July 14, 2014

Immigration

Foundation Head Urges More Philanthropic Consistency in Approach to US Ed. System

AbstractIn a recent conversation with Philanthropy News Digest, the Spencer Foundation’s Michael McPherson elaborated on his view of the underlying importance of research in the field of education and the need for more communication among funders about what is and isn’t working.

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Zuckerberg’s Attempt at Immigration Reform Appears Stalled

ZuckerbergIt appears the efforts of Zuckerberg’s FWD.us to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans on the matter of immigration reform have caused the political group to stall out.

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Legacy of a Failed Foundation Initiative: inBloom, Gates and Carnegie

SunflowerEarlier this year, NPQ wrote about inBloom, one of the more expensive failed foundation initiatives ever. With a Gates grant of $100 million, inBloom managed to get and lose a number of contracts with public schools in just 15 months. In so doing, they did the country a favor by motivating a left/right backed movement of parents who object to the indiscriminate placement of details about their children in a national database.

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Where Should Grads Look for Jobs: Forbes Offers One Ranking

JobsIf you’re a new college grad, or perhaps a prospective college applicant, you might want to look to North Dakota, Oklahoma, or Wyoming due to their booming job markets. How might the Forbes ranking change if there were consideration of the prospects, vitality, job growth, and income changes of the states’ nonprofit sectors?

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The State of the American Dream: Safer, Smarter, Poorer

NewsAccording to a report examining the state of opportunity in the United States, the wellbeing of the average American has tripled over the past 40 years, showing marked progress in community safety and access to education. The one area of regression? The economy.

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A New Name Follows New Energy for This Child Care Center

CrayonsThe almost-fifty-year-old Child Development, Inc. serves primarily low-income children in a part of Madison, Wisconsin considered a “daycare desert,” so one can imagine it is a resource desperately needed by parents in the area. The center once had a stellar reputation, but it has had a rough few years.

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Sexual Assault Victim Not “Privileged Status” at Bob Jones University

BobConservative columnist George Will is at the epicenter of a national debate about sexual assault on college campuses, which his recent column in the Washington Post suggested was overblown and used by progressives as part of some sort of PC campaign. At Bob Jones University, the religious South Carolina school, victims of sexual assault are counseled to blame themselves and repent for the sinful things they did in their lives to have caused themselves to be raped.

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Attention to Refugees Ever More Important as Numbers Rise

WRDWorld Refugee Day was observed last week. It is amazing to think that last year, the refugee population of the world jumped to 51.2 million and, as a result of the chaos in Iraq, may have increased another by another million in just the past few months.

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Dark Matter: What Some U.S. Science Museums Aren’t Showing You

PerotIn order to avoid controversy among attendees and funders, science museums around the U.S. are hiding or avoiding parts of exhibits that discuss topics like human-induced climate change or evolution.

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Cantor’s Defeat and the Implications for Charter Schools

BratPundits described the surprise loss of Eric Cantor to his relatively unknown and hugely underfunded primary election opponent, Dave Brat, as a political earthquake, and predicted dire seismic consequences for prospects of immigration reform legislation anytime soon. But Cantor’s big personal belief about nonprofits was support for charter schools. Will Brat follow Cantor on that cardinal plank in the education reform agenda?

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Homeless Social Enterprise in Brooklyn May Need New Location

CannersSure We Can appears to be an admirable organization, operating New York City’s only nonprofit redemption center to which homeless persons can bring empty cans and bottles. Given the expensive Brooklyn real estate market, Sure We Can might need to find a new redemption center location, and that is going to be difficult for a small, not highly capitalized nonprofit.

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Palestinian-American Activist Faces Deportation

OdehRasmea Odeh has been a respected, award-winning Arab-American nonprofit advocate in Chicago for many years, but because of her failure to mention in her naturalization papers that she had served time in an Israeli prison, the Department of Homeland Security had her arrested and wants her deported.

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Keep a Wary Eye on Sallie Mae

Sallie MaeIf you have a federally issued student loan, you probably deal with Sallie Mae (or a Sallie Mae spinoff called Navient) for your payments and servicing. Young professionals in the nonprofit field probably know Sallie for a number of dubious practices, and the Justice Department knows it for its recent violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, but that isn’t stopping Arne Duncan’s Education Department from placing Navient on a shortlist for a new potentially massive loan-servicing contract.

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Library Launches Innovative Culinary Literacy Program

CookingTake one unused library space. Stock well with healthy ingredients and state-of-the-art kitchen fixtures. Stir in two high-profile chefs. Sprinkle generously with community partnerships. Fold in reading, math, science and problem-solving lessons. Serve seniors and students, low-literacy adults, restaurant workers and library patrons.

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Hero Philanthropy a Dangerous Bet: Somaly Mam’s Story in Question

SMA Newsweek cover story examined the dramatic tale of sex slavery activist Somaly Mam and found it to be in some part untrue. What will happen to the foundation named for her, which she has now left, and when will philanthropy realize that cults of personality may not be serving it well?

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New Orleans Becomes Nation’s First All-Charter School System

Closed schoolThe 58 public schools in the New Orleans Recovery School District are now 100-percent charter schools. Is this good, bad, or just an anomaly due to the fact that the public school system was given huge infusions of federal money before being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina?

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Gates Foundation G4S Divestment Gives Activists a West Bank “Win”

G4SThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has quietly cut its investment in the massive British security firm, G4S. This might be a victory for one of the divestment movements currently on the national stage.

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U.S. Ranks with Haiti, the Congo, and Yemen on Labor Rights—Really?

Labor UnionA new analysis by the International Trade Union Confederation ranks 139 counties on 97 indicators of workers rights. You will be surprised by how low the U.S. ranks on workers’ rights and which other countries rank just as low.

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Charter School Conversion in Broward to Fight Special Ed Closure

newsTypically, charter schools are seen as less than accommodating to pupils with disabilities or special needs. But in Broward County, Florida, it seems that the school district wanted to close a public school devoted to special-needs kids, and the parents chose to convert it to a charter in order to save that important educational function.

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Realities of Confronting Poverty: Bad Circumstances Plus Bad Choices

RoadNPR’s Pam Fessler has done some excellent reports on poverty in America—how it affects people, how they try to fight their way out, and how nonprofits like community action agencies, Head Start programs, and family centers are trying to help. The great thing about Fessler’s reporting is that it isn’t arms’-length academic statistics, but stories about real people and the real life problems they have to confront.

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Job Corps: Success, Failure, or in Need of Reinvention and Reinvigoration

It’s not often talked about, but a very popular piece of President Johnson’s “Great Society” is the Job Corps, which still exists today with a $1.7 billion budget from the U.S. Department of Labor. Critics ask whether the outcomes of the program are worth the expenditure.

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Segregation in U.S. Schools Skyrockets Since 1980

BrownThe charts in this article show that the likelihood that Black or Hispanic children attend a highly segregated school has increased manifold since 1980. Why are there not more efforts to change that?

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How Zuckerberg’s $100 Million for Newark Schools Actually Turned Out

125Dale Russakoff has written a compelling insider’s look into how Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million for Newark public schools really played out in the hands of Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Chris Christie, local politicians, school administrators, and the citizens of Newark.

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60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed: Where Are Nonprofits on Integration in Education?

NewsIt has been 60 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education that “separate but equal” was actually “separate and unequal.” For many nonprofits in the education reform space, Brown may be a piece of education law that has been largely discarded as irrelevant or troublesome.

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Latest News on Charter Schools Continues to Confuse

NewsA mixed bag of news about charter schools leaves one even more confused and wondering whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

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Follow-Up: Censorship of Student Journalists in Fond du Lac ends in Resignation of Principal

BooksIn response to an editorial on “rape culture” in a student-run magazine, the leaders of a Wisconsin high school invoked a policy requiring all student publications to undergo scrutiny before publication. As promised, this is a follow-up to that story, which ends in the resignation of the school’s principal.

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The Bake Sale Thing, Updated: Kindergarten Teachers and the $147M House

TeachingNext time we bemoan the state of education in this country, we might do well to remember that the top four hedge fund managers make more between them than the almost 158,000 kindergarten teachers that teach our children.

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#BringBackOurGirls: For All Who Care about the Fate of Women in the World

BBOGThree weeks late, but the U.S. press has discovered the tragedy of the kidnapping of some 300 high school girls by Islamic terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria. As Americans ponder the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight and other news stories, one wonders why they have minimized the worldwide significance of an Islamic extremist attack on 300 young African girls.

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“Disappointing” Education Reform Mega-grants We Have Known: Add another $100 Million to the $2 Billion

GatesOn the occasion of the failure of the very well funded (by Gates and Carnegie) and the very unpopular (with parents) inBloom, we’d like to take a short jaunt down Memory Lane.

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Holocaust Remembrance Day: Deniers and Their Opposites

MemorialHolocaust deniers are still out there, but the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas isn’t one of them—or at least isn’t any longer. But the challenge of Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrated yesterday in Israel and around the world, is to remember what the memory of the Holocaust should mean for a continuing future commitment to justice for everyone.

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