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NEA president opposes ‘toxic’ tests

NEA president opposes ‘toxic’ tests

WASHINGTON – The new president of the nation's largest teachers union is a guitar-playing, Spanish-speaking author who takes over as once-sacred tenure protections are challenged and new Common Core

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  • Written by Kimberly Hefling-Associated Press
  • Category: National

Racial disparities in early childhood education hurts U.S.

Racial disparities in early childhood education hurts U.S.

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Though the nation increasingly recognizes the importance of early childhood education, young African Americans and other children of color continue to trail their white counterparts on key measurements, according  to a report by  the Center for American Progress (CAP), an independent nonpartisan educational institute dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action

The report, titled, “Investing in Infants and Toddlers to Combat Inequality,” shows that despite being the majority, children of color are generally faring poorly on a number of social and educational metrics. One-in-three toddlers of color lives in poverty. By 5 years old, children from low-income homes have heard millions fewer words than their more affluent peers, a vocabulary deficit known as the word gap. According to an earlier CAP report, even among middle and upper class families, 25 percent of all kindergarteners are not school-ready – they may not know any letters, numbers, or colors, for example.

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  • Written by Jazelle Hunt-NNPA News Service
  • Category: National

Midterm Elections: What do black women want?

 Midterm Elections: What do black women want?

Making sense of high-profile House, Senate and gubernatorial races this tight will mean breaking down every voting bloc into the microscopic bits of data to parse through in the postmortem. And of all the big mysteries that will be closely watched and dissected on Nov. 4, few will be as anxiously anticipated as the exit polling for women voters—since they were 53 percent of the electorate in 2012. Commentators, strategists and campaign managers walking that last electoral mile will be looking for answers to one of the more vexing questions of the 2014 midterms: What do women voters care about?

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  • Written by Charles D. Ellison-The Root
  • Category: National

Democratic candidates must work harder to lock in African-American voters

Democratic candidates must work harder to lock in African-American voters

It’s hard not to see this coming. Democrats will be popping Tylenols in bed the morning of Nov. 5—only hours after election night returns stream in. And once political junkies sort out the scorched earth, some will not only point to the usually reliable, Democratic-leaning black voters being absent at the polls, but more than a few African Americans actually supporting Republican candidates.

That’s obviously problematic for Democrats. Election watchers will expect relative success from the GOP’s agenda-less tap into the visceral anti-Obama rage of its base. But the real story is that the once solid Democratic coalition of youth, women and people of color has turned for the worst. It is a barely recognizable shell of its former 2008 and 2012 self. No set of GOP-inspired voter-suppression laws will motivate it. No pleas from the president can fire it up. And in the postmortem audit, African-American voters could be shouldering a disproportionate share of the blame if Republicans are running things well into President Barack Obama’s last two years.

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  • Written by Charles D. Ellison-The Root
  • Category: National

The top cities for readers of African-American literature

The top cities for readers of African-American literature

AALBC.com assessed the relative strengths of almost 300 American cities to determine which ones are best able to provide environments that are supportive of, and conducive to, the enjoyment of African-American Literature.

Our 2014 list improves on our original list, first published in 2013, by considering more factors for each city. Some of the factors we considered and evaluated included:

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  • Written by Troy Johnson-AALBC.com
  • Category: National

Supreme Court justices allow Texas use of new voter ID law

Supreme Court justices allow Texas use of new voter ID law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.
A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented.

The law was struck down by a federal judge last week, but a federal appeals court had put that ruling on hold. The judge found that roughly 600,000 voters, many of them black or Latino, could be turned away at the polls because they lack acceptable identification. Early voting in Texas begins Monday.

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  • Written by SAM HANANEL-Associated Press
  • Category: National

How to pick a college? Data crunchers hope to help

How to pick a college? Data crunchers hope to help

WASHINGTON – For many high school seniors, fall means deciding where to apply for college and maybe visiting a guidance counselor. Data crunchers hope to help.

The popularity of social media sites and advancements in the ability to analyze the vast amounts of data we put online give members of the class of 2015 more tools than ever to help chart their next step, even if finding the right college is an inexact science.

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  • Written by Anne Flaherty-Associated Press
  • Category: National

U.S. commission hears experts on 'stand your ground'

U.S. commission hears experts on 'stand your ground'

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – “Stand your ground” statutes benefit whites more than blacks, are unnecessary and cause minority men to live in fear, several experts said Friday to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission as it evaluates racial disparities in the laws.

But one dissenter, an African-American lawmaker from South Carolina, said the law benefits black defendants by putting in place an extra hurdle in the way of arrest by police officers who may have hidden racial biases.

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  • Written by Mike Schneider-Associated Press
  • Category: National