Howdy peeps!

So, as promised more about how my life path has led me back to my roots/core regarding the fight aganist discrimination, prejudice, institutional racism, etc. Here is text from an email I just sent to friends and colleagues. It describes my new job in detail. If any of you know anyone in the LA area who is a teacher or works in a youth program, please let them know about this. Thanks.

FYI: I am hesitant to post this publicly to any LA groups, so I would stop short of doing so. Thanks.

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I am currently working at College/Career Counselor for a Summer Algebra Institute for an organization called FSS-Project T.E.C.H. I am sharing this with you because you may know youth who would be interested in or benefit from this program.

African American/Black students are underrepresented in the California College System. This needs to change. One strategy is to provide cultural competent instruction to young people as they enter high school. The Algebra curriculum includes a significant amount of material about the African Roots of Mathematics. This information is not being taught in the public school system. If you are interested I can send you some pertinent websites.

The target audience is students who are entering 9th grade in Fall ’07. The program’s goals are to prepare young people for high school Algebra, assist them in planning for college, teach them their history regarding African and African American contributions to Algebra/mathematics, science & technology and increase their technology skills.

Here is a blurb that can be used if you are able to get this information into a school or program newsletter:

Summer Algebra Institute(SAI): FSS-Project T.E.C.H. is offering a six week Summer Algebra Institute from July 9- August 17, for students entering 9th grade in the fall. Program includes: Led by experienced middle/high school algebra instructor, computer based learning, college planning, college campus visits and exploration of the African Roots of Mathematics. Deadline to register: June 29. FSS-Project T.E.C.H. SAI is located at the Tom Bradley Youth and Family Center @ 5213 W. Pico Blvd. For more information call 323-687-4662 or email info@fsstech.org Website www.fsstech.org

2 Comments on Work Update: Black Students Underepresented in California Colleges

  1. Approach

    I see the value of informing students of the contributions of Africans to math. I wonder, though, if this is a mandatory component. I worked on a program in the late 80’s whose goal was to bring more women and minorities into engineering and sciences. These groups were almost missing from engineering colleges. The approach our group used was the following:
    First, test their hypothesis, namely, that any kid could achieve A grades if given enough attention (and the student was willing, of course). We took a random sampling of non-A students and gave them daily tutoring of one hour, plus two hours on alternate Saturdays. The result was great: all achieve scores of 90% plus (most were in the 95% plus range).
    We then performed a bolder test: we took the failing and low end students and did the same thing. These were students that were consistently failing (40%-60% grades). They went through the same program and got scores in 95-100% range. All of them.

    This method is proven. Perhaps it should be considered in LA…

    • B.E.M. says:

      Tutoring is Part of This

      Yes, one on one tutoring is a long ago academically researched and proven strategy for improving students grades. Tutoring is provided at 90% of LA schools and is a component of this program.

      But, the disparity in the number of Black students who get into California Colleges(or any for that matter) has it’s basis in several other social, institutional and cultural challenges as well. The issues go much deeper than just raising their grades, which is one goal but not the only goal. College planning, setting career goals, college visits, small group work, individual tutoring, culturally sensitive instructors, parent involvement…all key components.

      The Summer Algebra Institute was created by the California Colleges Coalition to provide enrichment in Algebra to all underrepresented youth. It us run at at least 12 sites Statewide. Some sites serve a larger number of Latino youth, some African American. This particular curriculum was written and complied by a group of professors(PHDs, etc) at the University of Buffalo.

      The issue of Black students getting admitted into UCLA, for example, is being addressed on a grand scale and there has been an increased enrollment of 100 students this year. Sadly in a school of 10s of thousands of students, about 300 Black students(The #’s for Latinos are just as bad) being enrolled each year is horrible.

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