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    Dillard president: TOPS drives inequality more than opportunity, should have income-level cap PDF Print E-mail
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    The Louisiana Board of Regents recently released a report analyzing the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students from 2003 to 2014. The program, initiated in 1998, had four major objectives. They include promoting success and providing financial incentives. But a key point is to “promote access and success” in postsecondary education. Sadly, TOPS is more of an engine of inequality than it is of opportunity. 

    The report analyzes recipients based on a range of demographic factors. The most telling demographic factor impacting TOPS is family income. Most recipients come from families whose household incomes are “significantly higher” than the state median average. The state median average is listed at about $44,000, while the incomes of most recipients range from $70,000 to $100,000.

    This is the most important fact of the report because it proves that TOPS rewards students based on the family they were born into rather than the need for an opportunity to attend college. I can’t fathom why we refuse to acknowledge decades of data proving standardized test scores are best correlated by family income.

    In July, the ACT released its latest report on college readiness and low-income families. When examining college readiness as measured by ACT scores, in each of the four categories (English, reading, math and science), low-income students, defined by ACT as those from families earning less than $36,000 a year, scored 17 to 20 points below the all-student average in each area. Only 26 percent of all takers were deemed college-ready by ACT, a figure that drops to 11 percent for low-income students.

    The report further disaggregated the data by income levels. Sixty-two percent of students from $100,000-plus families and 48 percent of students from $60,000 to $100,000 (the TOPS profile) met three of the four benchmarks for college readiness. The low-income students? Only 20 percent met that level of performance.

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    Where to find thoughtful, practical last-minute gifts PDF Print E-mail
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    Kem Washington on Fox8 News

    Kemberly Washington on Fox 8 News discussing gift ideas without spending a lot of money.

    Click below to watch video.

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    Dillard Language Studies in the New Orleans Advocate PDF Print E-mail
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    LANGUAGE STUDIES: Dillard University is one of 157 organizations participating in the Mexican Proyecta 100,000 program, which aims to send 100,000 college students and teachers to the United States for intensive study of English as a second language.

    Dillard’s Center for Intensive Language is working with 20 Mexican participants through Dec. 13. “We hope this group is the first of many others who will come to Dillard throughout next year,” said Aurea Diab, interim director of the CIEL program.

    Over the past two years, Dillard has trained 106 learners in its CIEL program: 48 teachers and 55 students from Brazil and three students from Pakistan.

    DELGADO REGISTRATION: Registration is open for the spring 2015 semester at Delgado Community College. Spring classes begin Saturday, Jan. 17.

    The college has an open admission policy and offers instruction at a variety of levels, enabling students to progress toward their goals from any beginning point. Adults without a high school diploma can earn the equivalent at Delgado. High school students can get an early start in their careers through dual enrollment at Delgado. Educational programs at Delgado are fully accredited and industry-certified.

    Delgado offers instruction online and at nine convenient locations, including the City Park, West Bank (Algiers) and Charity School of Nursing campuses and locations in Slidell and Metairie.

    Delgado Sidney Collier opened in August on Louisa Street in the Desire-Gentilly area.

    DCC was founded in 1921 by businessman and philanthropist Isaac Delgado, who also founded the New Orleans Museum of Art. Students marked his 175th birthday recently by placing a wreath at his tomb in Metairie Cemetery, about half a mile from the college’s City Park Campus.

    Students must be admitted to Delgado in order to register for classes. For information, call (504) 671-5012 or

    GREENER CAMPUS: The state-of-the-art lighting system recently installed on five parking lots on the City Park Campus of Delgado Community College features the latest in LED lighting technology. The low-wattage, highly efficient system functions completely by solar power.

    ProLumin, of Metairie, designed and installed the system, in which 4-by-8-foot solar panels on top of poles in the campus parking lots capture energy from the sun’s rays. The energy is stored in a battery pack that stores enough energy for multiple days of power in the event of inclement or overcast weather. The bulbs are low-wattage LED lights with a long life expectancy.

    By switching to a solar system, there was no need to excavate the parking lots to install new electrical wiring and erect new poles. The new system required no below-ground work, which saved a tremendous amount of time and money.

    The solar lighting system removes parking lot lighting from the college’s utility grid, which is projected to save Delgado approximately $30,000 per year.

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    Benjamin Crump, attorney for Michael Brown's family, to speak at Dillard Tuesday night PDF Print E-mail
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    By Jed Lipinski, | The Times-Picayune 
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    on December 01, 2014 at 10:30 AM, updated December 01, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., will deliver the annual Revius O. Ortique Lecture on Law and Society at Dillard University on Tuesday.

    The lecture, part of Dillard's Brain Food series, begins at 7 p.m. at the Georges Auditorium on campus. Prior to Crump's speech, Dillard President Walter Kimbrough will make an announcement about the opening of the university's Center for Law and Public Interest.

    Dillard has disclosed few details about the new center, but a news release issued Sunday described it as a place where the university's "work in law and social justice can reside."

    To read more about Benjamin Crump, visit Dillard's Brain Food Series page here

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    Nola Defender

    The Lion and the Jewel

    Cook Theatre, Dillard University

    Dillard's Cook Theatre is one of the best-equipped big rooms in town. Following up its effective co-production of Freedom Summer, Dillard is now two-for-two this fall with its official season opener, Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka’s evocative, lyrical The Lion and the Jewel. The work is a romping fable that deepens into unexpected complexity in its meditation on tradition versus modernism. The plot centers on the “Jewel” Sidi (Ariel Lucius), a vain and flighty young beauty of a Yoruba village ruled over by the ferocious chieftain “Lion” Baroka (Rahim Glaspy), who at age 62 seeks to make her the latest of his many wives. Baroka’s rival is the naïve but passionate schoolteacher Lakunle (Leon Delorch), representative of the forces of Westernized progress. The other principals are Baroka’s sly head wife Sadiku (LaSharron Purvis) and Ailatu (Destani Smith), his former favorite, who loses her place with Baroka because of her jealousy.

    In recasting a sweeping cultural clash as a mere romantic triangle Soyinka advantages himself of the same reductiveness that writers have relied on forever. Yet, with the The Lion and the Jewel Soyinka restores much breadth and depth to its subject through the expansive poetry of his writing. Soyinka’s characters simply can’t stop talking about who they are, what they believe, what they want… and it’s not exhausting, because his lyricism rivals Shakespeare’s. (No, I’m not kidding.) This is gorgeous stuff, and the Dillard students are just equal to it.

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