Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do you wonder why reporters have a bad rap today? #charlesfleminglatimesisrude

Charles Fleming

As an educator, when I see a wrong fact I feel I must educate. In addition, if I am wrong I have to problem admitting when I wrong because we learn something new every day.

I am a biker, not a hidden fact, and I try and be a student of history. I responded to this story today by Charles Fleming of the LA Times:

I simply reminded him of know facts that the true and original builders were never credited. Apparently Charles Fleming LA Times has no manners, apparently he feels it is appropriate to respond to a polite suggestion from a reader with a rude and ignorant statement. Here is the exchange:

“From Fleming, Charles Charles.Fleming@latimes.com”

“To: Flavius Akerele”

“You insult me, in your own ignorance. I did my research. We didn’t have room to include every fact in this strange, long story. I reached out to Vaughs, tracked him down, and emailed him, trying to get his voice into the piece. He declined to respond.

Blame him for his absence from the story, not me.


From: Flavius Akerele
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 4:04 PM
To: Fleming, Charles
Subject: Regarding 'Easy Rider's' 'Captain America' bike sold for $1.35 million


Please remember to give Credit to the people who really built and designed the bikes Ben Hardy and Cliff Vaughs. Do your research please.

Dr. Flavius A B Akerele III

I did not realize that I was ignorant on this subject, in fact him calling me ignorant is contradicted by the rest of his statement. Mr Vaughs is very easy to find, and if he chose not to comment, it does not mean I was wrong; if anything it shows he has made peace with this issue.

To you Mr. Fleming, I salute your rudeness! You are the epitome of today’s non-gentleman who feels when challenged should respond to with insult. Best of luck wallowing in your own excrement #charlesfleminglatimesisrude.

Dr Flavius Akerele

The ETeam

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good things do happen in education and please be aware of your personal issues

Coincidentally, I had been thinking about two subjects this morning when I found these two articles I am going to share. I have been thinking about all the good things that happen in education because of the recent field day the media has been having with a teacher who had sex with a student: news flash most teachers do not do that so do not condemn the whole profession.

“Why Do We Ignore All That Is Good in Education?”

“If there is one teacher in a system that has an affair with his/her student, it gets reported on.”

“When 1 in some random huge amount perpetrates a scandal, it gets recognized and publicized.”

“If one didn't know better, one would say that the media and government want the world to think ill of teachers, or why else would there be such a focus on the few who do bad things.”

“Let's face it, if journalists go on an expedition to find the unsavory aspects of teaching, they'll find it. It's always there, just like in every profession or aspect of life.”

“The usual scope of a teaching job goes well outside the job description of conveying content knowledge to students during school hours. Regardless of the misconception that teachers only teach from 8-3 and have the summers off, most of us spend the better portion of our lives treating every child in our spaces as if he or she was our own.”

Let us celebrate the good in education not the very minority bad.
This next article has more to do with personal experiences and observations over my career that I have only just begun to notice. I am pretty well insulated against dumb comments because I am fortunate to have a strong family background and long historical grounding. However, other people I know have started pointing out to me some of these “microagressions” that have always happened and I just brushed off.

'Dear White Academics ...'

“Wow, you’re so articulate.”

“Are you the cleaning lady?”

“Do you have a Ph.D.?”

“James? What’s your real Asian name?”

“You’ve heard (or heard of) statements like these. Students and scholars call them “microaggressions”—casual, everyday comments and questions that might not rise to the level of a verbal altercation or a physical beatdown, but are rooted in stereotyping and racially-biased assumptions nevertheless.”

“Some microaggressions are obvious. But it can take a well-tuned ear to perceive the subtleties and nuances in others. The people delivering coded comments might actually intend them as compliments, not realizing that they are holding on to stereotypes that are invisible to them.”

“Added over time, these slights and jabs—at scholars of color’s appearance, intelligence, scholarly work, and their mere presence on campus—can take an emotional and physical toll. Some underrepresented scholars have told me they’re exhausted from being battle-rammed in interactions with hiring committees, with students in the classroom, and in department meetings with fellow faculty members.”

This kind of speaks for itself, so I would ask that if you are one of those folks who does this, just stop doing it. We should all have better things to do in education than this.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sharing an article about teacher preparation programs

“Steep Drops Seen in Teacher-Prep Enrollment Numbers”

“California and other big states particularly hard hit, raising supply concerns”

“Massive changes to the profession, coupled with budget woes, appear to be shaking the image of teaching as a stable, engaging career. Nationwide, enrollments in university teacher-preparation programs have fallen by about 10 percent from 2004 to 2012, according to federal estimates from the U.S. Department of Education's postsecondary data collection.”

“Some large states, like heavyweight California, appear to have been particularly hard hit. The Golden State lost some 22,000 teacher-prep enrollments, or 53 percent, between 2008-09 and 2012-13, according to a report its credentialing body issued earlier this month.”

“Though the decline is probably due to a multitude of factors, the reason topping many analysts' list is the budget crunch that hit the nation in 2008. In California, Ms. Sandy believes that the state's layoffs of some 30,000 teachers during the Great Recession sent a clear message to potential candidates that the profession was no longer a reliable one.”

The question I want to ask here is: what do teachers think is causing this trend and when it will it reverse?
If you do the math, at some point there will be a massive shortage of teachers because people will retire. How do we make sure Schools and more importantly students’ needs are met?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another interesting article on Adjuncts, but does anyone care?

“The Adjunct Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem”
“In 2012, I got my Ph.D. and left academia with no regrets. Like all decisions based on financial stability, it was not so much a decision as a reaction.”
“Academia, I had discovered, was not an industry in which one works for pay but one in which you must pay to work. New Ph.D.’s are expected to move around the country in temporary postdocs or visiting professor jobs until finding tenure-track positions -- financially impossible for me as a mother of two – or stay where they are and work as adjuncts with no job security and an average wage of $2,700 per course. While making an income below the poverty line, a new Ph.D. is expected to spend thousands of dollars on job interviews at conferences in expensive cities and write paywalled papers for free.”
“Labor exploitation is not the new normal. Adjunct professors are distinct from other low-wage contract workers only by virtue of degree – that is, the Ph.D. Like other exploited workers, adjuncts are told that their low pay and mistreatment are the deserved consequence of poor choices. While low-wage workers without college degrees are told to get an education, adjuncts are asked what they thought all that education would get them. The plight of the adjunct shows one can have all the education in the world and still have no place in it.”
This is not a new issue and in my opinion, it is getting worse. There is an underclass in an industry that should be more enlightened.
What do we do?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Use common sense when dealing with Ebola not fear. #ebolafear

No doubt Ebola is a deadly disease, and no doubt some countries are suffering from this (more because of the inconveniences). However, since when did we become afraid of our own shadow in the United Stated? Since when have we reacted so badly to every possible scary thing that passes us? Educators should know better, but we are not immune to the chicken disease it seems (yes I said chicken).

“Rejecting All Nigerians?”

“Nigerians and others are expressing outrage after letters surfaced from Navarro College, a community college in Texas, saying that all applicants from countries with confirmed Ebola cases were being rejected.”

“The letters were sent to several applicants from Nigeria by Elizabeth Pillans, director of international programs at the college. The letters said: "Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases."”

“Idris Bello, an advocate for Africans in the United States, circulated copies of the letter on social media, where they have attracted anger from many. He wrote on Twitter that "it's wrong to discriminate in admission decisions based on #EbolaFear."”

Fact: Nigerians students have a reputation for excellence.

Fact: CDC has not recommended this kind measure at all.

Fact: The school handled this badly and is now backtracking and dissembling.

Educators, we are better than this. Change your underwear and move on!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam