Urban Peace Movement's youth member Joel Reyes facilitates a chess lesson for DetermiNation Black Men's Group. Photo by Prince White.

A recent study suggests that not only do suspensions take a toll on students, they place a financial burden on their communities. In March, the California Dropout Research Project at UC Santa Barbara and the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at UC Los Angeles released a study revealing that school suspensions could cost communities across the state a total of $2.7 billion per graduating class.

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OUSD students honored

For the third consecutive year, the Oakland Unified School District’s Department of African American Male Achievement honored students who earned perfect scores on their STAR exams, but this year’s ceremony honored both young men and women. To celebrate these students’ achievements, a boisterous crowd of parents, educators and other students attended an evening event at Frick Middle School in East Oakland on October 11.

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Students speak at a school board meeting in 2010 about the importance of AAMA.

In a surprise announcement during Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Superintendent Tony Smith named Chris Chatmon, of the organization 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, as the district ‘s first director of African American Male Achievement. The creation of the new position, which is supposed to focus on identifying and reducing of institutional racism in education, is a part of Smith’s 2010-2015 Strategic Vision for OUSD.

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