public schools, I believe it would lead them places in life that they would not have imagined.  In fact, one important historical truth about my heritage that should be openly discussed in the high school classroom is the African or the African American mother. This dynamic woman for centuries experienced unnecessary pain when the American society, along with other societies, systematically influenced the education and justice system deliberately to create obstacles for her children.  This African woman was once acknowledged as a Queen Goddess and now she has become so powerless in many aspects of her life due to society’s war against her family that, believe it or not, was once the ancient world’s image of the original holy trinity. Furthermore, we all have to open our eyes and examine the latest current events about attacking African or African American children because I believe it is also an attack on the African or African American mother which connects with the creative writing concept expressed in the Willie Lynch Letter of 1712, The Making of a Slave written by Dr. Akwabena Ashanti. (Thank you for your reference, Queen Ayoko Moore-Shabazz)

The  section of this literary work that focuses on the “Breaking Process of an African Woman” encourages slave owners to conduct a series of challenging tests toward the African woman in order for her to submit to white supremacy. The breaking process is furthered conceptualized by the fictitious character, Willie Lynch, describing controversial scenarios that encouraged slave owners to perform a variety of hate crimes toward the African woman’s children and to overwork or kill her divine husband in order to cause her emotional as well as psychological grievance. Thus, causing her to manage life matters on her own under extreme pressure so she would submit to the rules and ideology of white supremacy. I’m sure after reading this type of literature, many students may agree or disagree with this concept, but it’s a teachable moment about psychology and criminology of white supremacy. Therefore, it is essential for the school system to be a positive influence including racial issues in the secondary education’s curriculum and provide alternative informational text that reveals diverse perspectives. Then students would be given the opportunity to critically think about how they want to become change agents in the midst of this racial or cultural war. Our students deserve to know the truth! In fact, teenagers should have rights to voice the type of education that they want as well! So they should be allowed to determine from the “Making of a Slave” text, for example, whether or not that the conspiracy of attacking the African or African American family as a form of good economics is right or wrong for the future of humanity. Then, as a facilitator, I would also expect for them to write an economic plan that is fair for all races to enjoy. This is 21st century teaching and learning: Solving today’s problems with our future leaders!

Although, these are some deep topics of discussion for students, it would be a great challenge in public education to apply interdisciplinary subjects such as African or African American studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Business, and Humanities in order for students to develop authentic emotional or social intelligence. I truly believe that if students hear, see, and feel the hate that is being demonstrated throughout the world based on racial or social groups, it will cause them to empathize and intrinsically motivate them to strategize on solutions for all of humanity. My perspective on race relations as a form of educational psychology is that this type of learning experience of hate can actually manifest love in the innocent hearts of children. For instance, I recall having a discussion with my former students during an Anti-Bullying week campaign and they became so passionate about the topic because some were victims of bullying. They expressed how leaders did not address their issues in a way that made them feel safe. Over time, I’ve learned that not only children and teenagers are feeling this helplessness, but adults are experiencing workplace bullying as well based on their racial or social groups. So to acknowledge these issues early in education can develop some amazing compassionate leaders that we urgently need to direct our world towards global peace.

Final Argument: The education system should create learning opportunities in which teachers from various disciplines develop courses such as Humanities or Diversity 101 in order to use racism, socialism, and gender issues as a teaching tool with the intent of empowering the community to comprehend cultural awareness as well as cultural sensitivity.

Moreover, we cannot discuss race relations without acknowledging accountability. Now, of course, African Americans are not the only victims of racial or social crime. Although, I am speaking mainly about my race, please apply it to your own as well. We all deal with challenging human relations globally, but we know that love is the root of peace and prosperity. However, we have to discuss the root of all evil in order to plant seeds of goodness that will harvest economically sound communities.

So with that said, personally, I often think about the people who do not want to be accountable for their hate crimes toward Africans or African Americans. Let’s be honest…there are a group of people who do not want Africans or African Americans to succeed. These manipulative individuals would much rather African Americans to be subservient or prefer to have control over African Americans’ personal lives for their profitable gain. Consequently, this racist behavior, as well as, mistreatment causes mental, physical, and emotional bondage for the African American race in its entirety. I’ll conclude with saying, “It doesn’t matter if African Americans are rich or poor, we all experience this hatred, greed, and manipulation.”

Furthermore, it’s ironic how the individuals who laugh, gossip, and broadcast news about African Americans as if we are naturally ghetto, angry, and unprofessional, are the root of this racism problem. So who is truly unprofessional or demonstrating antagonistic behavior? Who is really spiritually sick to intentionally hurt another human being? These people that I theoretically speak of aren’t just Caucasian people, some of them are African American. However, here are some great debate questions for students, “Are African Americans truly inappropriate or is it strategically planned by social groups to cause African Americans so much grievance that it results with them expressing aggressive or obscene behavior? Is it true that people in political power, especially in the education and justice system, set up black people to misbehave or fail in order to support the prison economy, drug market, special education, and social service industries?

This is why it should be required for “all students” to take Business Education courses to learn about corporate law as well as the advantages and disadvantages of capitalism which leads me to another class debate statement: “Capitalism is primarily based on racism, which basically means capture a majority race and build economies with that race without educating them properly, giving birth to the term, socio-economic status or corporate bondage.”  We’ve all witnessed the disparities in life as a result of this type of capitalism. Furthermore, African Americans are frustrated about their socio-economic circumstances and end up harming each other when naturally we love each other. We are the most family-oriented people in the world and we accept other races as family as well. However, people in power continue to separate or divide us in order to continue this “expiring plan” for us to have a “lost culture” as well as “lost identities”. How can we “expire” or conclude this unjust way of leading humanity?

Final Argument: Education can create learning opportunities in which “all” students can immerse themselves in Business Education in order to encourage “all races” to develop marketable skills that will enhance their life styles and future careers. Therefore, racism can be used as a teaching tool to develop solutions for each diverse community by sharing power and spreading the wealth of resources to all neighborhoods with prosperity plans.

Thirdly, we all know that African Americans can be successful in life when given the proper support. However, when African American people, who aren’t supported, speak up about the injustice that they’ve experienced, people in power believe they have the right to retaliate against them and make it difficult for those individuals to thrive in life even with the Civil Rights Act in place. We, also, know that these individuals who conduct racial retaliation hate crimes know better, but they do it because they know they can get away with it and they use laws or policies to protect their unethical behavior. However, when an African American responds with having unethical behavior, they are stereotyped, blacklisted, threatened, killed, or put into jail. As African Americans, we often ask, “How can one social group make unethical decisions and get away with it? Is that justice for all?”  As a visionary leader, I cannot wait for our students to redefine, Race to the Top, for education and the future workforce!

So are African Americans given a fair chance to “Race to the Top” in education and in business industries? So what will it take for an African American to be respected or economically successful in the education system or any industry for that matter? Do they have to be less like themselves in order to be accepted or respected? Maybe they shouldn’t speak up for themselves when they are not being treated fairly and continue to support the status quo. Moreover, if African Americans question authority because of mistreatment, do you believe they should be punished or ignored? Should they be given a chance to provide people in power with a viable solution for the institutional social or racial injustice? I’ve learned that some adults do not want to have these candid conversations. But if we aren’t addressing these racial issues right now, without getting offended, we will continue to have dysfunctional relationships that involve mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual abuse.  So would you rather have peace and justice or racism and chaos? For this reason, that is why I encourage all races including Caucasians to stand up against the people who commit racial hate crimes because we, as a human race, should be unified, not terrified for our lives – fearing each other motives.

On the other hand, I believe and know that African American people are one of the most forgiving people on earth, yet are constantly being neglected and disrespected, as if we don’t have any worth or contributions to make to society. We, the African American race, continue to give those who hate or envy us chances to correct their behaviors, but these individuals continue to treat us as unequal or of lesser value and that just doesn’t add up. So when you have a dominant race of people who are in power, including politicians, board members, principals, teachers, or police officers making decisions for African American people, that is unfair in itself. The diversity and compassion are missing in this type of bureaucracy because several of these people in power are prejudice. We have too many non African American people in power, who are making major decisions for African American and low income citizens. Ignoring or not discussing race-based problems is not going to solve the chaos that we are experiencing as a human race right now. I believe we have to be honest with ourselves and be cognizant of how we treat one another in order to break some of the generational curses that have plagued the human race for centuries. So as education leaders what are you going to do in order to change this statement, “Racism now is worst than it was in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was made into law.” Can people change their minds and hearts in order for the entire human race to prosper? What is your solution? Thank you and I hope my lesson encourages you to examine your role in this Race to the Top.

Final Argument: Education can help develop a unifying culture by recruiting more diverse professionals to teach courses that focus on world history that actually spotlight women in leadership, along with, fully acknowledging ancient African culture as an advanced civilization who were pioneers of innovation. Thus, education should have strong partnerships with the business community to initiate more social entrepreneurship programs that blend the past cooperative African traditions in order to economically empower all families to leave a legacy behind within various industries.

Closing Remarks

I am not a Common Core expert, but I am making efforts to become a better teacher and facilitator. I am not a trained writer. However, I am making efforts to become a successful author and blogging helps me to strengthen my writing.

So, my friends, I challenged myself to write the first draft of my book, Can I Inspire You With My Imagination? The 3 Areas of Change That Will Impact Our Lives in the Heart of Education. There are a series of essays, poems, short stories, sports analogies, and educational philosophy that I’ve written during my last year of teaching for Baltimore County Public Schools system. Some of the concepts in my book were submitted to Baltimore County Public School system’s 2012-2013 Strategic Plan and presented during the local board of education meetings between 2013-2014. I’ve learned valuable lessons as an educator and I’ve been so inspired by my experience that I wanted to introduce myself, my mission, and vision for education from an African American perspective. Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Can I Inspire You With My Imagination? – Click Here!

© All Rights Reserved

“Come to Our Neighborhood & Love My Neighbors”

“Love thy neighbor near or far, rich or poor. For the neighbor you chose to ignore, may be the one you will need to love you and your family even more.”

When I am out and about in my neighborhood, I observe children playing outside and when I focus on their interactions, I envision what could make their daily experiences better. I see so much potential and promise in their eyes as they try to create and plan out their own daily activities. Now that it is summer, I know that most parents are working and children are either being watched by their grandparents or some kids are watching themselves until their parents come home from work. Some parents are home with their children and may not know where to start if they had a bright idea that would help the families in their own communities.

Furthermore, in my neighborhood, I am sure that some parents may not be able to afford academic enriching camps for all of their children. Consequently, their children have to play outside most of the day or play with their video games, cell phones, tablets, and toys in order to keep themselves occupied. Some children if they are lucky, can go to the neighborhood pool or playground for entertainment. However, outside of the normal day of play, my eyes visualize much more profound experiences especially in the low and middle income neighborhoods.

So come to our neighborhood: corporate leaders, professionals, celebrities, and politicians. Love my neighbors and let me see you participate more and donate your time  as well as your resources to make each summer more memorable than the last for our children. Although, we just had our local elections, there is still more work to be done by our politicians. We don’t want to only see you during campaigning time, but during times of dire need for your compassionate community service! In fact, I believe the summer break is the best time to close the achievement gap with innovative programs that will encourage students to become more active participants during the school year. I recall seeing the excitement on my former students’ faces when they would share their experiences or when they could relate to the topics that we were discussing with their prior knowledge based on “an unforgettable experience”. So love my neighbors and provide them with learning experiences they will never forget!!

Moreover, in my neighborhood, I’ve received flyers in the mail from politicians, but not one knock on my door. Also, I’ve driven by signs in my neighborhood asking for my vote, however, no one has driven to my neighborhood in order to address my concerns as a voter. So please come to my neighborhood – walk with me, talk with me, and team up with me so we can create a new reality. Thus, I encourage those leaders, who really want to be a change agent and are not in this political race just for the popularity contest. However, I would love to see leaders spending more time and money on creating opportunities for “our children to be popular” for doing positive acts due to your political or social influence.

Additionally, I urge leaders to come to my neighborhood and survey our children about their dreams. Not survey their concerns in order to prepare a dynamite campaign speech, but to actually listen with the intentions of making their dreams a reality and priority, especially for children who live in single parent homes or for the grandmother who is raising her grand children on her own. I know for a fact that when you give children as well as families positive attention, they will welcome you into their lives; consequently they will be inspired to live a prosperous life because of the light you’ve shined on them. Thus, I welcome you to my neighborhood because we deserve prosperous lives too! Prosperity is not just an outward appearance, but a soul with purpose! Hence, it should be community members’ commitment to seek lost souls and assist them with discovering his or her soul’s purpose and mission on this earth! Therefore, love my neighbors and help them to empower their self-worth!

Now is the time for us to correct the wrongs of the people who designed our (low income and people of color) lives, to be socially and racially divided. We need to exchange our economic and political status as a main priority with more community cooperatives. Eliminating unjust capitalistic projects and allowing the so-called projects to become capital for the people who live there. Expand our neighborhoods from the inside, not eradicate their legacies with political inside agendas. We must replace greed with assisting those who are need. We must empower the powerless in order for our global society to succeed. We must allow every neighborhood be a part of creating its own mission so our global society as a whole will win with pride and dignity. My vision for our neighborhoods across America and the world is a unifying concept that all races, religions, and income levels can and will benefit from by working together as neighbors to plan purposeful prosperous outcomes.

One of my educational solutions for our neighborhoods is an annual mobile summer camp that will encompass mobile mentoring and experiential learning labs that will deliver career exposure and life skills to children in our local communities. This convenient community concept will initiate an innovative academic program that will bring local leaders, career camps, and enrichment activities to low and middle income neighborhoods. This, for sure, will help families develop the 21st century skills needed to create a safer, mentally conscious, productive, employable, and prosperous society. Here is an example of how this “prosperity plan” can and will work. Let’s use the traditional “marketing mix” in order to organize this mobile ministry.

1. Product/Service

This annual mobile summer camp campaign will provide real-world academic connections and career awareness for school-aged children with the assistance of corporations, local small businesses, professionals, college students, and community members. A mobile vehicle will transport learning tools, workshop lesson materials, technology, and interactive lessons accessible. The actual vehicle can also be managed as an outdoor laboratory. Weekly themes that include Reading, Writing, Performing Arts, Science and Math, as well as, Business Education and Financial Literacy will be provided. Can you imagine a Musical and Mathematic Monday? Music and math teachers as well as college students with majors related to the weekly academic themes to provide our children with college and career awareness. Also, the local school system could team up with the local Guitar Center and private businesses that will provide experiential instruction and materials to execute interactive lessons about music-related fractions, the symbolism in reading music, or the science of sound and harmony. Then, at the end of the week, the neighborhood could build a band, compose songs, and demonstrate what they’ve learned academically. Yes, there are camps like this available, but are they coming to our low to middle income neighborhoods providing an equal opportunity for academic and career success?

2. Place/Distribution         

This mobile summer camp service will conveniently visit neighborhoods in order to provide technology-based learning. Also, a large tent or mobile classroom trailer could be placed in a central location within walking distance of our local neighbors to offer hands-on experiential learning workshops. This could be an exciting exchange of information between teachers, local businesses, politicians, and families to identify as well as address the needs of the community. So all community members have to do is show up and that is the place and opportunity for distribution. Distribution is basically time, money, support, and resources to those who need it and when they need it! Once the locations are determined by each community, the opportunities are endless for children, parents, businesses, and the school system! I get excited just envisioning everyone involved! I believe this is what Common Core desires to be the outcome of our new education reform in the long run!

3. Promotion

The mobile vehicle will have signage that promotes this community collaboration. In addition, teen age volunteers can receive service learning hours or a scholarship based on marketing the services that will be offered to support this mobile summer camp initiative. Children in each neighborhood would have the chance to develop their leadership and presentation skills with their innovative ideas. Also, politicians and local businesses will have a direct marketing opportunity to strategically connect with families as well as brand their mission to the local community, which will be profitable for all that are involved!!

4. Pricing

The financing can be set up as a neighborhood mutual fund that will be opened at the community’s local credit union or bank. Each neighbor can donate an affordable amount monthly, quarterly, or annually to be pooled together in order to provide the weekly events, which will be matched by local businesses as well as politicians. Parents, children, and the local schools will have quarterly meetings to discuss the expenditures for the “prosperity program” and how it will be managed. I believe economically having everyone participate in their own personal and professional development is priceless which will offset the negative costs of a neighborhood that is not being supported! We cannot allow another summer to go by without bringing learning opportunities to our children as a part of our equity policy that will ensure educational justice for all! It’s time to integrate spirituality with politics in order for decisions to be enforced with moral judgment toward our promising children of “all” races and backgrounds!

Often in our society we witness people in political power playing the role of God and trying to control other people’s destiny. However, I believe that no one or social group have the right to control people’s lives because we are “one” human race with “equal” potential to make this world better collectively. Thus, separating the natural laws of humanity is breaking the divine laws of the universe. Therefore, we need divine order with the chaos that some of our children are experiencing or facing due to those who are negatively intervening with divine order. However, we cannot achieve divine order if we are not making efforts to help all children discover their true purpose in life. So allow the light of your love to shine on and shape our community by loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Home should be wherever you go and no child or family should be treated like they do not have the right to succeed or prosper!

In closing, this “prosperity program, which is a mobile mentoring and experiential learning lab will collectively involve community members, teachers who will collaborate with industry workers to provide both career and life lessons. I will be discussing more of these simple ideas and topics in my book that I would like to have published by 2015. Additionally, my book will cover three areas of change that I believe will impact our lives in the heart of education:

1. The Human Race – In the first section, I provide a motivational approach with acknowledging that “We are All Achievers” and how that belief system can close achievement gaps for our children within the school system. I further share that “we are achievers” as a human race when we do not see color, religion, gender, income, or circumstance as a measurement of success, but when we provide personal support for all individuals to develop their talents based on love and respect for their life’s purpose!

2. Corporate Communities – In this section, I focus on the business partner network that is necessary to not only fund academic programs, but provide the professional development needed for students and teachers to experience on-the-job training through school application projects, internships, and entrepreneurship opportunities. I, also, talk about hiring more non-traditional teachers and partnering with financial institutions to provide more academically-centered incentives, as well as, financial strategies to prepare for our children’s futures.

3. Unity – My focus in the last section is on team work, compassionate leadership, and spiritual connections that will encourage everyone to embrace diversity as a collective effort within the school system, corporate America, and the political system. Relating to one another, governing ourselves, and empowering one another in order to be an interdependent nation is how unity is defined in this section.

So until my book is available to the public, please continue to support my writing efforts by following my monthly blog at www.competewithpurpose.wordpress.com. Love, Peace, and Prosperity to All!

Inte “GREAT” ion Will Rebuild a Better Nation

On May 17, 1954, exactly 60 years ago today, 5 legal cases related to school segregation, one of which was student led, made it to the Supreme Court where each case was merged together as one major milestone case known today as the Brown vs Board of Education. The Supreme Court ruled that in the field of education the “separate but equal” doctrine has no place and by law blacks as well as other races will be treated equally in the school system. That means no matter how superior a race may feel, they cannot treat black children as if they do not deserve an excellent education. In fact, racial and social residential zoning is a great contributor to school segregation and the inequities in education. Both Baltimore City and County are guilty in the past of intentional segregation in the residential, commercial, and educational industries.

Suggested Readings:

1. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_brown.html
2. “Brown” in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism
Author: Howell S Baum

On a positive note, if it wasn’t for the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, I would not have been able to attend Western High School, which is an all girl city-wide college preparatory school in Baltimore City. Furthermore, the Brown vs. Board of education law initiated the concept of Baltimore city-wide high schools which allow students from all areas of the city to attend an academically challenging school no matter the race, social group, residential zone, or income level according to their standardized test scores. This was a result of the diligent advocacy that the NAACP, community leaders, and local citizens did for underrepresented racial groups. Another great result of the Brown vs Board of Education case is that magnet schools were created so that students from diverse racial and social economic backgrounds would be able to enjoy both the reasonable and technological resources that would impact all students’ education and their future economic success. That is why I was able to teach a diverse group of students at the magnet school, George Washington Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland. So today, I celebrate the Brown vs. Board of Education case!

I, also, stand as an advocate for equality in education for black students because I know the total truth and justice is the missing link in our education system. Therefore, I would like for my black community to be respected by teachers, principals, the local boards of education, politicians, and community members. Human respect in the education field should be reflected by means of investment of time, money, and commitment to build, renovate, and provide the assets that are needed to ensure black students as well as black teachers are globally competitive. We need more unity between all races in order to uplift our black community. You have to believe in black student’s greatness with a collective conscious to paint a new portrait of what diversity looks like. As a black citizen, I do not totally enjoy life, feel safe, or feel content with how my black community is being treated; not when black family units are being broken strategically by corrupt organizations that govern our education and justice systems.

Furthermore, do we observe the African principles of Ma’at: Truth, Justice, Harmony, Balance, Order, Reciprocity, and Propriety toward the black community? Ma’at African Consciousness and Principles were taught in mystery schools during ancient times and was destroyed due to centuries of greed and colonization. So we must reclaim our dignity and legacy with practicing Ma’at in our everyday lives. In fact, these principles of Ma’at were actually taught by our African ancestors and that is why our ancient civilizations naturally flourished. Life wasn’t about mind control, it was about cultivating and freeing the mind in order to design a new way of thought inspired by universal wisdom. In fact, I shared some innovative 21st century teaching strategies in my blog that was posted in February to further express the African centered approaches that are effective for diverse learners.

Moreover, human respect and equality means people of other races understand that: Black people are not less than you. Black people are brilliant. Black people are leaders and when they are supported, they can take you places you did not know existed. We, the black race, are creatively entertaining and loyal friends, but we must be respected. As for the education system, just because some of your black students may not pass standardized tests, does not mean they cannot test your knowledge or perform academically. Thus, black children should not to be judged as failures or incompetent. Additionally, we black professionals, should not have to brown nose to be respected or recognized for our hard work. We, the black people, should not have to remind you that we are just as valuable as you are. Furthermore, we the black race, should not have to speak loudly in order to be heard or speak aggressively for our well-being to be considered. We, the black people, should not have to act like clowns in order to be noticed or in order for the media to showcase our culture. We, the black people, should not have to be quiet or docile in order for others to feel comfortable or feel more like a leader. People in power do not have the right to direct and control black people’s lives. Most importantly, we the black people, should not have to act like you to be accepted by you. We, the African race, were uniquely made to help civilize this world, but if the world continues to treat us like we do not any have rights, the world will continue to be uncivilized and destructive. So let’s increase the peace and love black people because love will conquer every battle you fight against us. Now that’s the solution! Change your mind and open up your hearts in order to have a peaceful and an economically sound future!

So I believe there are four ways we can work as a community to increase the academic performance for African American students:

1. Promote that ancient African history is World’s History. There are many African American students and adults that are unaware of their rich history that was full of powerful leadership as well as thriving communities organized by black kings and queens of civilization in the Nile Valley. In fact, there are so many facts about history that I do not know about my African ancestry because I was not educated about the true legacy of my lost culture. However, I made an effort this year to intensely research about the royal dynasties that my ancestors led and it gave me immense pride to pursue my dreams as an entrepreneur knowing my ancestors were more than just slaves that is excessively promoted in the education system and the media. Thus, if African American children’s rich culture is reintroduced to them through the education system and at home, this will provide them with self-awareness, self-pride, and eventually self-actualization toward their personal and professional goals. As a result of applying the 21st century skill of “Global Awareness” in the classroom, African American students who may live in low income areas could be indoctrinated with their rich culture influencing them to feel rich inside with an “affluent academic” motivation to succeed. This will promote confidence intrinsically and will definitely cause them to positively perform at higher levels mentally as well as emotionally.

Suggested Readings: (Thanks for sharing Rickey Moore, Sr.)

– Black Women in Antiquity – Edited by: Ivan Van Sertima
– Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization – Author: Anthony T. Browder

2. Provide more diversity workshops for non-African American teachers in order to be trained on the creative emotional and social support that is necessary for a “child of color” to excel. Trained teachers can learn the art of personalized instruction in order to meet the needs of the diverse mind-set of the African American child. Linear instruction does not work for most African American students so perhaps a universal approach to learning can be adopted so that non-African American teachers can learn how to increase the academic performance of their students and develop a positive relationship with African American students.

Suggested Book: Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys
Author: Jawanza Kunjufu (Thanks for sharing, Nia Johnson)

Suggested Videos:

1. Booker T. Coleman – The Curriculum of Correction
2. Great Kings and Queens of Africa – Presented by Anheuser Busch Corp.

3. Integrate African pedagogy with the Common Core Curriculum by infusing the 7 Liberal Arts, which are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy. This will encourage our African American students to explore their thoughts outside of the classroom toward real-world concepts and discover the unknown. Research and Information Technology will be the key to success for African American students because once they learn aspects of their history, they will be driven to make history. Once you have a motivated African American child, be prepared to witness some record breaking achievements!

Suggested Video: Dr. Booker T Coleman- Educating Our Youth for the 21st century

Suggested Book: What They Never Told You In Black History Class
Author: Indus Khamit Kush

4. Parental Involvement which will reflect a supportive community and revisiting the ancient African cultural principles. Yes, “it takes a village to raise a child”, but if the village is occupied with self-destruction and selfish behavior, then our African American children will fail. If African American parents spend more time at sporting events cheering their children on, but do not have the patience to work on their children academic progress at home in the same intense manner, then our African American children will fail. If African American parents spend more time watching reality television or creating their own reality television on the social networks, then our African American children will fail. African American parents we have to find balance between our identities as well as helping our children discover their true identity, and then consequently the African American village will win! As parents and family members, we are all guilty of being off balance every now and then, but if we commit ourselves to our children’s empowerment, this world will be a more progressive place.

Suggested Books:

– Handbook for Raising Black Children A Comprehensive Holistic Guide
Author: Llaila Olela Afrika
– The Covenant with Black America – Various Authors, along with Tavis Smiley

We all have to admit that for centuries the education system has controlled the way we think and shaped our views about human relations. Through the education system, the government was able to design our social and economic order and status. It has created this world that look at the African American race as a threat to society.

Lastly, I am consciously concerned about how the world is treating Africans, Africa, and African Americans — like we are not worth the wealth that is inside of us. So, today, May 17, 2014, I will conclude that we, as a nation, need to update our status, change the content in our news feed, tweet and defeat the racial and social injustice, and instagram a transparent picture to encourage others to be colorblind because we are one nation, one people, and we all deserve to be linked in this social global network.