MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Cunningham, Media Relations Supervisor
PHONE: (414) 475-8675 | EMAIL: [email protected]
MILWAUKEE (NOV. 17, 2016) – Fifty-nearly one third-of Milwaukee Public
Schools are in a higher performance category in the newly designed
2015-16 School and District Report Cards, which were released today by
the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The new State Report
Card measures the academic performance and growth of schools and
districts across the state using a common set of metrics.
“We believe these report cards better reflect the performance in our
schools,” said MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver. “We still have
significant work to do, but we are headed in the right direction. I am
proud of the hard work of our students, teachers, staff and families. We
are seeing growth in student achievement and closing the academic gap.”
Schools and districts are ranked in one of five categories –
Significantly Exceeds Expectations, Exceeds Expectations, Meets
Expectations, Meets Few Expectations or Fails to Meet Expectations.
Three MPS schools now Significantly Exceed Expectations
Twenty-one schools Exceed Expectations
Thirty-one schools Meet Expectations
Forty-one schools are categorized as Meets Few Expectations
Forty-two schools are categorized as Fails to Meet Expectations
Because of the differences in the calculations between the 2013-14
State Report Card and the current version, a direct comparison cannot be
made. However, Milwaukee Public Schools believes the current State
Report Cards better reflect the performance the district is seeing
As a district, MPS no longer is in the Fails to Meet Expectations
category, but the Meets Few Expectations category. MPS’ local STAR
assessment data shows growth in student achievement and signals that the
district is closing the student achievement gap:
Literacy is improving across all grade levels
The number of students on target for proficiency in reading improved
last year by two percent
Early reading schools improved significantly, with 51 percent of all K5
and first graders on target at the end of the school year, compared to
only 43 percent on target at the beginning of the school year
ACT statewide data showed students meeting readiness increased 1-2
percent in English, reading, math and science. The data also showed an
increase in students meeting readiness in all four tested areas
Changes made to the State Report Card by the Wisconsin Legislature last
year recognized the impact of poverty on student achievement and of
growth in student achievement.
MPS continues to target areas where improvement is needed. Student
absenteeism is one area. The district is working on a number of
strategies to improve attendance, including providing mentors for
students, implementing of the My Brother’s Keeper Program and partnering
with families to stress the importance of regular attendance.
This news is available online at
ABOUT MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student
achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults
and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to
improvement continues to show results:
* More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and
International Baccalaureate courses;
* The MPS Class of 2016 earned $49+ million in scholarships; and
* MPS is home to eight of the state and nation’s top high schools
according to _U.S. News and World Report_ and the _Washington Post_.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MPS BY VISITING OUR WEBSITE.
More news is available at mpsmke.com/news.
You may not talk to your relatives all the time, but that’s family. When you see each other during the holidays or at a big family event/gathering, then it’s all love right? So don’t let that precious time go to waste by talking about the weather, or your new job, etc. As family, more than ever, we need to make sure that each one of our family members is doing well in all aspects of their life.
So, talking to you now, here are questions we need to ask our relatives when we see them, talk to them on the phone, text, or skype. These questions help determine where they are at and what they need to do.
1. When was the last time you went to the doctor and what did he/she say? A lot of family members will say that they indeed have gone to the doctor, but it’s been awhile. If they only answer with, they said that I’m fine. Then ask the name of their doctor and give that doctor a call to see what they really said. If the family member can’t remember the name of their doctor, it’s likely they didn’t go, so you can have them make an appointment right then and there.
2. What’s your blood pressure? With heart disease being the number one cause of death in African Americans, high blood pressure is a first indication. So be sure to see what your loved one’s blood pressure is. If he/she does not know then more than likely, there is a Walmart, Walgreens, CVS or other drugstore close to you because many of them have blood pressure monitors that you can administer yourself. It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind, knowing that your relatives are okay.
3. Who in the family suffers from a major illness (including mental)? That’s a family health history question that goes unanswered in many households. It’s important to know who and what side of the family has had what disease like cancer, stroke, etc so you know if you or your children may be affected. Don’t just settle for answers about physical illnesses, be sure to ask who in the family suffered from mental illness too. Catching it early or before it has a chance to hit you is key to changing your family health history for good!
4. How often do you get out to exercise? Even if it’s just walking, making sure your family members are doing something–ANYTHING–to get their bodies moving is a must. If you can tell they don’t get out much then suggest they take at least one day out of the week to do 15 minutes or just walk around the block, walk inside of the mall, go swimming, play their favorite sport, etc. Physical activity is key in living a longer life.
5. Do you have someone to talk to when you are feeling down? Sometimes, just knowing that a person is available to talk to is enough to make people feel at ease. I know it’s hard sometimes to always be available for that begging cousin or that needy uncle who seems to be always trying to start a business, but they are family and there’s a way you can still talk to them while not feeding into the negative. Don’t ignore their calls and just make sure there is someone they can confide in, even if it’s not you.
That’s family y’all. And family is all we have. Thanks for listening.
Aria Ellise –Blackdoctor.org
After hearing rumors that the beloved cartoon show featuring America’s favorite toy doctor may not come back, parents now have reason to rejoice. It’s official, Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins will be back to help her patients for another season.
Disney Junior announced on Wednesday that the show has been renewed for season five, which will start airing in 2018. This summer, it was unclear whether the show, whose main character is an African American girl who aspires to be a real doctor, would be renewed. It’s important to note that Doc McStuffins’ mother on the show is also a doctor. A family of Black doctors? Awesome!
The renewal of the show is likely to due to fans who took to social media pushing for a fifth season, even though the series at the time was in the middle of its fourth cycle. Comedian and CNN’s “United Shades of America” host, Kamau Bell, helped intensify speculation about the fate of the program when he took to Twitter and asked similar questions, sparking a grateful reaction from Chris Nee, the program’s creator.
The character’s clinic, in which she helps fix broken toys like barbie dolls and stuffed animals to toy trucks and bubble makers will remain open. “‘Doc McStuffins’ is an unmistakable example of our commitment to powerful storytelling that enriches and enlightens kids. I can think of no other children’s television show in recent history that has touched as many lives and made the kind of impact around the world that Doc has,” said Nancy Kanter, executive vice president and general manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, in a prepared statement. “Our viewers have forged a deep connection with this series and are very vocal about how strongly they believe in these characters.”
Doc McStuffins won a Peabody Award in 2015 and NAACP Image Awards in 2015 and 2016 in the “Outstanding Children’s Program” category. The series averages 16 million views on the Disney Junior app, VOD and Hulu, and reaches 150 million viewers worldwide each quarter, and in the past year was ordered over 20 million times via set-top-box VOD.
Upon hearing the news, fans took to social media to show their appreciation.
Mary B. on Instagram comments, “I love this show and the fact that it encourages working together with health. My daughter says she wants to be a doctor now based upon watching the show and I’m here for it all!”
Reuters via MSN.com
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether recent reports of intimidation and harassment, including in schools and at churches, violate federal hate crime and other civil rights laws, following a divisive presidential election campaign.
“Many Americans are concerned by a spate of recent news reports about alleged hate crimes and harassment,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Friday in a videotaped statement. “The FBI is assessing, in conjunction with federal prosecutors, whether particular incidents constitute violations of federal law.”
Civil rights groups have signaled alarm over attacks they say have targeted minorities, including Muslim, black and Hispanic Americans, since Republican Donald Trump won the presidential election on Nov. 8. There have also been reports of harassment toward Trump supporters.
Federal hate crime laws increase the penalties for criminal behavior that is motivated by bias against the victim based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other protected classifications.
Earlier this week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released annual crime statistics for 2015 showing a 67 percent increase from the previous year in hate crimes against Muslims, a report that Lynch called “deeply sobering” on Friday.
During the campaign, Trump proposed temporarily keeping Muslims from entering the country to protect national security, though he has since backed away from a total ban.
The wealthy businessman and former reality television star has called for unity since the election. In a televised interview, Trump told people to stop engaging in attacks and intimidation.
Lynch, who became attorney general in the spring of 2015, is expected to be replaced by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who was named as Trump’s choice for the country’s top law enforcement post on Friday.
Sessions, a former U.S. Attorney and state attorney general in Alabama, needs to be confirmed by the Senate in order to take Lynch’s place, a process that could prove challenging despite his qualifications.
Sessions was denied confirmation as a federal judge in 1986 after allegations that he had made racist remarks. He denied that he was a racist but said at his hearing that groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union could be considered “un-American.”
In a statement, the ACLU expressed concern over Sessions’ record and whether he would protect the rights of “all Americans.” (Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Franklin Paul and Alistair Bell)
-Huff Post Black Voices
On Tuesday, BLM issued a statement that condemned the election of a “white supremacist to the highest office in American government” and spoke out for the need to take action in order to “have our collective humanity affirmed.”
The statement, which was obtained by Mic.com, demands that America reckon with the country’s anti-black history and highlights why it is so important to spread love in the movement’s fight for “real freedom.”
Read their full statement below:
Our mandate has not changed: organize and end all state-sanctioned violence until all Black Lives Matter.
What is true today — and has been true since the seizure of this land — is that when black people and women build power, white people become resentful. Last week, that resentment manifested itself in the election of a white supremacist to the highest office in American government.
In the three years since Black Lives Matter organized, we’ve called for more safety. Not less. We’ve demanded an end to anti-black state violence. We’ve asked white people to organize their communities, to courageously help their loved ones understand the importance of solidarity and to show up for us, for themselves and democracy.
In the months leading up to this election, we have demanded support from white people in dismantling white supremacy — a farce that persuaded some to believe we were living in a post-racial America while simultaneously rolling back the rights of black people and other people of color. White supremacy fortified the decision to disregard racism and sexism as serious variables in the outcome of this election.
Even if everyone didn’t agree politically, at the very least, we deserved to have our collective humanity affirmed. We feel more than disappointed or angry — we feel betrayed.
Donald Trump has promised more death, disenfranchisement and deportations. We believe him. The violence he will inflict in office, and the permission he gives for others to commit violence, is just beginning to emerge.
In the face of this, our commitment remains the same: protect ourselves and our communities.
But we ask ourselves — how do we reconcile our vision for future generations’ prosperity with the knowledge that more than half of white voting Americans believe a white supremacist can and should decide what’s best for this country?
Here’s what we know: Civic engagement is one way to engage democracy, and our lives don’t revolve around election cycles. We are obliged to earn the trust of future generations — to defend economic, social and political power for all people. We are confident that we have the commitment, the people power and the vision to organize our country into a safe place for black people — one that leads with inclusivity and a commitment to justice, not intimidation and fear.
We also need and deserve an elaborate strategy to eradicate both white supremacy and implicit bias towards it. We must reckon with the anti-blackness of America’s history that led to this political moment.
We continue to operate from a place of love for our people and a deep yearning for real freedom. In our work, we center the most marginalized, and look to them for leadership. We fight for our collective liberation because we are clear that until black people are free, no one is free. We are committed to practicing empathy for one another in this struggle — but we do not and will not negotiate with racists, fascists or anyone who demands we compromise our existence.
We affirm our existence. We affirm our right to not only live, but to thrive. To exist in a world where our humanity is seen and honored. We are organizing to realize a world in which our faiths are held in esteem, our identities are respected and our families are prioritized. We deserve a world in which our children are protected, where our water is sacred, and where we are given a fair chance to decide our fates.
Because it is our duty to win, we will continue to fight. And today, like every day before it, we demand reparations, economic justice, a commitment to black futures and an end to the war on black people, in the United States and around the world.
The work will be harder, but the work is the same.
Iesha Pompey, BlackDoctor.org Contributor
Whether you’re planning for the holidays or another special event, fresh baked goodies always make the moment that much more special. We all know the best foods in life are created with passion and love. They’re also best found in an independent bakery. Here are 13 Black–owned bakeries that’ll soothe sweet tooth cravings no matter the occasion.
Click here for full list.
Nationwide — Elvin Ross, an award-winning composer, makes his directorial debut with a compelling and inspirational documentary called Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles. It will will air on Tuesday, November 15 at 7pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting/PBS.
Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles chronicles the pride, strength and journey of the most celebrated captive African, Kunta Kinteh. The saga of Kunta Kinteh’s life was characterized and featured in an American made-for-TV movie and book entitled Roots, created by his descendent Alex Haley. The book and film highlighted the life of an African warrior-in-training who was enslaved and brought to the New World, the Americas, during the West African Slave Trade.
During this forced exodus, Kunta Kinteh was captured and transported to James Island where he was held captive for 15 days before being shipped as cargo to the Americas. Recently, Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh, President of the Republic of The Gambia, reclaimed and renamed the old British Fortress from James Island to Kunta Kinteh Island to honor his legacy. Although Kunta Kinteh was captured, shackled and abducted from his homeland, his legacy returns home to Jufferreh, The Gambia, West Africa, without shackles.
What others are saying:
“I felt the heart and emotion of our rich history in this brilliantly made and powerful documentary.” — Tyler Perry
“This documentary feature, Kunta Kinteh Island: Coming Home Without Shackles is a powerful intersection of African and American history. Congratulations to Elvin Ross in his directorial debut as he shines a light on this fascinating story that celebrates the strength and spirit of the Gambian people, and introduces this important part of history to a new generation.” — Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
For more details about the film, visit www.kuntakintehislandmovie.com
I’m rather passionate about this topic and won’t say “they” when referring to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I will say “we!” Before I go on, Can I keep it real?
Our institutions and alumni have the tools to contextualize the numbers to a narrative of defeating structural racism. Many of the Black nurses, doctors and pharmacists come from HBCUs. The cultural pride and institutional excellence we take from our schools guide how we treat our patients. HBCUs train burgeoning researchers how to think critically and execute flawlessly in a world that is satisfied with mediocre. Who is asking those “research” questions that characterize the non-adherent Black patient? Who generalizes these massive disparities to genetic predisposition when they don’t even account for anything genetic in their methodology? Out of touch researchers—that’s who!
A quick glance at health and healthcare disparities research headlines suggests that we continue to publish work that highlights disparities between Black and White patients with little evidence that addresses the solutions to structural inequities. At the macro level, HBCUs produce the most Black researchers and medical practitioners, but are disproportionately left out of the federal funding cycles. At the researcher level, as of 2009, Black people were lead investigators on 1.2% of the National Institutes of Health federally funded grants. This fiscal lockout mutes the voices of the people who are likely most closely affected by the health and healthcare disparities. The continued fight to get our research and institutions funded at an equitable rate allows a whitewashed perspective on the lazy Black patient.
People get so caught up in the historical conversations about Black colleges that we forget that Meharry Medical College and Howard University are STILL the number one producers of Black physicians. Did I mention Florida A&M University’s pharmacy program cranking out the largest number of Black pharmacists EVERY year? Winston-Salem State University is North Carolina’s third largest supplier of nurses. I love our history but we have….
Click here for more.
-Huff Post 50
Whatever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Despite support for Medicare ― the nation’s health-care safety net for its senior population ― many tea-leaf readers are predicting that the Trump administration intends to destroy it.
What tea leaves are they looking at? These:
1) Paul Ryan says so.
Yes, he is just the Speaker of the House and Donald Trump is the President-elect. That said, Ryan, R-Wisc., and his merry band of Republicans have been hankering to blow up Medicare for years. Trump is seen as his conduit to the cannon.
In a post-election interview, Ryan said “Obamacare rewrote Medicare … so if you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well.”
And this, too, fell from his lips: “What people don’t realize is that Medicare is going broke, that Medicare is going to have price controls.”
Not much of that appears to be true, according to fact-checkers. To start, the only part of Medicare that the government pays for is Part A ― the part that covers hospital care and short-term nursing home stays. And according to the 2016 report of Medicare’s trustees, the hospital insurance coverage plan is solvent through 2028. Even after that, incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still be sufficient to pay 87 percent of Medicare’s hospital insurance costs.
Part A is primarily financed through payroll taxes of 1.45 percent on earnings paid both by workers and employers; self-employed people pay 2.9 percent. The money goes into a pay-as-you-go trust fund, which uses the revenue raised to pay the benefits of Medicare beneficiaries.
The other parts of Medicare ― Part B, which involves seeing a doctor, is paid out of general funds and premiums, as is Part D. Thus, if costs rise, premiums can be adjusted.
Medicare going broke? No, not hardly.
2) The GOP is engaging in semantics.
You say “to-ma-to and I say “to-ma-toh― let’s call the whole thing off.” Ah, if only it were that simple.
Trump’s website and Ryan are using pretty words to sugarcoat their plan to destroy Medicare. As columnist Mike Hiltzik wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “He intends to replace traditional Medicare, an efficient program offering guaranteed treatment and featuring rock-bottom administrative costs, with a privatized program. Seniors would get a federal voucher to help them pay premiums charged by commercial insurance plans. Ryan calls this system ‘premium support.’”
It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Problem, of course, is that the amount of those vouchers wouldn’t keep pace with the rate of healthcare inflation, so eventually an ever-larger share of the costs will fall to senior subscribers ― you know, the people on fixed incomes. The first time Ryan went down this road, the Kaiser Family Foundation calculated that by 2022, his plan would make healthcare spending consume roughly half of the typical 65-year-old’s Social Security check, compared to only 22 percent under the existing Medicare system.
What words would sugarcoat “fixed income means we don’t get raises and can’t afford this?”
And let’s look at Trump’s website for a minute, where the language for the pending massacre is even more delicate: “Modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond.” Modernize Medicare, like how?
When I think “modernize,” I think of advances in tele-medicine, new systems to support caregivers, sharing of medical records to eliminate redundant tests.
Somehow, I suspect, that’s not what Washington has in mind.
3) All medical providers are not created equal, but let’s pretend they are.
You’ve heard the joke, right? “What do you call the guy who finishes last in his medical school class?” The answer is “You call him ‘doctor.’”
Washington would like you to conveniently forget that.
As the dean of retirement journalists Jack Kahn opined to The Huffington Post, Medicare Advantage plans are the most popular form of Medicare. I guess we could say, they are “hugely” popular since 30 percent of Medicare’s 55 million enrollees have them. The number of individuals and families using Medicare Advantage has tripled since 2004.
And what are they exactly? Basically they are something like the old HMOs when managed care was considered to be the cure to soaring health care costs about 20 years ago, said Kahn.
That’s because they limit the patient to a certain network of healthcare providers and hospitals. Medicare Advantage still requires the beneficiary to take Medicare parts A and B (and sometimes tacks on some extra costs). But it has a cap on how much the beneficiary pays in total out-of-pocket costs—which original Medicare lacks.
“That makes it unnecessary to get a Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy,” said Kahn, “and most Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage,” making it unnecessary to buy a Part D (prescription drug coverage) policy.
So overall, people on Medicare Advantage can save significant money over original Medicare.
There’s just one problem: You have to stay within network or pay on your own to see out-of-network providers. That can be bad news if you have a serious medical condition and are hoping to be seen and treated by a top specialist or hospital.
Kahn thinks that in the grand scheme of things, there will be a gradual shift ― or pressure, depending on semantics again ― of people in the direction of Medicare Advantage instead of original Medicare.
As pundits have said, there’s really only one answer: Just don’t get sick.