Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Black in America?

I am watching the first day of the CNN special "Black in America" and I decided to blog during the two day special. After these two days, I will post a couple of posts related to: (a) the impact of gas prices and higher education, and (b) how to engage students on the content management system websites.

"The Black in America" Blog Special:

Paying Students to Learn
The African American drop out rate. This aspect of the special was heartbreaking. I feel that I am so far removed from the secondary school environment that I do not know about the startling statistics pertaining to the high school graduation achievement gap. One professor had a solution (grant funded, I believe) to increase the high school graduation rate for African American students. His solution was to pay students to stay in school and to achieve. I think that the average student received $65.75, but these students were in elementary school. I wonder how this would work at the high school level.

My Take
Interesting enough, I am launching a weekend-based college prep academy for junior and senior level high school students. This academy will teach students about college admission secrets, scholarships, and SAT/ACT preparation. After the workshop, I want the students to have access to my personal e-mail address and cell phone number. Most of the students will come from underrepresented populations, but I want EVERYONE to have access to this workshop.

While watching the CNN special, an interesting thing has happened tonight. I received 10+ telephone calls and text messages from friends/former students who wanted to make sure that I was watching the special. My husband wondered if people of other races were watching the special. Were they? Not sure.

Potential Impact
However, I think that this special will result in a preponderance of scholarly articles and newspaper articles on this issue. In addition, this will be an interesting issue for my Intercultural Communication course in the spring. I hope that CNN has a Hispanic American special as well.

We shall see. Any thoughts?


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