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Some seek creation of black student services department

Re: Some seek creation of black student services department

Postby bob_rx2000 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:32 am

Kingsman wrote:When Dr. Moss says "long-term project," I hear "I'll ride this gravy-train till something better comes along."


That is exactly what I heard.

Backwoods wrote:
bdcbbq wrote:
Moss is starting his work by focusing on the student-teacher relationship.


Nothing like starting off on the wrong problem. I think he would be better off focusing on the parent's relationship with teachers.


Or parents being responsible parents to their children and holding them accountable and stop blaming everyone else for their problems and poor choices.


I quite agree. I've had African-American students tell me, when I questioned why they were not doing the level of work they were clearly capable of, tell me that it gets them hassled. What is needed is a swift kick up the backside of a number of students, and race is not the determining factor of which students need that incentive.
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Re: Some seek creation of black student services department

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Kingsman wrote:When Dr. Moss says "long-term project," I hear "I'll ride this gravy-train till something better comes along."


Exactly right.
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Re: Some seek creation of black student services department

Postby Happy Mom » Sun May 03, 2015 8:15 pm

Critics question South Bend's black student services office
South Bend schools' goals for position nebulous


Image
Critics question black student services office
David Moss, South Bend schools' director of African American student and parent services, sits in his office in South Bend in this 2013 photo. South Bend Tribune File Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN


Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015 5:00 am | Updated: 8:53 am, Sun May 3, 2015.
By Kim Kilbride South Bend Tribune


SOUTH BEND — When the South Bend school district created an African-American student and parent services department two years ago, then-board secretary Dawn Jones called it a “huge” move.
“This will benefit the entire corporation,” she said.
A group of community members pushed for the development of the department because of a number of issues affecting black students, who comprise about 34 percent of South Bend Community School Corp.’s enrollment. They’ve been disciplined and identified with emotional and cognitive disabilities at disproportionate rates, and their test scores have lagged behind those of other students.
District leaders, responding to the community push, agreed to take action.
David Moss, a consultant from the University of Notre Dame with a doctorate in counseling psychology, was hired for the new position in October 2013. He largely stayed out of the public spotlight — until last month.
Moss had organized a series of field trips to local colleges for black third-graders. But several parents argued the trips were discriminatory because only black students were included. After Fox News picked up the story, the district had a firestorm on its hands, and Superintendent Carole Schmidt eventually called off the trips.
As critics jumped on the controversy, many questioned whether Moss’ job is necessary. Even the local NAACP questioned the results of the work of Moss, who, with a salary of $110,500, is among the highest-paid employees in the district. Other questions soon followed: Does the district have clear guidelines for the department, and how committed is it to helping the department succeed?
Moss has an assistant but no other staff. He also has a minimal budget.
South Bend schools’ website has a page for the African-American student/parent services department, but it has no content except for a photo of a group of black students huddled together wearing graduation attire.
“There’s nothing concrete about what has been achieved,” said Oletha Jones, the education chair for the local NAACP who ran unsuccessfully for a school board seat last year.
Jones doesn’t think Moss is entirely responsible for what she sees as the lack of progress of his department. The superintendent and the school board, she said, failed to set clear guidelines for what was expected of him.
“They also failed in providing transparency to the public on their expectations and goals of this department and how they hope to achieve them,” she said.
Moss and Schmidt both declined to comment.
The Tribune filed a records request with the district for a copy of Moss’ job description, along with documents that would outline his duties. In return, a copy of the posting for his job was sent.

It read in part: “The majority of the position responsibilities will be to design, implement and support academic, social and parent programs focused on African-American students.”
:roll: :hand: :naughty:

The job post also listed duties for the director, such as reviewing policies and materials to ensure they were culturally sensitive, helping ensure an equitable educational experience for African-American students, and investigating concerns of African-American students and their families.
School board President Jay Caponigro said Moss’ work is evolving, and it’s going to take a few years to measure the impact.
Work that Moss has already been charged with, Caponigro said, includes overseeing a district program to reduce student suspensions and expulsions. Caponigro also pointed to the “Busara Black Male Summit,” an event Moss organized in the fall to provide students with positive black role models, as an example of how he’s cultivated community partnerships.
Asked whether Moss is doing a good job, Caponigro said it’s the superintendent’s duty to evaluate Moss.
The Rev. Cory Gathright, a community activist who leads the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, urged patience.
“It’s new,” he said of Moss’ position. “You have to take it piece by piece…It’s going to take years, because it’s taken years to get us into the negative spot we’re in.”
Gathright pointed to “incremental gains” by Moss, such as bringing in experts to talk to teachers about cultural sensitivity issues. And the summit in the fall was aimed at teaching students “how to communicate effectively and expose them to other positive African-American men so they could network,” he said.
As for the college field trips, they were meant only to expose young black students to higher education so they would have a goal, Gathright said.
Still, Gathright said the community needs to be better informed about Moss’ department.
“We need to be privy to the objectives he has in order to evaluate him and his success,” he said.
Lessons from others
Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools at New York University, is familiar with departments such as Moss’ in school districts across the country. The departments, he said, vary in terms of their success.
“It depends on how the charge is framed,” Noguera said. “A lot of districts are struggling to find out the best way to approach it.”
Part of the challenge is the controversy that can be triggered.
“If you’re going to create an office focused on African-American males, what about Hispanic students? What about African-American females?” Noguera said. “You don’t want to convey you care more about one group than another.”

For “equity” departments to work, he said, the director needs to have true authority. Principals have to report to that person, who also should be charged with studying data and making decisions based on the figures.
“I get concerned about kids being further marginalized when you set up an office and say, ‘They’re going to take care of it,’ and they have no resources and no staff,” Noguera said. “There has to be public accountability.”
The best approach, Noguera said, is to ensure that all departments within a school district are addressing student equity issues.
One district, Aurora Public Schools in Colorado, decided the best approach was to bring together its instruction and equity departments. More than half of the district’s 38,000 students are Hispanic.
“We don’t want a separate initiative called ‘equity,’ “ said John Youngquist, the chief academic officer of Aurora’s division of Equity in Learning. “We want equity in learning across the district. We want to infuse an understanding of equity for students through every practice.”
In the past, he said, equity training left staff members feeling like they were being blamed, with the sense that “this is a racist system, and you’re racist because you perpetuate this,” Youngquist said.
The new system focuses on how to engage all students rather than blame teachers or even students themselves for any shortfalls.
The district restructured less than a year ago, Youngquist said, and is still in the early stages of a three-year training process.
“We’re not celebrating yet,” he said. “We’re watching.”



http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/lo ... 4fe01.html
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Re: Some seek creation of black student services department

Postby Happy Mom » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:33 am

Director of African-American student services out at South Bend schools
G. David Moss was hired in 2013
By Margaret Fosmoe and Greg Swiercz South Bend Tribune Jul 11, 2017 Updated Jul 12, 2017 (13)
South Bend schools still pushing to reverse course for many black students

Image


Robert Franklin
G. David Moss, director of African-American student/parent services the South Bend Community School Corp., in a 2013 file photo. Tribune File Photo


SOUTH BEND — Three and a half years after he started work as South Bend Community School Corp.'s first- ever director of African-American student/parent services, David Moss is no longer with the school corporation.


Without any public discussion, the school board Monday night approved a list of personnel actions that included a nonrenewal of Moss' contract.

The document indicates Moss' last day of employment in the district was June 30. The reason for his departure is listed simply as
"end of contract."

While not commenting directly on Moss' performance, after the meeting, Superintendent Kenneth Spells acknowledged that there is "work to do" when it comes to supporting black students in the school district.

"We acknowledge that as a group, we have to get out and engage the community, support at-risk students and work on the transition from elementary to middle and from middle to high school," Spells said.

Spells said Moss' position will be filled. And, there are already eight candidates for the job. :doh: :hand:

When he was hired, then-Superintendent Carole Schmidt said Moss' major responsibilities would be to design, implement and support academic, social and parent programs focused on black students.

He was hired in June 2013 and started work in October of that year. Moss was paid $110,500 a year, making him one of the highest paid employees in the school district.

The creation of Moss' position came on the heels of concerns of African-American community leaders about the disproportionate number of black students who are labeled as special education in South Bend schools, among other issues. The state had cited and sanctioned the district for overidentifying black students with cognitive and emotional disabilities.

In the years since, critics have raised questions about what accomplishments Moss has achieved for black students or their families during his time on the job.

In spring 2015, Moss planned a series of field trips for third graders to area colleges, but limited the invite list to black children. After several parents told a local television station that the program was discriminatory because nonblack children would not be included, Schmidt said any such field trips would be available to all students, regardless of race.

Oletha Jones, the education chair for the local NAACP, said Monday afternoon by phone that she had heard Moss was no longer with the school corporation, but hasn't heard the reason for his departure.

"We have a contention he has not done the job," Jones said, referring to an alleged lack of concrete progress by Moss. However, she said she doesn't want to see the position and the department eliminated.

School board President Stan Wruble, reached Monday afternoon by phone, said he couldn't comment on Moss' departure because it's a personnel matter.

Moss previously worked as a University of Notre Dame consultant and assistant vice president of student affairs.

He filed a lawsuit against Notre Dame in November 2013 in federal court, alleging job discrimination. That lawsuit remains ongoing, according to court documents.
http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/ed ... a7d4d.html
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