Senior Deputy Commissioner James N. Baldwin sent a memo to all New York Empire State school districts stating the department has “consistently opposed” Native American mascots.
The memo cited a 2001 memorandum “conclud[ing] that the use of Native American symbols or depictions as mascots can become a barrier to building a safe and nurturing school community and improving academic achievement for all students.”
Not all district have complied with the 2001 memorandum, leading the state to determines that failure to comply can result in “the removal of school officers and the withholding of State Aid.”
“Schools are learning environments; students learn as much through observation of their surroundings as they do from direct instruction,” Baldwin concludes. “In addition to their legal obligations, boards of education that continue to utilize Native American mascots must reflect upon the message their choices convey to students, parents, and their communities.”
According to a court case regarding the district, a judge ruled that the school district not heeding the 2001 memorandum was an “abuse of discretion.” The department’s new memorandum takes that decision to mean that the argument that those mascots are “respectful” is “no longer tenable.”
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Parents, advocates call on leaders to step down after ZERO children pass math at 13 Baltimore state schools
How long will leaders who let our children down blame Covid-19 for their failures? Anger swept across Baltimore, Maryland, after not a single student passed their state math exams, and almost 75 percent testing at the lowest possible score.
The Daily Mail reports “The poor performances came in the latest round of Maryland‘s state testing, where 13 high schools in the city – a staggering 40 percent – failed to produce a single student with a ‘proficient’ score in math.” Baltimore City Schools not only received $1.6 billion last year from taxpayers, but the school district also received $799 million in Covid relief funding from the federal government.
“So, it’s not a funding issue. We’re getting plenty of funding,” said Jason Rodriguez, deputy director of Baltimore-based nonprofit People Empowered by the Struggle, to Fox Baltimore. “I don’t think money is the issue. I think accountability is the issue…This is educational homicide, there is no excuse for the failure, which has come after years of warnings over the city’s poor education standards,” added Rodriguez.
A bombshell study published this month by the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) found that 16 million students were chronically absent during the pandemic. “The millions of students had missed more than 10 percent of schools days during the 2021-22 year, twice the number seen in previous years. More than eight in 10 public schools also reported stunted behavioral and social-emotional development in their students due to the pandemic, according to a May survey cited in the report.”
However, six years ago a similar report by Project Baltimore found that 13 schools in the city had zero students test ‘proficiently’ in math. An almost identical finding. “We’re still dealing with these same issues year after year,” Rodriguez continued. “It’s just scary to me and alarming to me because we know that what’s happening now, you know, it’s just opening up the floodgates to the school-to-prison pipeline. I’m beyond angry… This is why we’ve been calling for the resignation of the school CEO.”
Daily Mail notes that Rodriguez’s group has previously held rallies over the mounting educational crisis in the city, and in 2021 led calls for Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises to resign over low test scores and falling graduation rates.
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