A Logical Approach to Healthcare Reform and Models

The Kellogg Foundation (2002) presents a guide that aims to thoroughly assist in the building up of an organization’s need to improve and or expand on to help the consumer. Hence the model presented by Kellogg  includes: (a) Input (b) Activities, (c) Output, (d) Outcomes, and (e) Impact.

Inputs

Inputs include the consumer (s) who in this instance are patients (for example) who utilize the services provided by the organization. Since patients generally use a facility and or referred to a facility for this discussion let us say that the facility to look at is Kindred Healthcare.  Kindred Healthcare is the nation’s largest health provider, including, nursing, rehabilitation, assisted living, transitional care, home care, and hospice.

Additionally, included in inputs are providers (physicians and nurses), along with payers’ which is inclusive of insurance carriers and state funding, the staff (administrative) and any other technical assistance from external sources. Hence, with the exception of the consumer all other inputs have a hand in meeting the needs of the patient through their system.

Activities

The activities for providers is that these have an active participation in the reform process. First, one would need to understand that to reform something there was a problem. For example, the Affordable Reform Act ensures that all people in the US can receive adequate and professional healthcare, and along with that the staff includes community decision making (Kellogg, 2004).

Outputs

Outputs for providers include more effective distribution of community care resources. For example, Kindred claims to help their patients recover fully in the best setting suitable for their specific care needs so supposedly they have state of the art facilities and equipment to meet the needs of their consumers, or rather patients. Conversely, the administrative process includes data, policy and advocacy, such as the Kindred Code of Conduct which stress that the company acts with integrity.

Outcomes

For outcomes and providers, that is Kindred Health Care should present a comprehensive healthcare delivery system, and the staff the outcomes are community assessment.

Impact

If the providers do all they say this should lead to improved health status for their patients, and for staff an increased healthcare system efficiency.

However, Rowan (2000) explained, “A variety of logic models can be used to describe the plans for implementation and expected outcomes of reform (Rowan, 2000). Consequently, concerning the Kellogg Model the outcome and implementation for that would work well if healthcare companies, their providers, their staff, and any external help they require have strict ethical policies in place. Hence, my analysis here is that though this logic model is sound; and, for the most part, healthcare companies might adhere to it—Kindred hospital has not and has breached all aspects of this model.

According to Kellogg (2004), “Outcome approach logic models display the interrelationships between specific program activities and their outcomes”.

I thought that I would mention Kindred Hospital here because from what I see of this model there is no adherence to it, that is,  if the model is used as a standard for healthcare companies (See: United States Army Disabled Veteran, Sergeant Kericia E. Smith Faces Third Heartbreaking Trauma of Her Life).

Source:
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide

United States Army Disabled Veteran, Sergeant Kericia E. Smith Faces Third Heartbreaking Trauma of Her Life

img_1132Many people, born and raised in the United States from an early age adhere to and are taught to pledge our allegiance to the flag, and ultimately our allegiance to America –the red, white and blue, that is, the bloodshed, or the honor and purity of white and of an unstained message; and, a color that results in the blue as like streaming tears that come, however, despite that scripture tell us to love our neighbors.

Our neighbors as those who reside here with us under God. One Nation undivided, in liberty and justice for all. Hence, it is a must that we all consider to look at this message with the question of how does it happen that bad things are a reality in a country so great as this?

How, is it the case, that my country does not have my back, or that, those who live here do not have my best interest and the interest of my family; or the interests of my neighbor at heart? How–can one still love their neighbor, or more specifically, how can my neighbor love me after this, that is, the trauma of the American Dream; and, we ask how does this massacre of U.S. citizenry happen?

Embracing Me as Her Journalist

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith said, “I think you should tell them why you decided to write this story,” and after thinking about it, or rather, after her prompting I have agreed to tell you her story sprinkled with my voice (together we will speak) so that those still asleep abiding in the American Dream can wake up to the travesties of life happening while you are sleeping? I accepted this story without too many reservations, because firstly as Americans we forget that to give does not come in the form of money only, especially when someone faces hardship reaching deep into their heart and soul. I have a heart and to believers, the scriptures tell us “Do not worry…”. Scriptures also tell us that we are to ‘bear one another’s burdens’.

Secondly, I have been trained well to understand that as a journalist I am called to be the proverbial ‘watchdog’ of the government and not only the government but those who connect with it to utilize law, and along with this understanding I see that the more professional journalists (some seemingly) care more about their bosses than a common cause among the people; however, I have no boss except the Most Highest God of this universe. Hence, the excuse is taken away of what will I eat or what I will wear.

Also, in this stance I as a writer, a mother, wife, grandmother and citizen take the pledge to uplift my neighbor in whichever way I can in honesty and fair dealing and I know that this is the Way, and, I believe scripture is true that He will provide. As a reward, I have been trained to help Sergeant Kericia E. Smith through this circumstance. In any case, I am more grateful in this instance that the Most High chose me to serve her. As a result, Sergeant Smith has created a new phrase calling me her ‘freestyle journalist’. It’s catchy would you agree?

We need you to look at this, and notably, this story is for anyone facing the trauma of inadequate care of yourself or a loved one in a hospital and or health care environment, and this message is also helpful for workers who see such horrendous events take place.

The Call for Help

I received a voicemail from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, founder and CEO of the Association of Veteran Women, Incorporated [AOVW, Inc.] who (in short) explained that she needed a storyteller. Telling me, she was having some troubles, or rather, that she is having a few heartbreaking moments she wanted me to take a look at.

So I do not need to tell you how excited I was and unprepared for even this one. Subsequently, I learned she is named after her best friend pronounced [Ker (ee) sha], and they also share a birth month.

Sergeant Smith is an advocate for all women, but mainly for those women who have risked their life serving their country in the Armed Forces. Ultimately, a voice that until now has gone unheard, and, she is a miracle because I believe she is a groundbreaker and a trend setter for many who have lost hope. Hence, she fits the profile of a fighter, and she does not look like what she has been through. Thus, as divine connections happen she and I have worked diligently and have crafted a story that is beneficial for the public to know. However, before I move on, it is important that you know that Kericia initially called several journalists’, major newspapers and magazines to tell her story, but decidedly they were uninterested because there was no response. Kericia says, that someone told her to search out freelance journalists and she found my website The Dailey Grind where my motto is ‘Reporting what the news won’t.’  She told me, that she prayed and left a message, and I am the only one to respond to help her.

Therefore, I tell you Kericia this is it—the time is now and that God has prepared you for such a time as this! In the words of Ms. Shirley Chisolm, Kericia has decided that she is “Unbought and Unbossed!”  Essentially, she says “My misery has become my ministry!” I agree.

My Best Friend Died

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith. I am a disabled veteran diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD], a trauma I acquired while on active duty. I was also my best friend’s primary caregiver, and is the reason why I want to tell you the story about my best friend who was admitted into Arlington Memorial Hospital for dehydration and a urinary tract infection, and who was later admitted to Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital for a bedsore. Moreover, in the process of admitting my best friend I was given admission papers to sign, but now in retrospect suspect there may have been a  Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause. Nevertheless, I was never given a copy of any document I signed. However, in that case, what I do know is that my best friend was un-necessarily medicated to the point of a medically induced coma. As a result, they did not feed him, but without authorization inserted a feeding tube, gave him steroids and two blood thinners; along with, another drug that also causes bleeding.

In short, on May 16, 2016 at about 10:30 a.m., I walked into my best friend’s room and found him

img_1139

Custom Casket Spray

bleeding out severely, and all day long I begged the doctors and medical staff at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital to transfer him to Arlington Memorial Hospital Emergency Room which is right across the street—they refused. Consequently, around 8:30 p.m., my best friend who was my father was unresponsive, and to my dismay there was no defibrillator available for them to attempt life-saving measures. Hence, my beloved father, a Medicare/Medicaid patient bleed-out and died.

To date, I have not been able to obtain my father’s death certificate because Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital has not filed or recorded it with the City of Arlington, or, Texas Department of Vital Statistics. I would also like to mention that Kloe my service dog was God sent and has done an outstanding job and has been a tremendous help throughout this ordeal—she saved me.

Please note, that if I had not fed my father and inserted a feeding tube, given him steroids, and if I had given two blood thinners; along with, another drug that causes bleeding and allowed him to bleed to death I would be in jail.  Needless to say, I am re-traumatized all over again, because (as mentioned) I was my father’s primary caregiver.  I witnessed my father’s death and it was nothing I could do to help him. Consequently, it is a sad day in America that I served my country since I was 18 years old, and yet, my father had no medical staff including doctors to care enough to let me save my father’s life by answering my pleas to transfer him to the emergency room across the street. I ask how can they continue to receive federal and state funds? These doctors and medical staff took an oath to save lives so how could they just stand by and let my precious beloved father die for no good reason?  

This is not an attack on all medical professionals or providers, and, it is in my personal opinion that there are excellent hospitals, doctors, nurses and other medical staff who give quality care to all their patients. However, at Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital my father did not receive the quality lifesaving treatment that he deserved. [Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, United States Army, and Army Reserve; Disabled Veteran; Face to Face Interview, Thursday, September 15, 2016; 4:30 p.m.].

This is a heartbreaking and touching story. Conversely, as I was writing and recounting her pain it is easy to visualize this scene taking place in the hospital, because for those of us who have lost a parent or both parents we understand grief– but not this way. Moreover, perhaps there is someone who can attest to this type trauma, or, those people who have experienced the trauma firsthand and know the full picture. Hence, here I will recount to highlight some of the facts Sergeant Smith mentioned so that we all will understand better the plight Sergeant Smith and her dad suffered at the hand of medical professionals who take an oath to save the lives of the people they treat.

A Brief Background Check of Kindred Rehabilitation Hospitals

Renamed Kindred Healthcare in 2001–Vencor (1998), was one of the nation’s most prominent healthcare companies, however, the company has a shady and elusive past and is due for a background check if you are considering this source for your loved ones. Kindred Healthcare Corporation is the largest healthcare company in the United States with a net worth of $7 billion (See: Kindred Hospital Annual Reports). Accordingly, Kindred Healthcare works under a plethora of venues, such as, post-acute services; including, transitional hospital care, short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, home health, long-term care, assisted living,  nursing facilities, palliative care and hospice.

Here is a breakdown of events:

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 - May 16, 2016)

Frederick D. Smith (October 11, 1937 – May 16, 2016)

   A Last Word from Sergeant Kericia E. Smith

Vencor/Kindred’s long history of wrongdoing seems to always survive and thrive due to Medicare fraud which only adds insult to injury with the loss of my father.  If these Medicare fraud cases were known to the public then our loved ones would be less likely to be put at risk.  Kindred seems to look at ‘profits over patients,’ and our lives are worthless because Kindred medical staff is reckless with our medical care. Additionally, any other business as unethical and abusive would have gone out of business decades ago, yet, Kindred continues to thrive on recklessly committing Medicare fraud. 

Why has the Department of Justice not been more aggressive at informing the public about Kindred’s record of bad behavior? It is the case, that Kindred decayed decades ago from the inside out, and this should send a stench up our noses because the carcasses of our loved ones are not collateral damage and the loss of life should cry out for justice. Nevertheless, we are told ‘If you see something to say something!’ Consequently, I did see something, and I said something, but they did absolutely nothing! It is absolutely appalling! Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital had NO Defibrillator!

I am Sergeant Kericia E. Smith and I approve this message—over and out!
[Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, Electronic Communication, September 21, 2016; 5:31p.m.].

Related Articles and Additional Resources

Also see:

Please stay tuned for more detailed information concerning Kindred Healthcare facilities the Tort Reform and Medicaid/Medicare Fraud (False Claims Act).

For more information on Association Of Veteran Women, Incorporated call:

Sergeant Kericia E. Smith, (817)461-5116. Or send an email to: aovwinc@aol.com

 

kayla-dailey__picKayla Dailey, is a prolific writer whose aspirations include hope of encouraging those who face trials and difficulties in life through the written word. As a student of the word she writes, Kayla has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University, and holds, a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management with specialty in Public Administration. Mrs. Dailey is an advocate for civic and community building issues, African American liberties, equal employment, and now veterans and their families; as well as, advocacy against domestic violence for women, children, abortion and other issues people face.  

© Copyright 2016. The Dailey Grind. All Rights Reserved.

A Call to Amendment: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

No_Child_Left_Behind_Act

Overview

The No Child Left behind Act of 2001, established during the Bush administration would ensure that all children receive fair and equal access to quality education. More specifically, in 2002, the policy required that all states test their students in reading, and math starting from grades three through grade eight, and again when the student reached high school level where students were to meet or exceed reading and math requirements. In addition, the act would help close the gap of achievement for students [according to the United States Department of Education] by providing quality education where focus was on (a) accountability and assurance to disadvantaged children, (b) flexibility that allowed federal funds to be used to improve student achievement, (c) research based education which placed emphasis on programs and practices that proved effective through scientific research, and (d) parent options which provided choices for Title 1 school parents (No Child Left Behind Act 2001). However, at present, the policy though well written has not taken shape, and neither has there been offered relief to support all students for which the policy was created other than to transfer a student passing from the school where the environment has become academically unsafe. Moreover, because of racial disparities and economic conditions such as poverty in districts the children are further subjugated to even poorer learning environments where there are meager classroom materials and less than adequate instruction. Therefore, this article will propose change to the current policy,  an amendment;  along with, recommendations to abolish areas where the policy has been breached by providing information which is overlooked and or ignored in current more up to date research concerning the No Child Left Behind Act overall.

Problems with Current Policy

Firstly, there are a number of reoccurring problems with standard testing as it pertains to the NCLB Act, and these must be dealt with to ensure that all students taking the exam have equal success. It is the case, that nearly every child entering the public school system [particularly] among the African American and Hispanic students exhibit ongoing failure even while there is instruction for the same.  Hence, the occurrence of such failure among the students would beg the question to ask is it really a fact that students are dumb or dumbed down?  Reportedly, blacks currently score lower on vocabulary, reading and math tests; including, measurement of aptitude and intelligence than European Americans, and the authors stated that “On some tests the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of the American whites on the same test (Jencks & Phillips, 1998, para.1). Accordingly, teachers/educators are required to ‘teach’ the test rather than teaching regular curriculum that stimulates the intellect, or creativity in the student. It is the case that much of the school year is taken over with this type programing, and the morale of both students and educators is low because of failure to pass the test. Hence, armed with this information the premise of reauthorization of the act is of no regard. Consequently, the premise of reauthorization only acts to restore previously enacted documents which to date have failed to yield positive results. As a result, the failure of the practice in testing students has not fulfilled the element of improved research. Therefore, a total amendment, and or more acceptable replacement is needed.

Secondly, the promise to close the achievement gap as enacted by law has failed, and reportedly, the gap has not been lessoned for years. According to a New York Times (2009) article, “’No Child’ Law is not Closing the Racial Gap”, it is apparent there has not been an improvement in years.

Sam Dillion (2009) wrote:

Between the year 2004 and 2009 when the article was written that even though black and Hispanic elementary, middle and high school students all scored much higher on the federal test than three decades ago most of the gains made were not recent but during the desegregation efforts of the 1970s and 80s and was well before the No Child law which in the official description admonishes to close the achievement gap (Dillon, 2009, para. 3).

The Official Description

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday, the third day of January, two thousand and one.

An Act

To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled [No Child Left Section 1].

According to the Center of Education Policy (as reported by USA Today), there are 43,000 schools in the US that fail, or have failed which means 48 percent of students have made no progress since the enactment of the law. This information is troubling, because the only relief noticeable to parents is the opportunity once a child fails to transfer to a district passing. Hence, this too brings problems added to problems when transportation becomes a problem. Nevertheless, the report is telling that in Wisconsin (for example) the failure was extremely low at 11 percent. In explanation, of the failed standards for the federal exam policymakers have predicted failure rates of 82 percent, however, there are claims as well that the statistics are in error. In essence, to keep with the premise of requirement by law that every student perform at grade level by the year 2014 is impossible and has failed according to some educators (USA Today, 2014, para.1).

Thirdly, there is variance in the degree of difficulty as it pertains to the standardized testing. For example, in some school districts there are different tests given. In the USA Today article there is information given to that effect. The authors wrote, “State’s scores varied widely”. For example, in Georgia, 27% of schools did not meet targets, compared to 81% in Massachusetts and 16% in Kansas” In addition, the authors stated that even state officials argue that the act is do for rewrite, and further that officials offer little hope when lawmakers cannot agree on how to fix the problem of differences in difficulty of the testing between state, or, to amend it (USA Today, 2014, para. 5). Consequently, there are several reasons given for the variant in difficulty in certain states:

  1. Immigrant students
  2. Low income students, and
  3. State requirement to raise expectation in the number of students who pass each year (USA Today, 2015, para.6).

As a result, of these facts, the essence of the federal law which is intended to close the achievement gap by realizing equal achievement with regard to students at disadvantage has failed and is biased.

The Violation of Civil Rights is a Violation of Ethics

Fourthly, educators across the nation are seeming at their wits end and are of great travail concerning the premise of federal testing calling the test biased, however, advocates of civil rights concerning the original intent offer justice and equality as the Department of Education pronounced that biased testing is a civil rights issue and an ethical one as well. In an article, “Is it a student’s civil right to take a federally mandated standardized test?” author, Lyndsey Layton (2015) wrote:

Removing the requirement for annual testing would be a devastating step backward, for it is very hard to make sure our education system is serving every child well when we don’t have reliable, comparable achievement data on every child every year,” Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, said in recent testimony before the Senate education panel. Her group joined 20 civil rights organizations to lobby Congress to keep the requirement to test all children each year in math and ­reading (Layton, 2015, para. 4).

However, is this statement a fair assumption to say that the removal of the federal test is against civil rights? Conversely, teachers agree that teaching the test while forsaking the art of creativity and free expression surely takes away human rights of the student to think for themselves.

In an interview, a former educator and social worker detailed what many instructors go through in teaching and testing. During her interview, Jacqueline James (2015) was asked to (a) Recount factors of her work, (b) Factors leading to the testing being biased in her opinion, (c) Why she left the school system, (d) What the morale was like for students and faculty, and (e) Suggestion of changes that would contribute to the law.

She wrote:

Hello Everyone,

My name is Jacqueline Jordan. I have five years experience in the school system, including, elementary, middle and high school education. I held positions as substitute teacher, assistant and as a social worker. I also hold a Bachelor of Social Science with a minor in Education, and a Master of Education with a minor in Public Policy; as well as, a Master of Organizational Management.

As an educator, some of the main factors that were attributed to our work was tied to testing. Hence, the main issues were that I and other educators were frustrated that our students’ performance was not meeting expectations. Conversely, exam scores were lower than previous years and we spent many days and months trying to figure out why our students were struggling, and after interviewing students in their perspective classes and schools we were told that they did not understand the question. Therefore, it was determined that the questions on the tests had nothing in common with how certain groups of children think or rationalize.

I feel the testing is biased due to the overall testing results for students who otherwise pass their assignment during the entire school year only to take the test and fail. Moreover, the testing is set for certain populations of students who may be at a disadvantage. Hence, from my experience many racial minorities struggle to pass the test because of no relation to what they have learned, and neither to their personal lives. This too, is one of the reasons I left the district, because I feel it is not fair to our minority students.

Honestly speaking, the morale for the majority of faculty was low because of dissatisfaction in the work. Consequently, low morale among the faculty was the reason for high turnover in staff and low performance, and frankly, from my viewpoint the student morale was lower due to many not being able to understand, nor, were they accurately understand the assignments given. Hence, this occurrence caused behavioral issues, students skipping class, incomplete assignments and or unfocused students without the ability to engage. Therefore, all this overall also caused parents to feel as if their children were not being effectively taught by the school system which added to all parties being frustrated—parents, students and faculty. In general, the environment for most students was stressful due to non-relational material.

There are quite a few areas to policy and procedures that I would like to see amended:

  1. Teachers should not have to teach from a manual and or for a test.
  2. The material learned should be based on real world solutions.
  3. The students success and being promoted should not be based on the one test, especially when the student works diligently throughout the year to pass their assignments otherwise (Jacqueline Jordan, interview by Kayla Daily, October, 11, 2015, 4:19 p.m., interview Electronic Communication).

Dispelling Myths

A fifth reason, brings attention to a telling fact of how the academic success of students may be hampered is the myth that black students are not as smart as white or non black students, and this assumption may certainly seem realistic if one places judgement in relation to test scores, however, one would have something other than assumption to rely on. Jencks & Phillips (1998) argued that theorists promote the idea that low scores are attached to family background and or family environment which can be taken generally to say that all black people are dumb, unable to learn, and thus, unable these factors in turn can affect; or rather, do affect test scoring.

The authors explained:

In 1978 the Nigerian anthropologist John Ogbu suggested that cast-like minorities throughout the world tended to do poorly in school, even when they were visually indistinguishable from the majority. Later, Ogbu argued that because blacks had such limited opportunities in America, they developed an ‘oppositional’ culture that equated academic success with ‘acting white’ (Jencks & Phillips, 1998, p.6, para.4).

In general, the rejection of assumptive views tend to hide bias, or rather lend to biased thinking, and along with the awareness that there may bias lurking amidst the exams one can also be aware that text books containing the answers are not made available to the impoverished districts. In her interview, Jacqueline James (2015) alluded to that fact saying that ‘the children’ said they did not understand the questions (James, 2015). Hence, this begs the question that asks if the children do not understand even though the educators are teaching the tests then there is more than an agenda set up for their fail, and why is there a manual to teach from instead of a book? Could it be that the curriculum for the exam is not being taught? In this instance, a proposed plan for a policy amendment or rewrite is simple, either stop the federal exam or make the materials needed for the exam available to all students everywhere. In other words, there is no gap if there is not one continually created. Accordingly, the US Department of Education has promised equal access to education for all students. Hence, if one is to support the breach in civil rights as advocacy outlines then one would need to consider the evidence presented speaking of no access to testing materials equally, and the propensity that the teachers are given manual over the actual textbook. Therefore, the premise of testing as a civil right has been breached and has failed, because not only are teachers hindered but there is pressure for them to teach what they do not know may be the wrong material.

The No Child Left behind Act is a Breach of Budgeting

In an article, there is evidence that federal funding may be misappropriated. Hence, with funding and budget cuts so steep there must be need to look further into the matter. It is the case, that “Prior to 2001 and the implementation of the law that appropriations went up only $3 billion per year”, however, after are up 64% according to a CBS News report. Elizabeth Harrington (2011) wrote that from the years 2000 to 2001 the appropriation rate increased by 9%. However, after implementation of the program appropriations were up to 33% which is $42 billion (2001) and climbed to $56.2 billion (2002). Hence, it is notable that more funds are spent yearly, yet, the children fail more so even with all the programming.

Here is a further breakdown of expenditures according to CBS News (2011) report:

  • 1997 – $33.52 billion
  • 1998 – $35.67 billion
  • 1999 – $38.31 billion
  • 2000 – $38.44 billion
  • 2001 – $42.06 billion
  • 2002 – $56.17 billion
  • 2003 – $63.25 billion
  • 2004 – $67.21 billion
  • 2005 – $71.47 billion
  • 2006 – $100.04 billion (due to a jump in Federal Family Education Loans)
  • 2007 – $67.12 billion
  • 2008 – $68.57 billion
  • 2009 – $138.00 billion (regular spending of $39.88 billion plus $98.23 billion under the Recovery Act)
  • 2010 – $63.00 billion (Harrington, 2011, para.4).

There is no need to address the overall budget implemented concerning the NCLB when there is evidence of an astronomical amount of federal dollars spent even while the children fail at a rapid pace yearly. Hence, this begs the question where does the money really go? There is no reauthorization needed, no restore of the same disparaging occurrence as it relates to the law. That said, policymakers must address these issues immediately and reconsider their programming is not working and is wasting away tax payer dollars.

Lips & Fienberg (2007) wrote, that “Federally funded full time employees in state education agencies worked to implement education programs three times more than the number of employees working at the Department of Education (Lips & Fienberg, 2007, para. 3). Hence, here are workers making money for programing that is no good when the consideration should be on the text books, and other needed materials that make for a successful test score. There has already been evidence brought that the children understand that they do not understand the questions on the test when they have worked all year to learn. In essence, more money should be spent in the school to pay the districts’ teachers, and less money for programming that does not work. Therefore, the only cut to budget should state in policy to quit bogus federal government expenditures, because after all paying the teachers and funding the school so that all is equal access is the mission of NCLB.

Summary

The NCLB has failed to do what it was created to do in closing the achievement gap academically, because the children still fail and is in breach of promise. There is variance in the degree of difficulty involving the exam across states which promotes the premise of biased testing standards and is in breach of policy as the occurrence does not promote equality; and, which leads to a breach of civil rights.  The academic success of students has been hampered severely because of myths that non whites cannot learn as favorably as white students. Hence, this thought is promoted further as it relates to tests scores more favorable to the white students. There is evidence that federal budget as it pertains to NCLB may be misappropriated where money is spent implementing programs rather than actual research to find error in testing.

Conclusion

Finally, as it pertains to amendment the NCLB has left a disparaging mood among educators across the nation to adamantly lift up a cry out for those who stand to lose more from standardized testing. It is the case that the states have failed the students of which the need for educational equality is upheld. Hence, for blacks and other minorities who will take their place in the world, that is,  a world in need of equality where their fate should not be determined by a test. Hence, the premise of education and all its characteristics should say in policy all is equal, and not according to multiple choice, unless the multiples of choices are discerned from a creative mind with the ability to think its way through the problems presented with logic and sound reasoning. Policy makers should then, take the evidence presented here; along with, the research provided to make sound judgments and see that what is happening in the school system is questionable, and is not equal access as the law is written. Rewrite it then, make it plain to all that you mean what you say is the cry of all who speak of civil rights, on the streets and now in education. Notably, change will come—with an equal policy that truly stands with all accepted as equal.

Related Articles  

Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing

Not Child Left Behind is not Closing a Racial Gap

Education Spending Up 64% Under No Child Left Behind But Test Scores Improve Little

The Black-White Test Score Gap. CHAPTER ONE  

The Administrative Burden of No Child Left Behind 

Is it a student’s civil right to take a federally mandated standardized test?

Report: Half of US Schools Fail Federal Standards

How No Child Left Behind Benefits African Americans 

Crime and Business: Murder In the Name of Business

images (2)The topic of crime and business is an interesting one and one cannot even fathom that there are people in business that would actually kill for whatever cause, but one cannot fathom even more the idea of killing for money which is probably why someone would kill. Hence, the idea of murder in the corporate is best believed in Hollywood. However, according to the New York Times, this idea is being given more of a consideration than in the past, because seemingly, courts have struggle with the premise that the corporation as living and breathing. Yet, their acts, as such, should find someone to blame.

E.R. Shipp (1985) wrote:

For years, the courts rejected the notion that a corporation could be charged with a crime. Since it had no mind, it could not be said to have had intent. Gradually it was accepted that a corporation can be held criminally liable for the conduct of agents acting as employees, or for violations of antitrust or regulatory laws. But the idea of corporate ”personhood” stopped short for murder – the killing of one person by another. (Shipp, 1985, para. 1).

I can look at the healthcare industry as a corporate entity and say that many people have been murdered because of intentionally sending people home to die this act being a crime against society. In this instance, the corporation is a privately owned medical facilities, or rather, for profit medical entities. By intent as Seaquist (2013) wrote, that intent does not mean that the harm was intentional,” but that there was harm done which caused damage (Seaquist, 2013). However, one can still say that there is intent when someone is sent home while hospital knows that surgery is of the utmost importance in whether a person lives or dies.

For example, a woman has a heart attack for the third time, and the doctors knowing that she has blockage in her heart that can ultimately kill her decide that because she had no insurance send her home with pills that they tell her will dissolve the clot. This is not malpractice in the sense that no treatment is done, but an intent that would cause harm had the woman died. However, she is alive and well today thanks to healthcare reform which allows all people adequate care without being turned away for inability to pay. Hence, had the woman died, in my opinion this would be a crime, not only against her but against society; in which, she is not the only one with that experience.

Today what would be the legal grounds involved if the perhaps a death or injury claim is brought forth by the family since this type behavior is illegal? Well for one it is a breach of the First Amendment. [See: You’re on the clock: Doctors rush patients out the door].

As far as crime against business, I think stealing from the company is a crime. Stealing, as Seaquist (2013) stated is conversion. She wrote: “If the defendant interferes with someone’s personal property to such a degree that it is ruined or lost, then this is conversion. The tort of conversion consists of permanently depriving the owner of personal property of its use and enjoyment through theft or destruction.” (Seaquist, 2013).

I don’t know if this is the same thing, however, a Texas prosecutor was killed, because a former Justice of the Peace was disgruntled over being fired for stealing computers from the court house, and not only did he kill the prosecutor, but he and his wife killed police chief and his wife in their home as well [See: Death Penalty Sought in Case of Killing of Texas Prosecutors].

Sources:

. CAN A CORPORATION COMMIT MURDER?  

FEDERAL HEALTH CARE LAW 

Your Sunday Bread: Know the Truth About It and Stun the World with Your Wisdom

discerment_true_falseI felt like that people who suffer in their mind, and that some are so severely vexed they cannot determine night from day and  are taken over by evil spirits.

In fact, when my husband’s mother was sick was the first time I had experience seeing a mental collapse in a person, or rather seeing to such a degree that I saw for the first time in that home she was placed in individuals whose minds had been taken over.

One woman in a wheel chair was having fits to such a degree that she was tormented and twisted. Hence, this place was filled with demonic spirits and I said that within myself as I sat there beside my mother in law, and then a while later as my husband and I were leaving that same woman which was sorely vexed stopped screaming and turned her head  to follow us with her stare. I was looking back and noticed as the demon took over once again as she went back to that tormented place in her mind. Screaming in agony and body twitching.

I thought to myself that I should go back and pray, but did not because I was scared hearing so many stories, especially about demonic forces. However, there are still many forces to be reckoned with in everyday life because when people cannot think straight it shows. Therefore, it shows in the jails, in the hospital rooms, it shows in the sanatoriums, and it shows in us when we cannot believe truth, that is, that Yah can do the impossible.

About the following  video,  “Sign and Wonders| Glenda Jackson?” there have been many instances where so called miracles have been performed through deceiving spirits taking unsuspecting and desperate souls unawares.benny-hinn  It is the case that just because someone says they are prophetic doesn’t mean prophecy in the sense of biblical standards but in divination, which is fortune telling or a soothsayer, and the scriptures speak of how Paul was on his way to the temple and was accosted by such. The lesson in this is when to determine what is fake and what is of Yah.

In essence, do not put your money up when you can receive your healing free through your belief in the true Name of the Most High [See: Signs and Lying Wonders: Will You Be Deceived?].

 Read:

”And it came to be, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of Puthon, did meet us, who brought her masters much profit by foretelling. Having followed Sha’ul and us, she cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High Elohim, who proclaim to us the way of deliverance.” And she was doing this for many days. But Sha’ul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the Name of יהושע Messiah to come out of her.” And it came out that same hour. But when her masters saw that their anticipation of money-making was gone, they seized Sha’ul and Sila and dragged them into the market-place to the rulers. And having brought them to the captains, they said, “These men, being Yehuḏim, greatly disturb our city, and they proclaim practices which are not right for us to receive nor to do, being Romans.” And the crowd rose up together against them. And the captains tore off their garments and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And having laid many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them safely, who, having received such a command, put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.” (Acts 16:16-28).

We should beware of the deception because the people are being robbed instead of healed. It is not the case that no people are healed, but that some people come in a name that is deceptive. Do you know the difference? As we see with the set apart ones coming in the Right name to cast out demons can cause some problems for the money makers.

For your hearing:

Matthew 24:24

Watch: Sign and Wonders| Glenda Jackson

No More Locked Doors!

download (4)All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [US Constitution Amendment 14 Section 1].

College students in America should be aware that the job market, or rather attainable rights to own and run business and the job search market might seem to be on level footing but they are not, because underlying levels of discrimination and bias are at the frontline. Accordingly, some reports say that though many people might have the same initial education or degrees, seemingly, there are great disparages among blacks and whites with the same education or degreed status.

In the case of Amendment 14 Section 1, people might have an idea that legally this would allow immunity against being sued or some other legality concerning court. However, when the subject of one’s immunity is brought forth this would also mean protection from harm in all things pertaining to ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness’. Therefore, one’s ability to seek a job, and/or own a business measurable with their education should be a mainstay. However, though allowed to seek and even be in a top list of candidates the ability to obtain employment is stalled at the door. Hence, establishment of programs to curtail employers who tend to discriminate in the application process, but do they help?

In the article, “Black Men Need More Education Than White Men to Get Jobs”, Margaret Barthel (2014) wrote:

A recent report from the advocacy group Young Invincibles suggests not: African American millennial men need two or more levels of education to have the same employment prospects as their white peers. White male college graduates have a 97.6% employment rate. Black male college graduates have a 92.8% employment rate—which correlates more closely with the job prospects for white men who have some college education but no degree (92.5%) (Barthel, 2014, para. 2).

Discrimination and or biases is further noted in the article which alludes to white sounding names versus black names being a problem in the applicant process as well. Hence, one should ask what  the protection against such clandestine treatment is there. Please note, one employer stated that he does not deal with applicants with ‘tribal’ sounding names. In essence, this thinking targets blacks whose names might seem unusual rather than standard names such as Mary, John, Martha or Mark and is in direct contradiction to the amendment which states that, “any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” and to which employers should adhere to but apparently have found a loophole to avoid it.

In essence, the situation begs the question which asks, what is a person to do if one cannot get in the door of opportunity?

Watch: African American unemployment hits depression-era levels

Go Ye Therefore and Leave out Information!

I never understood why people react as they do when there is a knock on their -f4572c48ac9d5bf3door unexpectedly. Nearly everyone I know, and most likely some I do not have experienced the knock to, open their doors and find at least a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses standing there.

In that I find that it seems like doing nothing can be considered an inconvenient time when these people come for many of us. However, in times past seeing those people walking with satchel in tow I hurriedly closed my door before they came close; peeking out the window to see if they noticed. Subsequently, this got me thinking about why such dramatic behavior towards this group of people. I considered what I knew of them and to notice that the sources of that knowledge now were unreliable. As a result, in one moment I decided that I would allow my door to remain open to finally hear what they had to say.

I pause here; to share that in the last four years I have totally and without regret left religious thinking to the religious. Decidedly, I have determined that if I want truth I would have to seek it out on my own. Does not the scripture invite us to ask, seek and knock at the door of understanding, also, declaring that wisdom cries [out] in the street? Hence, for me to gather truth I report that I would have to hear all the information to make a change. Christianity doesn’t seek truth it accepts ritualistic thought, a monkey see, monkey do type thinking that to me does not allow clear exhibition of truth. Hence, if one only thinks one thing then there is not a mind to question what we are hearing. So it is with great confidence in my new found freedom of thinking for me that I opened my door and sure enough the infamous knock came.

I went out to greet them and we got into a conversation about Jesus and his name in Hebrew which, notably, in times past has went unchallenged most certainly for a great many of us ignorant. It is the case that right away the witness chimes in saying, “Yes that is His Name in Hebrew [Yahusha], but that in English his name is Jesus. I being a preponderant of truth quickly challenged his version of truth saying that I would like to know all of the information as to make an informed decision. Inadvertently, truth was revealed through that conversation to say that people know truth of some matters but do not share it.

That has opened an entirely different perspective which says that people are cowards or have other motives for not speaking truth in all things.
I began my quest to find out what they know, and one person shared in the beginning of the study that the bible is written in Hebrew, however, the fact that the bible is written in Hebrew is not surprising, but what is surprising is that people have not questioned the letter J since there is no J in the Hebrew alphabet. It is amazing that people can walk out of the church, but still hang on to such teaching of untruth and do not see that people’s names do not change because they go to other countries. It is absurd to think this way! [See: How Did the Name Jesus Originate? ].

Related Article
The Hebrew Name for God-Yah

   Conflict Identification and Resolution: General Motors and Government Involvement

images (1) During the General Motors bailout crisis the public sentiment was one of enragement concerning government intervention. Notably, for some the outcry was [seemingly] there goes the government again sticking their nose in where it does not belong, however, for many with jobs at stake the intervention was one of relief from vast layoffs within the company. Hence, the government’s intervention, although not popular brought relief for many. Conversely, the outcry might be one of ignorance for some. It is the case, that the government has always been involved, not solely with General Motors, but with the transportation industry collectively as a shareholder, and this is the reason for their intervention to protect their investment. Baack (2012) concerning the nature of negotiations and bargaining stated two points of interest, that negotiations are a ‘give and take decision’; and negotiations can be a ‘win-win’ for both parties [The Nature of Negotiations and Bargaining Processes; para 2]. Therefore, the General Motors Company allowance, or rather, acceptance of intervention government diverted further injury to the public, the transportation industry as a collective industry; as well as, the government who were shareholders[and who] negotiated with General Motors, rather than a so called barge-in type scene as the public regarded.

Baack (2012) wrote there are three areas to consider in a negotiation; and asks the question concerning preconditions, “Does negotiation present the best option?” The thoughts to consider in this instance are: (a) the psychological climate, (b) the availability of resources, and (c) the characteristics of the bargaining issue. Hence, all these combined should lead to what Baack (2012) considers to be a win-win solution, or rather, an ‘Integrative Negotiation’ process.” [The Nature of Negotiations and Bargaining Processes; para 4].

Considering the availability of sources, becoming a stakeholder allows that the government experts have input into safety standards which for GM obviously were an issue, those along with financial problems. Notably, armed with resources needed, as like money, the US government’s help was well needed. Additionally, it is a give and take type scenario which took place which said, You [General Motors] allow me [US Government] to buy shares in your stock and I [US Government] will in turn bail you out of trouble to avoid a bankruptcy; a win-win. In the article, “5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict,” Mike Myatt (2012), a contributor to the Forbes blog wrote, “Don’t fear conflict; embrace it – it’s your job.” While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. The fact of the matter is conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. It will find you whether you look for it (good idea – more later) or not. The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall. (Myatt, 2012. para.1).  General Motors faced bankruptcy as a solution to its problems. Notably, filing bankruptcy can denote one of two things, (a) relief for businesses and individuals who have no other recourse from creditors, and (b) a means of escape from creditors for those who have acted irresponsible. Hence, for General Motors a bankruptcy would not be a good idea because of shareholders, employees, or the public citizens in regards to purchase of cars out on the street.

In the article, “Government fines GM maximum $35 million for delayed safety recall’, author wrote:

GM will pay a $35 million penalty — the maximum allowed, and the largest ever imposed on an automaker — and will be required to make wide-ranging changes to its safety practices that will be supervised by the government, another first for an automaker. “What GM did was break the law,” Anthony Foxx, the secretary of transportation, said at a news conference. (Wire Reports, para. 2).

Notably, in the instance in the industry of transportation the government as a saving factor is seen all around, because not only was GM in trouble financially, but the public as well. This analysis is great because clandestine activity is brought into the light and presumably had it not been for the government’s intervention some activities might never have been seen. In addition to fines, there is also note in the article about employee training going forth which is great for public safety.

Baack (2012) spoke about preconditions to negotiations. In this we note that the government’s pronouncement about the trade of stock and their help allowed for further examination of the companies policies, safety procedures and other issues of concern. Hence, Baack gave a list of preconditions that had to happen; otherwise, no solution will come. He calls the list psychological climate which includes:

  1. Willingness to participate in negotiations
  2. Readiness to negotiate
  3. Agreement on some issues
  4. Willingness to settle
  5. Sense of urgency [The Psychological Climate Section; para. 1]

Baack (2012) wrote, “A stakeholder is a person or group with a vested interest in the outcome of a negotiation. These individuals should tangibly demonstrate their readiness to be seated at the bargaining table. If a stakeholder group is absent or unwilling to commit to good-faith bargaining, the potential to find a viable solution is reduced.” [The Psychological Climate Section; para. 2]. One can surmise, then, that the government’s strategy to become a stakeholder gave them considerable influence in the goings on of the business. Hence, people must realize that government as a shareholder served two purposes: (a) to allow them a stake and profits, and (2) allowed them further insight in company structure. Hence, as shareholder, the government is not only entitled to financial records, but unlawful practices as well which is very good indeed; because, even after selling the stock off the stigma of unsafe practices and unlawful activity allows the government the ability to make decisions for GM’s inability to keep cars safe. Hence, the resolution is continual monitoring by the government.

It is the case, that all activity, compromise, resolution and so forth would not be possible had it been for the governments’ resources, the money, the experts and General Motors willingness to negotiate with them. Moreover, Baack (2012) wrote about the ‘Availability of resources,’ giving the means of influence in negotiation:

  1. Legitimate
  2. Reward based
  3. Coercion
  4. Expertise
  5. Charisma [Means of Influence in Negotiation Section; Table 7.2].

For this purpose, legitimate, coercion, and expertise will discussed, because of the gravity of the negotiations. Therefore, a concern in the negotiation efforts on GM’s part would be ownership and patent protection in regards to implied take over; along with their need for other expert opinion and know how, other than their own, which the government provided with analysis of the situation as a whole, that is, in the area of safety, finances and public concern were all laid out in the open. To understand coercion, one might look to the fact that had not car makers decided to take the government up on the offer there might have been a halt to the transportation industry. However, as it stands the loss revenue, damaged relations with customers all stand, because of faulty products. Additionally, had the offer not been accepted by General Motors then the government might have used coercion as a persuasive technique to investigate the company without incentive.

In conclusion, the steps of conflict resolution as Baack (2012) wrote are thus:  (a) Identify the parties involved, (b) Identify the issues, (c) Identify the positions of the parties, (d) Find the bargaining zone, and (e) Make a decision.[ The Steps of Conflict Resolution Section; para. 1]. Hence, the negotiations between the General Motors Company and the US Government are met by acceptance of the government proposal to help, and in turn allowing the government to become stakeholders; which in turn, allowed the government to bring in expertise in financial discovery, as well as, expertise in matter of safety. For General Motors, the need for continued monitoring is needed in compliance to the law and for safety of its customers. However, the matter of a government barge in is far from truth as is the impression for some Americans. It is therefore the case, that a least in this instance the government did the right thing after all.

 

Sources:

 

Baack, D. (2012) Organizational Behavior. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUBUS610.12.1/sections/sec6.1

 5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict. Forbes. 

 Government Motors no more

Government fines GM maximum of $35 million for delayed safety recall

HR Performance Issues and Motivation

customer serviceAbraham Maslow (1954) wrote a basic satisfaction-progression model which adapts to the philosophy of Humanism. Conversely, the humanism approach would show that all people are basically good people, even with the absence of religious thinking; that is, all people [without thought to religion] have the ability to pursue and maintain basic needs. The hierarchy of needs Maslow (1954) developed, and to paraphrase Baack (2012), stated that for all human-beings to be satisfied the physiological needs of “food, shelter, clothing, and sex” must be met. [Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Section, para. 1]. These in turn, can lead one to pursue needs outside of themselves such as social circles where one meets friends, acquaintance and work relations. Hence, these social needs if they are successful, in turn, lead to esteem, where people, generally are found to be well-liked and held in high regard, and these are where people know that the work they do has meaning; not only for their feelings of esteem, but in helping other which Baack (2012) stated, “esteem leads to self-actualization”, that is what one does in their life’s work makes a difference. [Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Section; para. 2].

The thought of manipulation in the workplace is absolutely appalling. It is the case, that  an employer who would play on a person’s need to get them to do anything for their paycheck is unthinkable, however some do just that.  For example, an employer, whose vision in the beginning was to help people who had difficulty finding employment, and was successful in starting a ‘reputable’ company helping many. However, the original owner, now deceased, the company was wrested by evil men who now use control over the employees by way of trinkets under the guise of ‘a job well done’. It is the case, that incentives should come in the form of additions to pay allowing the employee to buy what he wishes and if its trinkets or material goods he [the employee] wants he is not manipulated to have them. Additionally, Baack (2012) stated, “The need for power suggests the drive to make others behave in ways they would not otherwise choose. When properly channeled, the need for power can be related to managerial success. To do so, power cannot be created or used in the pursuit of personal goals, and the individual should not place influence ahead of effective performance. [McClelland’s Need Theory; para. 4]. Therefore, the acknowledgment of  issues which cause lack of motivation in the workplace with managers who are seen as people of influence, and manipulate by trinkets to persuade their employees to do their bidding unawares; and,  no matter how unethical. Hence, anyone who chooses not to participate is not well-liked by management which Baack (2012) wrote, according to Maslow (1954) can impede progress for an employee.

Assuming that all the physiological needs are met through ones’ paycheck the move to social, esteem, and self-actualization are forthcoming. However, one has to trust their boss, or people in supervision over them to such a degree as to allow credit to them [the employer]; even while, waiting to receive a check.  In the article, “The Top 9 Things That Ultimately Motivate Employees to Achieve”, Glenn Llopis (2012), wrote there are few key things that motivate a person, they are: (a) Trustworthy Leadership, (b) Being Relevant, (c) Proving other wrong, (d) Career Advancement, (e) No Regrets, (f) Stable Future. These are just a few, however, Llopis (2012) concerning trustworthiness stated:

Leaders that have your back and that are looking out for your best interests – will win the trust of their employees who in turn will be more motivated to achieve.    I once had a department manager that always looked out for me.  He was upfront in communicating his performance expectations and his feedback was direct.   He never treated me like a subordinate and looked for ways to include me in senior management meetings.  This opened my eyes to what lied ahead in my career and thus motivated me to reach the next level and in the process exceed the expectations of my boss. [Trustworthy Leadership Section; para. 1].

The scenario where the employer manipulates through the employees’ physiological needs not being met is one of concern, especially when taken from the idea of humanism and the thought that all humans are basically good. Hence, in this case, all people can be considered good until they are proven un-worthy, and this revelation can lead to lack of motivation, or a less than positive image of the employer. Hence, though Maslow’s theory is a good one it does not bring into focus, or rather, allow for greedy employers, or greedy people. Llopis (2012) wrote, “As a leader, be mindful of providing security and stability in how you lead your employees – and watch their motivational levels rise.” [Stable Future Section].

In the article, “The Holy Grail of Workplace Motivation” Skip Weisman (2014) wrote concerning transparency:
For small business owners transparency may be more frightening than autonomy. Transparency is difficult for small business owners because it is opening them up to scrutiny they don’t feel their employees are entitled to….. Transparency breeds significantly higher levels of motivation and commitment because it speaks directly to the level of trust in the workplace. Research has shown that higher levels of trust can be directly related to higher levels of financial performance. Offering transparency shows an employee a direct correlation between their role and the company’s bottom line performance. It allows employees to understand the correlation between their compensation and the results the company achieves. [Autonomy and Transparency Section; para. 1,10].

In this instance, the employer who is not transparent would find it difficult to reward an honest employee, and one can see why not in the sense that wrong doing is shown up by the honest employee who for all purpose is aware of the manipulation. Hence, rewards or incentives which may be well received by needy employees might not be so with on who is honest. In essence, bribes under the pretense of ‘good of a job’ well done are at the expense of the employee and the customers they serve. Hence, to motivate themselves employees, according to Llopis (2012), in the article, “6 Unique Ways to Sustain a High Performance Mentality” to paraphrase stated that the employee should keep a blog to write about lessons and experience which to add, is ideal for those employees who can find no other recourse, except to know what to look for in their other endeavors when searching for employment. [Step6: Write a Blog and Hold Yourself Accountable Section].

Ultimately, according to Maslow having basic or physiological needs met is essential for security in the individual personal life. Hence, the challenge is that these must be met by management which brings further safety to the individual at home, and in the work place. However, the rationale of security is further cemented with (a) trustworthy employers and (b) transparent employers where one’s esteem is made wholesome with shared thinking and goals among superiors and peers. Therefore, if one feels safe then, and esteem is reciprocal this makes one’s work worthwhile. Hence, employers and their management should take measures that all their staff feel their jobs are a safe environment to work to ensure a wholesome environment for everyone.

The Good News: Civic Journalism and Building the Community

civic JournalismAn American Journalist and Humorist once wrote, “The Job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. (Steele, 2002, Para. 1). In this view, the role of the reporter is two- faceted: 1) the reporter must shake up those who are comfortable, and 2) the reporter must comfort those who need it by offering a helping hand, or at least educate their public by bringing in new information to those in need of it. According to Executive Director, Pew Center for Civic Journalism there are two key things to know concerning Civic Journalism which says” when the media does its job differently, citizens do their jobs differently, and when you seed innovation into newsrooms you get new ideas”. (Schaffer, 2014). Hence, if reporting today is not bringing affliction and/ or comfort then it is not good news. What can be done about it? Schaffer (2014) makes mention that there a few things to be done which could go beyond diagnosing the problem. Therefore, diagnose the cause but move on and actually change that which has already been diagnosed. Conversely, one would have to see clearly the picture that journalism has portrayed to the masses which means going back to review what the public sees and why they see it that way. Hence, making changes which should be of first priority. Once a problem is identified there should be efforts made which bring improvement and understanding to public thinking that change the relation of the media as a ‘lap dog,’ of the media as an ‘attack dog,’ and ultimately change the media as a ‘watch dog’ to something other than a farce. Essentially, American media must be seen as the “guide dog’ which educates the public on their role to help their own communities and beyond.

A survey conducted by the Pew Center for Civic Journalism reflects journalists’ view of the First Amendment saying that some journalists hold their rights to freedom of press in high regard more than the public did. On the contrary, citizens feel differently toward the media and label the press arrogant, insensitive, biased, inaccurate and sometimes filled with sensationalism. Conversely, “fifty-three percent respondents said they believe the press has too much freedom, forty-five percent respondents said they believe media protects democracy, and thirty-eight percent of the respondents said the media actually hurt democracy.” Additionally, there were people who disapproved of reporting political candidates, hidden cameras, and publishing governmental secrets. (Schaffer, 2014, p.9-10. Para. 7). Consequently, this data might be surprising for some, however, it shows that America citizens are divided in their opinion of the media, and also shows what journalist think of their work is totally off base. Especially, in regards to news gathering as it pertains to truth of how citizens really feel about the news and those who report it which causes resentment for citizens who feel they are unheard.

On April 15, 2014, an accident on Interstate NE Loop 820 shook a community leaving two dead people and others injured in Fort Worth, Texas. (Read: Two Killed in Crash Along East Loop 820). The neighborhood was shaken, not only from the force of the impact, but from the force of the ideal. People witness to the accident or nearby could be seen running from their homes and motorists stopping to help. It is the case that a community came together but was left to pick up these pieces alone, but this has become the norm there. The crash involving three vehicles was the worst incident to happen in the Stop Six community since the notorious “Birthday Party” shootings in 2008 which left a five year old child dead on her birthday; along with, her paternal grandmother, and several other innocent children and adults in attendance. (Read more: 2 dead in birthday party shooting in Fort Worth). In both of the events, the reporters, helicopters could be seen coming from miles around, hovering over people’s homes to gather their stories and taking interviews from witnesses. Notably, once the initial reports were broadcast the neighborhoods were forgotten which leaves one to ask what about the neighborhood? There has not been any attention since for media coverage for the community though there has been plenty newsworthy material such as council meetings where neighbors meet with officials from time to time to discuss issues which have not been met or that need attention. However, these type meetings are generally campaign ventures and sparse. It is the case that the only reports in certain neighborhoods are of a negative undertone, a killing, a domestic issue when someone is killed, a child kills their parent, a sexual offender nearby and so on. Notably, though that type news is necessary people already know that their neighborhoods are not the best and that most are unsafe. Therefore, good news would bring with it an appeal for public support and someone who can report that appeal accurately is needed. To date, there is still no follow up interviews for the families in attendance of the birthday party to know how they fare and this is where media responsibility to update the public is a needed for any mass tragedy of this magnitude. Moreover, there seems to be a drive through type reporting as far as media is concerned. Additionally, though these incidents might seem small concerning the accident and the birthday party this is the type reporting seen in the neighborhoods where reportedly violence is common. Therefore, however common whether an accident or murder no other news seems newsworthy material. Where are the caring journalists to tell the story?
One of the reasons the lack of report might seem difficult in certain communities would be a lack of journalist support and lack of journalistic staff. Typically, one might see minority commentators, anchors and reporters here and there, however, why are they so scare? Concerning BBC and black journalist, Meikle (2014) wrote “A senior black journalist has accused the BBC of” institutional myopia or inertia “over its employment of ethnic minority staff” (Para.1). In this instance, one might wonder what this has to do with the general public and reporting. The problem is confusion in the work place where many journalists find themselves clamoring for rank instead of clamoring to get stories that matter. Hence, instead there are stories of hometown heroes and those deemed fitting for community efforts, but no reports of how to solve eminent or impeding problems. It is the case that with few journalists to work stories, or who find interest to report stories are pushed to quit such organizations as BBC. Of course, BBC being global is a far cry from everyday life in a community; however, one should ask does this type behavior occur everywhere? Therefore, the type of behavior as found in drive by reporting styles may prove a huge factor lacking in community building efforts.
In the article, “The Last Days of Journalism” Nip (2008) employed at a least 6 different ways media could change audience view or to offer a helping hand:
• Listening to the public to help shape the news agenda
• Giving ordinary people a voice
• Covering storing in a way which facilitates public understanding and stimulates citizen deliberation of problems behind the stories
• Presenting news to make it more accessible and easier for people to engage in the issues
• Engaging the community in problem solving
• Maximizing the impact of coverage in the community
Listening to the public is almost non-existent when it comes to some communities. Hence, a great idea would be to gather ideas developed from mingling with people in their communities in times separate from campaigning. Notably, politicians always have a say about certain issues, but what about the communities these bills and policies affect most? It is the case, then, that the only time some citizens have an opportunity to speak is in tragedy, or an election year and those meetings handpicked. Nip (2008) adds, “Listening techniques include conducting polls, surveys, town hall meetings, focus groups, readers’ panels, and organizing intimate living room or kitchen conversations.” (p. 180). Therefore, giving a voice to ordinary people would make a world of difference when people’s input seems important. Thames (2014) wrote “Unlike journalists who earn a living covering politics, voters have a lot of other things competing for their attention — at home and at work. We’ve been quick to misjudge their unfocused nature as ambivalence. Most take their role quite seriously. Times Mirror found last year that 66% of Americans “completely agree” it is their duty to always vote, up from 46% in 1987.” (Line 7). It is the case that the media might take for granted that people casting votes have a voice. For example, one should ask how is it that with all the lines formed during an election is anyone not heard from, except politicians. During campaigning Wendy Williams advocated women’s health issues which included a right to choose and single parenting support. It would have been a great add if during the campaign there were voices heard on the other side of those issues; as like, women who have had abortions to balance out information and give the people an informed decision. Conversely, attack ads make people distrustful and mean spirited which is another reason why the media is not well liked.
Radio is great for community discussions and forums and though good sources of information one should ask are there solutions to come from these? Rudy Vee is on the air and has been a full time Professional Announcer for the COX MEDIA GROUP in Jacksonville, Florida for 22 years. Rudy was asked what issues of a public concern he believed needed the most help from media. He wrote, “Public safety. Especially for women. We, as announcers, are here to educate and inform. That premise has long fallen by the wayside to commercialism. Now, there are insignificant Sunday morning programs to comply to FCC regulations regarding this. Don’t get me wrong, the music IS the star; but radio could be doing so much more. There are a couple of cats, Gregg Street in Atlanta and Jamming Jimmy Olsen in Tyler that are using their shifts for the greater purpose of super-serving the community and kids. But very few are allowed to do this anymore? Also, we could a heck of a lot more in supporting the local artists in the market. But, once again, if it ain’t chartin,’ chances are it won’t get played. we also need to be doing more for the classic artist of our time that are still putting out art. The Con-Funk-Shun’s, the Lakeside’s, the Will Downing’s, the Glenn Jones’, the Howard Hewett’s. The cats are still putting out quality classic art – but to no avail.” (Vee, 2014). Ultimately, more broadcasts and reports need to reflect Mr. Vee’s thinking that the communities need more help from the media. Mr. Vee also added input concerning journalism and good reporters. He was asked, “What is the current state of the radio ‘talent pool?’ Is good Journalism being shelved along with good pay? His response, “WOW! Umph…No comment (Sorry)” That says it all.
Journalist engagement with the community in problem solving is a big issue for some, and education is a key ingredient. In the aforementioned Stop Six area as well as other areas of the city homeowners have found their property taken in  pay arrangements where the city offers one year of payment with balances due at the end of a year. In this, there is no education about the home owner’s right to acquire counsel from an attorney who would give them adequate information about property tax law and their ability to get a longer arrangement. Consequently, without that help many people have faced eviction. It is the case that anyone can find this information in any public record if they knew to look. Therefore, news coverage would benefit the community if those concerned could have their stories told. As a watch dog to government, journalists have a duty to be honest and fair in their reports of government officials concerning corruption. In that regard, Steel (2002) wrote, “Cole Campbell, editor of the Virginian-Pilot, has put into practice various elements of civic journalism. He believes that news organizations must create a different sort of relationship with the public, one that reexamines the journalist’s role to sources and to readers. Campbell (1995) says newspapers must reframe the questions and change conventions about what is news and how it is covered. He says journalism must “cover tension not just conflict, ambivalence not just certainty.” (Para. 6).
CSPAN guest Ed Fouhy (1997) outlines the plight of journalism and community saying, “Civic Journalism needs to be in reformed. One definition of a reformed civic journalism would be to tell the truth so the people can be informed and remain sovereign and gives maximum freedom of choice.” In essence, Mr. Fouhy proclaims that the media should be a guiding force to the people, but instead have become arrogant and have First Amendment Reflex Syndrome where the excuse is always given for freedom of speech. Fouhy adds to that to say, “ Journalist often are inconsiderate to the personal hurt caused by to people and the person through invasion of privacy, and devalue the damage done by media while overvaluing the good that might come from reports.” (Paraphrased). The plight of some communities; or rather individuals broadcast on television is disparaging, because of bias reporting. Last year, in news there were  a string of unfair trials publicized where people were literally getting away with murder. One in particular was a young Caucasian boy of sixteen years who was drunk behind the wheel of a car and ran into and killed people on the side of the road. His psychiatrist labelled him as suffering from so called ‘affluenza’. Conversely, affluenza reportedly, is a dis-ease of the affluent which says a youth’s inability to tell right from wrong is imbalanced. Hence, the punishment for the inebriated lad was ten years’ probation. In that same vain, this year an inebriated black man was drunk and drove his car into a crowd of people. The media coverage had a field day with that and for weeks after followed up with the funerals, the victims and the like. The icing on the cake came when an interview with a deceased teen’s girlfriend said that she wanted the accused dead, and this said with malice against someone of her own race. The media never showed anything afterwards concerning the other drunken individual mentioned, except to say that his parents were settling suits for those families who lost loved ones too. It is bias, because here are two drunks who killed but two totally different reports concerning them. Steel (2002) wrote, “Bill Woo (1995) does not shine a solid red light on public journalism. He raises cautions in the spirit of a yellow light. Woo likes the connections to improving democracy, and he says he is “intrigued by what may lie down that road, beyond the bend.” But he also urges all of us in journalism to listen to what he calls the “old bells ringing for objectivity, detachment, independence, for the courage to print stories that are unpopular and for which there is no consensus. “I hope we listen for them again,” Woo says, “before we grow so old and so wise that they no longer matter.” (Para, 30). One has to question whether the stories reported are objective, detached, and independent when one sided reporting is the case. Additionally, good news would have made at least one of the reports into an angle story, whereabouts; the issue of driving drunk would have been displayed with information to educate and teach. Hence, the guidance factor in journalism would have been at the forefront for youth today to discourage drinking endeavors; but sadly, the message presented was if one is white and affluent one can get away with murder which is surely a form of bias at its peak.
Troubling is the fact that good news has been traded for internet stories and social media scandal done in a rush. It is the case that gone are the days of intimacy where a good newspaper read was a family affair, comics and all. Paula A. Sanford, Currently resides in Galesburg, IL USA and is a Certified Television Producer with Chicago Access Network TV, (CAN TV) 2007-2010 – Produced written copy & public service announcements for the Cook County, Chicago, IL area. Paula also is a Community Relations Coordinator/Public Relations Director: Prayer & Faith Outreach Ministries, Chicago, IL – 2004 – 2010: Made community relations news available to the Chicago & surrounding suburbs, concerning upcoming and ongoing events occurring in the church and community. Paula was asked to give her view concerning the fail of some newspapers and their readership: “Does the decline of newspapers even matter? Could this actually be a blessing in disguise? Her response: Yes, I think it matters that there is a decline of newspapers. To me, it is as imperative to some people to have newspapers, because some baby boomers (and others) may never adapt to social media.” (Sanford, 2014). It is the case that some people would rather read than turn on the television or listen to the radio. Hence, Civic Journalism must be multifaceted in its quest to guide.
In closing, journalism has three approaches to the community, that is the lap dog, the attack dog, the watch dog, and to remove negative stigma every public journalist should take responsibility for seeing the goal of becoming a guide dog to the communities brought forth. In these, there should be different outlooks stemming from the individual journalist who might see their job as a race to higher status and paycheck rather than seeing a community of hope developed. Journalist across the board must re-engage with the community not just entertain communities, because as it is with the homeowner’s plight so it is as Fouhy (1997) points out that “People want to know where the good schools are and how to improve those where they live; as well as learning how their tax dollars are spent. In turn, reports should be a balance between positive and negative where there is ongoing reporting; not just drive by reports. Certainly, there is a need to re-direct the focus of what good news is, because good news shakes up the comfortable and comforts the afflicted. Subsequently, becoming the ‘guide dog’ it was meant to be.