*Green Tech High Charter School in Albany, NY just celebrated the graduation of its senior class last weekend, continuing to silence critics of charter schools and those who deem it a waste of time to invest in urban, at-risk black boys.in Albany, NY just celebrated the graduation of its senior class last weekend, continuing to silence critics of charter schools and those who deem it a waste of time to invest in urban, at-risk black boys.
At the center of it all is Dr. Paul Miller, Green Tech’s passionate Principal and CEO, who has worked tirelessly since 2012 to place his boys (97% black males, 87% from poverty-stricken backgrounds) on a path to success. The results have been extraordinary, with 95% of students earning their diplomas and 100% of graduates being accepted to college from the all-boys school.
Needless to say, the system and culture of Green Tech would be well served as a model for failing urban schools around the country. They should pay attention.
“When I came in, there were many issues at the school that needed to be addressed from a financial and educational aspect. Also, the mindset of the students wasn’t where it needed to be,” Dr. Miller said. “There was a lot of apathy towards education. My staff and I had to work to change the climate and the culture. It definitely wasn’t easy, but the results of the work are evident. We are a living example that it can be done.”
According to a Stanford University study, nearly 50% of black boys are dropping out of U.S. high schools. Some schools have been able to solve the dilemma, but most urban school districts are still begging the questions – ‘How do we get our students more engaged and performing at the level they should? How do we get them to stay in school?’
“You have to truly care about your students to really help them. They have to understand that failure is not an option. I hate to say it, but there are a lot of teachers out there who are going through the motions,” Dr. Miller said. “We purposefully develop relationships with our students. Our teacher training programs are focused on educating the urban child and cultural awareness. The first few weeks of school are on relationship-building rather than instruction. We also have a lyceum model on character development and we pair students with an adviser that remains with them for all four years.”
His point? “You must establish a strong connection with your students where they see you as someone they can trust and listen to. This opens the door for learning,” he said.
Present-day media is inundated with images of young black men getting into trouble, being treated unjustly, and far too many, losing their lives before they ever really start. In a world where poor, disadvantaged black boys are frequently written off as failures and trouble makers, Green Tech High Charter School is showing what the phrase “it takes a village” truly means.
“Our kids are taught that Green Tech is a family and the Albany community is their home,” Dr. Miller said. “We have our pay-it forward program where we do random acts of kindness throughout the year. We feed people, we are involved in breast cancer awareness for women….recently we raised $25,000 for a former student of ours who was battling cancer.”
He added: “This year we also organized a non-violence week with the Albany Police Department which allowed our young men to connect with officers, discuss concerns and bridge the communication gap. From that, we have established a cadet program that exposes our kids to that career so they can make an impact in their communities. We don’t take it easy on our students because our top priority is for them to graduate, go to college and to become successful men.”
Moving forward Dr. Miller plans to travel the country to train struggling schools on how to establish a culture of success. By following his blueprint, he believes schools will see dramatic improvements in student performance within the first year.
For more information on Green Tech High Charter School, visit the website at www.greentechhigh.org. Also, Dr. Paul Miller can be followed on Facebook at @PaulMiller.EdD or on Instagram at @docmiller42. Check out his Tedx speech entitled “We Need to Do Better” above.
Making People Laugh About the Hardships of Teaching Keeps Eddie B. Going (EUR Exclusive!)
*Eddie B. hit the mark when his “Teachers Only Comedy Tour” in 2017 played to sold-out audiences. His later show “I’m Already Professionally Developed Tour” was also a huge success.
With funny and telling commentary about what teachers really think has made Eddie B. a hit with educators and comedy fans around the world. While the former teacher is excited about his success, he takes it all in stride.
“People ask me why am I so humble and I don’t know how to answer that,” Eddie B. told the EUR in a recent phone interview. “The only answer I came up with one time is that the more thankful you are you have no choice but to display humbleness. You have to be thankful for what you have. So being humble and thankful go hand in hand.”
With COVID-19 rendering comedy-tours practically non-existent, the Houston native keeps the jokes coming and his routines fresh by crashing virtual conferences held by, of course, teachers.
“I’m doing a lot of Zooms,” Eddie B. said. “I’m doing everybody’s meetings and convocations. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Thank God.”
The consummate “class clown,” he was always the funny one in the room and began making serious moves as a comedian while attending Texas A&M University (Kingsville).
Although he was earning a local name for himself, Eddie B. was not making the kind of money he had hoped. Continuing the comedy club circuit after graduation and taking odd jobs, he began teaching because it was steady pay. He remained a teacher for 13 years while still doing comedy.
“A lot of teachers say, ‘I’ve been wanting to teach my whole life. I was born this way.’ No, you weren’t.” the single father laughed. “I’m a tell you right now 70% of all teachers didn’t want to teach. I guarantee you that. Teaching is a profession you get stuck in. The only reason you get stuck is because of the kids. You know the money’s not keeping us. It’s our relationships with the kids and other teachers too – the camaraderie of it all.”
Eddie B. retired from teaching for a short while during his tenure but soon had to return to pay the bills.
“I’m hearing Steve Harvey and ‘em say, ‘You gotta jump. Take the leap,’ That’s cute,” he added. “But what the hell do you do when you take the jump and you get pulled back? I jumped as high as I could and got snatched back down, which led me to believe that it’s got more to do with timing then jumping.”
Down but not out, Eddie B., who showed off his craft on YouTube, said a voice inside his head told him, “’Hey, why don’t you do a video about (teaching)?’ So, I shot it before the kids got in my (school) room and put it out by lunch time. But I was like I don’t even have teaching in my comedy.”
“A couple of days later on my Instagram I got about 100,000 views,” he continued. “I thought something was wrong. I thought it was a glitch. It was just teachers bouncing it off and that was the magic of it. It kept growing and growing. Millions of views and the video was only sixty seconds. It was called ‘What Teachers Really Want to Say’ and I was like man if they like this I’ve got 13 years of this.”
Now that he was getting traction, he had to figure out a way to keep the momentum going with the newer audience.
“What they (the teachers who liked his videos) didn’t know was that I’m a comedian,” Eddie B. said. “They just thought I’m a funny teacher. I had to take what I knew about teaching and put it in a (comedy) set now.”
But could he do that without alienating those who had supported his regular comedy for so long?
“My comedy wasn’t always clean. I used to curse with every other word. I’m from the neighborhood and a large percent of my audience is Caucasian (white women teachers). They don’t want to hear that language. But I’ve been on tour for almost 4 years now and I’ve toned it down. I had to grow with it and learn on the job. It was like teaching.”
For more on Eddie B., and to find out where he may be next virtually and otherwise, go to his official website here.
You can also buy his book, “I’m Already Professionally Developed: Straight from the Teacher’s Desk,” released last year.
JeffCars.com’s Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
Highlight: This year’s model includes a solar control fixed glass roof.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $37,070 (Base Model: $28,725)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags; side airbags; ABS; a radar activated cruise control system; a blindspot collision avoidance assist system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a forward collision alert system; a high beam assist system; tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; a stability control system; a tire repair kit; and a rearview camera
Standard Equipment (Blue): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive; LED headlights; LED Daytime Running Lights; LED taillamps; a push button ignition starter; a keyless lock/unlock system; a hands free trunk; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; dual power folding mirrors; a solar control glass a chrome tip single exhaust; cloth seats; manual control front seats; rear split folding seat with a center armrest; a push button gear control system; an automatic climate control system; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; and an 8-inch infotainment screen
Standard Equipment (Limited): 17-inch wheels; full LED taillamps; side mirror LED turn signal indicators; dual power heated folding mirrors; heated body color side mirrors; a rear bumper with parking sensors; laminated front glass; solar glass roof panel; leather seats; power front seats; heated and ventilated front seats; a wireless device charging system; dual charging USB ports; front console mounted rear vents; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a heated steering wheel; a 10-inch infotainment screen; a 12-speaker Bose audio system; a heads up display (HUD); a highway driving assist system; a Hyundai digital key; an electronic automatic rearview mirror; a 360-degree camera; an electronic blindspot monitor; ambient lighting; and front and rear parking sensors.
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None
Other Trim Levels:
non hybrid trims
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM
Apple CarPlay/Android: Yes
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid System Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles
Hybrid Battery Warranty: Lifetime
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/192-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 45-city/51-hwy
What’s New: The eighth-generation Sonata has evolved from a vanilla looking ugly duckling to more like a swan, taking more styling cues from the sixth- generation breakout design, which was a game changer for both the midsize car market as well as the Korean brand.
To continue reading the review, click here.
About The Reviewer: Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only syndicated multicultural automotive radio show on the airwaves. The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard on your mobile and stationary audio devices, clicking here.
Richard Sherman Tackles ‘Adulting’ The Right Way In New Digital Series / EUR Exclusive – WATCH
*Known for being frugal, NFL star Richard Sherman is handing out financial advice to young people in a new digital series.
Launched in August 2020, “Adulting With Richard Sherman” is a 12-part digital show produced by Million Stories Media. The new media company, a project from the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, offers programming focusing on career, money, and budgeting matters for millennials and young families.
“Richard Sherman is the perfect choice to headline ‘Adulting,’” said Shelley Miles, CEO of the Singleton Foundation, in a press release. “His personality, personal story and likability will draw in viewers and his passion for financial matters will help get young people interested in their own financial futures. He connects with our foundation mission on so many levels and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”
Available at no-cost on millionstories.com, viewers can expect no-nonsense talk from the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, who reportedly drove a $30,000 Dodge Challenger until as late as 2018. Topics include handling student loans and staying away from payday loans (see episode here).
Additionally, Sherman tackles other topics such as building credit and having an emergency fund, which is great advice especially during the pandemic. (See episode here.)
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