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LocaL office:
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PH: 315-849-2461

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Dave McCleary
editoriAl stAff
Lisa Dumas
Delani Weaver
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James Haywood Rolling
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Boyce Watkins
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Call 315-849-2461
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Education Commissioner John King Restructures Statewide Forums
By Delani Weaver
State Educaton Commissioner John
King recently announced he will hold a
new forum in Syracuse within the next
six weeks. King and members of the
Board of Regents will be discussing the
Common Core academic criteria and
other policies related to educaton.
Parents and educators are invited to
The forum is one in a series of 12
forums that will be held in diferent
school districts statewide. Although
the schedule has not been fnalized,
the meetngs will take place in school
auditoriums, including one in the
Albany City School District on Oct. 24.
Forums will also be held in Westchester,
Schroon Lake, Binghamton, Amherst,
Rochester, and Jamestown. There will
be two each in Sufolk and Nassau
King made the announcement Friday.
The Board of Regents approved the
reforms, including adopton of the
Common Core in 2010, Board of
Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch
said. Were just startng the second
year of full implementaton with
aligned assessments. Its a good tme
for the Regents and the commissioner
to meet with parents and teachers to
understand how the implementaton
is going and what adjustments, if any,
have to be made.
Last week, King was the target of
intense anger and hostlity from
atendees at the frst forum in
Poughkeepsie, Oct. 10.
Parents at the meetng spoke out
against how fast the Common Core
standards were being implemented.
The forum was so heated; King
cancelled four other forums that had
been scheduled to follow the event.
The New York State Parent Teacher
Associaton (PTA) was the sponsor of
the sessions.
Again, King was fercely critcized
by parents and the state teachers
union afer the announcement of the
And, this tme, the critcism came not
only from parents and educators but
state lawmakers as well. King was
called on to resign from his positon
by Nassau County Republican Sen.
Jack Martns and Assemblyman Tom
Abinant, D-Mt. Pleasant, Westchester
County, who said King closed of all
meaningful conversaton with parents,
educators, administrators and elected
In self-defense, King said Tuesday the
forums didnt provide constructve
context for dialogue.
With hopes for more structured
forums, the new forums will be
moderated by state legislators in their
I want to have a respectul, direct,
and constructve dialogue with
parents, King said. More and smaller
discussions will make sure theres a
real opportunity for parents to be
heard. This is just the frst round;
well contnue to schedule forums for
parents. We want these to be regular
King will also hold four televised forums
at New York State Public Broadcastng
Statons (PBS) that will include a studio
audience. The forums will be recorded
for television broadcast and online.
The frst has been scheduled for Nov.
7 on WCNY-TV in Syracuse.
We want the conversaton to rise
above all the noise and make sure
parents understand the Common
Core, and, just as important, we want
to understand parents concerns, King
said. We all share the same goal, to
make sure our students have the skills
and knowledge to be successful in a
changing world.
Educaton Commissioner John King
4 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
NY seeks OK to drop eighth-grade
math test for students taking algebra Regents exam
NEW YORK -- New York State has
proposed letng eighth-graders skip
the statewide math test if they take
the algebra Regents test.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the
state would have to get clearance from
the U.S. Department of Educaton for
the rules change. The department has
given states untl Nov. 22 to request
permission to cut back on so-called
double testng.
The state Educaton Department will
ask the Board of Regents to consider
the proposal on Monday.
States are required to test students
annually in English and math in grades
three through eight.
New York students must take fve
Regents tests to graduate from high
Some take the algebra Regents in
eighth grade and others in ninth grade.
About 57,000 eight-graders took the
Regents algebra test last spring.
Excellus dropping out of Medicaid managed care
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Excellus
BlueCross BlueShield says its dropping
out of public health insurance
programs for the poor and disabled.
The insurer has notfed doctors and
other providers its withdrawing from
the Medicaid managed care and
Family Health Plus programs because
it expects to lose about $100 million
on those programs this year. The move
will afect more than 22,000 central
New Yorkers.
George Dooher, an assistant
commissioner of the Onondaga County
Department of Social Services, tells
the Syracuse Post-Standard (htp://bit.
ly/18fqeTL ) hes been scrambling to
protect customers and make sure they
contnue to have access to health care
and their providers.
Dooher says the state Health
Department is developing a plan to
move afected individuals into other
Health Department ofcials were not
immediately available for comment.
Students Applaud Henninger High School Teachers Symbol of Solidarity
Ofentmes you hear of students
getng together and agreeing to dress
in a certain color to make some sort
of statement about an issue within
their school. Several Syracuse teachers
from Henninger High School decided
to make a statement by wearing all
black to work as a symbol of solidarity
Friday, in protest of state-mandated
performance evaluatons.
As the teachers were walking into the
building in their black clothing, they
were applauded by the students going
inside with them. Teachers said they
are furious with the results of their
evaluatons, which were given to them
last Friday, and said they believe the
evaluatons are unfair.
The student improvement secton was
the biggest problem for the teachers,
as every teacher in the entre school
received a zero for that partcular
secton. The teachers said they should
have received 12 out of the 20 alloted
amount of points, but received zeroes
due to the district using a diferent
form of calculaton.
The teachers planned to work only the
required hours which are 7:45 a.m.
to 2:50 p.m. Once the day was over
the teachers would walk out of the
building with the students rather than
going in early and staying late.
President of Henningers Parent-
Teacher-Student Organizaton
Christne Cook said she enjoyed seeing
the teachers united.
Actually some of the teachers are so
dedicated that its my understanding
that theyre going to walk out at the
tme, but then theyre going to slip
back in to work with students, she
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Some standardized
tests in New York public schools
will be eliminated, state Educaton
Commissioner John King has told
superintendents in a surprising
announcement that cites a variety
of pressures that may have hurt
instructon. The move comes afer
years of critcism from teachers,
parents and other detractors, some of
whom said it stll fell short.
The frst target will be an eighth-
grade math test, which comes at the
same tme as a federally required
standardized test in math, King wrote
in a leter sent Thursday and obtained
by The Associated Press.
The Board of Regents is considering
eliminatng that test and others where
possible in other grades, King said.
Some tests, however, are required by
the federal government. Grants will
be provided to help school districts
reduce local standardized tests, the
leter states.
Notng that the frequency and number
of tests has remained relatvely
constant over the past 10 years,
King wrote to leaders of more than
700 districts that educaton ofcials
recognize that a variety of pressures
at the state and local level may have
resulted in more testng than is
needed and in rote test preparaton
that crowds out quality instructon.
King told the state School Boards
Associaton on Friday that nothing
is setled yet but the U.S. Educaton
Department seems receptve to
grantng the Regents exams request
for a waiver, according to Robert Lowry,
spokesman for the New York State
Council of School Superintendents,
who was in the audience for Kings
NY to reduce standardized tests as criticism grows
contd on next page
5 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013 11 am 2 pm SRC Arena and Events Center Onondaga Community College
The move came afer an outcry over
testng and teacher evaluatons linked
to the results, which peaked when
King was shouted down by critcs at an
Oct. 10 forum in Poughkeepsie. That
confrontaton that led to cancellaton
of other scheduled forums and calls
for Kings resignaton.
This week, King said, the Regents
discussed a comprehensive initatve
to keep the focus on teaching.
The Regents and the department will
contnue to look for ways to reduce
testng that is not needed without
sacrifcing the valuable informaton
assessments provide, King told
superintendents in more than 700
school districts. We welcome your
Its potentally a marked change for
the Board of Regents, which has
weathered critcism for well over a
decade as it tried to improve student
performance and instructon. Its steps
included introducton of so-called
school report cards that allowed
the public to compare schools
performance, detailed analysis of
test scores to pinpoint weaknesses
and best practces, curriculum
revised by experts, and far more
rigorous requirements for high school
graduaton to beter prepare students
for college.
Performance in most areas improved,
including closing the gap between poor
and average-needs schools. But with
the added testng by the state and the
federal government introducing higher
standards known as Common Core,
there was more concern that students
were too stressed and teachers spent
tme teaching to the test.
Superintendents welcomed Kings
move. They were eager to address the
double, and sometmes triple, testng
of eighth-graders, Lowry said.
Standardized tests do have a place
in educaton but not for what theyre
currently being used for, said Teresa
Thayer Snyder, superintendent of the
Voorheesville Central School District
south of Albany. Theyre very useful
for diagnostcs but to use blanket
standardized tests over an extended
period of tme for very young learners
is not an appropriate way to represent
The efort is too litle and too late
for Allies for Public Educaton, which
called for Kings resignaton this week.
Eliminatng a few standardized tests
is like touching up the paint on a car
and expectng it will run when in fact
it has a faulty engine, said the groups
spokesman, Eric Mihelbergel. Untl
the high-stakes nature of testng is
removed and the collecton of private
personal student data is halted, our
children will contnue to be harmed.
Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality
Educaton, which has long critcized the
tests, added: We need less testng,
but we also need to freeze all high-
stakes consequences ted to testng.
King told superintendents that the
frst goal is to eliminate double testng
for eighth-graders in math, which will
require federal approval.
King told the AP that he and the
Regents will look to reduce multple
tests at other grade levels and pare
away tests that dont support the
Common Core goal of critcal thinking.
He said the department is already
grantng approvals to school districts
remove some annual local tests and
expect to grant more.
Were frmly commited to the work
on the Common Core and teacher and
principal evaluatons, but recognize
these initatves will be challenging
and require careful adjustments along
the way, King said in an interview.
He said reducing testng will also be
part of his contnuing community
Students are best prepared to
succeed academically through rigorous
and engaging instructon, not rote test
preparaton, King said. Teaching is
the core of our work.
NY to reduce standardized tests...from previous page
6 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) Almost 6 million
young people are neither in school nor
working, according to a study released
Thats almost 15 percent of those aged
16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job,
according to The Opportunity Naton
coaliton, which wrote the report.
Other studies have shown that idle
young adults are missing out on a
window to build skills they will need
later in life or use the knowledge they
acquired in college. Without those
experiences, they are less likely to
command higher salaries and more
likely to be an economic drain on their
This is not a group that we can write
of. They just need a chance, said
Mark Edwards, executve director of
the coaliton of businesses, advocacy
groups, policy experts and nonproft
organizatons dedicated to increasing
economic mobility. The tendency is
to see them as lost souls and see them
as unsavable. They are not.
But changing the dynamic is not going
to be easy.
The coaliton also fnds that 49 states
have seen an increase in the number
of families living in poverty and 45
states have seen household median
incomes fall in the last year. The dour
report underscores the challenges
young adults face now and foretell
challenges they are likely to face as
they get older.
A young persons community is ofen
closely ted to his or her success. The
Opportunity Naton report tracked
16 factors Internet access, college
graduaton rates, income inequality
and public safety among them and
identfed states that were doing well
for its young people.
Topping the list of supportve states
are Vermont, Minnesota and North
Dakota. At the botom? Nevada,
Mississippi and New Mexico.
Their destny is too ofen determined
by their ZIP code, said Charlie
Mangiardi, who works with Year Up, a
nonproft that trains young adults for
careers and helps them fnd jobs.
We have the supply. We dont have
a lack of young people who need this
opportunity, Mangiardi added.
Just look at some of the natons
largest cites. Chicago, Houston, Dallas,
Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los
Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif.,
all have more than 100,000 idle youth,
the Opportunity Naton report found.
Ofen tmes they lack the social capital
in life, Mangiardi said. Theres a
whole pool of talent that is motvated,
loyal and hardworking. They just cant
get through an employers door, he
Thats why Year Up spends a year
working with high school graduates
to teach them career skills such as
computer programming or equipment
repair they can use when the program
ends. It also includes life coaching
so they can learn skills such as tme
management. More than 4,500
young adults from urban areas have
completed the program and 84
percent of them have found work.
But its a far tougher tme for other
young people.
In Mississippi and West Virginia, 1 in 5
young people are idle higher than
their older neighbors. Mississippi has
an overall unemployment rate of 8
percent, while West Virginia posts
about 7 percent. Like most states, they
saw their unemployment rate fall since
2011, but researchers cauton that
shif could come from fewer residents
looking for work and from more who
had simply given up their search for
And its not as though the challenges
emerge from nowhere. Quality early
childhood programs help students
from poor families overcome societal
hurdles, and on-tme high school
graduaton rates ofen follow quality
schools other factors Opportunity
Naton examined in its report.
A lot of tmes we dont want to look
at data because we dont want to
be depressed, said Rob Denson,
president of Des Moines Area
Community College in Iowa.
But its an uncomfortable reality that
needs to be addressed, he said.
Using previous years reports from
Opportunity Naton, Denson helped
rally community organizatons in his
city to develop a pilot program to help
students as young as 14 fnd summer
When we got the index, it really
allowed us to use it as a rallying
point for all of the community-based
organizatons we work with to say,
Look, this is what the world sees when
they look at Iowa, he said.
Startng next summer, Des Moines
students will be placed in paying jobs,
part of a citywide collaboraton to help
its urban communites. It will help
older adults, as well, because crime
rates are expected to fall, he said.
If theyre not in school or at work,
Denson said, theyre not usually
doing something positve.
Study: 15 percent of US youth out of school, work
Check us out online!
7 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
State University of New York
Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center

Business Office & Technology Program Starting November 18, 2013 !!!!

Other Programs:
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College Preparation
Computer Software Training
English-as-a-Second Language

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Medical Secretary
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist
(MCAS) Training

Microsoft Digital Literacy

Applying is easy! Visit the Syracuse EOC and complete an application in the
Admissions Office, Room 200.

100 New Street Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 472-0130

8 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
By Lisa Dumas
Syracuse City School District suspension
rates are far above the natonal
average, with disproportonate rates
for black and Hispanic students,
according to fndings from Dan Losen,
director of the Center for Civil Rights
Remedies at UCLA.
He began an analysis of discipline data
sent to him by the district in July, afer
SCSD hired him following the April
release of UCLAs Civil Rights Project
study ttled Out of School and Of-
Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in
American Middle and High Schools.
Out of 5,675 districts across the
naton, the 12.6 percent of enrollment
that Syracuse suspended, at least
once, in 2009-10 ranked it among the
top 100 suspending school districts in
the naton, the report said.
According to the study, Syracuse
suspended secondary school students
at a rate of 31 percent, compared to
the natonal average of 11 percent in
the 2009-10 school year.
Losen said Syracuse suspension
rates exceeded the natonal average
in all categories, including those
broken down by race and disability.
In additon, he said the study
showed large numbers of disparites
between minority students and
their counterparts, regardless of the
amount of students in each group.
Losen presented the data to the school
board at its meetng on Sept. 30.
According to his report, 52 percent
of black males in Syracuses middle
and high schools were suspended at
least once during the 2009-10 school
year, compared to 48 percent of Latno
males and 31 percent of white males.
In additon, 39 percent of all black
students, compared to 31 percent of
Hispanics and 21 percent of whites
were suspended in the 2012-13 school
year, correspondingly. Students with
9 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
disabilites were also suspended at
higher rates than other students, at
rates of 84 percent and 47 percent
respectvely, throughout grades
K-12. Blacks with disabilites were
suspended at a rate of 105 percent,
compared to 76 percent of Hispanics
and 57 percent of whites.
Losen said the reason for the
disparites was unclear; however,
the largest disparites were for minor
ofenses, such as those that didnt
involve weapons, drugs, or violence.
In comparison, he said the suspension
rates for more serious wrongdoings
were nearly equal for each group,
There are two things folks need to
keep in mind, Losen said. Across
the board, for all students, Syracuse
is suspending really high numbers
of students. Even in elementary,
Syracuse is one of the top 100
suspending districts in the naton. And
the disparites are not just about race.
There are disparites between those
with disabilites and kids without.
This policy is not healthy for any of
the kids. There is a disproportonate
impact on minorites more than
others. Why? Its because the policy
and practce is already very excessive.
When suspensions are used far too
ofen, you see more disparites. We
compared racial gaps between black
and white kids, and when we looked
at the most serious ofenses in those
circumstances, the diference was
much smaller.
Losen also said it was possible
racial bias came into play during the
suspension process, but, if so, it was
probably done subconsciously.
I think its important to keep it in
perspectve, he stated. People
concerned about racial bias will think,
oh, Im accusing people of being racist.
As I pointed out, I may also have
unconscious racial bias while working
at the Center for Civil Rights Remedies,
which can afect my actons without
me even knowing it.
Stll, despite the possibility of
prejudice, Losen said he thought it was
important to stay away from pointng
fngers and laying blame.
Some may have thought that I was
blaming teachers in my presentaton
of the data, he said. Im a former
teacher. I taught for ten years.
Teachers are really an integral part of
the soluton. Supportng teachers is
absolutely critcal. Im dedicated to
working with the district in a way that
is constructve; its not about pointng
SCSD has reportedly extended Losens
contract for another six months and an
additonal $30,000. Now, he said, the
plan is to fnd an appropriate soluton
to the problem.
Theres a whole array of tools that
need to be used more ofen, he stated.
Some may be as simple as using ISS
(in-school suspension) more ofen.
The informaton suggests suspensions
are not being used as measures of
last resort. And thats just restoratve
practces. Social emotonal learning
may also help. So, one of the things I
think Syracuse is looking at is changing
their policies around school discipline.
Another thing is training the leaders
and teachers around diferent ways of
approaching discipline. This was not a
fnal report. It raised some questons
that I hope to be working with the
district to further understand.
School board president Pat Body
said she agreed. Body said the best
next step would be for Losen to take
a deeper look at the data to fnd out
what the issues are.
We need more details about it in
order to fnd a soluton, she said. The
data just tells us whats happening,
it doesnt tell us how to solve it; and
we want to solve it. For the violent
ofenses, there isnt any discrepancy.
According to Dan Losens report,
the discrepancy just seems to be for
minor ofenses. What I can say to you
is that, in 2012, we became aware of
the suspension data, and the board
and the superintendent became very
concerned about it. So, we began a
task force to review the suspension
rate. We do take this very seriously.
We want to look into the mater
more deeply. Weve also contracted
with a professional development
organizaton, so the teachers will
be trained on that. Weve also hired
social workers who will be going to the
diferent schools and addressing those
issues. If a child is angry or upset, they
can address the issue at that tme.
Were trying to take a multfaceted
approach so that were looking at all
the diferent areas. Were training
the teachers, were training the
principals. Weve been meetng with
the principals and weve been going
over the disciplinary processes they
need to follow.
In additon to the task force, Body said
some additonal steps the district may
take will most likely include a review
of the SCSD code of conduct as well as
an efort to gather feedback from the
I think whats going to happen is
were going to listen to what the
community is saying, and were going
to try to listen to what is unclear, she
stated. Were going to review the
code of conduct and also be taking
in Dan Losens informaton. So, were
going to take in all of the diferent
variables. We want to come up with
diferent solutons; we dont want to
just suspend kids all the tme. But, we
need more in-depth data to make sure
the solutons were coming up with ft
the problems. If not, were going to
take a look at other solutons.
Preston Fagan, president of the
Syracuse/Onondaga branch of the
NAACP, said he also has questons, but,
so far, he hasnt goten any answers.
Im highly upset and very concerned
because the numbers are very
disturbing. Fagan said. And no one
has really given any type of reason
for the disparites, which leads me to
think it was not just by chance but
more by design. These out-of-school
suspensions, in some cases, were for
minor ofenses. So, that is alarming.
I was always an advocate of ISS and
not OSS (out-of-school suspension). It
seems like ISS has decreased and OSS
has increased. It doesnt take a rocket
scientst to fgure out something is
wrong. Whose idea is it to suspend
these students? Is it the principals? I
know the teachers can recommend
it. And when was the superintendent
involved? I know she can remove
students as well. And, afer all my
questons are answered, Id like to
know what correctve measures are in
Previously, sources said the Syracuse
branch of the NAACP was considering
fling a lawsuit against the district
based on the high rate of suspensions
for minorites, but Fagan said thats
not the case.
I have a lot of questons and I need
some answers before I can even make
an intelligent decision on what the
next step is, he said. They need to
justfy why students are suspended
out of school and, once we look at all
the issues and start pointng fngers it
had to at least start with the principal
Id like to know what the protocol is to
make that decision. So, no, I never said
and never will say the NAACP is fling
a lawsuit, unless weve already fled
one. But the NAACP is going to take
an actve role in the research and the
investgaton of what is going on. And,
once were quite sure our informaton
is correct, then were stepping out.
Additonally, Fagan said the problem
is one that has been happening for
years, so its important to look at the
data from the beginning.
This suspension rate didnt just
happen, he said. There was a study
done in 2009. Were all just now taking
notce. Were screaming about today,
but it didnt start today. This has been
ongoing. I want to go back and track
where it started, how it started, and
ask, Why is it contnuing?
Ultmately, Body said she would like
to see the district begin looking for
answers and reviewing the code of
conduct by next month.
This is how long I would like to see it
take, she said. I would like to see us
start in November; I would like to see
it complete by February. Thats what I
would like to see. Of course, it could
take longer.
10 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Theres some
good news on college tuiton. Yes, the
cost has gone up - but not as much in
the past.
For in-state students at a four-year
public college or university, published
tuiton and fees increased this year on
average $247 to $8,893. Thats a 2.9
percent increase - the smallest one-
year increase in more than 30 years,
the College Board said Wednesday in
its annual report on college prices.
Out-of-state prices, as well as the costs
to atend public two-year colleges
and private insttutons rose but they
also avoided big spikes, said Sandy
Baum, co-author of the report. These
more moderate increases could lessen
concern that an annual rapid growth is
tuiton prices in the new normal.
It does seem that the spiral is
moderatng. Not turning around, not
ending, but moderatng, Baum said.
The average published cost for tuiton
and fees at a private college for the
2013-14 academic year was $30,094 -
up $1,105. An out-of-state student at
a public college or university faced an
annual average price tag of $22,203,
which is up $670. The average price
tag for an in-state student to atend a
two-year insttuton was much less at
$3,264 - up $110.
Most students dont actually pay that,
though. There are grants, tax credits
and deductons that help ease the cost
of going to college. About two-thirds
of full-tme students get grants, most
from the federal government.
But, in the two years leading up to the
2012-2013 school year, the federal aid
per full-tme equivalent undergraduate
student declined 9 percent, or about
That means students have to foot
more of the bill themselves.
The rapid increases in college prices
have slowed, however, student and
families are paying more because
grant aid is not keeping up, said David
Coleman, president of the College
While the average published price for
tuiton and fees for a private college
is $30,094, the net price is $12,460 -
up $530 from last year. The net price
is what they actually pay afer grants.
There were years this decade that saw
the net price going down, but it has
gone up the last two years.
The average published in-state price
for tuiton and fees at a public four-
year school is $8,893, but the average
net price is about $3,120.
Molly Corbet Broad, president of the
American Council on Educaton, in a
statement called it troubling that
overall grant aid is not keeping up with
prices. Her organizaton represents
the presidents of U.S. colleges and
Insttutons are commited to holding
down costs, but it is equally important
for state and federal governments
to play their part to make college
afordable, she said.
The College Board is a not-for-proft
membership group that promotes
college access and owns the SAT exam.
The report spells out the large declines
in state appropriatons given to public
insttutons in recent years. These cuts
have been blamed for rises in college
costs. Other causes ofen cited range
from the high cost of health care for
employees to the demand by students
for fashier campus amenites.
Among the other fndings in the report:
- Adding in costs for room and board
to live on campus, average annual
published costs: At public, four-year
universites, $18,391 for in-state
students and $31,701 for out-of-state
students; $40,917 for private colleges
and universites; $10,730 for in-state
students at public two year schools.
- The average published tuiton and
fees at for-proft insttutons increased
by $70 to $15,130 - an increase of less
than 1 percent.
- New Hampshire and Vermont had the
highest published in-state tuiton and
fees at both four-year and two-year
insttutons. Wyoming and Alaska had
the lowest published in-state tuiton
and fees at a four-year insttuton,
while California and New Mexico had
the lowest in-state among two-year
- In 2012-2013, $238.5 billion
in fnancial aid was issued to
undergraduate and graduate students
in the forms of grants from all sources,
Federal Work-Study, federal loans and
federal tax credits and deductons.
Also, students borrowed about
$8.8 billion from private, state and
insttutonal sources.
- About 60 percent of students who
earned bachelors degrees in 2011-
2012 graduated with debt, borrowing
a total of $26,500 on average.
College price hikes appear to be moderating
11 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
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12 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
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13 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
Maryland HBCU Case Has Implications for America
(TriceEdneyWire.com) - A federal
judges ruling that Maryland violated
the consttutonal rights of the
students at its historically Black college
and universites by perpetuatng
segregaton will have a signifcant
impact both within and beyond the
states borders, experts said.
Federal District Judge Catherine Blake
ruled Oct. 7 that Maryland, by allowing
traditonally White insttutons to
duplicate programs already ofered
by historically Black colleges and
universites, had created de facto
segregaton in its higher educaton
Maryland ofered no evidence that it
has made any serious efort to address
contnuing historic duplicaton.
Second, and even more troubling, the
State has failed to prevent additonal
duplicaton, to the detriment of the
HBIs, Blake wrote in her opinion.
Clifon Conrad, a professor at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison, and
an expert in the area of segregaton
in higher educaton, said program
duplicaton is a major indicator of
the dualism that stll exists in higher
educaton despite the passage of
landmark cases such as the 1954
Brown v. Board of Educaton and the
1992 U.S. v. Fordice, which atempted
to mitgate the problem.
Brown didnt work in higher
educaton, did it? No, said the
professor, who worked on Fordice and
was called as an expert witness in the
Maryland case.
In her opinion, Blake noted that
statewide, 60 percent of the noncore
programs at Marylands HBCUs are
unnecessarily duplicated, compared
with only 18 percent of its TWIs
noncore programs. And, of the unique
high-demand programs that fuel
enrollment, there was an average of
17 per TWI and only three per HBCU.
The lack of unique programs at HBCUs
has a segregatng efect since it
decreases the schools atractveness
to students of all races, said Lezli
Baskerville, president and CEO of
the Natonal Associaton for Equal
Opportunity in Higher Educaton
(NAFEO), mirroring Blakes conclusions.
When you undercut and duplicate
those courses ofered by HBCUs, you
are not just segregatng the schools
and perpetuatng a dual system of
educaton, you are undermining our
(Black) insttutons in terms of growth,
she said.
Conrad concurred, saying, the
presence of unique programs leads to
increased funding.
When you have unique, quality
noncore programs the money will
come, he said.
Both Conrad and Baskerville said Judge
Blakes ruling could serve as a wake-
up call to other jurisdictons, since
Maryland is not the only state that has
lingering policies traceable to the de
jure or legal era of segregaton.
This (decision) is signifcant not only
for Maryland, Baskerville said. We
were waitng with bated breath for
the ruling, hoping that this would set
good precedent for at least four other
NAFEO has complaints pending in
at least four other states including
Florida, Oklahoma and Texas. And
there have been other red fags in
states like Louisiana, Georgia and
Ohio, she said.
For example, Baskerville said, Georgias
Savannah State University, an HBCU,
launched an acclaimed homeland
security program that promised to
draw students from all over. Within a
mater of months, however, the state
allowed a TWI in close proximity to
launch a replica of that program and
enrollment in the HBCUs program
petered out.
[The Maryland ruling] gives us
the leverage to go to other state
legislatures, higher educaton systems,
etc. and see if states have willingly
or unknowingly perpetuated a dual
system of higher educaton and to
address the problem, she said, later
adding, The judge went to great
lengths to establish a good record
for what states should look at in
making good decisions about whether
there are lingering efects of de jure
In her opinion, Blake ofered guidelines
Maryland should consider as they
developed an approach to dealing with
the segregatve program duplicaton.
Those included expansion of
mission and program uniqueness and
insttutonal identty at the HBIs, and
even the transfer or merger of select
high demand programs from TWIs to
Any soluton will pose a difcult
challenge to the state, Conrad said.
Resources will have to be appropriated
for faculty training, facility rehabbing
and the like, which may be less tasking
that trying to divvy up the programs
among the insttutons.
Its tricky because you have a lot of
insttutons involved. So its going
to invite some creatvity in fnding
the remedy to give HBCUs a useful
programmatc identty, Conrad said.
Its challenging; its not going to be
easy. Insttutons like things to stay as
they are [so] change and innovaton
can be painful.
But the pain is worth it, he added.
It is 2013. We need to get rid of the
vestges of segregaton and move on,
he said.
14 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of MRMG or CNY Vision
(TriceEdneyWire.com) - A team
of African-American preachers
has sent a leter to President
Barack Obama afrming
their commitment to the
Afordable Care Act even as
the President has ordered the
website overhauled.
We believe that access
to quality health care is a
fundamental civil and human
right in America. Historically,
over seven million African-Americans have
been uninsured and denied access to care with
devastatng consequences. The Afordable Care Act
provides African-Americans, along with Americans
of all natonalites, access to desperately needed
quality health care, states the leter, signed by 14
Black preachers, all of whom lead major clerical or
civic organizatons. We afrm our support for the
Afordable Care Act. We understand that over tme
aspects of the Act will be revised as government
learns more and to-be-expected administratve
glitches will be appropriately addressed but it is
essental that we work aggressively with what we
have right now. We cannot aford to put this of
any longer. Any further delay will have catastrophic
efects on the natons uninsured.
The three-page leter, complete with supportng
scriptures, and startng with Dear Mr. President,
was released to the media Monday evening.
The 14 names on the leter are the Rev. Dr. Ots
Moss, Jr. chair, Faith Partnerships; Inc.; the Rev. Dr.
Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair, Natonal African
American Clergy Network, who is heading the efort;
the Reverend Dr. T. DeWit Smith, Jr., co-chair,
Natonal African American Clergy Network; the
Rev. Dr. Carroll A. Baltmore, president, Progressive
Natonal Baptst Conventon, Inc.; Bishop George
E. Batle, Jr., senior bishop, African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church; Bishop Charles Edward Blake,
Sr., presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle, Church of
God In Christ, Inc.; Bishop John R. Bryant, senior
bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church; the
Rev. Dr. Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, founding
president, Women In Ministry Internatonal; Bishop
Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr., actng senior bishop, Christan
Methodist Episcopal Church; Bishop Paul S. Morton,
internatonal presiding bishop, Full Gospel Baptst
Church Fellowship Internatonal; the Rev. Dr. Julius
R. Scruggs, president, Natonal Baptst Conventon,
USA, Inc.; the Rev. Al Sharpton, president, Natonal
Acton Network; the Rev. Dr. Stephen Thurston,
president, Natonal Baptst Conventon of America,
Inc., the Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian, president, Southern
Christan Leadership Conference.
The leter was released only hours afer President
Obama held a Rose Garden press conference
deploring the embarrassing glitches that have
slowed enrollment on the website, HealthCare.
gov, while praising the benefts of the new plans for
those who have successfully enrolled.
...The problem has been that the website thats
supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase
the insurance is not working the way it should for
everybody. And theres no sugarcoatng it, Obama
said. The website has been too slow, people have
been getng stuck during the applicaton process.
And I think its fair to say that nobody is more
frustrated by that than I am - precisely because the
product is good.
For anyone experiencing problems or needing
answers to questons, he announced the toll free
number, 1-800-318-2596 for help. The President has
also embraced the Republican-invented nickname
for the Afordable Care Act. In a video, distributed
by mass e-mail, he has ppealed for people to Join
Team Obamacare.
Meanwhile, amidst escalated critcism of the plan
- mainly by Republicans - the pastors and their
associates bolstered their support.
We, leaders of predominantly African American
denominatons and other faith leaders, who lead
millions of African American people of faith,
believe that our devoton to God requires us to be
actvely involved in promotng the well-being of all
people, states the leter. In some cases, we can
best accomplish that objectve by executng clearly
defned, focused collaboratve eforts amongst
denominatons and other faith based groups. We
believe in those cases we can accomplish more
together than we can separately. The issue of
providing all Americans with access to quality health
care is one of those issues.
The leter lists their specifc commitments, including
to Facilitate the critcal enrollment numbers
necessary to ensure the success of the Afordable Care
Act and Seek other opportunites to work towards
improving the health status of our consttuencies
such as Health and Wellness Sundays which will
include thematc preaching on specifed Sundays
along with other related actvites.
They appealed for other pastors to sign onto the
leter and the commitment: We call on all others
of like minds and empathetc hearts to join in this
public afrmaton by afxing your names to this
historic document.

Black Clergy Push Obamacare Enrollment as Glitches Get Fixed
something special in the air
Let your voice
be heard
Tell us what you think at:
15 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
The Washington
elite are
returning to their
obsession with
the long term
budget crisis
which means
extremists are
once again
calling for beneft
cuts to Social
Security and
Medicare. Last
week as the government reopened,
President Obama called for cooler
heads to prevail and warned elected
leaders to ignore the bloggers and paid
actvists who have been distractng
lawmakers from the real task of
growing our economy. The presidents
warning should also apply to so-called
moderates who contnue to succeed
in creatng a fable to convince ratonal
people to agree to make sacrifces of
family sustaining programs, rather
than ask the rich to pay their fair share
of taxes.
The plotline of the fable is that
the growing share of elderly in our
populaton creates a growing share
of non-workers the rest of us must
support through Social Security
and Medicare. In this warped tale,
as the elderly become a bigger share
of the populaton, they will take away
from resources the rest of us need.
In partcular, the rapid increases in
medical costs mean the elderly will
consume a disproportonate share of
resources, because they tend to have
more expensive health care needs
than the rest of us. According to
current Congressional Budget Ofce
projectons, in 2038, when about 21
percent of our populaton will be older
than 65, we would spend 14 percent
of Gross Domestc Product (GDP, all
the goods and services produced in
the economy) on Social Security and
But using the argument that Social
Security and Medicare will become a
rising percent of GDP is irrelevant. If
the government gets totally out of
the business of Social Security and
Medicare, and the elderly paid out
of pocket for everything on their
own, as 21 percent of the populaton
they would stll consume the same
14 percent amount of the natons
The soluton from Republicans, and
those like Pete Peterson (an 87 year
old billionaire) who has personally
invested his fortune in perpetuatng
this fable, is that the government
needs to get out of assuring the elderly
that the benefts they paid for will be
honored to support Social Security
and Medicare.
The smart people in the Washington
elite think we should compromise by
lowering the lifestyle of the elderly-
or as they euphemistcally say slow
the growth of their lifestyle as the
president has proposed by letng the
costs of living outstrip the beneft
levels by reinventng the formula for
adjustng for infaton.
Why do I call this a fable? Because it
creates the evil grandma to scare
ratonal people to sacrifce the elderly
while ignoring the real culprit behind
our economic issues. Since 1997, the
richest 5 percent got 284.7 percent of
the natons income growth so they
now eat up 22.3 percent of the natons
income. The botom 95 percent lost
income and income share, leaving us
with less money for our retrement
and childrens educaton and a lower
share of the natons resources.
Meanwhile the Peterson publicity
machine has frightened us into
believing that we will all be working
to pay taxes to keep the elderly alive.
But their fascinaton with the growing
fnancial burden of seniors doesnt
extend to the bigger problem of
growing income inequality. Inequality
worsened by contnued lowering of
real wages and less retrement security
for the 95 percent of us, higher CEO
pay for corporate executves, bigger
profts for multnatonal corporatons
and more money to Wall Street
speculators. Lets also be clear that
future seniors Peterson wants us to
fear are currently around 40 years
old and living through a nightmare of
an economy. Todays 40-year-old saw
one of the lowest median income
growths over a decade. They also
have inadequate retrement savings,
so except for Social Security, they face
a very uncertain future.
Rather than sacrifce current 30 and
40-year-olds to save the rich, we need
to move away from fables to solving
real economic problems. The real
governing challenge is how to govern
in an age of rapidly growing inequality.
Rather than fear the elderly eatng up
too much resources, we need to fear
acceptng story lines that reinforce the
current path of growing inequality.
We need to look at policies from the
perspectve of what our naton needs
frst, and the best policy designs to
achieve those goals, rather than what
the rich will accept. Because the
tea party and the shutdown of the
government and the threatening of
the United States standing tells us the
rich are too greedy to accept anything
less than more sacrifce from the rest
of us.
Follow Spriggs on Twiter: @WSpriggs.
The Fable of the Long Term Federal Budget Crisis
The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not
necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of MRMG or CNY Vision
16 www.cnyvision.com | october 24 - 30| 2013
CNY Mocha Men at the
Top of Their Game:
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2013 1:003:00 P.M.
Community Folk Art Center (CFAC)
Community Black Box Theater
805 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13210
Stories of Struggle, Passion & Success
In this inspirational forum, you will learn the following from
a professionally diverse panel of entrepreneurial men doing
extraordinary things and making a difference:
What these men are passionate about and what motivates
them to achieve
The struggles they have overcome to get to where they are
The importance of faith and building a solid spiritual
foundation as a cornerstone in their lives
How they manage their money and fnances and much more!
Come learn, laugh and enjoy a lovely afternoon prior to the
Thanksgiving holiday.
MeShae Brooks-Rolling, CEPF
Author of How To Save Money & Organize
Your Finances: Tales of an Urban Consumer

Mr. Davine A. Bey
Manager of Talent
Cornell University
Mr. Rickey T.
Center Manager,
Home Headquarters
Cost: $49 including lunch
Mr. Lamar Brown
Health and Well-
ness Consultant,
Brown Networking
Health Practices
Mr. George
CEO, Inspiration
for the Nation
Mr. Vincent B.
100 Black Men
of Syracuse, Inc.
Rev. Harry
District Pastor,
Abundant Life
Christian Center
Dr. James Haywood
Rolling, Jr.
Dual Associate
Professor and Chair
of Art Education, Syr-
acuse University
Mr. Ahmeed
Say Yes Syracuse
Visit: JTBFinancialLiteracy.EventBrite.com
E-Mail: RSVP@JTBFinancialLiteracy.com
Call: (315) 908-BOOK (2665)