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HBCU’s: Stith proposes conversion of MSU to a University System as remedy to Maryland’s HBCU equity funding suit

Rosetta ‘Dr. Ro’ Stith, EdD, proposed in a letter to the president of the Coalition which sued Maryland to remedy the State’s discrimination against its Historical Black Colleges & Universities that Morgan State University, Maryland’s flagship HBCU, be converted to a University System.

Under a University System model, the campus of the University of Baltimore would be consolidated with the campus of Morgan State.

A new governance structure would be created to administer the two campuses.

Dr. Ro proposed additionally that the Baltimore City Public Schools, which are controlled and funded by the State, be consolidated with the Morgan University System so that the education of children and young adults in Baltimore’s urban center would be controlled under a single administrative structure.

Dr. Ro contends that the consolidation would improve outcomes for students attending Baltimore’s public schools and Maryland’s public colleges.

The text of Dr. Ro’s letter is as follows:

ROSETTA ‘DR. RO’ STITH, EdD

Via Email

David J. Burton

Founder/President/CEO

Diverse Manufacturing Supply Chain Alliance

Dear Mr. Burton:

I thank you,  Former MSU President Earl Richardson, MSU President Dr. David Wilson and the other distinguished panelists for the presentations made at the Workshop: “The Plight of HBCU’s: Where Are We and Where We Need to Be,” held on Friday, November 6, 2015, Presidents’ Conference Room, Miller Senate Office Building, Annapolis, Maryland.

 It’s apparent from the panel presentations, the reported findings of the federal judge and media coverage about the case that Maryland has engaged in an overt pattern and practice of both ‘benign neglect’ and intentional racial discrimination which has characterized the State’s treatment of MSU and its other HBCU’s since at least 1937 as noted by Dr. E. R. Shipp in her poignant Op-Ed: ‘Md. to address HBCU equity plan,’ The Baltimore Sun [11/16/2015].

Link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-shipp-1118-20151117-story.html

Also see, LaTrina Antoine, ‘HBCU’s Impatience with State Persists,’ Afro.com [11/12/2015].

Link: http://www.afro.com/hbcus-impatience-with-state-persists/

The HBCU’s and the communities they serve simply should not have to wait another 78 years for more findings to be made about the problem. It’s time for something to be done, and to be done now.

As you may know, I directed the nationally renowned Lawrence G. Paquin Junior/Senior High School for Teenage Parenting and Expectant Mothers, BCPS, in East Baltimore for 32 years from 1978 to 2010.

It was the most successful school of its kind in the nation, and only one of 5 such schools ever established in America. I also directed the City-Wide social support and community health services for those students.

I was assisted by Misbah Khan, MD, MPH, FAAC who directed the health clinic housed on the premises of the school, and its community health services which included health education programs for teenage mothers.

I worked in collaboration with and under the leadership of William Donald Schaefer who was Mayor of Baltimore when I was appointed director.

Schaffer was committed to and supported me, Dr. Khan, our team, the school, its programs, the City-Wide services, the at-risk student teenage mothers and their children and families.

Schaefer continued his support during his tenures as Governor and Comptroller of Maryland.

The outcomes for teenage mothers were exceptional.

Over the more than 30 years Dr. Khan, I and our team worked at The Paquin School, more than 20,000 at-risk teenage parents and expectant mothers, who without the school, its programs and support services, would have been on the streets, completed their middle and high school educations, and went on to become successful in their personal lives and careers.

I am a graduate of MSU with a BA degree in Elementary Education. I pursued graduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University earning a MS degree in Urban Studies, and a COAS in Urban Studies/Administration.

I completed doctoral studies at Temple University graduating with a EdD in Urban Studies/Parenting and Expectant Teenage Mothers.

My graduate and doctoral degree programs were completed while I was working full time as an educator and administrator in the BCPS.

After collaborating with my Team, I have concluded that there are initiatives which the State may implement now which are cost effective, and which will remedy many of the effects of the blatant racial discrimination by the State in higher education with respect to MSU and other HBCU’s since 1937.

My observations and recommendations are as follows:

A.  Conversion of MSU into an Enterprise University Educational System

I am convinced from the success of The Paquin School model that MSU must become an enterprise university educational system comparable to the University System of Maryland, but different in its mission-that of being the core urban education system of Maryland.

  1. Under an enterprise model, the University of Baltimore should be consolidated into MSU resulting in a Morgan University System with at least two campuses, Morgan’s Hillen Road campus, and Baltimore’s downtown campus.

Of course, the appropriate governing structure for the System should be created to administer the campuses.

  1. To fulfill its mission as Maryland’s core urban education system, the State should consolidate the BCPS into the Morgan System.

That way, the governing body of the Morgan System could plan and prescribe the appropriate courses of studies and support programs for urban youth from pre-kindergarten through college and graduate school.

That would not be hard to do since the BCPS is a State controlled and funded local school system.

  1. In order to give students an option to earn a two year college degree, the State should consolidate Baltimore City Community College, a State controlled and funded community college, into the Morgan System.

     4. To offer school age students and their families choice, charter schools should be authorized to opt into the Morgan System.

     5.  For students and their families who choose the route of trade school education, both private and publicly funded trade schools should be authorized to opt into the Morgan System.

     B.     Expanded Base for Fundraising and In-Kind Donations

A Morgan System would have the broadest possible base for seeking cash and in-kind donations from the private sector.

It is common knowledge that many successful actors, writers, artists, businessmen, financiers and others attended various public schools of Baltimore, but did not attend private or State colleges in Maryland.

Through its development office, a Morgan System with the BCPS as a component of the System, could appeal to those graduates for major donations because of their affinity to their schools.

Major corporations like Microsoft or Dell would find attractive the prospect of donating computers to a Morgan System because of the sheer mass of children and young adults who could be reached with the donations at one time.

 

          C.  State Budget Funds; Remedies for Past Discrimination

First, it’s hard to imagine that the State could complain about the budgetary and fiscal impact of the recommended consolidations. The State already controls and funds the components recommended for consolidation.

Having oversight of the funds previously allocated to the disparate components would enable the admistrators of a Morgan System to take advantage of the savings from the economies of scale associated with the consolidations, and to direct funds to critical areas where more funds are needed.

Second, with respect to remedies for past discrimination, the recommendations go a long way to addressing the issues concerning the deficient and underfunded capital programs.

In one swoop, the Morgan System would acquire, as I understand it, more than 150 school facilities and hundreds of acres of prime real estate which the System then could develop in accordance with its strategic plans and needs.

          D.    Closing Comments

This communication sets forth observations, conclusions and recommendations based upon the collective thinking of me and my team.

Certainly, there may be other thoughts about responding to the State, and we assume you will be open to as many recommendations as possible from a broad universe of people. That’s a positive, not a negative.

We intend to get active as advocates in support of our recommendations. Hopefully, our advocacy will supplement and not interfere with your efforts.

Equitable funding for MSU and Maryland’s other HBCU’s is a matter of grave public concern, so this communication is intended as a public document which you are  free to use and disseminate as you wish.

I will apprise you of any further actions or initiative by us.

Very truly yours,

/S/ Rosetta Stith

___________________

Rosetta Stith, EdD

11/19/2015

 

 

 

 

     

 

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TITLE IX: FEMALE SPORTS: DR. RO KNOWS: forty years of Title IX has paid off in medal victories for girls and women at London’s 2012 Olympics

Title IX 6/09/12

Title IX 6/09/12 (Photo credit: dianecordell)

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

With the success of girls and women medalists at the Summer Olympics, age was not a factor.

The youngest,  Katie Ledecky, is 15 years of age from Bethesda, Maryland.

Gabby Douglass , America’s Golden Girl, is 16 and became the first African-American to win the Women’s All Around Gymnastics Competition.

Missy Franklin, age 17, broke the world record and won the 200 meter backstroke.

The most rewarding factor for those young girls is that they are still in high school. They were able to train and compete because 40 years ago, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act was enacted into law, and removed the barriers girls faced in the schools to engage in competitive sports.

How did girls and women end the 2012 Olympics

Triumphantly!

And that bodes well for their future success in the 2016 Olympics.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: DR. RO KNOWS: Chris Brown-shame on you for trivializing your violent abuse of Rihanna

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

Chris: it is apparent from your comment about Rihanna speaking out that your community service and other mandates by the Judge after three years, that you are lacking something which is very important-respect and humility towards women.

For the remaining two years of probation, perhaps you need to change your lane, visit shelters for battered and abused women, and families who lost their mothers, grandmothers, and other loved ones because of domestic abuse and violence by men like you.

 Your comment: “I am tired of Rihanna talking about this, she needs to let this go, “ is easy for you to say because mentally you want it to go away. But, for Rihanna, it is not that easy. Forgiving and forgetting comes with time and results from appropriate help and counseling. Apparently, she is not there yet.

Is ‘this’ all that the horrible incident of violence means to you as a person, celebrity, and a young African American man which has been a successful entertainer?

I wonder if you would still feel the same way if ‘this’ had happened to your sister or mother?

It is said: ‘you need to check your self’ regarding your concerns about Rihanna retelling her story about  your violent abuse and explosive temper before you wreck yourself and your career again, remember?

 

 

 

     

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: DR. RO KNOWS: In her widely viewed interview with Oprah, Rihanna was the face of millions of abused women

rihanna-cries-about-chris-brown-on-oprah_h

rihanna-cries-about-chris-brown-on-oprah Credit: Google Images

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

And, those women even today endure the ravages of domestic abuse and violence!

Rihanna’s ordeal will help leverage bipartisan political support to renew funding for the Violence Against Women Act. Her tragic experience with violence,  like the experience of other women,  is real and horribly everlasting.

I commend Rihanna for her courage and openness which enabled her to recount her ordeal for all of America to hear; and, which included a salient factor-Chris Brown, her abuser, needs help. The need for help and counseling applies to other men who are abusers.

Her tears reflect hurtful memories of the brutal assault which  still pervades her heart and mind.  Like Rihanna, many abused women have those memories. As survivors, abused women continue to be abused.

Rihanna did what many women should do, but do not do enough. She reported this violent incident to the police. She got on the road of healing herself by recognizing that it was not her fault because Chris Brown needs appropriate behavioral/ domestic counseling.

Thank you Oprah!

Your interview will serve as a poignant reminder that as women, we have rights and a support system to deal with a domestic violence crisis including programs, relatives, and friends. Your show gave us a critical path to follow to end this level of violence.

And for Rihanna:  It’s  I Can, You Can, We Can!

Way to go!!

I have a message for expectant and parenting young mothers who have been abused.

As the former Director of The Paquin School for Expectant and Parenting Adolescents and Their Children, which was a Baltimore City Public Middle/ Secondary High School for Girls, on-site Pre-School Programs for their children,  and  part of my experience included teaching young  girls, other women in their families, boyfriends, and young fathers that violence should not be a part of their family life.

Remember, if you are the victim of abuse, you have rights.

First, call the police and report the abuse.

Second, embrace and reach out to your family and friends.

Third, take advantage of the physical and mental health programs and prevention programs, like those which were offered at Paquin, with a staff of appropriate professionals who can help you.

One of  life’s values taught at Paquin which you should embrace is that besides the importance of your education and the welfare of your child, the fact that even though we were not born together, as women we are better working together!

ELECTION 2012: DR. RO KNOWS: With the fate of the Supreme Court at stake, ‘No Women Left Behind’ must be the endgame for all women in this Presidential Election; women must vote!

English: The United States Supreme Court, the ...

English: The United States Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, in 2009. Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

All women of America who are eligible to vote in the Presidential Election on November 6, 2012 must be out and about that date and voting for the President of the United States.

The stakes for women could not be higher:

1.    Loss of abortion rights and a woman’s right to privacy!

On FOX News Sunday, Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the 5 conservative Justices of the Supreme Court, and of only 9 Justices on the High Court, openly declared that when the right case is presented to the Court, he will vote to strike down the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade which protects the right of a woman to an abortion which cannot be regulated by the States.

He also declared that the Right to Privacy does not exist in the U. S. Constitution.

2.    Loss of voting rights!

Conservative advocates are demanding that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 either be repealed by Congress, or overturned by the Supreme Court.

Do you doubt what Justice Scalia probably thinks about the  constitutional validity of the Voting Rights Act?

3.    Loss of medical benefits!

The Affordable Health Care Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, assures that women will have adequate health insurance coverage and medical benefits.

But the Supreme Court barely upheld the constitutional validity of the law by a 5 to 4 vote of the Justices.

Needless to say, Justice Scalia was one of the dissenting Justices who voted to strike down the law.

                                

 

The date for this important and upcoming Presidential election for us is November 6th, 2012.

All of us need to go out and VOTE!

This Presidential Election will be the most important one in our lives, and should not be missed if we want to maintain our current rights and health services that we need.

Your vote is a ‘must do’ if we want to move forward for ourselves as women, and for our families.

Up on the target board for abolishment by the Supreme Court are women’s rights.

Again, the Presidential Election is on November 6th.

We must show up, stand out, and shout out our needs as women for ourselves and our families.

In order for us as women to continue to move forward for the next 4 years , let’s  commit ourselves and share this important voting information with family members, and friends to make November 6th ‘our must do day’ and ensure what we need as women with our votes.

Remember, as women we are better together;  the world has no tomorrows without us! 

See you at the voting booths! 

 

SCHOOLS: DR. RO KNOWS: Moms, it happens every year for children – going back to school; what you need to know for a successful school year

Happy Children Playing Kids

Happy Children Playing Kids (Photo credit: epSos.de)

By: Dr. Rosetta Stith

*Do not surprise them.

*Begin to talk to them about going to school each day to learn their ABC’s, numbers, read books, and meet other children who are their size and ages, and other exciting things.  

*Do not wait until the last-minute to take them to this strange place to see and meet other children they do not know.

*You may want to verify their zoned school for your area/neighborhood by calling your local school system to ask what their requirements are for registration which will include their shot records, and which must be current before they are registered to enter. This is extremely helpful for parents/guardians who must take time from planned activities or work schedules to satisfy this requirement for your children.

*Most school systems have early registration programs as an ‘Early Start’, find out the dates and time. Talk to your neighbors and parents to find out which children are scheduled to go to school for this school year. 

*Develop planning sessions with the parents and children in your neighborhood who will attend the same school by age and grade.

*Have some ‘Getting To Know My School Friends And My New School Sessions’ with their friends before they are scheduled to attend school.

*Set aside a time each day, perhaps during dinner to talk about their day at school, or what they may need for the next day. Be a good listener, and ask questions to see if anyone is bothering them with unkind names and gestures that the teacher may not have seen or observed.

*Talk with them about their bed time and other things that must be done before they go to bed (bath time and what they would like to wear to school) so that they will be a part of this daily routine and ready to go to school each day.

*Check their book bags before they go to school to make sure that they have nothing in their bags that are harmful or inappropriate for school.

 *You may also want to talk with the assigned teacher for material requirements for the first week of school which may include parents or guardians spending some part of the day to visit their children’s classroom to observe and assure their children that a member of their family is there and sharing their first days of school with them. This is helpful and allows you to hear what they think about their new school experience and find out what is needed for the next day.

*Remember, if school is to be important to your child, it must first be important to you.

*As the school year continues, be mindful of the monthly themes and scheduled activities, attend/participate when possible, or have a family member attend for you.

*You may have to verify their participation with your child with a letter to their teacher and includes your telephone number for safety reasons/authorized visits with your child.

*Remember, it’s all in the family and a delight for you and other family members to see what they are doing for school.

*Enjoy a safe and wonderful year of learning with your children.

*Celebrate this new journey with them, and that you will be there with lots of support, hugs, and kisses for this new place called school!  

YOUR COMMENTS AND YOUR QUESTIONS ARE WELCOMED!