American Indian College Fund Names Bill Black, Tom Brooks, and Jeffrey Fillerup to Board of Trustees
Denver, Colo.—May, 2013 –The American Indian College Fund named three new members to its Board of Trustees at its 2013 quarterly spring meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin. New trustees include Mr. Bill Black, Vice President and Executive Director of the Comcast Foundation and Director of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation; Thomas S. Brooks, Vice President, AT&T External & Legislative Affairs; and Jeffrey Fillerup, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.
Bill Black is Vice President and Executive Director of the Comcast Foundation and Director of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation. He is responsible for Comcast’s financial and in-kind corporate giving initiatives, which totaled more than $330 million in 2012. Mr. Black manages the Comcast Foundation’s grant-making and operations, charitable sponsorships through the corporation, development of national partnerships, and executive placements on nonprofit boards. He joined Comcast in 2000 and has held various corporate affairs, communications and cable operations positions. Prior to joining Comcast, Mr. Black held various regional public policy and communications positions at cable operators MediaOne and Continental. He began his career in the cable industry in 1990 as General Manager for Bresnan Communications in Michigan. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business management from Thomas Edison State College and a master’s in business administration in project management and a master’s of arts degree in business communications from Jones International University. Mr. Black also serves on the Board of Directors of Delaware Valley Grantmakers and on the Corporate Advisory Council for Congreso.
Tom Brooks is Vice President, AT&T External & Legislative Affairs. Mr. Brooks’ responsibilities include finance, operations, business management and organizational strategic planning for External and Legislative Affairs. He is responsible for AT&T’s presence at National Presidential Conventions and Presidential Inaugurals. He also serves as the External Affairs liaison with the White House CIO organization. Mr. Brooks joined AT&T in 1980 while in law school and worked at numerous substantive and management positions within the Law Department and the Government Affairs organization. He participated in many of the legal and business efforts at AT&T, including the breakup of the Bell System; the acquisition of NCR and McCaw; the acquisition of TCG, TCI and MediaOne; the spin-off of NCR, Lucent, AT&T Wireless and AT&T Broadband; and the AT&T/SBC and AT&T/Bell South/Cingular mergers. Mr. Brooks has also been a long-time Board Member of George Washington University’s Native American Political Leadership Program and is AT&T’s representative in sponsoring the program. Mr. Brooks is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and holds a juris doctorate degree from New York Law School.
Jeffrey Fillerup is a partner in the San Francisco office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, an international law firm with offices located throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia. The firm has established the MLA Foundation for the purpose of investing its people, resources, and funds in organizations that serve the public interest, like the American Indian College Fund. For more than 25 years Mr. Fillerup’s legal practice has focused on litigating and trying business cases in various venues, including state and federal court, bankruptcy court, and arbitration. He represents and tries cases for tech companies, franchise and distribution companies, financial institutions, and real estate companies. Mr. Fillerup clerked for the Hon. Rudi M. Brewster, U.S. District Court judge in 1984-85, and since that time he has had significant litigation experience, including taking and defending more than 1,500 depositions and trying 10 cases to verdict within that past three years. He also represents charitable institutions in arbitration and litigation on a pro bono basis, and he frequently provides pro bono advice to charities facing pending or threatened litigation. Mr. Fillerup is a Certified Legal Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law, and was recently selected to serve as Vice-Chair of the Franchise/Distribution Law Advisory Committee of the California State Bar for 2013. He is also a State Bar of California Certified Legal Specialist – Franchise & Distribution Law. Mr. Fillerup’s wife, Neeta Lind, and their two daughters are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation. Several years ago they formed the Flora Lind Scholarship Fund with the American Indian College Fund, in honor of Neeta’s mother, which provides scholarships to Navajo students. He is licensed to practice law in California and Utah, and holds a juris doctorate degree from the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, 1982; a bachelor’s of science degree in finance from the University of Utah, cum laude; and a bachelor’s of arts degree in economics from Brigham Young University.
About the American Indian College Fund
With its credo “Educating the Mind and Spirit,” The American Indian College Fund is the premier scholarship organization for Native students. Created in 1989 to provide scholarships and support for the nation’s 35 tribal colleges, the Fund receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators, including the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and received its third consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator. It provides more than 3,500 Native students with scholarships annually.
March 4, 2013, Denver, Colorado—The nation’s tribal colleges offer American Indians in remote, impoverished communities access to a higher education. The sequester will have a devastating impact on these “underfunded miracles,” already operating on shoestring budgets compared to their counterparts. Gains in education attainment and economic sustainability in Indian Country will evaporate under the drastic cuts.
Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund said, “Sequestration for American Indians isn’t just a budget cut. Sequestration is a violation of the trust, treaty, and statutory obligations to American Indian tribal governments by the U.S. government. Cuts of this magnitude will also have a catastrophic effect on tribal colleges, which have operated at below-full funding levels since their inception. The cuts will also harm their employees and students as schools lose significant funds for financial aid; daycare and tutoring; academic resources, courses, programs, training, and even funding for employee health insurance.”
How you can help: Contact your Congressional representatives between now and March 27 to ask them to find a budgetary solution without cuts to tribal colleges, which help reduce poverty in Indian Country. For a full directory of Congressional phone numbers and addresses, visit http://www.congress.org
The first seven-month sequestration would harm tribal college communities as follows:
Eliminate Courses and Close Schools
- Sitting Bull College(Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North and South Dakota) would close during the summer, eliminating programs such as the college’s annual Lakota Language Summit at a time when Native languages are threatened with extinction.
- Northwest Indian College (Bellingham, Washington) may close three extended campus sites.
- Navajo Technical College (New Mexico) serves the Navajo Nation, one of the least educated populations in the United States. The GED program and Environmental Science and Natural Resources program are at risk.
- College of Menominee Nation (Keshena, Wisconsin) will eliminate courses of study vital to community development and employment.
- Ilisagvik College (Barrow, Alaska) is above the Arctic Circle, where severe weather and lack of roads make distance-learning programs essential. But they will be cut.
- Turtle Mountain Community College (North Dakota) will eliminateelementary/secondary science/early childhood teacher education programs.
Increase Cost of Education for Needy Students
- Cankdeska Cikana Community College (North Dakota) will reduce tuition waivers, tutors, and child-care services, impacting the school’s neediest students with children.
- Northwest Indian College (Bellingham, Washington) may be forced to increase tuition to remain open, barring low-income students from attending.
Increase Unemployment and Underemployment
- Navajo Technical College (New Mexico) may cut faculty across the board.
Fort Peck Community College (Fort Peck Reservation, Montana) will close its community-based Wellness Centers and eliminate its GED and Adult Basic Education program. These cuts could trigger a domino effect since American Indians have higher high school drop-out and mortality rates from diabetes, accidents, liver disease, suicide, homicide and chronic liver disease compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
Little Big Horn College (Crow Agency, Montana) may implement a four-day summer work week, cutting staff incomes by 20 percent. A cut of this magnitude means the elimination of food, gas, and daycare for staff members who are single parents or support extended families.
College of Menominee Nation (Keshena, Wisconsin) will lose funding for 35 employees, a huge loss for a small rural area.
Ilisagvik College (Barrow, Alaska) would implement cuts impacting tutors, learning center staff, student support and library services.
Sitting Bull College (Ft. Yates, North Dakota)would shift 50% of health insurance costs to employees, which many could not afford, resulting in uninsured workers. The school would also close during the summer, lowering faculty income.
Report Ignores Wide Variation In State Assessments And State Law
WASHINGTON, DC – A national research study across 23 states and DC assessing charter school performance over time makes erroneous conclusions about the impact of charter schools on students, while ignoring critical distinctions among state proficiency standards and the components of each state’s widely differentiating charter school laws.
“It is hard to believe that year-after-year, smart, well-intentioned researchers believe they can make national conclusions about charter school performance using uneven data, flawed definitions of poverty and ignoring variations in state charter school laws,” said Jeanne Allen president of The Center for Education Reform (CER).
Among the two-dozen states that were the subject of study for Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) in its Charter School Growth and Replication report released last week, there are more than two-dozen varieties of charter law:
Fewer than half of all states studied — ten plus the District of Columbia — have authorizers that are independent from existing education entities, a notable difference in laws and outcomes;
Nine states have only either school districts or the state board of education authorizing charter schools, compromising school freedoms;
Three states in the report do not permit flexibility from rules and regulations;
11 states guarantee less than 75% of average per pupil funding; and
Six states limit teacher freedom from collective bargaining agreements.
All the states in the study have vastly different ways of assessing student performance. For example, charter schools in Washington, DC, are evaluated on a criteria that ineffectively measures growth, but the independent DC Public Charter School Board uses the city’s assessment and combines it with other data to create its own performance metrics which analyzes school performance over time and provides a clear, unambiguous data set from which to judge the quality of DC charter schools.
By looking at the quality of a charter school law, it is possible to predict the quality of the charter schools in that area. States with independent, multiple authorizers, that provide their schools high degree of freedom for operations and financial management, and ensure equitable funding have and will continue to show progress among students, while states that do not afford such autonomy and freedom have less successful schools as evidenced in CER’s 2013 Charter School Laws Across the States; Ranking and Scorecard.
Thus, aggregating states into one research universe and drawing conclusions about their relative achievement, in addition to relying on flawed virtual twin methodology, is highly misleading and ignores the so-called “gold standard” of academic research that compares individual student achievement on identical measures. Stanford University Economist, Caroline Hoxby, has reported additional insights into the problems of the CREDO study and has pointed out numerous inconsistencies when CREDO first deployed its unique methodology to make conclusions about student achievement.
The Center also solicited comments from other researchers and while not on record, they were used to issue the following reports on CREDO over the past three years.
Top Ten States on Parent Power Index© provide roadmap for lawmakers
CER Press Release
The nation’s “Top Ten” states that provide more expansive opportunities for parents also tend to yield higher growth rates in student achievement, according to the most recent national rankings on the Parent Power Index© (PPI) released today by The Center for Education Reform (CER). Indiana ranks No. 1, followed by Florida, Ohio, Arizona, D.C., Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Utah, in enacting policies that allow for more parental empowerment, expansive educational choices, sound teacher quality measures, wider access to digital learning and more transparent data. These states’ policies correlate highly with increased student growth, particularly among lower socio-economic students, over time.
The PPI is an interactive, web-based tool that ranks the United States based on how much power a parent has over their children’s education. While there is a growing body of data and information available to parents, policymakers, educators and the general public, the PPI is the first and only comprehensive evaluation of state education policy that is geared towards parents, continuously updated in real-time, and now, provides an arsenal of state and local resources.
“All across America, parents are demanding more power over their children’s education, but the task of sorting through all the information out there is daunting,” said Jeanne Allen, president of CER. “There are a variety of resources available to evaluate how students are achieving, but there is widespread disagreement about what constitutes sound education reform policy.” Allen continued: “As the mother of college students, I liken the PPI to a cumulative GPA, which is a composite of grades from varying professors. In this case, these professors are among the nation’s leading authorities and critical evaluators of education policy.”
The latest rankings on the Parent Power Index© are a resulte of the release of CER’s 14th annual Charter School Laws Across the States Ranking and Scorecard 2013. Washington became the 43rd state to allow charter schools and only four other states made improvements to their charter laws last year.
In addition to charter schools, the Index evaluates states on school choice using data and analysis provided by the The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, The National Council on Teacher Quality’s detailed analysis in its annual State Teacher Policy Yearbook, Digital Learning Now’s evaluation of state policies based on 72 metrics, transparency of data, school board elections and Parent Revolution’s analysis of parent trigger laws. It also looks at local media reliability on education issues and if state executives are reform-minded. Further evaluation across all of these Elements of Power is ongoing and continuously updated at http://www.edreform.com/in-the-states/parent-power-index/.
The Parent Power Index© also reveals that a majority of states are barely making the grade when it comes to policies that allow parents to exercise choices, engage with local school boards and have a voice in the education systems that surround their children.
“The Index’s ‘Top Ten’ prove that when parents have access to options and good information all children can succeed,” Allen said. “Lawmakers need to look to these exemplars and the policies that have afforded parents greater power elsewhere and act fast to bring real education reform to their respective states. Parents and voters have declared that mediocrity is no longer acceptable, and our elected officials have a mandate to fix our educational and economic problems for good.”
Washington, DC – During the 2009–10 school year, students of color and native students made up 28 percent of the student population in Michigan. As these students rapidly become the leading population of public school systems in Michigan and other states, closing educational achievement gaps and providing a quality education to all students can secure the United States’s future economic prosperity, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. Noting that two-thirds of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending, the report, Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy, argues that raising individuals’ education levels will boost their purchasing power and increase the national economy.
“Historically, the country’s moral failure to provide all children with an adequate and equal education did not incur a noticeable economic cost,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “This is no longer the case. Today, the moral imperative to equitably provide all students with a quality education is now a critical factor in maintaining the United States’s national economic strength.
“Thanksgiving weekend is the year’s busiest shopping period,” Wise continued. “Ask any retailer whether their future depends on consumers earning a high school dropout’s $9 per hour or the $20 per hour of postsecondary achievement.”
As shown in the map to the right—taken from the report—students of color make up more than half of the K–12 population in twelve states (dark green) and comprise between 40 and 50 percent of the student population in an additional ten states (light green).
At the same time, however, the high school graduation rates of students of color trail those of their white peers by an average of more than 20 percentage points.
Educational disparities in the United States continue into higher education where, in 2011, 31 percent of whites age twenty-five and older held at least a bachelor’s degree compared to just 20 percent and 14 percent of blacks and Hispanics, respectively.
According to the report, individuals lacking a quality education will struggle to compete in today’s knowledge-driven economy where 60 percent of jobs require some education after high school. Based on the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school dropouts are more than three times as likely to be unemployed than are college graduates. Even when employed and at the peak of their earnings career, high school dropouts average about $9 per hour compared to high school graduates and those with bachelor’s degrees, who earn $13 and $25 per hour, respectively, according to an economic model developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education with the support of State Farm®.
As the report notes, individuals earning $9 per hour will face difficulty supporting themselves, much less a family. Making rent and car payments would be even more challenging. And a down payment and a monthly home mortgage payment—the bedrock of family and community stability—would be completely out of reach.
“Two-thirds of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending,” said Wise. “A dropout’s subsistence level is a tough situation for any individual and a disaster for any economy based on growing numbers of consumers living this reality,” said Wise. “To be prosperous in this century, the United States must have more than a $9-per-hour economy. As students of color fast become the largest group of consumers, their ability to be major drivers of individual and national economic growth depends upon the quality of their education.”
For example, if every state had reached America’s Promise Alliance’s goal of graduating 90 percent of its students, many of whom are students of color, for just the Class of 2011, America would have more than 750,000 additional high school graduates. These “new graduates”—many of whom would have likely pursued postsecondary education—would earn more during their lifetimes, and in turn, they would spend more with a high school diploma than without, thus driving America’s economic productivity and growth.
Specifically, the additional graduates from just one high school class would likely earn an additional $9 billion each year compared to their earnings without a high school diploma, the report notes. With this additional income, these students would spend more money in their communities. This increased economic activity would create a ripple effect, supporting the creation of as many as 47,000 additional new jobs and $2 billion of increased tax revenue by the time these new graduates reach the midpoint of their careers.
Wise also noted that previous economic research by the Alliance demonstrates that raising the graduation rates for the growing numbers of African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American students would produce an increasingly significant boost for the economy. “Achieving a 90 percent graduation rate for students of color or ethnicity for just the Class of 2011,” Wise stated, “means an annual gain of as much as $6.4 billion in increased earnings, additional spending creating as many as 34,000 new jobs, and as much as $1.5 billion in increased tax revenues.
“As federal and state policymakers wrestle these next months with how to improve a slow economy,” Wise continued, “this report conclusively demonstrates that in this information age, achieving a successful economy is now directly linked to achieving educational equity.”
Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy is available online at http://www.all4ed.org/files/InseparableImperatives.pdf.
On Monday, November 26, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (ET), the Alliance will hold a webinar on the report that will address the nation’s shifting demographics as well as the economic benefits of providing all students with a quality education. It will feature Rufina Hernandez, executive director of the Campaign for High School Equity, Bob Jones, president and founder of Education & Workforce Policy, LLC, and Alliance President Bob Wise. Register for the webinar and ask questions of the panelists at http://media.all4ed.org/registration-nov-26-2012 .
Source: Press Release
(DETROIT, Mich.) November 14, 2012 – Special Olympics Michigan presented the 2012 Joe Falls Inspiration Award to former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley, former MSU Football Coach George Perles and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy Peter Secchia who have raised one million dollars in over 25 years for Special Olympics Michigan through their annual Golf Classic in Lansing. They were presented this award at the Special Olympics Michigan 2012 Inspire Greatness Gala on Friday, Nov. 9 at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel. The award was one of three presented during the Inspire Greatness Gala.
The Joe Falls Inspiration Award recognizes an individual or individuals who have had a dramatic and historic impact on Special Olympics Michigan. It is named after Joe Falls who had a deep passion for helping Special Olympics Michigan athletes. He passed away in 2004 at age 76. Joe was the voice of sports journalism with the Detroit Free Press, and was also a longtime Sports Editor and Reporter for both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
Central Michigan University (CMU) received the Special Olympics Michigan Legacy Award. The Legacy Award recognizes a corporation or organization involved with Special Olympics Michigan who has had an historic and dramatic impact on the program while representing the spirit and ideals of Special Olympics. CMU has been the home for the Special Olympics Michigan state office since 1972. Since 2002, CMU employees have raised $114,700 for Special Olympics Michigan athletes through various efforts.
Special Olympics Michigan President & CEO Lois Arnold presented The President’s Award to Doug Kinnan, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer of Amerisure Mutual Holdings, Inc. Doug Kinnan has been a board member for Special Olympics Michigan for the last nine years. He was instrumental in further engaging Statewide Silver Medal Sponsor Amerisure in their support of Special Olympics, by taking the Polar Plunge and challenging members of his staff and company to join him. He also brought his financial knowledge and expertise to the organization during the changing financial times of post-9/11. He is seen as a leader in the Special Olympics Movement.
“It was a beautiful night to celebrate athletes and supporters of Special Olympics Michigan. We were very happy to recognize our well deserving award recipients at the Gala, and we appreciate the participation and support of so many people,” said Special Olympics Michigan President and CEO Lois Arnold.
Co-chairs Jack Riley (Sr. Vice President & Marketing Director of Fifth Third Bank) and Matt Simon, (Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Amerisure Insurance) led the nearly 300 attendees in paying tribute to the Special Olympics Movement and the 19,620 athletes of Special Olympics Michigan.
Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to the 2012 Inspire Greatness Gala Gold Medal Sponsors Real Estate One, Amerisure, Fifth Third Bank and Detroit Media Partnership. Also, Gala Bronze Medal Sponsors Spartan Stores and Amway.
Special Olympics Michigan looks forward to the 2013 Inspire Greatness Gala. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for 2013 please contact Erin Dougherty at (989) 774-3911 or email@example.com.
Source: Press Release
U.S. Education Department Announces Resolution of Dearborn, Mich., Public Schools Civil Rights Investigation
The U.S. Department of Education announced that its Office for Civil Rights has entered into a resolution agreement with the Dearborn, Mich., Public Schools to resolve a proactive enforcement action initiated at the district in April 2010.
Following an investigation, OCR found that the district did not meet the requirements of civil rights laws in providing national origin-minority, limited English proficient (LEP) parents with meaningful access to important information about their children’s education in a language they can understand. The district did not adequately notify LEP parents of important school-related information that is made available to non-LEP parents. In addition, OCR found that the district denied English language learner (EL) students, on the basis of their national origin, access to the district’s nonacademic and extracurricular programs, services and activities, such as guidance and counseling services.
The agreement is intended to resolve those concerns.
“Like many districts throughout the country with diverse populations, Dearborn faces a real challenge of ensuring meaningful communication with parents of limited English proficiency, while also ensuring equal access for all English language learner students to the programs, services and activities provided by their schools,” said Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for the Office for Civil Rights. “We appreciate the district’s cooperation with OCR to identify the steps necessary to address these challenges for its LEP parents and EL students.”
Under the agreement, the district will:
- Revise its home language survey to ensure that it accurately identifies all of the LEP parents in the district needing language assistance;
- Develop and implement a comprehensive, written plan to provide language assistance services to LEP parents that ensures that they have meaningful access to the district’s programs and activities; the plan will include providing interpreting and translation services for LEP parents for all non-English languages (this could include the use of various services, such as onsite translators/interpreters, telephonic translators/interpreters, and effective translation programs);
- Develop and implement a process for notifying EL students about the availability of nonacademic and extracurricular programs, services and activities, such as guidance and counseling services;
- Conduct an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of its language assistance services for LEP parents; and,
- Develop and implement procedures to ensure that EL students receive special education and related services as appropriate to their disabilities, if any, and not because of their English language proficiency.
OCR will actively monitor the district’s implementation of the resolution agreement until it has determined that the district has fulfilled the terms of the agreement and is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Likewise, Section 504 bars discrimination on the basis of disability, and Title II outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities in all programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
The city of Dearborn is the most densely populated Arab community in the United States. Based on the 2010 census, approximately 30,000 of its 100,000 residents are Arab.
- In the 2010-2011 school year, the district had 19,118 students.
- Half of the district’s 30 schools have a majority Arabic student population.
- 60 percent of the students (11,753) are EL; 11,240 (95.6 percent) of them identified their home language as Arabic.
- The remaining 513 EL students (4.4 percent) represented 46 other home languages, including Urdu, Spanish, Albanian and Romanian. These students were enrolled in schools throughout the district.
Enforcement of Title VI is a top priority of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Additional information about OCR is available on its Web site at www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.
US Dept of Education Press Release