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African American Studies Curriculum across Texas High Schools

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April 17, 2020 will literally be in the history books because it was a historic day in Texas.  After years of meetings, organizing, and advocating, The African American Studies course which is only the second ethnic studies course for Texas students received a unanimous final board approval last Friday to approve an elective African Studies Course to be taught across high schools throughout Texas. 

Dallas ISD was the first to pilot the course after the Mexican American studies gained statewide approval back in 2018.  Under the leadership of Texas State Board of Education Member, Marisa Perez, one of our very own San Antonio natives Dr. Lawrence Scott, Texas A&M University- San Antonio professor led the San Antonio advisory team of 40 experts around Texas and the nation to make this once advocated proposal a reality. There were other advisory teams in Houston, Dallas, and Austin as well. Texas State Board of Education Trustee Aicha Davis (Dallas) who proposed and formulated the course brought representatives from all the advisory teams together in Austin to prioritize content and curriculum standards prior to the 1st and 2nd readings at the TX State Board of Education. 

Proponents of the course stressed that a course such as the African America Studies would give students an opportunity to “see themselves” when they study. The course is said to be available as early as this fall.

Congratulations to The Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team (San Antonio) on your efforts and success.

Dr. Donna Donna Y Ford, Distinguished Professor, Ohio State University

Dr. Cary Carey Latimore, History Department Chair, Trinity University

Professor Mario Marcel Salas, African American Studies Professor/Author/Historian, University of Texas at San Antonio / President KROV

Dr. Karla Broadus, Director of African American Studies Dept., University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Professor of African American Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio

Dr. Claudia García-Louis, Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

Ms. La Juana Chambers Tacit Grower LJ, President, San Antonio African American Community Archive Museum

Dr. Daina Berry, Associate Dean/Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Keffrelyn D. Brown, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Anthony Brown, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Nicole Carr, Assistant Professor English, Texas A&M University San Antonio

Dr. Ramona Pittman, Professor, Texas A&M University of San Antonio

Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, Associate Professor of History/ Director of the African American Studies Program,  Texas State University

Mr. Cary Clack, Senior Columnist, San Antonio Express News 

Ms. Morgan Jones, Learning & Development Specialist, Spurs Sports and Entertainment

Dr. Paula Johnson, Director / IDRA EAC-South, Intercultural Development Research Association

Ms. Laura Thompson, CEO TAAN TV/Who’s Who SA/Former TX State Representative District 120, The African American Network (TAAN)

Dr. Aaron J Griffen, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Author/Consultant, DSST Public Schools/Prosperity Educators, LLC Denver, CO

Dr. Marcus Croom, Research Scholar, Durham Public Schools 

Dr. Stuart Rhoden, Professor/Author, Arizona State University

Ms. Brandi Pace, Teacher/Racial Equity Committee,  Ft. Worth Independent School District

D.L. Grant Carver, Executive Historic Carver Library/Antoinette Franklin Entrepreneur/Founder, Talented Tenth Scholars/Author Library Association/Deltas

Ms. Quincy Boyd, Regional Director Leadership ISD, Houston, TX

Dr. Milton Fields, Associate Superintendent,  Judson Independent School District

Ms. La Quita Dalton, Secondary Teacher,  Judson Independent School District

Ms. Amy Carter, Dual Credit Teacher/Adjunct Professor Floresville Independent School District/Coastal Bend College

Ms. Graciela Escobedo-Bell, Leadership Coordinator,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Tiffany Grant, Chief of Staff, San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Edwina L. Salas, Reading Specialist, San Antonio Independent School District

Mr. Jason Rochon, Secondary Teacher, San Antonio Independent School District

Mr. Ronald Tipton, CTE Educator, South San Independent School District

Trustee  José A. Macias, Jr., Board Trustee, District 2,  Alamo Community College District

Trustee Alicia Perry, School Board Trustee District 2,  San Antonio Independent School District

Dr. Langston Williams Jr, Pastor/Retired School Principal  Magnolia Church / San Antonio Independent School District

Dr. Mateen A. Diop, Principal/Executive Director,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Jennifer McCall, J Renee Love, International Baccalaureate Curriculum Specialist,  San Antonio Independent School District

Ms. Antoinette Franklin, Founder, Talented Tenth Scholars/Author,  San Antonio Library Association 

Dr. D. Anthony Miles, Entrepreneur/Researcher/Statistician,  Miles Development Industries Corporation

Lawrence Scott, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development Department of Educator and Leadership Preparation,
Texas A&M University-San Antonio

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Education

Remembering Mr. Clark

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Morgan Freeman portrayed him well in the 1989 classic film “Lean On Me.” He was the baseball and bullhorn toting, HNIC, firm and forward thinking principal of the then troubled Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Joe Louis Clark, the real ‘Mr. Clark’ a.k.a. ‘Crazy Joe’ died in his Florida home at the age of 82. He was loved and hated by his critics because of his actions and his untraditional methods used to clean house and turn the school around. Mr. Clark earned national coverage including President Ronald Reagan offering him a White House policy advisor position after his success at the high school.

Mr. Joe Clark changed the game and set the example for turning around failing urban schools by offering children, educators, parents and community hope while maintaining high expectations. He will forever be remembered especially in the lives of those he challenged and changed. RIP Mr. Clark.

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Breaking Records

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He’s still number one in the hearts of many, but he’s definitely #1 in the books, literally! Former President Barack Obama’s new memoir titled A Promised Land set the record for the largest first day sales total for any book ever published by Penguin Random House. The memoir that reflects on his presidency and provides honest accounts of his campaign and time in office, etc. was released on November 17th and already sold over 1,710,443 units. A Promised Land is said to be the first volume of a two book series but a date for the second book release date has not been made public.

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Education

West Point student from San Antonio lands prestigious U.S. Rhodes Scholarship

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West Point Military Academy cadet Tyrese Bender of San Antonio is one of just 32 students nationwide to be presented with a prestigious U.S. Rhodes Scholarship.

Rhodes Scholars are awarded financial assistance to complete graduate or master’s degree work at Oxford University in Oxford, England. The scholarships are based on students’ scholarly achievements.

Bender, an engineering management major, is a deputy brigade commander, a two-year track team captain and a contributor to the West Point’s inaugural U.S. Corps of Cadets Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy.

The Corps of Cadets Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy is an on-campus organization that promotes recruitment, admission and retention of cadets, staff and faculty from diverse backgrounds. The group also strives for an inclusive on-campus environment that supports their development and retention.

“[Cadet Bender has] found creative and bold ways to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion through leadership and studies at West Point,” Brigadier General Cindy Jebb, West Point’s dean of the Academic Board, said in a release.

Bender will graduate from West Point in 2021, after which he will pursue graduate studies at Oxford. While there, he intends to earn a Master of Philosophy in Sociology and Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation.

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