The Wire, 10 years on: ‘We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead’

Exactly 10 years after its final episode aired, The Wire is established as one of the greatest shows in the history of US television – some would say the greatest. But, while shows such as The Sopranos and Mad Men launched with loud fanfares and walked paths strewn with accolades, strong ratings and Emmy awards, The Wire’s route to the pantheon was a long slog. “David Simon had to fight for every season,” says Clarke Peters (Det Lester Freamon). “Nothing was ever guaranteed.”

Source: The Wire, 10 years on: ‘We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead’ | Television & radio | The Guardian

Statement from Trenton Board of Education President – Gene Bouie

TRENTON BOARD OF EDUCATION
Gene Bouie
Board President
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT
I am taking this opportunity to send this message to clarify the confusion surrounding the Superintendent’s 2017-2018 Merit Award process. The annual evaluation of the Superintendent is made up of two components; performance against the district’s goals, and performance against merit goal targets. The process of evaluating School Superintendents is not unique to Trenton but occurs in every school district across the State of New Jersey. Each of these components are established at the beginning of each school year in collaboration and negotiation between the Board of Education and the Superintendent. As it relates to Dr. McDowell, the Superintendent of the Trenton School District, the district goals and merit goals were established in September of 2017. The merit goals were approved by the Trenton School Board and then subsequently accepted and approved by the Mercer County Office of Education. The evaluation of the Superintendent’s performance against the merit targets was completed on Monday, September 24, 2018.
I think it is important that concerned residents and partners understand the process of Superintendent Evaluation. The evaluation of the Superintendent’s district goal performance was completed prior to July 1, 2018. The Superintendent’s performance against the established district goals is divided into two parts;
Superintendent Evaluation Compilation Part I (District Goals) and
Superintendent Evaluation Compilation Part II (Standards of Leadership). The standards associated with Part II are:
Standard I – Mission, Vision and Core Values;
Standard II – Governance, Ethics and Professional Norms;
Standard III – Operations Management;
Standard IV – Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and School Improvement;
Standard V – Community of Care, Equity and Family Engagement;
Standard VI – Professional Capacity/Community of School District Personnel
The establishment of merit goals was defined in the Superintendent’s contract of employment and were aligned with the district goals. The possible total payout is established at the beginning of the process and the goals are divided into 5 key areas; three quantitative goals and two qualitative goals. In each of the goal areas, the percentage is based on the evidence associated with the attainment. During the review and discussion of the Superintendent’s performance the Board spent nearly 90 minutes of rigorous review and inquiry before approving. We must keep in mind, that not only was evidence produced for the merit goals, the evidence from the district goals also contributes to the decision-making process because the merit goals are aligned to the district goals.
The performance review of the Superintendent of Schools is the most rigorous of any district employee. This is unlike the majority of district employees, where raises are determined by the level attained within “salary guide”. Because the Superintendent’s job is crucial to the success of the district as a whole, it is only appropriate that his performance is evaluated in such a manner. Dr. McDowell has spent one year in the Trenton school district which is still considered a low performing district and has numerous challenges even though the QSAC scores have gone from a low of 27% in the area of Curriculum and Instruction in 2016-2017, to 61% in 2017-2018. There has been continued improvement in both reading and math scores; overall improvement of students in PARCC; the rehiring of 65 Paraprofessionals and there has been much more parent, community and stakeholder engagement via townhalls and strategic planning sessions. The district is now in compliance with the Amistad legislation (Bill A1301) that was passed in 2002. The district has gone from being totally privatized as it relates to transportation to now the district owning 21 buses (eleven 54 passenger, nine 24 passenger and 1 wheelchair assessible). Additionally, the City’s freshman high school students now attend a brand-new state of the art 9th Grade Academy.
There is still much work to be done in the area of Special Education and a report developed by an independent reviewer has outlined the areas of deficiency in that department. There is a lack of adherence to processes, policies and procedure. Staff will now be held accountable at every level to ensure a high quality of service to these most vulnerable children and their families. In a recent discussion there was discussion about poor communication and the need to establish service level agreements to ensure appropriate response times to phone calls and email inquiries. The district has currently of culture of no accountability, no sense of urgency and a sense of entitlement; the only people that should be entitled are our students. There is even in some instances intentional and unintentional sabotaging of progress because the is a lack of understanding of the connectiveness of the work and no comprehension of the importance of systems thinking. During Dr. McDowell’s tenure as Superintendent, the Board has received detailed weekly updates and the Superintendent publishes monthly updates after Board meetings with the latter being shared with broader networks. All in an effort to share what is actually taking place in Trenton Public Schools separate and apart from the noise. The Superintendent has also established multiple advisory councils and committees to help inform the direction of the school district. There was an unfounded vote of no confidence against the Superintendent and the Board President. Change is never easy, but we must be resolve in our efforts to transform the district, because the status quo is unacceptable and the children of Trenton deserve better.
As a concerned citizen, I reject individuals playing divisive politics with the future of the children of Trenton because of the high poverty rates that exist, and the volume of people without hope wandering aimlessly in the streets of Trenton is because the school system has historically failed them. In my nearly two-year tenure as a member of the Trenton Board of Education, I have worked with three Superintendents and had multiple board members resign due to the toxic culture causing me to issue this statement. The lack of consistent and sustained district leadership contributes to the problems that we have experienced. Transformation is uncomfortable for some and downright painful for others. We are interested in working with any and all solution-minded community members. Anything less serves as a distraction and contributes to the dysfunction that keeps the school district from making progress and the great City of Trenton from rising from the ashes like a Phoenix. As a City of Trenton resident, I choose to be part of the solution and work collaboratively towards total transformation.

September 28th edition of The Nubian News

Cancer Walk October 13th, Cadwalader Park

Interview with Dr. George Pruitt, past president of Thomas Edison State University

35th Pastoral Anniversary of Rev Clemson Leach of Beauty Grove Primitive Baptist Church

September 28th Online Edition of The Nubian News

West’s bias not reflected in reality of African ties: China Daily editorial

Despite Western criticism of China’s presence in Africa, there is no denying the fact that the continent has maintained its growth momentum every year since China started to invest there. The Beijing summit shows that both sides want to maintain that momentum in pursuit of common prosperity.

Source: West’s bias not reflected in reality of African ties: China Daily editorial

A Brief Response: Marshall Plan for Africa or “Debt Trap?”

Image result for A Brief Response: Marshall Plan for Africa or “Debt Trap?”

The enormous investments China is pursuing in Addis Ababa have totally transformed the face of Ethiopia, a country once ranked among the poorest in the world. Today, Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that can manufacture its own leather shoes, thanks to support from China. This is the kind of friendship Africa has been yearning for.

Africa’s development can only be shaped by Africans. Europe and the US can therefore involve African leaders in designing the kind of investments and relations that fit them. If they continue condemning China on its relations with Africa, the continent’s ties with Beijing will only get stronger and thrive all the more.

Source: Marshall Plan for Africa or “Debt Trap?”

China Offers $60 Billion to Africa With ‘No Strings Attached’

Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered a $60 billion aid package to African countries over the next three years, in response to the continent’s increasing debt distress — with no strings attached.

China’s investment plans include $5 billion in African exports, $10 billion for development, and $15 billion grants and interest-free loans. A $20 billion credit line will also be included, as well as emergency food aid, scholarships and vocational training, and increased agricultural development.

Source: China Offers $60 Billion to Africa With ‘No Strings Attached’

September 14th Edition of The Nubian News

Sprout U School of The Art’s “The Lion King”

Not since Afrikan Peoples Action School (APAS) has there been such excellence in education.
Sprout U. School of the Arts, coincidentally occupying the same building as APAS did years ago, presented The Lion King and their kids seemed like seasoned professionals.
Danielle Miller-Winrow the head mistress has put together a staff and associates, including Ms. Sarah Dash, of the Supremes fame, which is faithful to kids they teach. This staff works with these children, imparting to them confidence, a health work ethic and persistence to see the job through to it’s completion. “These kids are locked in and dedicated”, said Mao’dreh Mal in a facebook post.

We Remember Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson

At 10:22 am on the morning of September 15, 1963 11-year old Denise McNair, and 14-year-old Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson along with some 200 members of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama were attending Sunday school classes before the start of the 11 am service when a bomb detonated on the church’s east side, spraying mortar and bricks from the front of the church and caving in its interior walls. More than 20 people were injured from the blast. The bodies of Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson were found beneath the rubble in the basement murdered by white supremacists terrorists.

Read the full online edition of The Nubian News

US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes | AFP.com

US National Security Advisor John Bolton, pictured in Jerusalem in August 2018, described the International Criminal Court as ‘outright dangerous’

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes

Source: US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes | AFP.com

The painful problem of Black girls and suicide

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14-year-old Nakia Venant allegedly broadcast her death on Facebook Live.

It is unthinkable, but happening. Little Black girls are killing themselves.

The causes include disproportionate exposure to violence and traumatic stress, aggressive school discipline, and depression, according to researchers and mental health experts.

Counselors and child advocates believe the disturbing trend can be reversed with love, commitment, and support services.

According to a 2015 study of trends by the Journal of the American Medical Association, children’s suicide rates have significantly doubled for Black children in the last two decades, and decreased for White children.

For Black youth (ages 10-19), the rate of male suicides (5.59 per 100,000) was three times higher than that of young Black females (1.87 per 100,000), according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Source: The painful problem of Black girls and suicide

100-year-old Harley-Davidson returns from France to honor American WWI vets

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LAS VEGAS – After crossing the Atlantic Ocean and journeying thousands of miles across the country, a motorcycle dating from World War I rode through Las Vegas Tuesday morning.

The trip is in honor of our veterans and U.S./France relations.

It’s set to stop at City Hall before completing their coast to coast trip.

The vintage bike was brought over to France during WWI in 1918. since then it’s remained there until its return to American soil this summer.

Source: 100-year-old Harley-Davidson returns from France to honor American WWI vets – World War I Centennial

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