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Announcing: Paul Robeson Award Competition

The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee (Oakland, CA) is co-sponsoring a curriculum video/essay contest with the National Association for Multicultural Education.

Deadline for submissions: EXTENSION:  NEW DEADLINE:  MAY 15th 2012

Paul Robeson was the winner of letters in 15 sports, an anti-fascist organizer during World War II, a beloved singer and actor, an internationalist, and a courageous fighter for the rights of African-Americans.  Many adults have learned history by following the intersection of his life with the events in which he participated.  But many students have not had that opportunity because his life has not been included in traditional U.S. history texts.

To enter the contest:

  • Create and video an original lesson that uses Paul Robeson’s experiences and talents within the lesson content
  • Submit the video, a detailed written plan, and student evaluations of the lesson to The Bay Area Robeson Committee by midnight March 18, 2012.  Send it to: Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee, P.O. Box 3628, Oakland, Ca. 94609-0628  
  • A panel of educators and others, including a representative from NAME (the National Association of Multicultural Education), will judge the lessons and present two awards – one for $1000 and the other for $500. The lesson plans will then be distributed online with credit to their creators.

(Teachers should follow their school’s policies with regard to filming students.  The videos will be made available on line.)

NAME Press Release Urges Seattle PS to Honor Bilingual Commitment

In response to Seattle Public Schools delaying full implementation of its plan to serve secondary bilingual immigrant students, NAME President Christine Sleeter has released a statement calling upon the district to move forward without delay. President Sleeter references Seattle PS’ long history as a leader in developing innovative approaches to serving its multicultural/multilingual populations. The current delay in implementation of the approved and funded plan not only puts the district in violation of federal policy and case law, but also negatively impacts the state’s economic and social development.

Here is the full Press Release:

National Association for Multicultural Education
Dr. Christine Sleeter President
For Immediate Release:    Thursday, February 3, 2011
Nation’s Foremost Multicultural Education Organization (NAME) urges Seattle Public Schools to Keep its Commitment to Bilingual Immigrant Students.
(Washington, DC) It has come to our attention that Seattle Public Schools is continuing to delay serving its immigrant students. The National Organization for Multicultural Education calls on Seattle Public Schools to move forward with its adopted plan to serve this significant student population.
The district has already developed a high quality plan to serve its immigrant bilingual students. That plan would not only serve them well, but also put Seattle in compliance with federal policy embodied in the court decision Castan?eda v. Pickard (1981), which clarified school district legal obligations under the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision Lau v. Nichols.

We believe that Seattle has the potential to serve as a high quality model for serving culturally and linguistically diverse students. Many years ago, Seattle Public Schools was noted for its voluntary desegregation plan at a time when many other school districts around the nation were having to go through litigation to desegregate their schools. Seattle also created one of the nation’s first multicultural curricula to facilitate its desegregation plan, working with Ethnic Heritage Act funds. At present, Seattle has approved a well-researched plan for a school to serve its immigrant students at the secondary level excellently. The district also has funds that had been raised and allocated to implement that plan, as well as an audit by the Council for Great City Schools that underscores the tremendous need for the planned school. To delay implementation of such a program is to deny immigrant students the education to which they are legally entitled, and to fail to live up to the potential that Seattle Public Schools has demonstrated in the past.
We should point out that not only would it mean following the law to adhere to the approved plan for its secondary level immigrant bilingual students, but in the long run, doing so would also contribute to the economic and social development of the state. When students cannot complete their education, many leave school and later become an economic burden. In contrast, as research shows, developmental bilingual education programs are correlated with the strongest academic outcomes for English Language Learning students, including both academic achievement and retention/graduation. When students are offered an education program that enables them to complete high school and possibly go on for further education, they are able to become the productive and capable citizens that the city, the state, and the nation need.

Because education is so critical to the lives of young people, and so important to the development of this nation, we call on Seattle Public Schools to live up to its commitment to its immigrant students and move forward with its adopted plan, without delay.

CLICK HERE TO Download the NAME Press release, Seattle immigrant students

NAME Assails AZ’s New Education Policy

In response to the bill signed by Governor of Arizona on May 11, 2010 banning ethnic studies in the public schools of Arizona, NAME has issued a press release expressing the organization’s outrage that the bill passed. NAME believes the bill flies in the face of research on textbooks and multicultural curricula, research on U.S. history, and the track record of Tucson’s Mexican American/Raza Studies department to successfully educate Mexican American students.

The bill presumes that the standard curriculum is not biased and represents no ethnic point of view. However, those who study race/ethnicity point out that white people are also ethnic, making that presumption incorrect. . . . By attacking the work of the Mexican American/Raza Studies department in Tucson, the bill ignores the fact that its work has been substantially improving the academic achievement and graduation rates of Chicano/a students. . . . For these reasons, we condemn this new law. Further, because of the strong integrity of the work of the Mexican American/Raza Studies department in Tucson, and its proven track record successfully education Chicano/a students, we will be featuring its former director, Dr. Augustine Romero, as a keynote speaker at our Annual Conference, which will be held November 4-6, 2010 in Las Vegas.
Members of NAME and supporters of ethnic studies programs  are encouraged to download the complete press release for their continuing advocacy and educational efforts.
Click to download the complete NAME Press release on Arizona’s policy against ethnic studies.
For additional information contact Rose Duhon-Sells:  roseduhonsells@suddenlink.net
Phone: 504.286.1760/504.288.3118