Friday, November 29, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Arrested Development of SPS.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2013 at around noon, police arrived at the Horace Mann School with SWAT, paddy wagons, police in Seattle Police Department (SPD) cars, and police on bikes to clear the Horace Mann building of its occupants.
At the time, only 4 people, running a small radio station, remained in the building. The police presence to extract 4 people could be called excessive with officers knocking down doors with rams and climbing in through roof top hatches. How much money did they spend on this exercise?
The arrestees were taken at gunpoint with more than 20 officers present. Putting up no fight, they were taken to the east precinct where they were released with threats from police of impending charges from Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney, and given a letter that banned them from SPS properties including public meetings.
Despite desperate media attempts to paint the occupants as violent, the More4Mann participants at Horace Mann have remained peaceful. Putting forth a message of equality and equity in Seattle Public School.
More for Mann’s main concerns being: 1) Disproportionality in discipline and racial inequity in Seattle Public Schools 2) The mismanagement of the 1.2 billion levy that is contributing little to no dollars to dealing with disproportionality and racial inequality in Seattle Public School and is allocating less than $20,000 to minority contractors for SPS capitol projects 3) Ron English, an infamous school district attorney who continues to implement questionable practices and policies that border line corruption.
While this story is traumatic and very real to the black community, it is not an isolate incident, but instead seems to be a part of the pedagogy and strategy of Seattle Public Schools to continue to allow black and brown students to be marginalized and disenfranchised.
After nearly 40 years of operation, the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) announced the closure of the American Indian Heritage Middle College High School, a.k.a. Indian Heritage, located at 1330 N. 90th Street, Seattle, WA.
José Banda, the Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, presented a public statement last July 2012 expressing commitment to consult with the Native community on ‘next steps’ in consideration of revitalizing the Indian Heritage, the pending BEX Levy, demolition of the Indian Heritage facilities, and the preservation of the murals created by Andrew Morrison.
Instead the Indian Heritage and Native students suffered continued decline in 2012-2013 being reduced to digital learning, no Native-focused instruction, no Native-infused curriculum, and a new instructor unfamiliar to Native students, parents, and community. The Native community proposals and concerns addressing these drastic changes have been ignored by SPS.
After the May rally to save the Indian Heritage program SPS had met with Native community members and said the Native students would be temporarily relocated to Lincoln High School during construction of the new school, that SPS would work with them in revitalizing Indian Heritage, that the murals would be preserved, and Indian Heritage would come back to the new school. Instead SPS claims the Indian Heritage was eliminated because there were ‘not enough kids’, but SPS never contacted the students about the plan and made no effort to recruit new students, the Native students have now been forced to assimilate into an entirely different program and relocated to Northgate Mall.
It is unconscionable that resources been completely withdrawn from Native programming and services, while SPS acknowledges the statistical facts illustrating disproportionate academic performance, disciplinary action, and highest dropout rates for Native learners.
We want SPS to address why 30% of Native students are in Special Education, we want to know why SPS fails to comply with Individualized Education Program and 504 Basic Plan, and why Native students are underserved and over represented in this area of education. The trajectory for Native learners in SPS is of tremendous concern given the districts decisions to eliminate Indian Heritage and displace current programs functioning at the Indian Heritage facilities.
At this time, we will again initiate and voice our opposition with Seattle Public Schools plan to eliminate Indian Heritage. We as a community will invite SPS to listen to our viable plan that includes our recommendations to revitalize the Indian Heritage program by:
• Temporarily relocate the Indian Heritage program to Lincoln High School as planned NOT to Northgate Mall until the new site has been completed in 2017.
• Revitalization of Indian Heritage program at Ingraham H.S. and West Seattle H.S. location
• As SPS is a recipient of Title VII federal funds for enrolled Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native students, we ask that they comply with regulations that include: (1) meeting the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives; (2) the education of Indian children and adults; (3) the training of Indian persons as educators and counselors, and in other professions serving Indian people; and (4) research, evaluation, data collection, and technical assistance.
Thus as Title VII Part A states, “ensuring that programs that serve Indian children are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children.” Currently there is absolutely no demonstration of this in SPS relocation program.
• We recommend that all the murals that were made by artist Andrew Morrison (Apache/Haida) be preserved and incorporated in its original form into the new school (and not be replicated as Mr. Morrison requests).
• Rename the Wilson-Pacific School ‘Robert Eaglestaff School thereby keeping a promise made to the Native community in 1996 by John Stanford and echoed by Norm Rice.
• Provide support for new a ‘Native Heritage’ AS-I school with Native focused instruction/curriculum and culturally responsive services.
• Preserve the Sacred Site of the Duwamish Licton Springs.
Further, we continue to ask Seattle Public School to act accountably and quickly to remedy the impact of disproportionality and educational inequality upon black children and youth in SPS.
We continue to ask that SPS partner with Africatown Innovation Center for Education to develop culturally response and relevant curriculum.
We continue to ask that SPS partner with AICE to provide teachers in SPS with trainings that engage them around best practices and strategies for teaching black children. We will not rest until every black and brown child and youth in Seattle Public Schools is educated at the level that all children deserve with the same opportunities and rights that are inalienable for all people.
at 11:10 PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
You can hear us on 102.1 fm within a 5 mile radius of Africatown. Please be patient as we work out some of the technical issues and develop regularly scheduled programming.
Preview two of our upcoming shows here and here.
Preview two of our upcoming shows here and here.
at 12:53 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
November 6, 2013
To Seattle Public Schools and Superintendent Jose Banda,
ARTICLE 26 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
ARTICLE 27 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement, and its benefits.
1. As of today, the above date, The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) after promising us a space at The Columbia Annex (on MLK and Alaska St.) and a portable on the property of Horace Mann have once again shown their racism and incompetence. Today was supposed to be the day when SPS and Africatown educators signed the lease/contract. The SPS apparently cancelled the vote then rescheduled the presentation (TBA) only to create more confusion and disturb public testimony. And now, Banda threatens us with police violence!
2. The portable they have offered, and essentially forced upon Africatown educators, is unsafe, unclean, has no bathroom, and is not ADA compliant. Also, there is a birds' nest in the ceiling. (see attached pic. And, the portable is open for you to see for yourself). More pics to be posted at allpowertothepositive.blogspot.com and elsewhere. The 2nd portable on the property is full of mold and unsafe, as is the Columbia Annex. Because of this, the educators cannot fully move out of Horace Mann and/or do youth programs, since they cannot set up in those portables in that condition, or store their stuff in any of the offered locations!
3. Out of a $14 MIL project to restore Horace Mann, Black contractors and other skilled Black workers have been completely excluded.
4. We want to ensure that the work that is done at Horace Mann/Africatown is in compliance with the genuine needs of the Black community. in particular our youngest, our oldest, and our most in need.
5. Check out the clip from KIROTV.COM
6. Read. Reflect. Repeat. Forward.
at 11:49 PM