About Those Groups Protesting #WCPSS’s Black Student Suspensions…

Three groups are protesting Wake County Schools discipline policies according to an article at News and Observer.


This is an extension of the ‘school to prison pipeline‘ theme we’ve seen in the last few years.

These three groups issued a press release, which had the contact name of Rukiya Dillahunt on it.

That's racistTheir main complaint is that black students are making up a disproportionate percentage of the suspensions/expulsions.

The subtext is that discipline and zero tolerance policies are racist. These are policies that have changed little over the last few decades, yet these groups protesting are focused on the policy and not the possible causes.

No one in these groups protesting, nor in the media, seems to be considering, addressing or asking the question: what if these expulsion/suspension rates are accurate? If the rates are true, what does that say?

Their complaint cites a report penned by Edward J. Smith and Shaun R. Harper of  the “Center for the Study of Race and Equity”.

That report is inherently flawed and seems to be more about social justice than science. I go into some detail about the Smith/Harper report in my column this week at Da Tech Guy.

So who are the three groups? Here’s a brief snapshot.

1. Education Justice Alliance 
Official name is Southern Justice Alliance.
The website is registered to El Pueblo’s Angeline Escheverria and has ties to Ajamu and Rukiya Dillahunt.
[Related Articles: Wake Schools Grading Participation TrophiesAbout That “School To Prison Pipeline”…]

2. Dignity In Schools 
Offshoot of big labor-socialism themed National Economic and Social Rights Initiative or NESRI. NESRI is a 501(c)3.
NESRI’s many partners include the Youth Organizing Institute.

3. Coalition Of Concerned Citizens for African-American Children (CCCAAC)
Founded by Calla and Gerald Wright.
CCCAAC has partnered with WakeEd Partnership and are promoters of Common Core.

Ajamu and Rukiya Dillahunt are actively involved with this organization.

Last Fall, CCCAAC pushed the idea of basically letting kids at ‘risk of failing have multiple bites at the apple. This idea was spearheaded by Rukiya Dillahunt and the WCPSS board ate it up. Now, less than a year later, Wake County School board is withdrawing the idea.

The CCCAAC member page has an interesting note on it:

Please leave your name and contact information and someone will get back with you. Black Lives Matter Please get involved!


Points of Interest
It’s worth noting that the News and Observer is running a picture of Qasima Wideman with the article. Remember that name, as some circles claim she is the heir apparent to Reverend Barber’s bully pulpit.

The fact that at least one of these groups (CCCAAC) openly support Common Core despite test scores being either flat or have dropped significantly for black students is something to keep in mind as NC’s latest scores are published.

Remember, we are in year four of Common Core in North Carolina.

According to the webinar hosted by the Dept. of Public Instruction this week, NC will see test scores published in the beginning of October. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the scores this year will be ‘flat’ or ‘stagnant’ and that black students will see bigger drops than their cohorts.  The ACT scores are already being called ‘stagnant’.

The question that then should be asked becomes, ‘Is Common Core racially biased’?

Related Reading: 

Background – School To Prison Pipeline”:

Posted in Education, LadyLiberty1885, Left Leaning, Mapping The Left, News and Observer, Protests, Social Justice, The Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What They’re Saying About Education In NC (8/26/15) – #NCED

NCED IconSome quick hits on what’s going on in Education in North Carolina

School is starting for many traditional calendar kids this week. PLEASE, slow down! Watch out for stopped buses and for our children crossing the road.

Food for Thought
Find out what the PTA supports and decide if you still want to support them. The National PTA and the NC PTA have consistently supported Common Core.

ACT Scores Flatline
News and Observer has an article on NC’s ACT scores being ‘stagnant’.

I have to laugh at the spin by multiple parties in that article. The ACT CEO’s pearl-clutching statement about a ‘wake up call’ is really over the top.

Here’s a wake-up call: ACT’s CEO has a vested interested in making sure his test is needed, that’s how they make their money.

All Due respect to Ms. Jeter, but her comment that “It does take time to see scores on that kind of test go up,” is a rather funny thing to say when NC has been using Common Core for 3 whole years and is now entering the 4th year. Also – The ACT is now Common Core aligned.

If Common Core was doing what supporters have claimed it does, kids should be hitting it out of the park on the ACT (or any test for that matter), whether it is Common Core aligned or not.

The KEA & K-3 Formative Assessments
For parents with a child entering Kindergarten this year, the most important articles you can read right now are about how to opt your child out of the photo/video data collection that accompanies the KEA (Kindergarten Entry Assessment).

NC Media reporting on ‘open’ teacher positions 
Dr. Terry Stoops at the John Locke Foundation puts the NC media’s pearl clutching stories about the number of teacher vacancies this year into perspective:  Public school jobs: A five year summary

2015 READY Accountability 
This is where DPI releases test scores from last year.  For those interested, DPI is doing a webinar on Thursday, August 27th from 10:30 to 11:30.
To register, visit this link.

Another useful information link: NC Public Schools Accountability & Testing

NC Superintendent of Schools
The last thing we need is a legislator (Dem or Rep) at the helm of the Department of Public Instruction.

Yet, according to NC Insider, Rep. Tricia Cotham (D Mecklenburg) is ‘considering running’ and has been getting cozy with current Superintendent June Atkinson. It seems that the ” two had lunch together in Raleigh — celebrating Atkinson’s birthday, according to Cotham — after which Atkinson told a reporter she remained undecided on her plans.”

Sounds like a repeat story from 2011.

cotham core politicizingCotham is a big fan of her own opinions and of Common Core.

On more than one occasion, I personally watched her deride opposition (mainly parents) in front of reporters during the General Assembly’s  Legislative Research Committee on Common Core.

Cotham seems to be fan of mocking her colleagues on Twitter – in particular, having a laugh at the expense of Sen. Bob Rucho.  Classy.

Dr. Rosemary Fernandez Stein, a Burlington Pediatrician, has thrown her hat into the ring. Stein has been concerned with falling test scores, the age and developmental inappropriateness of Common Core.  View her campaign website.

Also allegedly in the race is a former principal turned motivational speaker named Henry Pankey.

Speculation is still circulating that Tammy Covil of New Hanover County, who currently is serving on the NC Common Core Academic Standards Review Board, might also run. The rumor mill also pumped out the idea that BEST NC’s Brenda Berg may be interested in a run.

Recent NC Ed Related Articles From LL1885


What They’re Saying About Ed in NC archive

Posted in Education, June Atkinson, LadyLiberty1885, The Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More On NC’s ‘Partnership’ With The Gates Backed Hope Street Group


Bill Gates Dead CatYesterday, I mentioned going into more detail about the cozy partnership NC’s Superintendent and current CCSSO President, Dr. Atkinson, entered into with the Bill Gates backed non-profit called Hope Street Group.

Here’s the deal.

As previously mentioned, the big policy and partnerships person at Hope Street group is former NC Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) employee Tabitha Grossman.

Grossman did a stint at the National Governors Association; she gave Governor’s a report that was basically Common Core implementation for Dummies packed with ready-made action plans and talking points.

Grossman shifted to Hope Street Group in 2013. In March of that same year, Dr. Atkinson was a participant at Hope Street event in Washington, D.C.

At that D.C. Hope Street event, participants included a number of interesting big names in Common Core as well as elected officials and federal officials from the FCC, Dept. of Education, office of Medicaid and the White House. One name jumps out: John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s right hand man.

In November of 2013, the CCSSO held it’s annual policy forum sponsored by the Success for All Foundation.

In attendance were all the big publishing and testing companies (AIR, PARCC, Pearson, ACT, College Board) and of course, representatives of Bill Gates and Hewitt Foundation. Also there were officials from non-profits run by some of Jeb Bush’s pals, Achieve Inc, The Hunt Institute, SAS Institute, WestEd and Ms. Tabitha Grossman of Hope Street.

Fun sidenote about that 2013 annual policy forum was one of the session leaders:

Governor Mike Huckabee will address the chiefs and engage in a dialogue around the current political landscape surrounding education policy. 


Jump forward to the March, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, where this following announcement is recorded in the minutes. Emphasis added is mine:

State Fellowship for Teachers NC DPI Partners with Hope Street Group to Support Teacher Fellows

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), together with the North Carolina Association of Educators, is embarking on a new statewide partnership with Hope Street Group, a national nonprofit organization known for its influential teacher engagement work.

Hope Street Group will bring its successful state teacher fellowship program for working classroom teachers to North Carolina in spring of 2015.

  • Funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the fellowship is designed to elevate the teaching profession and connect educators to education policy, the yearlong fellowship will provide North Carolina teachers with training and resources to identify teaching challenges and propose solutions to district and state policymakers.
  • The collaborative statewide program has already been implemented in Hawaii and Kentucky and will also be replicated in 2015 in New York and Tennessee.
  • Hope Street Group North Carolina State Teacher Fellows will have access to a variety of professional development and training opportunities, including peer engagement, data collection and communication strategies.
  • They will collect data from thousands of their colleagues to present to NCDPI. They will also serve as leaders within their own school communities.
  • Fellows selected will represent a broad range of outstanding teachers dedicated to working toward improvements for their colleagues and their students.

Did NO ONE on the State Board of Education question this?

Known for “influential engagement”?  “Peer engagement”? ‘Collect data for NCDPI’?

No, from what I gathered from my contacts in other states where Hope Street Group has landed, they are known for bullying local school boards, doing end runs around parents, pressuring legislators and for informing on teachers who aren’t on their approved narrative bus.

Hope Street Group has infiltrated only five states so far, including North Carolina. Most people, myself included, have never heard of them until it is too late. That’s what they call ‘influential engagement’?

No, that’s a covert take-over reminiscent of the adoption of Common Core, only this time using our children’s teachers to accomplish educrat reformer goals.


Articles on Hope Street Group:



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