TWS Client News: Author & Early Childhood Authority, Dr. Bisa Sounds Off about School System Test Scores

Author & Early Learning Authority Dr. Bisa Sounds Off in Her Blog, Says It’s Not Just the Numbers

By: Tamika Morrison

If you follow education news, are an educator and/or parent, then likely, you’re feeling the frustrations of many across the nation as it relates to our seemingly faltering educational system.

Author & Early Learning Expert, Dr. Bisa

Author and Early Learning Authority Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, affectionately called ‘Dr. Bisa’, managing partner of Ideal Early Learning, LLC –an education consulting firm based in Atlanta, is sounding off in her latest blog about the fallout in the Atlanta Public School system’s alleged cheating scandal and performance of schools throughout the state of Georgia. Ideal Early Learning, LLC, is one of a few chosen firms leading the way in Georgia to revamp the state’s education system starting with the professional development of early childhood educators and the eligibility requirements effective 2012 by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Georgia has ranked among the lowest-performing states over the last decade in education. The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute’s 2005 report on Georgia’s rankings showed that Georgia ranked 48th in teen high school dropouts and 49th in public high school graduation. Keep in mind that these rates are from lowest to highest. The most recent reports show that Georgia is now 47th, which has only occurred due to its record number of high school dropouts. With a 10% increase in high school dropouts, Georgia ranks the highest in dropouts among states its size (KIDS COUNT Data Center, 2009).

Dr. Bisa comments in her latest blog post, Public Schools in Georgia: The Proof is in the Pudding, “Media attention on education in the state of Georgia has been heightened due to the spring reports on schools cheating on standardized tests and the resignation of State Superintendent Kathy Cox. While finger-pointing continues to be redirected, the victims (our children) continue to suffer from a lack of quality educational experiences.” Dr. Bisa home schools her sons ages 9 and 13 and made this decision mainly because of disappointment with the quality of education offered in Georgia’s public school system. She reflects…

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TWS Client News: TANKOH Launches Its ‘Mommy & Me’ Computers

Technology Expert’s Warning to Parents: Do You Know What Your Child is Doing Online?

In today’s global and virtual world, the need for parents to have full control over their child’s on-line activity has become a high necessity as compared to previous decades. With children as young as three years of age being increasingly savvy with technology, parents need to protect their families from becoming a statistic of on-line predators. I sat down with Technology Expert, Phil Temb of Atlanta-based TANKOH, a computer manufacturer and IT management company to talk about some interesting view points regarding Internet safety for children and the launch of their latest product for parents that have concerns about their children’s vulnerability when surfing the net.

According to reports, three in ten victims of on-line child predator cases appear to be aged 6 and under – with five percent apparently younger than two years of age which runs parallel to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) report, a division in charge of closing illegal Internet content. More than three-quarters of these child victims are girls. Most parents have busy schedules trying to keep up with the current economy and may not have time to closely monitor their child’s on-line activity.

A survey conducted by TANKOH, an Atlanta-based IT Management company, in 2009 proves that most parents with teens are worried about on-line dating activities, taking into account the most recent happenings of the “Craigslist killer”. Today most children and teens meet new friends and partners on-line; however most of these individuals turn out to be vicious in nature. In this survey of over 1000 single mothers and parents, it was revealed parents are in deep need of computer technology that can help protect their children and deliver guaranteed safe content even in their absence. To answer this growing concern,TANKOH has created one of the first-line of computers specifically designed to help parents.TANKOH’s signature computer package, Mommy & Me was created to help parents protect their children from various on-line dangers like ….Click here to read more….

News Hot off the Press for the week of November 15th

By: Bekkie Owens

Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement this week, proposing with his beloved mother, Princess Diana’s Sapphire and diamond 32-carat sparkler, Prince William has officially made Kate the envy of many.

The Brits are not the only ones obsessed with the royal family, as many all over the world can’t get enough of this breaking announcement.  It is known and well-documented, Princess Di set  trends with her hair styles, hats and fashion.  Now, almost thirty years later we have a new Princess on the rise as we await the royal wedding.

In other news, Fortune 500 takes a look at the top 40 under 40 highest paid of the year.  Among them we found Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics, being the youngest African-American to ever receive tenure at Harvard.  Fryer completed a controversial study involving paying kids to get good grades.  Speaking of which, early learning strategies and educational programs such as the WINGS Curriculum led by Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, affectionately called, ‘Dr. Bisa’ will help the role of both parents and teachers to set a clear standard for high achievers. Dr. Bisa is our new addition to the TWS family!

As an up and coming publicist, it saddens and shocks me to learn of shooting death of Ronni Chasen.  Publicist or as she liked to be called, “Press Agent” to the Stars, the 64 year-old fashioned her style after old Hollywood, with clients such as screenwriters, directors, actors, and composers. Ronni Chasen spent over twenty years in the PR industry and will be missed by many.

And that’s this week’s news hot off the press.

Janelle Monae – An Emotion Picture

Review by Monica Westbrook

Like twin talking heads from a sci-fi motion picture, Cindi Mayweather appears on the two projector screens telling the story of the mythical archandroid. The band begins, and out walk three hooded figures, swaying back and forth with the funk of the tune. Janelle Monae pops out of her hood and starts singing “Dance or Die.” Thus began the “emotion picture” of the ArchAndroid as performed by Janelle Monae this weekend at The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta.

No lip syncing here. Janelle is the real deal, a performance artist – a bold, self-defining brand and trendsetter blazing forth her own path. I first heard her voice on Outkast’s Idlewild soundtrack. Her voice, transitioning from trained vocals to gritty-ness, emanating confidence, grabbed my ear and wouldn’t let go.

Beginning with the release of her EP, Metropolis, she began “Suite I” of the story of the android, Cindi Mayweather. Suites II and III take us deeper into the danger of the society that Cindi lives in. The message transcends the story of the fictional heroine, though. There’s more than one lesson in every song, and she fit most of them into the approximate two-hour performance.

Images from the show still resonating in my mind include the “walking dead” in “Sincerely, Jane.” These hooded figures with white masks and long beaks walked out onto the stage, holding their arms out like zombies. Then during “Locked Inside,” her backup singers danced alongside her, one dressed in the garb of a nun, the other as a Muslim woman. At the end of the song, as they knelt down in prayer, she sang, “I can make a change. I can start a fire.”

So much to write about, so little space. Check out the video to “Many Moons,” below, one of the songs not performed. The show was far more than expected, with her band members, A-Pimp-Named-Slickback on guitar (for you Boondocks fans) and Kanye on keys. From the people of “Wondaland” dancing around on stage to evoking the spirit of James Brown both in dance and on the screen to painting a picture as she sang, the message was clear – Love.

Say it Ain’t So! Latino on Latino Political Discrimination?

By: Monica Westbrook

The right to vote is not free. Many soldiers have died to protect this precious freedom of all citizens of the United States to express their political voice through voting.  So when I heard someone was telling Latinos not to vote, I asked, “Why not?  And who would even say this?”  My first reaction was to accuse Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate in Nevada where the ad was running.  Imagine my surprise.  While Sharron Angle’s team has run some ads with grossly negative depictions of Latinos, they were not responsible for this most heinous ad.

Believe it or not, one of our own did this.  That’s right.  If you haven’t heard by now, we have the Latinos for Reform to thank for this attempt to suppress this most precious right that too many Latinos already ignore.  Supposedly, the purpose is to influence Latinos to “take action” against the Democrats for not fulfilling the promise of immigration reform.  So if I understand this logic, the way to get the Democrats to take action on immigration reform is to essentially be a party to them losing their seats in Congress?  Wouldn’t that ultimately guarantee no action would be taken by Congress on this matter?  Sounds to me like the organization’s president, Robert de Posada is using his position to impose his own agenda.  He is a member of the GOP and, according to the Huffington Post, “a prominent conservative operative,” (GOP-Linked).   Any educated person would, therefore, reasonably deduce that Mr. de Posada believes the Latino vote would be predominantly Democrat.  So by trying to convince his own people to believe this inaction is a form of action, he would, in essence, achieve his own goal, i.e. help the GOP gain power in Congress.

Sharron Angle’s Ads

Now, let’s not allow Sharron Angle to get off scot-free.  If you haven’t seen some of the ads run by her team, please go to YouTube and watch them.  Latinos are depicted as criminals and nothing but a menace to society, sneaking across the border under cloak of darkness, evoking an image that they are to be feared.   One ad shows a brief clip of a white teenage boy who appears to be stressing over the threat of Latinos at his school.

First of all, why did some of our Latino men even agree to be actors in these ads?  I know the economy is tough, but have some principles.

If you’re thinking because you live in any state other than Nevada and this campaign doesn’t impact you, think again.  These ads are getting national coverage, and I fear that Latinos across the country may take this to heart and be discouraged from voting.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Univision ran the “Don’t Vote” ad for a hot minute before pulling it.  Since then, the Wall Street Journal reports that the channel has teamed up with a non-partisan group, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, to run ads encouraging Latinos to get out and vote.  Thank you, Univision.  Telemundo has also joined in this campaign.

So why is the anti-Latino sentiment so strong?  With talks about immigration reform heating up, those opposed to such legislation as the AgJOBS bill are attempting to keep it from coming up for a vote through the use of fear tactics.  What they don’t show you are the millions of laborers on the margin, who work hard to support their families, and get treated as second-class citizens.  These are the real majority, and they don’t deserve to be slandered with these ads.

I attended the Get Motivated seminar Monday, and the much revered General Colin Powell said something that warmed my heart.  First, he told the story of a hot dog vendor on the streets of New York.  When the vendor recognized him, he wouldn’t take his money.  He told Gen. Powell that America has already paid him and his family because he has been able to have his own business and make a living.  Then Gen. Powell said something very freeing.  He said that we have to keep from letting fear cause us to shut down and shut people out.  We can’t let fear keep us from being an open and free country.  That is not the spirit of the U.S.  This is a country built on the backs of immigrants.  Everyone but the Native Americans is a descendent of immigrants.

So when you think about voting today, think about the evolution of this country and how blessed and privileged we are to have a system that allows every citizen to vote, despite race or gender.  Take full advantage of that right, but educate yourself.  Know who the candidates and issues are.  The internet is a wonderful thing as you should know since you’re on it right now reading this.  Now, let’s get out and vote.

Below are some links to some articles on this subject (referenced above) for further reading:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304316404575580303569535716.html?KEYWORDS=univision

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/19/latinos-for-reform-vote-nevada_n_767991.html

Video of Robert de Posada interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell on The Last Word on msnbc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSQg_brPM8

A ‘Model Citizen’ – The Greenlight Projects shares inspiration today with Philanthropist, Author & Chef, Jayda “Divva” Cabbell

Helping someone with problems bigger than mine”, is the motto that drives

Jayda 'Divva' Cabbell

philanthropist, entrepreneur and chef, Jayda Cabbell to devote herself to helping others in need.  “If I can bring an ounce of sunlight to someone whose having a dark moment by just being me, then I’ve done my job!” It is this amazingly inspiring perspective that influences this humble ‘butterfly’ to remain happy & humble through all circumstances! And trust, she’s had her share of situations and circumstances.

Jayda “Divva” Cabbell, (wife, mother, community servant, personal chef, entrepreneur, author, speaker and humble butterfly), migrated to Atlanta by way of New Orleans via Hurricane Katrina. Upon arrival she knew immediately that it would be a struggle continuing her company Divva Dishes in a city as large as Atlanta, instead of feeling sorry for herself and her four children she decided to help others facing greater problems than her own. She began feeding the homeless right outside of the hotel she was living in and gained a clientele with the homeless and hungry before she could even begin branding Divva Dishes.

Once Jayda got on her feet, she took her mission further by going inside the homes of less fortunate families.  Jayda, full of sunshine and love, went into these homes supplying them with a new dinner table, and preparing a meal for the family while teaching the children etiquette and basic kitchen skills.
“I created this experience to bring families to the table and to show others, you can still be fly and fabulous while utilizing your gifts to help others,” she explains. Jayda understands her gift is in the art of inspiration. Everything she does is about inspiring others.

Jayda has written a cook book memoir titled “What Storm Are You Talking About? Life After Hurricane Katrina”, which features Cajun and Creole recipes that she has created or critiqued, along with inspirational tales of trials and triumph. The book will be available early 2011.

In addition to the various programs under her non-profit foundation (BITS), Jayda also gives hours of service to other non-profits, churches and community programs.  She loves traveling to prepare her signature dishes for those in need. Her ultimate goal is to inspire others to Give, Live & Love.  While living up to being a “Divva” with two V’s!!

You can catch Jayda and her inspiring story today at 11am ET on The Greenlight Project with media entrepreneurs Tamika & Rochelle on Blogtalk Radio.  You can also visit Jayda’s website for more information at http://www.jaydacabbell.com/.

Is ‘Barack the Vote’ falling on Deaf Ears?

By: Tamika L. Morrison

If you’re a subscriber to the email campaign Paid for by Organizing for America, then you’ve seen email’s titled “Chip in what you can” to “President Obama on the line” and they are coming in from everyone including the President and First Lady themselves.  Not only that, but for me, I’m getting at least two or three of the same email within ten minutes of each other at least three times each – which is a little annoying, but I get it.  It all feels a little desperate and one has to wonder if the “Yes We Can” phenomenon has run its course and is falling on deaf ears?

I’ll admit, I’m on the fence and not sure if I’m encouraged to go out to the polls – a disgrace some are thinking and I’ll admit, I also feel like it’s a slap in the face of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and all the other great leaders of the Civil Rights era.  With my bank account on a slow and fast drain and the economy not producing job interest or putting income in the market, I can’t help but consume myself with odd and end jobs to supplement my ‘in the meantime’.  Quite honestly, it’s not fitting in my time management zone.  Besides, I don’t even know what the heck the Democrats are promising or committing to doing outside of being lazy and resting on their laurels with a bunch of loud talk.  I don’t know…is it me or is ‘Barack the Vote’ falling on death ears…

Last week on TWS Media’s The Greenlight Project, we got into a timely discussion about the upcoming political campaigns and the importance to get out and vote as we talked with special guest, Carmen Dixon Rosenzweig, the creator of the influential blog AllAboutRace.com, one of the first blogs to facilitate cross-cultural and intra-cultural communication and social justice activism using digital technology. During the conversation, we talked about the lack of participation in the mid-term elections and why it’s imperative Democrats commit to voting to make an impact.  Let’s not forget, we did an amazing thing in 2008 by electing President Obama in the first place.  I believe he needs us more now with the emergence of racial hatred, racial hate groups such as The Tea Party and the Republicans unyielding criticism down to how he yawn’s when it’s captured in picture.  Are you kidding me?  Unfortunately not…

Here’s what we need to consider: While the President’s name is not on the ballot, his long-term vision and policies are.  According to AOL’s Black Voices column “White House: Every Vote Counts” dated October 26th writer Allison Monyei reminds us, “Voting in the midterm elections is just as important as voting in presidential elections. Midterm elections decide whether a president’s agenda will be enforced. Unfortunately, midterm elections typically have less voter turnout due to ignorance about how our political system works. In order for the agenda of President Obama to advance, he needs like-minded individuals in Congress to effectively translate his policies into legislation.”

It’s been proven, knowledge is power.  There’s strength in numbers – let’s not let Barack’s pleas and those of the White House fall on deaf ears – who knows if we’ll ever experience another time of political diversity in America.  Even though I’ll have to put a halt on my side hustle job search, I must commit to “Barack-ing the Vote” because at the rate of things, I can’t afford another Republican rule in my lifetime.