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Tangipahoa’s at-risk students to get virtual schools Vochures fail disabled students B E P Y



The Drum publisher


New American Media New Report

NEW ORLEANS--LAST APRIL, GOVERNOR Bobby Jindal signed a new voucher program considered to be the most sweeping in the country. For years, Louisiana’s children have been scoring below their peers in other states on reading and math skills according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. In this context, Jindal and his Superintendent of Schools, John White, have touted the voucher program as a way parents can choose alternatives when they believe public schools aren’t meeting their children’s needs. For parents like Kelly Fischer, whose 11-year-old son Noah has autism, is blind and developmentally delayed, widening choices won’t solve the problem of ensuring a good education. In some ways it has only compounded the labyrinth she has had to navigate since moving to New Orleans from her native Indiana in August 2009. Getting Noah’s needs met forced Fischer to confront a systemically dysfunctional school district and made her an unlikely activist. In 2010, Fischer joined a class-action lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) against the state Department of Education on behalf of 10 named plaintiffs -- who represent a class that Eden Heilman, an attorney with the SPLC in New Orleans, says represents close to 4,500 students in New Orleans public schools. “The public schools were choosing to either not serve kids with disabilities or to serve only certain types of disabilities,” Fischer said. “And when I brought that to the school board’s attention, that Please see VOUCHERS, PG 6


DrumRoll, page 10

HAMMOND–-PARENTS AND RESIDENTS were concern about the changes and what would happen to the students who attend Crystal Street School. During the Second Saturday Breakfast earlier this month, Tangipahoa Parish school representative Brent Duncan explained the changes to take place at Crystal Street School for the incoming school year. “The board will no longer have a one-size-fits-all program, instead they are going to Virtual Learning, on line learning or distance learning,” he said. “Some students will be working with an instructor in a class room; some will be working at home. The program will

Pat Morris president of the Greater Tangipahoa Parish NAACP, Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Brent Duncan and Rebecca Hensley Sociology professor at SLU, discussion virtual education for at risk students. Photo by EDDIE PONDS.

meet the student’s needs, he said” According to a published report, virtual education has allowed bright students to excel, students with anxiety disorders and autism to participate, and struggling students to get more immediate help and feed back than they could in traditional setting.

Online learning experience can be powerful supplement to in class experience can make for totally individualized education and can be a disaster for students without the supports or motivation to make them work. Some schools actually bring virtual classroom tools into the classroom to engage students and improve collaboration.


Education reporter

WHILE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN LOUISIANA CONTINUE to face scrutiny, the number of Black families choosing to home school their children or move them to home school environments is steadily increasing. The National Home Education Research Institute reports that in the United states there are two million children being home schooled and 10 percent of these children are Black. Since 2000, this number has increased by 15 percent. Baton Rouge mother Alkinee Jackson has been home schooling her five children, ages 9 to 16, since they were old enough to attend school. She said it was decision she had made before Alkinee and Cleveland Jackson home school their five children, Anaj, 14, they were born. Jackson said she knew after admiring Jasmyne, 11, Caleb, 12, Alante, 16, and Justin, 19. Photo by YUSEF DAVIS Please see SCHOOL, PG 9

Group seeking school separation disagrees with report BY CAMERON JAMES

Education reporter

THE BATON ROUGE AREA CHAMBER RECENTLY released an analysis that suggest the creation of breakaway school districts will adversely affect the The East Baton Rouge Public School System. The analysis also dictates the parish should make sure the districts are balanced by race and income. According the analysis, Baton Rouge has only recently resolved a 47-

year Department of Justice mandate to desegregate schools, the parish likely faces increased scrutiny regarding structural changes to the public school system. The parish itself, however, is segregated even today. Thus, any design of smaller districts could result in the appearance of segregation. Through a press release Lionel Rainey III, spokesperson for Local Schools for Local Children, said “Although we disagree with aspects of the report, we do agree with what has

been clear for many years: The East Baton Rouge Public School System is an unmitigated failure. More time and more money has been the cry from The East Baton Rouge Public School System for far too long. The time for change is now.” The group is pushing the creation of the Southeast Baton Rouge Community School System. It would extend southeast from the I-10/I-12 split, south of I-12 and east of I-10 to the parish lines. Please see SEPARATION, PG 3

US Marine Corps to present Bayou Classic Roadshow MILESTONES, page 16

BAYOU CLASSIC ORGANIZERS RECENTLY announced the Bayou Classic Roadshow schedule of events beginning September 1, bringing a taste of The Bayou Classic experience to Grambling and Southern fans across the south. The Bayou Classic Roadshow will partner with the US Marine Corps for the first time this year. The sponsorship

of The Bayou Classic Roadshow is an extension of the US Marine Corps’ ten-year partnership with The Bayou Classic. The Roadshow will travel through Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia, to give fans across the south an opportunity to win prizes, meet former Bayou Classic participants

and share their favorite Bayou Classic experiences. It will also travel to 10 regular season football games, including Grambling and Southern homecoming games, the Port City, Southern Heritage and Atlanta Football classics. The schedule of stops on the Bayou Classic Roadshow is: Please see CLASSIC, PG 3





President signs order to improve Black Ed outcomes LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER HE announced it at the National Urban League conference in New Orleans, President Barack Obama has signed an Executive Order today aimed at improving outcomes and advance educational opportunities for Blacks. President Obama has made providing a complete and competitive education for all Americans–from cradle to career–a top priority. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will work across Federal agencies and with partners and communities nationwide to produce a more effective continuum of education programs for Black students. The Initiative aims to ensure that all Black students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion, and productive careers. In the less than 60 years

since the Brown v. Board of Education decision put America on a path toward equal educational opportunity, America’s educational system has undergone a remarkable transformation. Many Black children who attended substandard, segregated schools in the 1950s have grown up to see their children attend integrated and effective elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities. Nonetheless, substantial obstacles to equal educational opportunity still remain in America’s educational system. Black students lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging collegepreparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline and referrals to special education. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, housed within the Department of

Education, will work with the Executive Office of the President and Cabinet agencies to identify evidence-based best practices to improve Black student achievement in school and college, and to develop a national network of individuals, organizations, and communities that will share and implement

these practices. It will also help ensure that Federal programs and initiatives administered by the Department of Education and other Federal agencies maintain a focus on serving and meeting the educational needs of Black. The Initiative will complement the existing

White House Initiative that strengthens the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities by working with federal agencies and partners nationwide to provide all Black students with a more effective continuum of education Please see INITIATIVES, PG 6

Sanders earns Congressional Gold Medal THE US CONGRESS CONFERRED THE nations highes civilian award, the Congressional Gold Medal on the Montford Point Marines. Shreveport resident, Cleauthor Sanders was among those honored by Speaker of the House Harry Reed and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. The ceremony, luncheons, and parade in Washington DC celebrated the legacy of service and sacrifice of the Marines who trained at Montford Point, a segregated boot camp.

It is estimated that 20,000 Marines passed through Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. The facility closed and recruit training was

integrated. More than 400 Montford Point Marines attended the June 27 ceremony.

Tea Party groups demand textbooks overlook slave-owning history BY TRYMAINE LEE




conservative-led state board of education in Texas approved massive changes to its school textbooks to put slavery in a more positive light, a group of Tea Party activists in Tennessee has renewed its push to whitewash school textbooks. The group is seeking to remove references to slavery and mentions of the country’s founders being slave owners. According to reports, Hal Rounds, the Fayette County


attorney and spokesman for the group, said during a recent news conference that there has been “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.” “The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody -- not all equally instantly -- and it was their progress that we need to look

at,” Rounds said, according to The Commercial Appeal. During the news conference more than two dozen Tea Party activists handed out material that said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.” And that further teaching would also include that “the Please see BOOK, PG 6

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STATE SEPARATION cont. from page 1 According to Rainey, legislative lawyers are drafting a bill , for the 2013 session, to create a new school district that will break away from the East Baton Rouge Public School System. If approved by legislators and voters, in January, the Southeast Baton Rouge Community School System district would include nine public schools in the Westminster, Inniswold, Woodland Ridge, White Oak, Shenandoah, Woodlawn, Santa Maria and Old Jefferson neighborhoods, he said. The schools would include Southeast Middle, Parkview Elementary, Jefferson Terrace Elementary, Westminster Elementary, Shenandoah Elementary, the Woodlawn schools. According to the analysis the problem with neighborhood school district , from the perspective of creating racially balanced and economically balanced districts, is that what we might consider neighborhoods are not racially or economically balanced. This is not a surprising result, and

it is also not a quality unique to East Baton Rouge Parish. Rainey Said as we have said from day one, we believe the future of this district should be put to a vote of the people. We will move forward with legislation in the upcoming session to break away from East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System and form The South East Baton Rouge Community School District. We are more confident than ever that we will succeed. If the community is serious about creating a series of Independent School Districts, including the creation of a district such as Baton Rouge Achievement Zone it must consider how to share the longterm expenses accrued by an institution that was charged with fulfilling the mission of educating the children of this parish over many generations. If the bill passes, during the 2013 legislative session the nine schools would be taken over by the summer of 2013.

CLASSIC cont. from page 1 Saturday, September 1 Grambling State vs. Alcorn State (Port City Classic) Shreveport, La. Saturday, September 8 Jackson State vs. Tennessee State, Southern Heritage Classic, Memphis Saturday, September 15 Grambling State vs. Alabama State, High School Day, Grambling Saturday, September 22 Southern University vs. Jackson State Jackson Saturday, September 29 Southern University vs. Florida A&M, Atlanta Football Classic, Atlanta Friday,


Southern University at New Orleans visit Saturday, October 13 Southern University vs. Texas Southern, Southern Homecoming, Baton Rouge Saturday, October 20 Grambling State vs. UV at Lynchburg, Grambling Homecoming, Grambling Saturday, October 27 Grambling State vs. Texas Southern Houston Saturday, November 10 Southern University vs. Alabama State Baton Rouge.

State NAACP leaders hear economic, education concerns

Carolyn Hill, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education representative, is introduced by state Representative Patricia Haynes Smith during the Louisiana NAACP Executive Board meeting in Baton Rouge early this month. Photos by WAYNE WHITE ATHE

LOUISIANA NAACP HELD A STATEWUDE meeting in Baton Rouge, Saturday, August 18, in Baton Rouge. Chapter leaders representing nearly two dozen parishes voiced their support for Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Burnette Johnson to become the new Chief Justice and the importance for voter registration for the upcoming presidential election. State Representative Pat Smith and Representative Carolyn Hill with the Board of Elementary Secondary NAACP state president Ernest Johnson and attorney Education shared a report with Anita TillmanPhotos by WAYNE WHITE organization on Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher program that is showing signs of discrimination towards Black males. The organization is planning its annual convention in Lake Charles this fall. Leaders said they will follow-up on every allegation of discrimination in schools. State president Ernest Johnson said the organization will soon have a strategic planning meeting in light of the report. In the meantime, Johnson said, the public “can always call the NAACP.”


BRIEFS Black-owned firm commits to $2M, 30 jobs in N.O. NEW ORLEANS—Hammerman and Gainer International Inc.—the largest Black-owned third party administration company in the nation—has relocated its corporate headquarters to downtown New Orleans. The move will add approximately 30 full time jobs within the company. The company currently has 12 offices in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and Washington DC. The relocation equates to a $2 million investment in the city. The New Orleans Business Alliance helped HGI identify a downtown location.

African-American Chamber of Commerce debuts podcast SHREVEPORT—The ShreveportBossier African American Chamber of Commerce’s podcast series, “A Conversation With…” launched earlier this month with a business profile on Asis Chronicles. The podcast is designed to highlight the rewards and challenges Black business owners face as they go about the daily work of building, maintaining, and growing a successful enterprise, said chamber chair Tanita Gilbert-Baker. The broadcast is a joint production between the chamber and Shreveport-based Elite Media Group, LLC. It features a different member and business owner each month.

CORRECTION: The July 2012 issue featured Willie Ella Honeywood Smith in “Baton Rouge woman makes history with Tuskegee Airmen”. Smith’s name was incorrectly stated in the article. Read the corrected article online at

LA Improves on 11 of 16 Child Well-Being Measures NEW ORLEANS—The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s newly revamped KIDS COUNT Data Book ranked Louisiana 47th among 50 states in overall child well-being. The 2012 Data Book has been revised to provide a more comprehensive look at child wellbeing in each state. In addition to providing an overall ranking for every state, the newly revised Data Book also ranks states on four domains of child well-being, including economic wellbeing, education, health and family and community. Louisiana achieved its highest ranking (39th) in the health domain, but ranked among the bottom six states in the economic well-being, education, and family and community domains.

Louisiana launches Microsoft IT Academy at public high schools Louisiana became the fifth state to implement the Microsoft IT Academy Program at all public high schools across the state, the Louisiana Department of Education said. The program provides students and teachers with “real-world technology skills needed to thrive in the 21st century global economy” via access to online learning content, official Microsoft course materials, and instructor resources and support materials that include lesson plans, software licenses, and professional, industry-recognized certifications. The first phase of Louisiana’s program is being implemented in 21 school districts this month, while all remaining public high schools will launch the program by the end of the fall semester.




Expert offers tips to Speaker brings presentation on get organized for back childhood exposure to violence effects to school

Organized and donning colorful book sacks McKinley Academic Magnet Middle School students Jay’la Holliday and Alexis Adams are ready for new school year. Photo by EBRP Schools

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON IS THE IDEAL TIME FOR families to reestablish routines and get organized -- both at home and on the go. But before hitting the stores for supplies, take time to plan ahead with shopping lists that meet both your children’s and the family’s needs. There are many great tips to help get a fresh start on the academic year ahead: SAVE If you have more than one child, or want to stock up for the year, save on items like glue sticks, notebooks and writing utensils by taking advantage of sales and purchasing value packs, which are easy to find at backto-school time. For better deals on items like tissues and sanitizing wipes, hold off until you are also buying these products for the home at a warehouse club or with coupons. TEACH ORGANIZATION Teach kids the importance of starting the day organized. One way to simplify the morning shuffle is by assigning a color to each child for easy identification of binders, backpacks and pencil pouches. Assign colors before shopping to prepare for easier in-aisle decisions. Five Star products (, for example, are available in a variety of ontrend patterns and basic solid color options to complement and contrast styles. Or use color-coded stickers and labels to maintain consistency. SYNCHRONIZE SCHEDULES The school year often brings additional commitments for families. Creating a “mission control” in a central location in the home will improve communication and ease the stress of time management. Look for calendars with high functionality like meal planners, “look-ahead” features, magnetic backings and repositionable peeland-stick adhesives. Don’t forget to include a white board or cork board where notes can be left for one another. Student planners are crucial to help your children stay on top of due dates, keep their own commitments and operate on the same schedule as the rest of the family. Vow to spend time on a weekly basis reviewing and synching calendars and discussing the week ahead. MANAGE PAPERS With each new school year comes an overwhelming amount of handouts, reminders, permission slips and medical forms. Parents and children all benefit from a paper management system. Use bins, expanding files and binder dividers with “reminder” flags to keep track of priorities. Flag items needing immediate attention -- whether it’s homework or paperwork. If your children have busy schedules, make it easier for them to work on the go. Opt for binders with writing surfaces, internal storage pockets for loose paper and places to stash pens and pencils. And you can do the same. Consider using binders and expanding files in the car to create a place for last-minute notes, papers and storage. With a little planning and creativity, the whole family can prepare to stay organized throughout the school year.

BETSY MCALISTER GROVES, A LICENSED SOCIAL worker and founding director of the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, will speak to the Baton Rouge community at a Distinguished Speaker Series session Thursday, September 13, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Avenue, at 4:30pm Pre-registration is recommended. Groves is author of Children Who See Too Much: Lessons from the Child Witness to Violence Project (2002), Groves’ practice and research interests focus on the impact of community and family violence on young children, and on engaging community systems in identifying and responding to children who are affected by violence in their environments. “The needs of young children who are exposed to violence, or other kinds of trauma, are often overlooked because of the belief that they are too young to understand or be affected,” said Groves. Her presentation will review the research on early childhood trauma,

discuss lessons learned about resilience and coping, and explain individual and collective strategies for professionals and community residents to support young children and their families affected by violence. Groves is associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, Lecturer at Harvard University, and serves on both the National Advisory Commission for the Office of Violence Against Women and the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This presentation is the first of its kind in East Baton Rouge Parish to address issues facing infants and children, ages zero-to-five, says ADF Executive Director Martis Jones. East Baton Rouge Parish teachers, pre-K providers and administrators, parents and families, business leaders, education stakeholders, nonprofit organizations and public officials are invited.

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Candidates qualify for local elections





King (R) White Male

MAYOR TOWN OF AMITE CITY Buddy' Bel, (No Party), White Male

M. V. 'Vinny' Mendoza (D), Hispanic Male

Nicholas Cefalu (D), White Male

Steve' Scalise (R), White Male




Jerry L. (D), Black

Yvette Brooks (D), Black Female

Daniels Male

Wylie Foster (R), Black Male

Maria Coleman (D) Black Female

Charles 'Boo' Christmas, (R), White Male

Jerry Trabona (D), White Male

Andrew Henderson, (No Party) Black Male

David “Turk” Turknett, (No Party), White Male

Walter Daniels (D), Black Male

Terry Tullos (D), White Male

Marilyn A. Jackson (D), Black Female

Arden Wells, (No Party), White Male



Jerrol Jones (D), Black Male

Anthony Irving (D), Black Male

Van L. Showers (D), Black Male

Jimmie Jamison (No Party), Black Male

Sandra W. Turner (D), Black Female

Elbert 'Bert’ Newton (D), White Male

Ruthie L. Vernon (D), Black Female

Henry Wright (D), Black Male




Johnny Duncan (No Party) Black Male 'Pat' Murphy (R), White Male

Rodney Alexander, (R), White Male


“Ron” Ceasar, Party), Black Male

Darcey Garrett, (D) Black Male


Clay Steven Grant, Libertarian, White Male

Wanda 'Yodie' McCoy, (D) Black Female


Monroe Perry Jr. (D), Black Male

Greg August, (No Party), Black Male Louis 'Nick' Joseph, (D) Black Male Eve Wilson Jr., (D), Black Male


Jackson Male

Brenda V. Nevels (D), Black Female


Banks (D),

Ray Henry (D), Male


Darrell Martin (D), Black Male

Shelia L. Addison (D), Black Female




Jonathon Foster (D), Black Male COUNCIL MEMBER DISTRICT 3, TOWN OF AMITE CITY Mark Vining (D), White Male Emanuel Zanders III (D) Black Male




Dwayne Bailey (R), Black Male Gary Landrieu (D), White Male

Richard Torregano (No Party), White Male

U. S. REPRESENTATIVE 2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT Josue Larose (R), Black Male Cedric Richmond (D), Black Male Caleb Trotter (Libertarian), White Male

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE SUPREME COURT, 5TH SUPREME COURT DISTRICT John Michael Guidry (D), Black Male Toni Manning Higginbotham (R), White Female Jeff Male

Hughes (R), White

Timothy E. 'Tim' Kelley (R), White Male


William 'Bill' Morvant (R) White Male

William 'Bill' Cassidy (R), White Male

Mary Olive Pierson (D), White Female

Jewel E. 'Duke' Welch (R), White Male JUDGE, COURT OF APPEAL 1ST CIRCUIT, 2ND DIST., SUBDIST. 1, DIV. B

Melvin 'Kip' Holden (D), Black Male

Gideon T. Carter III (D), Black Male

Gordon Mese (No Party), White Male

'Mike' McDonald (R)

'Steve' Myers (No Party), Male


Jeffry Lamonte Sanford (No Party), White Male

J. Michael 'Mike' Walker Sr. (R), White Male

Scott A. Angelle, (R) White Male

Councilman Metro District 1 Twahna P. Harris (D), Black Female

Greg Gaubert (No Party), White Male

'Trae' Welch (D), White Male

Sarah Holliday (R), Female Erich Ponti (R), White Male 'Ed' Roy (R), White

Rufus Holt Craig Jr. (Libertarian), White Male

Mayor-President Metro Council, City of Baton Rouge


Forest Wright (D), Male








BOOKS cont. from page 2 Constitution created a Republic, not a Democracy.” The group demanded, as they had in January of last year, that Tennessee lawmakers change state laws governing school curricula. The group called for textbook selection criteria to include: “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.” The latest push comes a year after the Texas Board of Education approved revisions to its social studies curriculum that would put a conservative twist on history through revised textbooks and teaching standards. The Texas revisions include the exploration of the positive aspects of American slavery, lifting the stature of Jefferson S. Davis to that of Abraham Lincoln, and amendments to teach the value of the separation

of church and state were voted down by the conservative cadre. Among other controversial amendments that have been approved is the study of the “unintended consequences” of affirmative action. The board approved more than 100 amendments affecting social studies, economics and history classes for Texas’s 4.8 million students. The influence of the amended textbooks will likely reach far beyond the state of Texas. The state is one of the largest purchasers of textbooks, and many other states adopt Texas’s books and standards. The curriculum changes were pushed through by a majority bloc of conservative Republicans on the Texas school board, who have said the changes were made to add balance to what they believe was a left-leaning and alreadyskewed reflection of American history. “There is some method to the madness besides vindicating white

privilege and making white students feel as though they are superior and privileged and that that it is the natural order of things,” Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas State NAACP, told The Crisis magazine last year about this time. “The agenda being pushed and the ultimate impact intended is to make young people automatically identify with one political party.” A number of groups, including the NAACP, the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens and the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education have joined forces to beat back the measures, which they said would have a negative impact on minority children. The groups sought a federal review of the state’s public education and have raised claims that the Texas State Board of Education has violated federal civil rights laws. In a formal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education, the groups charge that

the new curriculum was devised to “discriminate.” The measures went as far as to replace instances of the trans-Atlantic slave trade with “Atlantic triangular trade.” “It is going to be extremely psychologically harmful to AfricanAmerican young people because they are marginalized in the curriculum,” Bledsoe said. “It will require them to be taught things such as the benevolence of slavery and the problems with affirmative action rather than the good and the bad.” “They voted down a motion that requires students to be taught about the terrorism brought about by the Ku Klux Klan and what they did to ethnic and racial minorities, but they turn around and pass a provision that requires the teaching of the violence of the Black Panther Party.”

CANDIDATES cont. from page 5 Councilman Metro District 2 Corey B. Alfred (D), Black Male Chauna Banks-Daniel (D), Black Female Steven Cook (D), Black Male

Edwin 'PaPo' Del Valle (D), Hispanic Male Carolyn 'Gee' George (D), Black Female

Rose Carey (D), Black Female 'John' Delgado (R), White Male

William Roundtree (No Party), White Male





Leroy Davis (D), Black Male

Hazel Bradley (D), Black Female

Hillery Johnson (D), Black Male

Paul Brumfield (D), Black Male

Joseph Plummer (D), Black Male

C. Denise Marcelle (D), Black Female

'Cliff' Ivey (R), White Male

Edward Roberts (D), Black Male


Suzan S. Ponder (R), White Female

James Slaughter Jr. (D), Black Male

Joel Boe' (R), White Male Ted Rush (R), White Male



Reginald R. Brown (D) Black Male

Larry Selders (D), Black Male

Alester Jones (R), Am Ind Male

Tara Wicker (D), Black Female




Joel G. Porter (D), Black Male

Ronnie Edwards (D), Black Female Herbert A. Pate (D), Black Male COUNCILMAN METRO DISTRICT 6 Donna Collins-Lewis (D), Black Female

Councilman Metro District 12 R. J. 'Smokie' Bourgeois (R), White Male

Alex 'Brick' Wall (D), White Male Tiffany Foxworth (D), Black Female




Carey Jenkins, (R), White Male Ron Reynolds, (R) White CAROLYN “GEE” GEORGE











INITIATIVE cont. from page 2 programs. To deliver a complete and competitive education for all Blacks, the Initiative will promote, encourage, and undertake efforts designed to meet several objectives, including: · Increasing the percentage of Black children who enter kindergarten ready for success by improving access to highquality early learning and development programs; · Ensuring that all Black students have access to highlevel, rigorous course work and support services that will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation; · Providing Black students with equitable access to

effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education, and supporting efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development, and retention of successful Black teachers and principals; · Promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and decreasing the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals; · Reducing the dropout rate of Black students and increasing the proportion of Black students who graduate from high school prepared for college and career; · Increasing college access,

college persistence, and college attainment for Black students; · Strengthening the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of Black students, including community colleges, HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and other institutions; and · Improving the quality of, and expanding access to, adult education, literacy, and career and technical education. The Executive Order also creates the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, to aid and advise the work of the Initiative. The Commission will advise President Obama and Education

Deltas present debutantes

Secretary Arne Duncan on matters pertaining to the educational attainment of the Black community, including the development, implementation, and coordination of resources aimed at improving educational opportunities and outcomes for Blacks of all ages. The Commission will also engage the philanthropic, business, nonprofit, and education communities in a national dialogue on African American student achievement, and work with the Initiative to establish partnerships with stakeholders from these sectors to achieve the objectives of this Executive Order. The Executive Order also establishes a Federal

Interagency Working Group on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The Working Group will be chaired by the Initiative’s executive director, and will convene senior officials from the Executive Office of the President and several Cabinet and sub-Cabinet agencies to coordinate the Federal investment in education programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing outcomes in early childhood education; elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; career and technical education; and adult education for Blacks.

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Debutants presented during Baton Rouge Delta Development Corporation and Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 47th Annual Debutante Cotillion include (from Left to Right): Markeisha Tatyana Forest, Ebony Florae Deloch, Bria Sheva Henderson, Bria LaRhea Scott, Raven Aisha Jones, Victoria Ashleigh Broussard and Ashley Nicole Phill. On Saturday, August 4, the sorority presented 14 lovely young ladies to the Greater Baton Rouge Community.

Southern University research served in Texas restaurant BY BRIDGET UDOH Special to THE DRUM THE SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL Research and Extension Center is constantly conducting research on alternative plants with health and economic benefits to the citizens of Louisiana. Hibiscus, one of such plants is reaping health and economic benefits following years of intensive research. Hibiscus, known for its medicinal effects in lowering high blood pressure, is also yielding other products of economic impact as local restaurants take it to another level by using its jelly in dishes such as in the stuffed pork loin with cherries, charizo and hibiscus jelly. The G” Spot restaurant owner, Chef Derrill Guidry, recently posted on his blog how he incorporates the jelly into his stuffed pork loin dish. “My dad gave me a jar of

hibiscus jelly that the (Southern University) Ag Center gave to him. I had never tasted anything made with Roselle, so I was really anxious to try it. It has a very unique taste – a light, peppery, licorice flavor. I recently used it to prepare this SERIOUS stuffed pork loin … Delicious!” Guidry said, “One of the cool things that scientists at the S.U. Agricultural Center are doing is developing and finding uses for Hibiscus sabdariffa, the

Roselle species of the hibiscus plant. They are investigating its nutritional value under various growing conditions, and plan to introduce its products to food markets and to reach our small farmers to increase its marketability.” The full blog is available at http://thegspotculinary. com/blog/stuffed-pork-loinw-cherries-chorizo-hibiscusjelly/. The G Spot is located in Round Rock, Texas.

Offer ONLY available at: or call 1.888.483.1662




DRUMROLL To be included in the DRUMROLL section, submit your accomplishment and photo to Make sure your full name and details of your accomplishment are provided along with a contact phone number. Photos should be sent as .jpeg or .tiff 300dpi files. entities that comprise the federal city. He received advanced degrees from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He is also a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

ALLMON Pastor RYAN VIRGIL ALLMON, 25, has been elected leader of the Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Baton Rouge. Allmon succeeds his father, Bishop Richard Allmon Sr., who served at the church’s held for nearly 29 years until his death this summer. FAITH CAMILLE ASHTON recently won Miss. Congeniality in North Carolina at the Miss Earth National Beauty Pageant. DR. QUENTIN M. BRISCO of Lafayette, LA has been named Chiropractor of the Year by the American Black Chiropractic Association. Brisco earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College in 2007 and a bachelor of science degree from Southern University in 2001. Dr. Brisco practices at the Richardson Chiropractic Group which is located at 107 South College Road in Lafayette. Dr. Brisco focuses on sports injuries, headaches, backaches, personal injury, workman’s comp, and other physical injuries and conditions that may require rehabilitation. Former Grambling standout CLAUDE COLEMAN has been hired as Capitol High School’s boys basketball coach, after 11 years as head boys coach at Broadmoor Middle School. He was head coach at Career Academy in 2011-12, and spent one season as an assistant boys and girls coach at Istrouma. LSU student DARIAN ELLIS, 22, from Baton Rouge is a finalist on this season’s college edition of America’s Next Top Model. She is one of 13 finalists who



are competing on the latest installment of Tyra Banks’ hit reality show. Promoters said her unique look and stylish flair have proven she has what it takes to compete in the world of modeling. The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board of seven new principals: NAKIA DANGERFIELD, Audubon Elementary. She was the principal of St. Helena Middle in Greensburg, and before that worked as assistant principal at Park Elementary in Baton Rouge. CHERYL LEWIS, Capitol Elementary. She was formerly the principal at White Hills Elementary. AVERIL SANDERS, Lee High. Sanders was formerly the principal at Glen Oaks Middle, then a charter school operated by the now-defunct group Advance Baton Rouge. JANNETTE C. DAVIS, Mayfair Middle. She was formerly coordinator of the system’s Educational Excellence Fund but retired in


November. She is also a former principal. PAMELA DUNLAP, Park Forest Elementary. She has been promoted from assistant principal at the school. JOHNNY M. JACKSON has been promoted from assistant principal to principal at Tara High School. PAMELA MARSHALL, University Terrace Elementary. Marshall was formerly the principal at St. Helena High in Greensburg. Southern University graduate FREDDIE DOUGLAS III has become the first Black to fill a senior executive service position at the John C. Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. Douglas, a NASA manager in the Stennis Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, was competitively chosen to fill the role and continue in his safety duties. He is responsible for the safety and mission success of all activities executed at Stennis, including public and private rocket engine testing and the work of more than 30 resident

Former Miss Southern University CHISOLU ISIADINSO has been named executive director and chief of staff for the national Motivating Students Academic and Career Success program in Baton Rouge. The Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum of Champions inducted five new members during ceremonies, Aug. 4 in the Shreveport Convention Center. The list of 2012 inductees includes Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle, legendary Shreveport high school football coach LEE HEDGES, Grambling and NFL quarterback DOUG WILLIAMS, Northeast Louisiana University and Olympic basketball player GLYNN SAULTERS JR., and Centenary College and NBA basketball star LARRY ROBINSON. The Recovery School District has hired ERICKA JONES as the principal of Crestworth Learning Academy and ROY WALKER to Capitol High School. Jones previously served as the assistant principal/acting principal of Baker Middle School, served in several

administrative roles with the Richardson Independent School District in Richardson, Texas, and was an assistant principal at Thurgood Marshall and Hamilton Park Magnet elementary schools. Walker was the assistant principal of Capitol Middle School and a school administrator at Kenilworth Middle School. GYPSYE BRYAN, MARY KATIE BLUNSCHI, DARLENE BRISTER, VERA DUNBAR, SABRINA D. MARSH, ANDREA O’KONSKI, JONI ROBERTS and ADAM SMITH have been appointed executive directors for school leadership at East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. MICHAEL HAGGEN, is filling the new position of deputy superintendent for innovation and overseeing 53 lowerperforming schools. CARLOS SAM has been named associate superintendent of school leadership and instruction where he will oversee 23 higher performing schools. Veteran Journalist BERWIN MCCLINTON has returned to radio as news director for Shreveport’s KOUS Radio 96.3FM. He has 40 years broadcasting experience and is a graduate of Carroll High School. He attended Southern univesity and majored in journalism before becoming reporter and weeked news anchor for KNOE TV8 News in the early 80s.

Husband, wife CATC graduates open businesses THE TRAINING BRETT AND SHAWANN James received at Capital Area Technical College in Baton Rouge have lead to the husband and wife graduates to open two businesses. According to the College, Shawann James graduated in December 2006 from the LPN program at Capital Area Technical College Westside Campus in Plaquemine. She is a testament of leadership and determination. As a wife and mother of three, she enrolled in the Practical Nursing program at the Westside Campus. Shawann earned excellent grades and was also elected SGA president. After graduation, Shawann worked as an LPN for four years. Her LPN work experience allowed her to find a niche in

the medical field. That revelation led her to open her own business, Pilut Healthcare Services, LLC. The company provides CPR and first-aid training for individuals/groups and risk management studies. It has expanded to two locations in Baton Rouge and Plaquemine. It is online at www.piluthealthcare. com. Brett graduated from the barbering/styling program and opened Golden Leaf Cuts, a barber shop in Plaquemine, LA.





FEATURES School choice opens families to home school environments cont. from page 1 a how close a family friend was with her children almost 20 years ago that she would home school her children. “I wanted my children and myself to be close and with home schooling I saw that at ages when children are gravitating away from their parents, home schooling my children has brought them closer to me,” said Jackson. Jackson said there was time where she did fill the stress that came with being the sole provider of her children’s education and at one time put her two oldest children back into public school. “My daughter did not like it and she asked to go back to being home schooled and I did not like the changes I saw in my son’s behavior, I noticed he was slowly becoming a follower and not a leader.” said Jackson. That was the first and last time she placed her children in the traditional classroom setting, she said. Even thought they are no longer in the traditional school setting the Jackson children participate in variety of programs that allow them to socialize with their peers. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, home school students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclearfamily members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work. “Now there are so many tools available. For example, I am not the best math teacher so my oldest children attend their math classes online through a program called Virtual Home school. It helps ensure they are meeting state standards” said Jackson. Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, taxfunded resources for their children’s education. The finances associated with their home schooling likely estimate over $16 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools Jackson said that her family has had to make some financial sacrifices because since she is home schooling her children full time her family depends on the income of her husband. Jackson said that she believes anything worth having is worth working for and if you really want to do something what you have to get it done. In 1989 Joyce and Eric Burges attended a meeting their oldest sons guidance

The home school environment of Kamali Academy in New Orleans allows director Samori Camara the creative flexibility to broaden lessons for students like these gathered outside.

counselor that would change the way change her families life. “My son was attending a magnet school where in order to attend that school students were required to maintain a 2.8 average,” said Burges. Joyce said their son’s guidance counselor explained to her and her husband that their son’s g.p.a. had fallen slightly below that and that he should either be held back a grade or withdrawn from the school. After being told this news Joyce says they were ushered out of the office because the counselor reminded them she had other to students to take care of as well. “My husband and I were upset and very unhappy with options we had available to educate our son” said Burges. Burges said during this time she reflected on time she went to church and met a member who had four very well behaved young boys. “I had not seen children who were so well behaved and I asked her were her children went to school and she told me that she home schooled them herself,” said Burges. Burges said that it was after that conversation with the woman she decided that she would home school our her son and the rest of their children. Today the Burges have five children their oldest son is 36 and their youngest daughter just graduated high school at age 17. Joyce has been home schooling her children for over 23 years . “ When I first started home

schooling my children I saw them taking imitative in their studies and more importantly taking ownership in their education” said Burges Not only did the Burges Home school their children but they started the National Black Home Educators in 2000. The organization serves African Americans all over the United States, Africa and Canada who home school their children and provides them any help or encouragement they need. “I had gone to so many conferences and met so many people but, what I noticed was that there was nothing out there for African Americans and I knew that I was not the only one doing this” said Burges. Sometimes there are parents who want to place their child in the home school environment, but may not have the time or skills to teach their children full time. For parents with time constraints home school programs like the Kamali African-American Home School Co-op in New Orleans have gained popularity. “If our education is not teaching us, as Black people, how to solve our own problems then were being miseducated,” said Samori Camara, director of the Kamali Academy in New Orleans. Camara said the way the program works is people who have different skills come together with other home schooling parents and teach children. “This type of program gives parents who home school

Pray for Our Air Meeting

September 7 6 PM Allen Chapel AME Church 6175 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge Let’s talk about chemical spills and what we can

do about them. Presentations from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Emergency Preparedness. Listen learn and let your voice be heard.

More info contact Stephanie Anthony or 225-371-4346

a chance work with each other and help one another in areas where they feel they might not be strong as teachers” said Camara One thing that makes the Kamali institute unique is that is that the Kamali institute uses African Centered teaching in all subject areas. “At Kamaili we know that every student attends with a purpose and our purpose as educators is to help them find their purpose,” said Camara Camara said Many parents choose us because they public school systems and private schools are not teaching our children they way should be taught. Not only from an educational standpoint, but a social one as well. Camara said We just don’t teach black history it is deeper than that. When teach our children about Marcus Garvey, who they are not learning about in the traditional classroom, we apply to all aspects of education. Of course we talk about his life but we will talk about his

contributions to mathematics or discuss him from an economical point of view in a history class. Camara said many parents take their child out the traditional classroom setting because some they do not like what their children are learning outside of it. One big thing that children learn sometimes is the importance of material items. If a child goes into a classroom the with newest tennis shoes then most likely a the children in the class are going to home and tell there parents to get them the same shoes and the focus is taken of the educational instruction. There is no charge to be a part of the Kamali academy according to Dr. Camara anyone interested in joining will be required to meet with Kamali teacher and discuss how they can benefit Kamali and how Kamali can benefit them. Camara said Every parent who participates in the program teaches or contributes something similar to that of a bartering system, but if their a parents who just want their child to receive a Kamali education they must pay a tuition. In a study performed by the NEHRI home education is expected to increases between 2-8% each year ,like it has in the past , and will continue to increase especially among minorities. “When I decided to home school my children I knew it wasn’t about me the process was about my children. I had to use my energy to do what was bet for them. I knew that if couldn’t teach my children I could love and support them and that’s what most of the children who are failing in school need,” said Burges.




VOUCHERS cont. from page 1

attitude was ‘that can’t possibly be happening.’ But it was happening.” According to Heilman, the aim of the lawsuit is to get the state to bring its practices in line with federal law. The case was filed in October 2010 against the Louisiana Department of Education, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the state’s Superintendent of Schools. A “Treasure Hunt” Fischer’s travails began when she tried to find a school for him. Although he was 8 and old enough to be in third grade, his learning wasn’t at the same level. Contacting the state Department of Education, she was directed to New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD), without being told the city has another public school district. (There are 2 public school districts in New Orleans, the RSD and the Orleans Parish School Board. The RSD took over all of the failing schools post-Katrina while the OPSB maintained all those that were performing sufficiently well.) “He needed help with everything: going to the bathroom, navigating around the building, having lunch,” Fischer recalled of Noah’s first day in a New Orleans public elementary school. The school, however, didn’t have an aide for him, so Fischer spent her first few weeks in the city as her son’s in-class support. Finally, after much frustration with the situation, she and her husband confronted the city’s Recovery School District, which runs roughly three-fourths of the city’s public schools, and managed to get Noah switched to another school, also run directly by the district. Before landing at Lafayette Academy in 2010, his third school, where Noah is still enrolled, Fischer looked for a school that would fully serve her son, but some schools made it clear that Noah wasn’t welcome. “Some of the charters told us they wouldn’t take him. They would say things like ‘we don’t have a program here for him.’ No one ever said ‘do not apply,’” Fischer explained. Instead, she would hear things such as: “our charter doesn’t accept students like that.”

Additionally, Fischer said even when Noah was in his second school he wasn’t getting the services that his Individualized Education Program (IEP) outlined as necessary, even if they had been promised. Fischer said they brought Noah’s IEP from his Indiana school, which had been “cooperative” about fulfilling his needs. She described the arrangement her family had reached with Noah’s school in Indiana. “We decided he needed to be in a more regular setting part-time, and the school paid to bus him there and paid for the program.” Fischer described her search as a “treasure hunt.” “It was very difficult to access information, in terms of what schools were appropriate, what services were available, or even who to ask,” she said. Finding Lafayette Academy, a charter school, was like finding a gem since it was actually following the law and serving students with disabilities in a way that accounted for their needs. Fischer and other advocates believe the new voucher program will only make matters worse. As a parent of a child with special needs, she says applying for a voucher to send Noah to a private school would actually mean losing the one leverage she has in demanding better services from the public schools: namely, the federal requirement that public schools must accept and meet the needs of all students, regardless of mental or physical abilities. She explained that if she wanted to take the voucher to send Noah to a private school, “I would actually have to sign away my rights, under the law, to receive services.” This, Fischer said, would put her and other parents in the position of having to pay out of pocket for the kind of educational support that is currently required by law in public schools. “And for many parents, like myself, that is not possible.” Separate Systems The voucher program expands a pilot program that began in New Orleans during the 2008-2009 school year. Under the new law, a parent whose child is studying at a school with an F, D, or C grade

would be able to transfer to a more,” Landry wrote in an since it may also violate federal private institution, as long as email interview with New statutes by asking children with there are seats available at the America Media. “The amount special needs “to sign away private school and the family of the tuition assistance cannot their rights.” meets the income requirements, exceed the amount of the nonAlthough Fischer says that is, at or below 250 percent public school’s tuition. And if Noah’s current school, Lafayette of poverty, or $57,625 for a the school’s tuition amount Academy, a charter, is meeting family of four. is more than the scholarship her son’s needs, she decided Nolan Marshall, the value, the difference will be to participate in the lawsuit Director of Policy and Advocacy paid by the student’s parents or because of all the challenges at Tulane University’s Cowen guardians.” she met trying to find a suitable Institute for Public Education This solution, however, is school environment for him. Initiatives (http://www. not legal according to Heilman “We actually want them, noted of the SPLC. “It creates a to be better,” Fischer said, these parameters would open separate system for students explaining that she agreed to up the possibility of transfer to with disabilities, which is sign onto the lawsuit with the approximately 380,000 of the a violation of federal law,” understanding that her goal was state’s 700,000 public school Heilman said, explaining that not financial compensation, but students. “This program is only such a system “[runs] the risk rather fixing the problems with limited by the availability of of kids being warehoused in the school system. “I hope I’m a seats,” he said. separate programs.” Heilman part of the solution.” Fischer is less than also noted that her organization enthusiastic. “To me, the is investigating the legality of voucher system is really the state’s new voucher program designed to leave these special needs students contained in failing schools that will have less money to do the job that they’re already not doing well.” Barry Landry, a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Department of Education acknowledged that private schools accepting vouchers would not be required to provide the same services for special needs children that public schools do. He pointed out, however, that the state passed a law in 2010 to offer vouchers to students with disabilities, the School Choice Pilot Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities. “The program, )LYUHYK/HYYPZ^HZ[OLÄYZ[(MYPJHU(TLYPJHU[V^HSRVU[OLTVVU which will provide ,__VU4VIPSPZ[LHTPUN\W^P[O[OPZHZ[YVUH\[[VOLSW)H[VU9V\NLRPKZ families of eligible MVSSV^[OLPYKYLHTZ)YPNO[LYM\[\YLZILNPU^P[OHNVVKMV\UKH[PVUPU students with tuition TH[OHUKZJPLUJL assistance to attend approved nonpublic schools that offer exceptional needs programs, began during the 20112012 school year and is offered in parishes with a population of 190,000 or

SLU Lab students take on Jamaica

STRONGER Communities SMARTER Kids BRIGHTER Futures From our annual Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp to our Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day to our Community Summer Jobs Program, ExxonMobil is committed to the Baton Rouge community. At ExxonMobil we are working in the community, working for you.

SLU Lab Junior High (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) students, teachers and parents recently went to Falmouth, Jamaica and spent time getting to know students at one of the local schools. The SLU Lab soccer team played the team from the Jamaican school. It took a little time, but the kids from both schools soon warmed up to each other and began laughing and joking like they were old friends. It was great fun for all the children, parents, and teachers involved. It also taught everyone how fortunate we are and that children around the world are often more alike than different. Photo from Tangipahoa Schools







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BUYTHEBOOK GET THE STRATEGIES NEEDED TO CHANGE WEALTH FOR GENERATIONS Building financial future requires tenacity through money’s cycles BY CANDACE J. SEMIEN JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter At a time when many families were losing jobs and homes, author Angela Lee Underwood saw an opportunity buried within the “sub-prime fiasco“ of 2008. “People did not have anything to fall back on as it related to finances. There were many families who became homeless and did not have enough money to feed their children,” she said. This was her inspiration to write Building Your Financial Future Even To the POf Giving. “I want people to be prepared for those unexpected difficult situations in their lives. My passion is to teach people how they can improve their lives by growing in their finances.” She recently sat with the JOZEF SYNDICATE to discuss the book. What’s your favorite part of the book? Why? UNDERWOOD: My favorite part of the book is the point of Giving. Getting to this point means that you have accomplished those things in the book when it comes to getting out of your debt. This means that you are now in control of your finances. As I touch on the point of giving, I am not only speaking about giving your financial resources, but I am also referring to giving your time and services to help others. Using your talents and skills to help those who are in greater need

than you. Helping with food pantries, soup kitchens, volunteering in your community and helping those who are in shelters, are places where you can give of your time. I believe that in order to truly be in a position to help someone, we must first prepare ourselves financially. What in your background enabled you to write this book? I’ve worked in the financial industry for more than 30 years...including in investments, savings, mortgage loans, and deposits. I have also completed requirements to become certified financial planner. Even in my own personal experience, I have been able to eliminate my debt situation and improve in my finances. Because of my spiritual beliefs and experience in dealing with Please see FUTURE, PG 13

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State to close rail crossings

BY EDDIE PONDS THE DRUM publisher INDEPENDENCE—THE Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has decided to closed railroad crossing at Rev.. White Road and Capace Road, in Independence. Residents of the area are angry because their concerned has not been address by DOT. During an August 9 meeting DOT refuse to let any one speak, instead they pass our card for residents to write their objection on. Nick Joseph parish council member who represent that area said. “The DOT has been trying for years to close those crossing at Rev. White Road and Capace


Road. A large black community lives in those areas. If DOT closes those crossing, residents will have to travel 5 miles to the next crossing,




FUTURE cont. from page 3 finances, I believe that the content in this book will help people gain a more successful financial future. How can the f i n a n c i a l literacy and tips in this book be brought into the home of seniors or families with young children? Is that too soon or too old? You are never too old or too young to learn about finances. Seniors can benefit from learning about finances as they are dealing with retirement, social security and Medicare. When it comes to children, children must learn how to use money. They need to be educated in this area at an early age so that they may do well in managing money when they become adults. You write, “knowing God’s will is the key to becoming successful in your finances”. Can you elaborate? God wants us to live a better life and to be good stewards over the things of the earth because all things belong to Him. God’s will for us is that we love one another. We will be able to help ourselves

as well as helping others, (which is demonstrating our love for others), when our finances are in order. The book is definitely a guide for Christians-believers in Christ and the Bible--as they are the references on every page. Is this book just for Christians? This book is for everyone. I reference the Bible in the book because there are many scriptures in which God speaks to us about money. Choosing to improve your finances is great wisdom. Why is it important to cover wills and estate planning before the concept of giving? As you establish your financial plan, creating a will and overall estate plan will allow you to designate where you want your property to go. Giving to others and to organizations will allow your legacy to live on. Leaving an inheritance so that your grandchildren will be able to attend college or so that money can be given to help out shelters and other not-for-profit organizations will make this

world a better place to live. The book overlaps in the Christian and finance genres. What sets this book apart from others in the same genres? Combining what God tells us about money with how we are to manage it is the first step to becoming disciplined in your finances. Increasing our financial knowledge and improving the lives of others should be a goal that we set for ourselves. The book touches on many areas of our basic financial journey. Finances and Christianity goes hand-in-hand as we keep to the law of obedience. Where can the books be purchased? Individual orders of the book can be purchased online at, Barnes and, BooksAMillion. com and of course through the publisher, for both individual and bulk orders. Where are you a native? Is this your first book? What’s next for you? I am a native of Chicago. This is my first book.I conduct speaking engagements and workshops on financial literacy. I can be contacted through my website, or fingive@

Please see CROSSING, PG 16

Hope Community United Methodist Church 4260 Evangeline St. in Baton Rouge seeks volunteer tutors for after-school programs Call at 225-362-9698. The course subjects, dates and times will be determined based on the availability of the tutors.






News deadline: Mondays at 6pm The opinions found in the Opinions section reflect the ideas of the writer and are not endorsed by the editors or publishers of THE DRUM. Submissions to THE DRUM may be edited for space and clarity and are published at the discretion of the editorial staff. Phone: (225) 927-3717 Email: Facebook: TheDrumNews Member of New American Media, Louisiana Black Publishers Association, National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Jozef Syndicate, and the Louisiana Press Association The Drum Newspaper is distributed, in part, to locations in Baton Rouge through Runner’s Courier Services. © 2012 Ponds Enterprises LLC

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Southern University System fighting against the ‘wolf’ BY KAMEKO THOMAS

Guest Columnist

THE SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM is the only Historically Black College and University system in the United States. And it has a lot to be proud of. Since 1880, Southern

University has established a tradition of excellence, and touts outstanding graduates, a global alumni network, rigorous academic programs, and a history of service to the underserved among its many achievements. The SU System has

produced a rich, proud legacy; it should be protected and preserved, at all costs. Southern University System President Ronald Mason at the SU System Town Hall Meeting in Shreveport. Because the Jaguar Nation is in the fight of its life.

Note the following attacks: •Since 2009, the SU System has seen more than $40 million in state budget cuts that have damaged the educational opportunities for students, forced the elimination of Please see WOLF pg 15

Time to bring La. vochure schools into light BY ANDRE M. PERRY, PHD

Guest Columnist

LOUISIANA DIDN’T BECOME 41ST in the nation on average ACT score because of public school performance alone. Public schools can’t take all the blame for why Louisiana keeps looking up at its peers on the National

Assessment of Educational Progress. Particularly in New Orleans, where more than one-third of all students attend private and/or parochial schools, the quality of this sector is critical to our city’s vitality. However, the scrutiny around public education has by default inflated the perception

of private schools. Sending your child to a private school shouldn’t just sound like you’re doing more. Other than reputation, how do you know if you should be satisfied with your child’s school? The thought that your tuition may not yield a significant difference from the

public sector is terrifying, but it’s a fear we must face. As an educational researcher, I encourage opportunities to learn more about private and faith-based school performance. As a taxpayer, I want to see all Please see PERRY, PG 15

LETTER: Thank you, Republican school board members JUST A QUICK NOTE TO SAY THANK you to those of you who took the time to email and call the school board members to encourage them to vote yes to roll forward the tax millages. The roll forward did pass by one vote! All 8 members who voted to roll the tax millages forward deserve our appreciation, but two members deserve special thanks: Randy Lamana, District 11, and Barbara Freiberg, Board President, District 7. Woody Jenkins threatened to run and support a Republican candidate in the next school board election against any Republican board member who voted to roll the tax millage

forward. One of the Republican board members probably would have voted against the roll forward anyway, but two bowed to his pressure. Mrs. Freiberg and Mr. Lamana, both Republicans, did not because they wanted to do what was best for the children of East Baton Rouge Parish schools. Their votes were > especially courageous. Mr. Lamana even stated that he probably committed political suicide, but he knew his responsibility was to the children in EBRPSS. Please know that Woody Jenkins may have continually referred to this roll forward as a tax increase, but it was not. The

Assessor’s office determined some properties had increased in value and therefore would pay more tax. If the School Board had not rolled the tax millages forward, the percentage of the millages (which was passed by voters in the parish) would have been reduced to keep the revenue generated by the millages flat. The amount generated by maintaining the millages at the rate voters agreed to was not, as some claimed, unduly burdensome to homeowners. As reported in The Advocate, “The 43.45 mills approved will mean an increase of $3 a year for a home valued at $100,000 or $15 more a year for a house valued

at $200,000.” (The figures take into consideration the $75,000 homestead exemption.) Please remember Barbara Freiberg and Randy Lamana for their commitment to our school children. If you have a moment to call or email them to thank them for their vote especially under such pressure, please do. The opponents to the roll forward will probably be calling them, so more than likely they would appreciate some words of encouragement. Thank you for all you do.


LETTER: Challenge Delhi School pregnancy policy Editor’s note: Natasha’s petition, “Delhi Charter School: Stop Discriminating Against Pregnant Students”, can be found at petitions AS A FORMER TEEN MOM, I KNOW HOW hard it is to stay in school and graduate on time when you’re pregnant or taking care of a new baby. So I was shocked to learn that the Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana is shaming and suspending pregnant students —and imposing mandatory pregnancy tests on students who “might” be pregnant. Students at Delhi Charter

School—which is publicly funded—who are suspected of being pregnant are forced to take mandatory pregnancy tests. If they refuse, they’re told to stay home or transfer. And if they test positive, they’re told to stay home or transfer. This discrimination is illegal. But the administration at Delhi Charter School seems to be more interested in making sure pregnant girls can’t get an education than in obeying federal law. That’s why I started this petition to tell the Delhi Charter School administration to stop

forcing girls to take pregnancy tests, and to stop shaming and suspending pregnant students and students who refuse to take the tests. Does this kind of shaming stop teen pregnancies and build stronger, better educated communities? No. I know because I was a teen mom at 17, and now I work with teen moms every day as the Teen Parent Ambassador Coordinator for Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston. Seven years ago, I told teachers and administrators at my high school I was pregnant,

thinking they’d want to help me graduate and build a future for myself and my child. Instead, they made me feel ashamed and unwelcome, and made it almost impossible for me to attend classes, jeopardizing my education and my future. I was lucky enough to be able to transfer and, today, I work with other teen moms to support them in graduating on time and growing into successful adults. But the wonderful young women I work with have to overcome huge obstacles -30% of all teen girls who drop Please see PREGNANCY, PG 15

READER COMMENTS FROM THEDRUMNEWS ON FACEBOOK TheDrumNews: Jindal enters legal battle over Louisiana Supreme Court siding against the U.S. Justice Department. pLnkNk48 Rhonda Brownign: The attitude here seems to be that because the Chisolm decree was about something that

affected the Black community, it was not important and her appointment was just a token of appeasement, not real. I think that says a great deal about the Jindal administration and its attitude toward minorities. In my opinion, every voter who believes in equal rights should sign the Recall Jindal petitions available through www. and

get this bigot removed from office. If the president can tell the justice department not to defend DOMA, so should the governor tell the state's justice department to leave this alone. TheDrumNews: Most 11-year-old boys are into playing electronic games or

watching television and not concern about what going on outside of their home. That is not the case for Joshua Fryar, 11, of Ponchatoula. Meicola Meco Piper: Giving this baby a STANDING OVATION......his parents too for raising him to be giving and selfless....

Ask the PERRY cont. from page 14 Expert My sorority is planning a group trip of 20 to the October Woman Thou Art Loose Conference. We know thousands of people will be there. How should we organize? You want to first pick a group leader who will organize the trip itinerary and line up volunteers for responsibilities. Pick someone who has had experience pulling together a group of travelers who are not related for a special trip similar to this one. Just because your soror travels with a large family, doesn’t mean she can necessary pull this trip together in a month’s time. If you are not sure that someone within your group can take on that responsibility in such a short period of time, contact an travel agent who is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Many, like Doves Charter Services, have packages prepared that your group can register for that includes travel, hotel and tickets. You also want to make sure the agent has handled groups of your size and a trip with the same duration. To be able to offer your group a onestop contact may be better if you do not have a travel leader in your group.

How can we be sure to get the best rates? You should always compare prices. Most travel agencies apply a 10 percent to 25 percent fee for the total trip. This may or may not include an agent who is on call and available by phone 24hours while you are traveling. You can also use Internet-based booking services like and orbit,com for hotel and flight then receive group rate from the conference—or calling a bus company for group rates. Again, this would take great coordination by your leader. Because you are traveling to a conference specifically, look for a company with a package that includes Woman Thou art Loose tickets.

Do we need anything special as we travel? It is always smart planning to have valid and current identification. This could be your driver’s license, work ID, or student ID. Traveling with any health insurance cards along with a note card in your wallet that has a list of your medicines, an emergency contact name and number, allergies, and doctors information should be kept with each traveler in case of an emergency. With that in hand, you can enjoy your trip to Atlanta. This “Ask the Expert” column was answered by Alberta Holmes with Dove’s Charter Services of Zachary, La. Holmes has organized trips for couples, schools, and churches throughout the South for 12 years. Call Dove’s at (225) 658-0570 for more information on travel and planning.

schools improve. Louisiana’s voucher program provides the overall public an opportunity to understand what taxpayers and tuition payers are getting in return. But instead, the Department of Education’s actions shroud the information that is requisite for parental choice. The State’s long awaited accountability provisions for the voucher program proved to be a set of undefendable political compromises. Voucher schools will not receive similar consequences for underperformance particularly if they have fewer than 40 students (We assume 40 to be some magic number). If participating schools miseducate 40 or more, they can keep the students and the money. The failing schools just can’t enroll more students. Meanwhile, public schools are shuttered for such performances.

Jarvis Deberry of the Times-Picayune characterized it best within the title of an article on the subject, “A low bar is better than none.” However, the national group, Interfaith Alliance would not like the uneven bars set in religious institutions. Its president Rev. C. Welton Gaddy said in a letter sent to the Governor, “Your school voucher scheme is bad for religious freedom and bad for public education as well as a blatant attack on the religious freedom clauses in the United States Constitution.” Pastor Gaddy is correct, but based on what’s coming out about some the voucher recipients; we may need some public sunlight placed upon these schools. Sadly, the Department’s shrinking away from true accountability limits Louisiana’s chances for advancement. While the State demands rigor with End of Course


examinations in assumed secular subjects such as Biology, Algebra and American History for its public schools, the Department of Education is accepting schools that advance creationism. How are state universities going to evaluate these subjects? Shouldn’t there be a reasonable amount of curricular consistency between the faith-based schools that the State accepts in its voucher program and the public schools that are purported as improving rapidly? More importantly, do parents know the fullness of having their child attend the Light City Christian Academy whose students will “yield to the tutelage of Apostle Leonard Lucas Jr.” – a self described prophet. A transparent application process for faithbased institutions would provide the information needed to promote the ideal of choice. Again, Louisiana’s rank



can’t fall solely on the shoulders of public schools. Bringing voucher schools to the light will make clear what is real; bad public schools aren’t the only educational institutions that need to close. Andre Perry is the associate director for Educational Initiatives for Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education. He can be reached at

WOLF cont. from page 14 programs and courses, and shrunk student services. • The anti-Southern University/anti-HBCU sentiment reached a tipping point when a bill to merge Southern University – New Orleans (SUNO) with the University of New Orleans was introduced during the 2011 Louisiana Legislative session. Had the legislation passed, the Southern University System would have been dismantled.

•Also in 2011, Southern University – Baton Rouge (SUBR) declared financial exigency, a direct result of declining enrollment (based in large part to increased admission standards mandated by a Republican-controlled Louisiana Board of Regents). These attacks have forced SU to go into survival mode. In an interview with Ovations, the Southern University System Magazine,

SU System President Ronald Mason said, “These cuts strike a significant blow to our efforts as we move forward with plans to move Southern toward a more secure, distinguished place in higher ed.”

PREGNANCY cont. from page 14 out of high school leave because of pregnancy, and 70% of teen girls who give birth end up leaving school. Advocacy groups and legal experts have already told Delhi Charter School their policy of mandatory pregnancy tests and suspending pregnant students breaks several federal laws because it discriminates against female students -- it also violates the Constitution.

The Delhi Charter School says it “may rethink” the policy, but in the meantime, they can still shame pregnant students. Tell the school to immediately eliminate mandatory pregnancy tests and commit to giving pregnant students the same the same education, in the same place and at the same time, as all other students..

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CROSSINGcont. from page 13 a total of 10 mile, that a long way for an emergency vehicle to travel in time of need, he said. “I am not happy, I am very unhappy. I have a medical challenge daughter, which needs emergency care often. Traveling five mile just to cross the rail road tracts is not good when you have a sick child, and the elderly, every second count, said Charlotte Williams” They are talking about closing Lallie Kemp Medical Center and the railroad crossing, they are killing us altogether, there is no consideration for the poor people, said Williams. Willie Johnson said, “I’ve been staying back here all my life, now they are going to close us in, and we will have to go about five mile to cross the tracks. It is crazy, and hard to understand. I realize there been some accidents with the train, maybe the train can come through this area slower.” I have a brother with Lou Gehrig’s disease, easy and faster excess across the tracks is very important, said Johnson. The parish does not have the estimate half-million dollars to build signals, a safety crossing arms to warnings to protect drivers from train vehicle collisions.

MILESTONES What milestone are you celebrating this year? Let us celebrate with you. Call (225) 9273717 or email news@ thedrumnewspaper. info. Then, pick up a copy of next month’s issue to see what this couple is celebrating and who joined them.

The Drum Newspaper Aug '12  

Special Education issue covering Black Home Schoolers, New EBR Parish District, Vochure Program success, Kamali Academy, Educator DrumRoll,...

The Drum Newspaper Aug '12  

Special Education issue covering Black Home Schoolers, New EBR Parish District, Vochure Program success, Kamali Academy, Educator DrumRoll,...