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31

James Watson:  Yes, and that's bad. Black kids have got to get different aspirations.

TORONTO STAR
Cut black dropout rate to 15%, schools told
Jun 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Louise Brown
Education Reporter

Canada's largest school board is poised to set tough targets to chop the alarming 40 per cent dropout rate among black students to 15 per cent within five years. Through mentors, teacher training and close tracking of the most needy students, the Toronto District School Board's sweeping new Urban Diversity Strategy – to be voted on tomorrow by a board committee and by all trustees next week – would aim to make all intermediate and high schools across the city more sensitive to the demographic roadblocks often facing students of differing backgrounds.

The action plan would also target the 25 most racially diverse, low-performing schools for extra youth workers, outreach staff to work with parents, summer programs for Grade 8 students who fail any of the 3 Rs, and a network of teachers who feel passionate about working in such challenging schools.

"We know this is not going to be an easy task, but with the data we now know about our students, and with what we see is working already at some schools – plus a little bit of pressure – we know it can be done," said Gerry Connelly, the board's director of education, in an interview yesterday.

The report is one of the ways the board is responding to new data showing children from poor or turbulent backgrounds or marginalized communities often lag behind.

While trustees voted to open an Africentric alternative school in September 2009 as a sort of test lab for a more global curriculum and more black teachers as role models, the board also charged staff to come up with ways to help children at risk in all schools.

But instead of recommending special programs tailored for children of various high-risk groups – Portuguese children, for example, or those from Somalia or Afghanistan – the staff suggests helping all teachers be more sensitive to the challenges diversity can bring.

"This approach won't ignore the role of race, or gender, or poverty, or disability; these are all part of students' reality," said Lloyd McKell, the board's executive officer of student and community equity, who consulted with many community groups while helping draft the plan.

"But our training will help teachers recognize the effect racial diversity has on students' lives." Among other recommendations:

Chop the overall dropout rate by 5 per cent in each of the next five years.

Every child not meeting the standard between Grades 7 and 10 would be assigned a staff mentor or "learning coach" – someone the report calls "a caring adult in the school" – to act as an advocate, someone who follows up when they stumble and offers help. "This is always at the top of the wish list of every student we talk to," said McKell;Principals would ensure experienced teachers are assigned to work with students with the greatest need, rather than automatically assigning veteran educators to the university-bound "academic" stream;

Expand free Grade 7 and 8 summer literacy and numeracy camps to all of the 25 high-need schools for students below standard in reading, writing or arithmetic, and have parents come to at least one session to learn about standards;

Boost after-school homework clubs, free tutoring, and expand access to library and computer labs. George Harvey Collegiate Institute, near Keele St. and Eglinton Ave. W., extended library hours and added popular "graphic novels" to the shelves, for example. Library borrowing jumped 245 per cent – and scores in the Grade 10 literacy test have jumped 6 per cent in one year.

While Connelly would not put a price tag on the extra support, she said much can be covered by using existing funding in a more strategic way, and noted the board will also seek some funding from Queen's Park. Sandra Carnegie-Douglas, past-president of the Jamaican-Canadian Association, called the plan "a good start" but warned it is crucial to choose staff mentors that truly care about children, not just track their attendance.

"Not all staff is that attentive to the barriers many students face, so how will you choose `an adult who cares?' The community should have some input," she said. Education Professor Patrick Solomon, who founded the Urban Diversity program at York University, hailed the plan to train teachers to be more sensitive to the community, a process he said is best done by having teachers design community projects in the neighbourhoods where they work.

Marcie Ponte of the Working Women's Community Centre, which runs a successful tutoring program for Portuguese children, said the board's plan is a sign it is "taking at-risk students seriously – and mentoring is a key piece.

"But Toronto is so diverse, schools need to let teachers think outside the box and be creative. No one solution will work for all kids."
http://www.thestar.com/article/445172




32
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Are you trading up?
« on: June 14, 2008, 10:59:55 PM »
Not following the last post...

a 'tip of the hat'
Russert's thoughts on the thread would be fascinating. Pasted below are online comments made by someone who claims to be his fellow alumnus.

LAW BLOG
WSJ.com on law and business and the business of law.
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/06/13/tim-russert-newsman-and-law-school-grad-dies-at-58/

Comment by M. C. Pastoret - June 14, 2008 at 1:18 am
"Tim Russert was a proud alumnus of my own law school, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, which has sent more than its fair share of fine lawyers, judges, and, yes, journalists into the world. I have often read comments on this blog written by law students who [whine] and fret about attending a so-called third- or fourth-tier law school. Well, my dears, it isn’t the pedigree of the school you attend that burnishes your career. It is the talent, hard work, and courage you yourself bring to bear that does that. If nothing else, I hope you will take that lesson from Mr. Russert."



33
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Are you trading up?
« on: June 14, 2008, 08:33:57 PM »
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Mourns Loss of Alumnus, Timothy J. Russert ‘76

The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law community remembers and honors graduate Tim Russert ’76. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and distinguished alumnus. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and their family.
http://www.law.csuohio.edu/

B.A. in Political Science, 1972
John Carroll University,
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1976

34
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Tim Russert Dead
« on: June 13, 2008, 10:46:16 PM »
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Mourns Loss of Alumnus, Timothy J. Russert ‘76

The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law community remembers and honors graduate Tim Russert ’76. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and distinguished alumnus. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and their family.
http://www.law.csuohio.edu/

35

  Henry Louis Gates Jr. is editor-in-chief of The Root and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University.

HLG: I can't run. It's a good thing I was a good student because I wouldn't have made it. … My father, though, will be 95, June 8th, God willing. And my father, every time he passes a basketball court of black boys, young black men, he will say, "If we study calculus like we study basketball, we would be running MIT." So to him, it's not genetic. It's the fact that we're in basketball laboratories instead of math laboratories, all of our lives.

James Watson:  Yes, and that's bad. Black kids have got to get different aspirations.

Full conversation:  http://www.theroot.com/id/46667/page/1

36
During the conversation Gates mentions that David Duke describes James Watson as "the smartest white man in the world."

37
Color, Controversy and DNA
By Henry Louis Gates Jr. | TheRoot.com

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is editor-in-chief of The Root and is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University.

A conversation between The Root Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nobel laureate and DNA pioneer James Watson about race and genetics, Jewish intelligence, blacks and basketball and Watson's African roots.

For Article, see REPLY #66
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,98155.60.html

38
I haven't been following this thread up close, but I saw an episode of Star Trek this weekend that reminded me of it.

There was this alien society that was made up of two main classes--a class of politicians and intellectuals who lived a life of priviledge in the clouds and a class of workers who lived on the surface and in the caves below.  When asked to explain this situation by Captain Kirk, the head politician claimed essentially that the workers below were an inferior race....

Color, Controversy and DNA
By Henry Louis Gates Jr. |
TheRoot.com

A conversation between The Root Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nobel laureate and DNA pioneer James Watson about race and genetics, Jewish intelligence, blacks and basketball and Watson's African roots.

James Watson: I've thought about these things a lot over the last couple of months, because those who know me well, you know, I'm mortified by those three sentences in the Sunday Times article. I'm not a monster, and yet, if you took them at their face value, I seem to be nasty.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. : But Dr. Watson, on behalf of the African Americans who admired you, studied your work, and read The Root.com, where in the world did those words come from?

JW: One sentence was just taken out of my book. It was [that] we shouldn't expect that people in different parts of the world have equal intelligence, because we don't know that. [Some] people say that they should be the same. I think the answer is we don't know. … With the other two sentences, I talked to [the Times reporter] for eight hours. When I read the [quotes], I had no memory whatsoever of ever saying them. Because if I'd said anything like that, it was so inappropriate!

HLG: Well, are you gloomy about the future of Africa?

JW: Not if we educate them. I think we've got to focus on education.

HLG: As soon as you were quoted in The Times,  David Duke posted on his Web site. He said, at last, the smartest white man in the world, the man who identified DNA, has confirmed what we've known all the time. …
http://www.theroot.com/id/46667?GT1=38002


39
The Volokh Conspiracy
[David Bernstein, February 4, 2008 at 4:36am] Trackbacks

Barack Obama and the Harvard Law Review:

Barack Obama was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. The NY Times carried a story [link below] about this in Februrary 1990, which included a few quotes from Obama:

"The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress," Mr. Obama said today in an interview. "It's encouraging." "But it's important that stories like mine aren't used to say that everything is O.K. for blacks. You have to remember that for every one of me, there are hundreds or thousands of black students with at least equal talent who don't get a chance," he said, alluding to poverty or growing up in a drug environment... On his goals in his new post, Mr. Obama said: "I personally am interested in pushing a strong minority perspective. I'm fairly opinionated about this. But as president of the law review, I have a limited role as only first among equals." Therefore, Mr. Obama said, he would concentrate on making the review a "forum for debate," bringing in new writers and pushing for livelier, more accessible writing.

For what it's worth, a quick look at volume 104 of the Harvard Law Review suggests that not surprisingly given the genre, Obama didn't succeed in publishing "livelier, more accessible writing." But with regard to "new writers," the extremely prestigious Supreme Court term Foreword that year was written by Robin West, now of Georgetown, but who was then a professor at University of Maryland. Prof. West, moreover, didn't have the typical pedigree, having graduated from University Maryland Law School (yes, in theory completely irrelevant to her credentials to write the Foreword, but if I know my elite law review editors, something that gave many of them significant pause.) More typically, the Review invited Guido Calabresi (dean, Yale), Kathleen Sullivan (professor, Harvard), and Morton Horwitz (professor, Harvard) to write the next three years' Forewords. Prof. West is a very prolific, influential scholar, and was an inspired choice from outside the usual group of elite law school professors the HLR would consider. Call this the Obama effect, perhaps, though I'd be interested in hearing from readers who were editors that year about his effect on HLR culture.
http://volokh.com/posts/1202117776.shtml

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE2DC1631F935A35751C0A966958260&n=Top%2FReference%2FTimes%20Topics%2FPeople%2FO%2FObama%2C%20Barack

40
For anyone interested in college teaching, there is a related thread on the Law School Applications Board covering tips for obtaining academic appointments after law school. http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4010475.10.html

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