Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
by Christian Morrow
Just a reminder, the NAACP Region II conference will be held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel this weekend, with the welcoming VIP Reception April 25 at the Savoy Restaurant.
This year’s conference focuses on Civil Rights Advocacy Training and best practices in addressing racial disparities in:
•Branch administration and revitalization;
•Organized Labor, and
•Youth and College Division training.
The conference schedule for April 26 includes the Religious Affairs Breakfast followed by sessions on HIV and The Black church, and childhood obesity. Two luncheons follow, one on Organized Labor and the other on Youth and College.
The highlight is the Medgar Evers Dinner Gala and Award Ceremony that evening.
Events for Saturday, April 27 include the Women In NAACP Breakfast, the President’s Luncheon, NAACP Casino Royale, and the NAACP Region II Youth Townhall Meeting and Concert.
(For more information contact the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch at 412-471-1024.)
Last Updated on Sunday, 21 April 2013 19:22
Category: Metro Written by Public Source
by Leah Samuel | PublicSource
After getting a parking ticket at Pittsburgh International Airport, a driver requested a copy of the Allegheny Police Department’s report of the incident. The department didn’t respond.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 09:58
Category: Metro Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer
When District 3 Pittsburgh Public Schools Director Thomas Sumpter was first elected to the board in 2005, he said his goal was to address the achievement gap between Black and White Students. In 2007, that gap in reading was 33.7 percentage points and 32.8 for math. Today, the gap is 31.9 percentage points and 30.9 respectively.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done. There are some critical decisions that need to be made. The biggest issue is the long-term sustainability of the district. Disparities in achievement that still exist in the district are still an issue,” Sumpter said. “The issue when I first ran was to address the achievement disparity and that takes time. It takes time to first understand what’s going on and once you learn that to be able to apply what’s necessary so for me it’s a continuing effort.”
Sumpter is running unopposed to retain his seat in the upcoming May primary election. After nearly a decade he said he has been able to ensure the board is focused on moving in the right direction.
“Since my tenure, I’ve been able to get the school board to establish its goals, beliefs and commitments,” Sumpter said. “It puts you in a position where you can see what activities are going to contribute to that and you can see where your money is being spent.”
During his tenure, Sumpter completed the Broad Institute for School Boards, where he learned the role of board members in urban districts. For Sumpter the responsibility of the board is not to micromanage, but instead to hold the district accountable for carrying out policies.
“In my role, I view myself as a person of reason; you have to understand where other people are coming from,” Sumpter said. “My intent is to change the culture of the school board, before I came on it wasn’t really focused on exhibiting good governance.”
A decrease of only two percentage points in the achievement gap over the past six years is disheartening to many in the Black community, especially since the achievement gap actually widened between 2011 and 2012.
“That is one of the most difficult and all encompassing questions,” Sumpter said about closing the achievement gap. “One way for sure is when I say boosting attendance because you can’t boost achievement when the students aren’t in the classroom. Attendance levels aren’t what they should be.”
In order to reduce the achievement gap Sumpter said he would focus on using data to improve decision-making and analysis of achievement. He also said he plans to continue the district’s commitment of having a highly effective teacher in every classroom.
In fact, Sumpter said one of his biggest accomplishments during his tenure was securing an Empowering Effective Teachers grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
Sumpter also plans to reduce the achivement by increasing engagement from parents and the community.
“The whole thing of people taking pride in education, pride in our children and moving away from small parochial concerns of whether I have a school in my neighborhood or not to whether I was in a good district, because resources are tighter than ever,” Sumpter said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 05:59
Category: Metro Written by Associated Press
MONICA PROVIANO (Facebook Photo)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 21:11
Category: Metro Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
ALL POINTS BULLETIN—Point Park students Alexandra Martinez-O’Reilly, Mauricia Turner and prospective Indiana University student Dorian Frison listen to a presentation by Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff S. Jason Tarap during the March 27 Point Park University job fair.
With each nearly all-White class of academy graduates, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’ lack of racial diversity has become an increasingly divisive issue. Indeed, it has even made its way into the debates among the candidates running for mayor.
But rather than just debate the issue, Point Park University decided to team up with the Pennsylvania State Police for a career fair, and got an exceptional response.
“We actually had students waiting to get in before we got here,” said Career Counselor Amy Pointer. “So yes the response has been excellent.”
David King, assistant to the chair of the university’s Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies department was impressed.
“We had over 250 in the first two hours,” he said. “We had one guy from out of the country, mostly students, but not all. One of the key draws is that the state police are hiring now.”
Trooper Ed Joyner, as 20-year veteran, said he was impressed with the turnout.
“I saw a lot of good candidates coming through, very enthusiastic,” he said. “We had a good number of African-Americans, and we had a lot of females. We usually don’t get that many. So it’s a good day.”
Joyner said the state budget afforded them a chance to have a recruiting class of up to 80 applicants depending on the response.
“People ask if they need a military background, and they don’t,” he said. “It’s a plus, but anyone can do this job with the right mindset.”
He also noted that there are more departments within the state police than most people realize, including criminal investigations, forensic services, collision analysis and reconstruction, fire marshal, polygrapher, motorcycle and canine unit.
The unit that seemed to get the most attention, however, was the Special Emergency Response Team. That was because Trooper Jeff Worth, who was manning the desk brought something most people never get to see, his .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle.
Most people in the state police never see one either, he explained to prospective recruits because you have to be on the force for three years before you can even apply to the SERT team.
Keilyan Burkes, a junior majoring in Intelligence studies, said though his career thoughts had been geared toward federal agencies like the CIA, NSA or FBI, he was intrigued by what he saw.
“I didn’t know about all these different divisions, so I’ve been talking to the troopers to see what I could do to advance because some of these are a good fit with my programs,” he said. “I’m not averse to joining at all. I’m glad I came.”
Tavis Davis came all the way from Seton Hill University in Greensburg after meeting a recruiter there and filling out an application.
“I did a little research and learned they have among the best bonus, pay and training in the country,” he said. “I’ll be coming back here May 2 for the written exam.”
Also in attendance were personnel representing the State Police Liquor Control Enforcement and the state Civil Service Commission as well as Allegheny County Police and county Housing Authority, and the Pittsburgh Bomb Squad.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 12:40
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