Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ellis Cose: Journalists Just Don't Get It

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ellis Cose: Journalists Just Don't Get It

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif.- A task force charged with improving the performance of Black students has issued a final report covering everything from recruiting teachers to forging stronger parent-educator partnerships.

What it doesn't mention is "Ebonics," the word that lit up talk show lines across the country when the school board acted on the task force's initial report last December.

Task force officials insist they are not backing away from their contention that teachers must be trained to help Black students who come to school speaking something other than standard English.

We do not fear the word Ebonics," Sylvester Hodges, chairman of the Task Force on the Education of African American Students, said Tuesday.

He and other school officials downplayed the missing "Ebonics," saying that it simply became unnecessary when it came time to write the gist of the recommendations.

Oakland school officials made an unplanned foray into national headlines last December when the task force's first report prompted a school board resolution suggesting that Ebonics, or Black English, was a "genetically based" separate language. …

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