Monthly Archives: May 2013

How best reduce school suspensions? – Teacher argues the answer is not ignoring classroom misbehavior

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

St. Paul Public Schools’ (SPPS) Black suspension rate dropped only two percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12. Black students there still receive nearly 70 percent of all suspensions. SPPS Chief of Staff Michelle Walker told the MSR that Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and “Courageous Conversations” strategies, used to help teachers respond more positively to student behaviors — especially those of Black students — has played a huge role in the decline in suspensions. “Suspensions as a [disciplinary] strategy doesn’t work,” she points out. Continue Reading →

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Speculation runs wild in Franklin shooting case — Without an ‘official’ report, family and friends remain skeptical

 

 

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

Terrance Franklin, the 22-year-old who on May 10 was shot and killed in the basement of a South Minneapolis home by police after a pursuit, appeared to have been shot five times in the back of the head and twice in the back according to a knowledgeable source who saw Franklin’s body; the source requests that his/her name be withheld. The shooting has left many questions unanswered. While it’s still not clear how or why Franklin died at the hands of Minneapolis police, the circumstances around the police chase have raised eyebrows as well. Citizens have questioned why police called in a SWAT team as well as canine units, and why the police were strapped with submachine guns to give chase to a suspected burglar. Police radio transmissions from the day of the event do not reveal that police thought he was armed or dangerous. Continue Reading →

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Dred Scott’s story a ‘springboard’ into authentic Black history

That in turn can help free both U.S. Whites and Blacks
 
By Charles Hallman Staff Writer   She always knew about them, but Dred and Harriet Scott’s great-great granddaughter says she’s learning more about them every day. Lynne Jackson heads the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation, and since 2007 she has been very active in ensuring that her descendents’ place in American history is fully recognized. In a brief MSR interview, Jackson explained last week during a visit to the Twin Cities why her great-great grandparents’ story must be told. “I think the Dred Scott case was so pivotal and so few people really know what it was, what it did, and how it impacted the nation,” she pointed out. “There are so many things about Dred Scott that is wrong. Continue Reading →

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John Legend urges educational reform as top priority

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Fixing U.S. schools must be a top priority, says award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, who spoke last week at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul in the second Minneapolis Foundation RESET Education event this year. RESET is an acronym for “Real-Time Use of Data, Expectations not Excuses, Strong Leadership, Effective Teaching and Time on Task.” The nine-time Grammy Award winner is a strong education reform proponent and serves on several boards, including Teach for America and the Harlem Village Academies. The singer asked the estimated 900 people who attended his nearly one-hour speech, including two groups of Minneapolis youngsters, why they would come to hear “a R&B singer” talk about education. “I’m a musician, not a [school] superintendent,” he said, strongly pointing out that the present educational system in this country is failing too many kids. Continue Reading →

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Report estimates job growth in water treatment — Most jobs require less than a two-year degree

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff writer

 

Water is essential as both a source of energy production as well as a through treatment and distribution. According to a 2011 Green for All report, water shortages in the next five years are predicted in at least 36 U.S. states. And each year 250,000 water mains break in this country due to crumbling water infrastructure, which costs an estimated $2.6 billion dollars annually and wastes almost two trillion gallons of water. Also, 20 million Americans get sick each year from drinking contaminated water due to untreated waste, and clean drinking water supplies “are at risk of contamination and creeping privatization.” Improving America’s water infrastructure include addressing specific problems such as “polluted runoff,” continues the report. This water flows into gutters from roofs or from concrete surfaces that prevent rainwater from going into the ground and instead goes into sewer systems or directly back into rivers, lakes and streams. It also can accumulate pollutants such as oil and salts. Continue Reading →

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Penn Gas Stop joins healthy eating project in N. Mpls

 

 

By Makula Dunbar

Contributing Writer

 

 

If you look closely between the two “No Trespassing” signs on the outside of Penn Gas Stop, an improved addition is advertised on another sign: fresh produce. As a part of the Healthy Corner Store Project, the station located on the corner of Penn and 26th Avenue N. in Minneapolis has ramped up its supply of healthy “grab and go” options. “We wanted to do this for a long time and I just think we needed a little push, “ said store manager Fouad Bazzine. “There was an incentive too, because most people ask for fruits and vegetables all the time anyway.”

Penn Gas Stop is one of more than a dozen corner stores in North Minneapolis taking part in the project, which kicked off January 4 at this location. The Minneapolis-based Appetite for Change program, the City of Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support and the West Broadway Business and Area Coalition teamed up to create the initiative, which encourages healthy eating in communities with minimal access to healthy foods. Continue Reading →

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Mpls to build 100 green homes on city’s North Side

 

Welcome, MSR readers, to a new section you will see appear regularly in these pages, something we call Green2Green. Most of you by now have heard of the green movement to clean up our planet, stop the waste of precious natural resources, and get climate change under control. What is not always clear is just what this movement means to each one of us in our everyday lives. Nor is it always clear how this movement includes environmental justice issues of particular concern to communities of color. And finally, it is not always clear how the green movement can also save us green, as in Benjamin green, and is creating new opportunities for productive careers. Continue Reading →

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Climate change is the defining issue of our time

 

 

During his State of the Union address, President Barak Obama proposed that the United States take the lead internationally to address climate change. He quoted John F. Kennedy, who said, “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.”

When thinking about this climate problem, many in communities of color do not feel that they are responsible for climate change. It’s not the behavior of poor people and communities of color that has got the earth off balance. I am not asserting blame — I am stating the obvious. Poor people and communities of color are most impacted by climate change but contribute the least to it. Continue Reading →

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Landscape Revival: Native Plant Expo and Market

 

 

Welcome, MSR readers, to a new section you will see appear regularly in these pages, something we call Green2Green. Most of you by now have heard of the green movement to clean up our planet, stop the waste of precious natural resources, and get climate change under control. What is not always clear is just what this movement means to each one of us in our everyday lives. Nor is it always clear how this movement includes environmental justice issues of particular concern to communities of color. And finally, it is not always clear how the green movement can also save us green, as in Benjamin green, and is creating new opportunities for productive careers. Continue Reading →

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Dwight Hobbes’ Black and Single Blues

 

 

Editor’s note: This is the 16th episode of “Black & Single Blues” since the series began in our February 14 issue. Thus far, Dwight Hobbes’ continuation and expansion of a story that originally appeared in Essence magazine has taken Keith Jackson through prolonged reflection on his relationship with Lesli Hall, who remain unaware of Keith’s doubts about their future. Readers who have followed the story from its beginning will find their anticipation amply rewarded in upcoming segments. Readers who have only recently tuned in can access the entire series on the MSR website. Enjoy! Continue Reading →

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