Page 1

COMMUNITY VOL. XXXIX Number 40 May 6, 2015

The Milwaukee

JOURNAL 25 Cents


MPS Senior Alethia Tilfor one of two state students named Presidential Scholars

W I S C O N S I N ’ S L A R G E S T A F R I C A N A M E R I C A N N E W S PA P E R

Compiled by MCJ Staff

Alethia M. Tilford, a senior at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Ronald Reagan College Preparatory High School, is one of two Wisconsin students to be among 141 of the nations high school seniors named 2015 Presidential Scholars. The other Wisconsin student is Nicholas V. Ngo of De Pere High School. Tilford and Ngo were two of nine Wisconsin students in the running for the award, considered the nation's highest honor for graduating high school seniors, which recognizes their educational, artistic, and civic accomplisments. Alford and Ngo will travel to Washington, D.C. for recognition activities, including a ceremony at the White House on June 21, where they will receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion. Teachers, who the scholars named as being most inspiring and challenging, will also be honored at the ceremony. Tilford named Stacy Knetter, her high school biology teacher, as her most influential teacher. Ngo named Becky Hawley, a high school English teacher. The educators will receive Teacher Recognition Awards from the U.S. Department of Education. Created in 1964, the program honors some of the nation's most distinguished high school students. Of the nation's 3.3 million graduating seniors, only 4,300 are candidates for the award, based upon exceptional performance on the ACT or SAT college admissions test, and just 565 students earn the right to be considered semifinalists.

(continued on page 6)



Parade launches the 2015 season for the legendary Little League baseball progam located in the heart of the Central City!

The Beckum Stapleton Little League kicked off another season of baseball with a parade that started at King Drive and Burleigh and continued to Brown Street where the ballpark bearing Mr. Beckum’s name is located. This year, 150 young boys and girls will be involved in playing “America’s Past-time.” The parade was sponsored by Andrew Cheverolet. Its owner Andrew Schlesinger presented Mr. Beckum a check for $500 to support the baseball program. Players will also be wearing a patch with the letters “JRB” which are the initials of Jimmie Ruth Beckum, the wife of Mr. Beckum, who died recently. (Photos by Yvonne Kemp)

Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: “What is one of your most memorable moments with your mother?”

TUCKER JONES: “My memorable moment? When I used to work in the garden with my mother. She loved roses. She could grow a rose out of any kind of dirt. When I see a rose, it always reminds me of my mother.”

ARICKA EVANS: “When I was a little girl around the age of four or five, I was in kindergarten where we had only a half day of school. So every week, my mom would dress me up in a dress before my older brothers came home from schol and we would go to Red Lobster. She would tell me not to tell my brothers. But as soon as they got home and asked me if I wanted something to eat, I would say: ‘No, mom took me to Red Lobster.’”

MEN MEN The School System: EMPOWERING MEN MEN Old School, New School, By Dr. Ramel Smith “The Blaquesmith”

The past few weeks we have discussed some of the difficulties and failures of our current school system. We stated that children are given a “Hobson’s Choice” (take it or leave it option) when it comes to the school system. It is a cookie cutter approach that was most effective a half of century ago. Secondly, we discussed that if children were truly going to be successful, we needed to make a lifetime investment in all of our children’s education; and, this investment should encompass a womb to the tomb type of care and supervision. Our thesis this week will focus on interventions that can be effective during the formative school years. There is a quote, commonly attributed to Albert Einstein, which states “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability

to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Some scholars challenge he is the originator of this quote, I only care the words are so very true. In 2004, I worked at Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility. This institution housed young males between the ages of 1624 who were incarcerated in the Wisconsin Department of Correction. The most amazing phenomenon I witnessed at this institution was the number of males who were completing their High School Equivalency Diploma. These were the same males who were labeled with emotional and learning disabilities, had chronic issues with attendance, and eventually dropped out because of their disdain for their educational experience? Yet, these same young men, when put into an environment where their peers motivated them to do well and had little other distrac-

tions around not only earned their HSED, but often became tutors for those following in their academic footsteps. Why the change? Two words: Hope and Motivation. These young men saw their peers having success and were motivated to achieve that same success. They learned their failure in school was more about a lack of effort than lack of ability. The only catch to this story is that when the young men were released, they still carried the cruel branding of the letter “F” on their person. Well, what if we could replicate this educational success before they committed a felony. When I drive down Fon du Lac Avenue and look at the old Jackie Robinson school, I see a new beautiful senior living community where an abandoned building had become an eye sore and unnecessary financial strain on the MPS budget.

What if we combined the RYOCF and Robinson models and created a boarding house system. This is not a new idea and the boarding house school has proven to be successful. Sadly, most boarding schools cost a tremendous amount of money. We mentioned the fiscal increase needed to begin this revolution, why not allocate funds proactively from inmates to students? We can create a school model that can help to rectify a multitude of problems that exist within our community. For example, MPS has a serious problem with homelessness and children under CHIPS and JIPS orders (children and juveniles in need of protective services). With a school open in this capacity, we could house individuals or families; even more, we could provide those families and other community members with employment opportunities inside the school/home

MELVIN RABON: “My mother taught me my ABC’s at the age of three. I couldn’t pronounce it, but I could spell it. My mother was an advocate of education. My mother made sure all nine of us (her children) got a college education.” SHEILA CARTER: “A memorable moment for me would be my mom helping me get through college. College isn’t easy or cheap. I remember all the time I felt that I couldn’t get through college, especially with children. But my mom encouraged me to work hard to get my education. She went as far as missing work to help me with the children so I could study for school. In Dec. of 2014 I graduated from Mt. Mary University. Mom never realized that besides God, I would have never got through college without her love and support. My mother, Alice Stokes, means the world to me. She is more than just a mother to me, she is my best friend.”

True School

in which they reside. Second, this would help to ensure children had multiple quality meals in the day. Third, it would provide adequate supervision after school for students to complete homework. Fourth, neighboring business companies and community organizations could adopt the school to help develop other life skills. Fifth, educators could be granted free rent to live there to help supplement their salaries. Lastly, children could have a space that is nurturing and protective for 24 hours a day. This scenario would not be optimal for every student, but it opens the door to start thinking about additional educational options that have proven to be effective but failed to be replicated or just makes plain common sense. Here is a list of proposed changes: • Does every school have to be 1st shift? Can we have 2nd shift schools for the student who parents work second shift or who brain just works better in the afternoon? In a

Dr. Ramel Smith

boarding school situation, classes could be assigned similar to colleges and universities. • Year round schools. The empirical evi-

(continued on page 8)

MCJ May 6, 2015 Edition  
MCJ May 6, 2015 Edition