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  • How Racial Injustice is Now Driving the ‘Fight for $15′

    2015/04/17 - An argument for why the movement to raise the minimum wage is critical, especially for the large numbers of low-wage black and brown workers who are living near the poverty line. Almost two years ago, McDonald’s worker Nancy Salgado was arrested after calling out former McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton for the criminally low… Read more

  • PRESS RELEASE: Protesters Fight for $15 in Jackson

    2015/04/16 - Mississippi residents converged on Jackson this month to push for a $15 minimum hourly wage and union representation for fast-food and other low-wage workers.  The movement arrived on the heels of McDonald’s executives announcing a pay increase for workers at its company-owned stores. That pay raise, however, does not extend to franchise stores, which… Read more

  • Shorting MAEP Basically a Tax Hike

    2015/04/16 - Dr. Cedrick Gray, the superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, seems to be proving tight-fisted Mississippi lawmakers right when they say it doesn’t necessarily take throwing money at schools to improve education. Gray, who has been with JPS since 2012, doesn’t profess to be a financial wiz. Rather, he has implemented a rigid system of… Read more

  • Report: Mississippi Among Worst Bang for Tax Bucks

    2015/04/16 – Mississippi politicians love to crow about the state’s low taxes and, in the most recent legislative session, tried unsuccessfully to empty the treasury even more. Yet, a new report out today from financial-information website WalletHub shows that Mississippi taxpayers, the nation’s poorest, don’t get very much for what they do spend on taxes. In fact,… Read more

  • Fast-Food Strikes Widen Into Social-Justice Movement

    2015/04/15 - Organizers are calling it the largest-ever mobilization of U.S. workers seeking higher pay. That’s yet to be determined. But what began on Tuesday with several low-wage worker protests and marches in Boston and Detroit expanded nationwide on Wednesday beginning shortly after 6 a.m. at a McDonald’s in New York City, where hundreds of fast-food… Read more

  • Analysis: Democrats Disappointed for the Children

    2015/04/15 - Whether this past session of the Mississippi Legislature was successful depends largely on which party a lawmaker belonged to. For Democrats in a body that is majority Republican in both houses—in a state with only one Democrat in statewide office—the consensus seems to be that every win was a hard-fought scramble. “For me, personally,… Read more

  • Clinton Schools Administrative Changes

    2015/04/15 - Several of the Clinton Public School District’s schools and departments will soon have new leadership. The changes are a result of administrators leaving CPSD or moving to other roles within the district. “We’re excited about the new administrators coming in,” said Dr. Phil Burchfield, superintendent of schools. “They are bright and talented, and they… Read more

  • Why We Should Keep Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks off the $20 Bill

    2015/04/13 - With the state of black women in this country, putting one of these icons on U.S. currency is not progress—it’s hush money. Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks may be the next face featured on the U.S. $20 bill—that is if WomenOn20s (W20), a grassroots organization committed to the realization of female representation on the nation’s currency,… Read more

  • How Will Charter Schools Differ from Traditional Public Schools in Mississippi?

    2015/04/14 – In August, Mississippi will allow charter schools to open for the first time in state history. After a rigorous application process, just two were approved to open their doors – Reimagine Prep and Midtown Public Charter School. Both will be located in Jackson, the state capital. Charters follow the same academic standards as traditional… Read more

  • 3rd Grade Reading Gate is Reality in Mississippi

    2015/04/14 - Testing is underway in Mississippi to see if third graders across the state are able to read on grade level, as part of the state’s new 3rd grade reading assessment. It was passed in 2013, by lawmakers as a way to raise the state’s reading scores which have historically, been the lowest in the… Read more

  • Supreme Court Deals Blow to Voter ID Foes

    2015/03/23 - The high court allowed Wisconsin’s voter ID law to stand while challenges to similar laws in other states continue.  The Supreme Court on Monday refused to take a case considering Wisconsin’s voter ID law, a major setback for civil rights groups that comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the Selma, Alabama,… Read more

  • Obama: Maybe it’s Time for Mandatory Voting

    2015/03/19 – (CNN) The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too. Asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it’s time to make voting a requirement. “Other countries have mandatory voting,” Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about… Read more

  • The Next Attack on Voting Rights

    2015/02/25 - The last round of voter restrictions came after the 2010 Republican wave, when new GOP majorities passed voter identification laws and slashed ballot access in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Now, three months after the 2014 Republican wave, another class of state lawmakers are prepping another assault on voting rights under the same… Read more

  • Backers of Voting Rights Bill Try a New Strategy

    2015/01/22 - WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama named voting rights protections as a priority in his State of the Union address Tuesday, but legislation that would restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act faces tough challenges this Congress. That legislation, called the Voting Rights Amendment Act, would resurrect the 1965 law’s “pre-clearance” provision requiring… Read more

  • NAACP Filed Federal Complaint Against Hinds Election Commission

    2015/01/07-After officials admitted to breaking state election law during the Nov. 4 general election, the Hinds County Election Commission is now on the radar of federal, state and local agencies. In late November, the Jackson chapter of the NAACP quietly filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department after numerous voters reported being disenfranchised because… Read more

  • The 10 Worst Civil Liberties Violations of 2014

    It’s been an exceptionally awful year. 2014/12/29 - The world may not actually be falling apart—but it feels like America is. From police brutality and botched executions to voter suppression and election corruption, 2014 was a terrible year for civil liberties in the United States. Protests were quelled by military-grade weapons in scenes worthy of a banana… Read more

  • Rep. John Lewis: An Oral History of Selma and the Struggle for the Voting Rights Act

    Rep. John Lewis is a member of the U.S. Congress from Georgia, and in 1965 he was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. How the fight for the African American vote was really won 2014/12/25-Selma, Alabama, selected herself to become the battleground for the voting rights movement of the 1960s. It was a regional center… Read more

  • This Week in Civil Rights History: Dec. 8-15

    2014/12/09 - December 8, 1863: The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction was issued by President Lincoln. It offered pardon and restoration of property (except slaves) to Confederates who took an oath of allegiance to the Union and agreed to accept emancipation. It also proposed a plan by which loyal voters of a seceded state could begin… Read more

  • Hinds Election Commissioner Admits She Broke Law Before

    2014/11/20 - Hinds County Election Commission Chairwoman Connie Cochran said she has not ordered the required number of ballots for any of the four Hinds County elections since the county reverted to the paper ballot system in 2013. Cochran had already admitted last week to breaking the state law that required her to order enough ballots… Read more

  • Jackson NAACP: Hinds Elex Commish Connie Cochran Should Resign

    2014/11/19 - The Jackson branch of the NAACP is calling for the ouster of Connie Cochran, the chairwoman of the Hinds County Election Commission, for problems during the Nov. 4 general election. Some precincts saw unexpectedly high turnout. Some of those polling places ran out of ballots late in the evening, which touched off a mad scramble… Read more

  • PRESS RELEASE: Protesters Fight for $15 in Jackson

    2015/04/16 - Mississippi residents converged on Jackson this month to push for a $15 minimum hourly wage and union representation for fast-food and other low-wage workers.  The movement arrived on the heels of McDonald’s executives announcing a pay increase for workers at its company-owned stores. That pay raise, however, does not extend to franchise stores, which… Read more

  • Shorting MAEP Basically a Tax Hike

    2015/04/16 - Dr. Cedrick Gray, the superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, seems to be proving tight-fisted Mississippi lawmakers right when they say it doesn’t necessarily take throwing money at schools to improve education. Gray, who has been with JPS since 2012, doesn’t profess to be a financial wiz. Rather, he has implemented a rigid system of… Read more

  • Report: Mississippi Among Worst Bang for Tax Bucks

    2015/04/16 – Mississippi politicians love to crow about the state’s low taxes and, in the most recent legislative session, tried unsuccessfully to empty the treasury even more. Yet, a new report out today from financial-information website WalletHub shows that Mississippi taxpayers, the nation’s poorest, don’t get very much for what they do spend on taxes. In fact,… Read more

  • Mississippi Education Debate

    2015/04/15 - It’s been just over a week since the Mississippi Legislature wrapped up work for this year’s legislative session, and two local lawmakers are not seeing eye-to-eye on some issues involving education. “We have done everything we could to cripple the public school system in the state of Mississippi,” says Representative Charles Young, Junior. Those… Read more

  • Fast-Food Strikes Widen Into Social-Justice Movement

    2015/04/15 - Organizers are calling it the largest-ever mobilization of U.S. workers seeking higher pay. That’s yet to be determined. But what began on Tuesday with several low-wage worker protests and marches in Boston and Detroit expanded nationwide on Wednesday beginning shortly after 6 a.m. at a McDonald’s in New York City, where hundreds of fast-food… Read more

  • Analysis: Democrats Disappointed for the Children

    2015/04/15 - Whether this past session of the Mississippi Legislature was successful depends largely on which party a lawmaker belonged to. For Democrats in a body that is majority Republican in both houses—in a state with only one Democrat in statewide office—the consensus seems to be that every win was a hard-fought scramble. “For me, personally,… Read more

  • Clinton Schools Administrative Changes

    2015/04/15 - Several of the Clinton Public School District’s schools and departments will soon have new leadership. The changes are a result of administrators leaving CPSD or moving to other roles within the district. “We’re excited about the new administrators coming in,” said Dr. Phil Burchfield, superintendent of schools. “They are bright and talented, and they… Read more

  • How Will Charter Schools Differ from Traditional Public Schools in Mississippi?

    2015/04/14 – In August, Mississippi will allow charter schools to open for the first time in state history. After a rigorous application process, just two were approved to open their doors – Reimagine Prep and Midtown Public Charter School. Both will be located in Jackson, the state capital. Charters follow the same academic standards as traditional… Read more

  • 3rd Grade Reading Gate is Reality in Mississippi

    2015/04/14 - Testing is underway in Mississippi to see if third graders across the state are able to read on grade level, as part of the state’s new 3rd grade reading assessment. It was passed in 2013, by lawmakers as a way to raise the state’s reading scores which have historically, been the lowest in the… Read more

  • Women Get Maximum Sentences in Hate Crime Death

    2015/04/10 - Two women who were in the truck used by a white teenager to run down a black man in 2011 received the maximum sentences for their charges in federal court on Thursday. Judge Henry Wingate sentenced Sarah Adelia Graves to 5 years in prison and Shelbie Brooke Richards to eight for conspiracy to commit a… Read more

  • Uncertainty About 3rd Grade Gate Standards Frustrates School Officials

    2015/04/17 - With testing for the so-called 3rd grade reading gate—which requires students to pass a literacy test before moving to the next grade—now under way around the state, some public school leaders say they’re frustrated because they haven’t been told what a passing grade is for the test. Legislators passed the Literacy-Based Promotion Act in… Read more

  • Appeal Filed in MAEP Funding Fight

    2015/04/16 - Acting on behalf of the Legislature, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves on Thursday appealed the decision of a Hinds County judge who earlier this month found the Legislature’s alternative to a citizen-sponsored education funding ballot initiative confusing. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston L. Kidd ruled in favor… Read more

  • Testing Contract Goes to Questar for $122M

    2015/04/16 - The Mississippi Board of Education on Thursday approved a $122 million contract with Questar Assessment to test hundreds of thousands of school children starting next year. Questar, headquartered in Minneapolis, was among three companies vying for the 10-year deal during a heavily scrutinized process shrouded in secrecy. Allegations surfaced shortly after the Mississippi Department… Read more

  • Shorting MAEP Basically a Tax Hike

    2015/04/16 - Dr. Cedrick Gray, the superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, seems to be proving tight-fisted Mississippi lawmakers right when they say it doesn’t necessarily take throwing money at schools to improve education. Gray, who has been with JPS since 2012, doesn’t profess to be a financial wiz. Rather, he has implemented a rigid system of… Read more

  • Mississippi Education Debate

    2015/04/15 - It’s been just over a week since the Mississippi Legislature wrapped up work for this year’s legislative session, and two local lawmakers are not seeing eye-to-eye on some issues involving education. “We have done everything we could to cripple the public school system in the state of Mississippi,” says Representative Charles Young, Junior. Those… Read more

  • Analysis: Democrats Disappointed for the Children

    2015/04/15 - Whether this past session of the Mississippi Legislature was successful depends largely on which party a lawmaker belonged to. For Democrats in a body that is majority Republican in both houses—in a state with only one Democrat in statewide office—the consensus seems to be that every win was a hard-fought scramble. “For me, personally,… Read more

  • Clinton Schools Administrative Changes

    2015/04/15 - Several of the Clinton Public School District’s schools and departments will soon have new leadership. The changes are a result of administrators leaving CPSD or moving to other roles within the district. “We’re excited about the new administrators coming in,” said Dr. Phil Burchfield, superintendent of schools. “They are bright and talented, and they… Read more

  • How Will Charter Schools Differ from Traditional Public Schools in Mississippi?

    2015/04/14 – In August, Mississippi will allow charter schools to open for the first time in state history. After a rigorous application process, just two were approved to open their doors – Reimagine Prep and Midtown Public Charter School. Both will be located in Jackson, the state capital. Charters follow the same academic standards as traditional… Read more

  • Third-Grade Reading Gate Tests Start Friday

    2015/04/09 - Third-graders across Mississippi will participate Friday in the first wave of reading tests to determine who advances to the fourth grade and who repeats another year in third. Some 38,000 students will take the test, called the Third-Grade Reading Summative Assessment, as part of the state’s new Mississippi Literacy-Based Promotion Act. Those who demonstrate… Read more

  • America is Criminalizing Black Teachers: Atlanta’s Cheating Scandal and the Racist Underbelly of Education Reform

    2015/04/08 - Last week, an Atlanta jury convicted 11 teachers and school administrators of racketeering in a system-wide cheating scandal. Yes, you read that correctly. Teachers and administrators inflating student scores on standardized tests is now considered “organized crime” in this country, and is punishable by more 20 years in prison, in these cases. I am… Read more

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