November 14, 1999 |
In this Bay Area city, where 25% of all middle school students were suspended last year, sending children home for behavioral problems in the classroom has become the rule, not the exception. But the Oakland Unified School District, which forfeits state funding for each student it suspends, is considering a new approach to deal with disciplinary problems in-house and keep troubled children in school.
January 24, 1997 |
Members of the Oakland school district defended their Ebonics policy before a U.S. Senate panel Thursday, insisting that federal money is not going to be used to instruct students in black English. But the delegation of school officials, accompanied by an Oakland student and the linguist who coined the term Ebonics, were subjected to pointed questions from skeptical senators, who noted that they control $10 billion in federal education funding.
January 17, 1997 |
Having retracted the most controversial portions of their policy on Ebonics, Oakland school officials said Thursday that they hope to finally shed the distraction of national attention and concentrate on improving the poor test scores of African American students.
January 16, 1997 |
After enduring a month of blistering criticism for its resolution calling Ebonics a language distinct from English, the Oakland Board of Education on Wednesday retracted the two points that most enraged its critics. In a unanimous vote, the seven-member board dropped a reference to African American speech as a "genetically based" language and eliminated a proposal that students be taught in Ebonics, a word coined from "ebony" and "phonics."
January 4, 1997 |
The nation's largest society of linguistic scholars on Friday strongly supported the Oakland School Board's recognition of Ebonics, as an African American speech pattern is becoming known. The Linguistic Society of America commended Oakland's plan, adopted Dec. 18, to use Ebonics to teach some black students standard English, calling the action "linguistically and pedagogically sound."
December 31, 1996 |
Less than two weeks after their embrace of Ebonics as a distinct black language brought them international derision, Oakland school officials tried Monday to redefine the issue by arguing that they had been misinterpreted.
December 27, 1996 |
After many telephone conversations with Oakland school officials, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Thursday that he is softening his position on the district's plan to incorporate black English into its curriculum. "Reaching out to find our youth where they are and to building a bridge is the thing to do," Jackson said in a telephone interview from his home in Chicago.
December 25, 1996 |
The Clinton administration declared Tuesday that "Black English" is a form of slang that does not belong in the classroom, and ruled that school districts that recognize the idiom in their teaching cannot use federal funds targeted for bilingual education. The Oakland school board last week revived a long-brewing linguistic controversy with a unanimous vote declaring that Black English, also known as Ebonics, is not merely a dialect but a language, rooted in a distinct African American culture.
December 23, 1996 |
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson on Sunday blasted the Oakland school board's decision to recognize so-called black English, or Ebonics, as a primary language for many of its black students. Jackson said the resolution would undermine black students' chances for success. "I understand the attempt to reach out to these children, but this is an unacceptable surrender borderlining on disgrace. . . .
December 21, 1996 |
For Oakland school board President Lucella Harrison, it has brought a merciless barrage of barbs. For radio talk show host Larry Elder, it's been the broadcast equivalent of manna from heaven. Prominent rappers had their opinions, not surprisingly, but so did Arnold Schwarzenegger's former dialect coach--who recalled how the Austrian actor was mocked for his speech.