The Essence of Politics

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Duncan's Call for School Turnarounds Sparks Debate--By Catherine Gewertz

The U.S. secretary of education’s call to “turn around” the nation’s 5,000 worst-performing schools has found a warm welcome among educators and policymakers who see that focus as long overdue. But it has also sparked debate about how—and whether—such an enormous leadership and management challenge can be accomplished.

Arne Duncan is pressing for attention to chronically underperforming schools as one of four areas that states must address if they are to receive federal economic-stimulus aid. Those schools have failed to make academic progress year after year, the secretary said in a June speech, but “too many administrators are unwilling to close failing schools and create better options.”

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Mr. Duncan wrote in a Commentary that month in Education Week, school officials have not made dramatic changes in troubled schools but have “taken the path of least resistance.”

Now, Mr. Duncan is seeking to rally an army to overhaul learning in the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools over five years. He’s calling on “turnaround specialists,” charter school groups, unions, school districts, and states to do their part.

Few dispute that bold action on low-performing schools has been lacking. But even with new political leadership and money, the job may require more of the field than it can deliver.

“I worry that we don’t have the capacity to do it, and I’ve worried about it for 10 years,” said Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who is now a partner in the education advocacy and strategy group VA/R Partners, based in La Jolla, Calif. "But it's time to take on this issue. We'd never solve this problem if we didn't have a leader pushing on it.

“We didn’t know how to go to the moon when Kennedy put that out, either. This is a bigger challenge than that. This is our moonshot. And it’s not one moonshot, it’s thousands.”

Quick and Dramatic
The federal government is dangling a lot of money for school turnaround work. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed by Congress at the urging of President Barack Obama in an effort to spur the nation’s economy, includes $3.5 billion for the Title I school improvement grant program. The current fiscal year’s budget includes $545 million specifically for low-performing schools, and the Obama administration has requested another $1.5 billion for that purpose in the fiscal 2010 budget.

Definitions of “school turnaround” vary. Some include closing schools or hiring new staff members; others don’t. Most definitions share the view, however, that what distinguishes a “turnaround” from “school improvement” efforts is that it delivers dramatic improvement within a few years.

The private sector, where the idea was born, itself has a mixed record on corporate turnarounds, according to Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute.

“Turnarounds can be a valuable tool for improving underperforming schools,” Mr. Hess said in an article he co-wrote for the American School Board Journal last year. “However, the hope that we can systematically turn around all troubled schools—or even a majority of them—is at odds with much of what we know from private-sector efforts.”

In a June 22 speech, Mr. Duncan outlined four basic ways to turn around low-performing schools, assuming one year of planning. He urged educators to begin planning now for the first round of school takeovers in the fall of 2010.

Under the first option, a new school leader recruits new teachers in the spring. The previous teachers must reapply for their jobs but most don’t get rehired. In the second version, the school’s staff and leadership are replaced, and the school is handed over to a charter management organization or for-profit education management organization.

In the third scenario, most of the school’s staff remains, but major steps are taken to revamp school culture. Schools that take this approach must, at a minimum, establish a “rigorous” performance evaluation system, along with more supports, training and mentoring; strengthen curriculum and instruction; increase learning time; and give leadership teams more flexibility to make budgeting, staffing, and calendar decisions. Mr. Duncan warned that this approach can’t be used as a “dodge to avoid difficult but necessary choices.”

The fourth option closes a school and enrolls students in a better school.

Role of Charter Schools
Mr. Duncan’s special plea for help from the charter school sector has raised questions about charter managers’ interest in, and capacity for, fixing low-performing schools.

Greg Richmond, the president of the Chicago-based National Association of Charter School Authorizers, whose members oversee half the country’s 4,000-plus charter schools, said it would be “a challenge” to persuade high-quality charter-management organizations to step into the fray. Successful CMOs, he said, have excelled opening perhaps one new school, and exerting a lot of control over its design and replication. Such schools are publicly funded but largely independent in their operations.

“The reason why they are excellent schools is they are very thoughtful about what it is that makes them excellent, and they pick their opportunities carefully,” Mr. Richmond said. “Turnarounds are more reactive. The school system calls more of the shots. So a CMO is losing some of that control.”

Andy Smarick, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, in Washington, argues that opening new schools is indeed a more promising turnaround strategy than revamping existing schools by the thousands.

“The good CMOs don’t start fresh by coincidence,” said Mr. Smarick, who was a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush. “Starting fresh is how the good ones like KIPP and Amistad get it right,” he said, referring to the Knowledge Is Power Program, whose network includes more than 80 charter schools, and the Amistad Academies, three New Haven, Conn., charter schools.

But Jordan Meranus, who oversees turnaround work for the San Francisco-based NewSchools Venture Fund, thinks school management organizations will respond favorably to Secretary Duncan’s pleas.

He points to the work of Mastery Charter Schools, which took over three floundering Philadelphia middle schools in the past few years and has produced gains of 40 percentage points on state tests there. Mastery, which is in NewSchools’ investment portfolio, is often cited by Mr. Duncan.

“These organizations are doing this, they are doing it multiple times, and they’re demonstrating that it’s possible,” Mr. Meranus said. “Combine that with school operators—scores of them—that will partner with reform-minded districts and states to take on this work, and we have the makings of a new cohort that can do this successfully.”

Two-by-Fours and Scalpels
Robert L. Hughes, the president of New Visions for Public Schools, a reform organization that works with 76 New York City schools, said that in 20 years of work, he has seen some schools that had to be shut down and started fresh elsewhere, and others that managed significant improvements while staying open.

“You need to have an accurate diagnosis of why each of those 5,000 schools are failing,” he said. “It’s crucial. Sometimes you need a two-by-four to get change. Other times you need a scalpel.”

He added that district operations must be reimagined alongside school operations if schools are to get the necessary freedom and support to flourish.

William E. Guenther, the president and founder of Mass Insight Education and Research Institute, a Boston-based group that designed a turnaround framework in 2007 and is helping states use its strategies, said the prospect of fixing 5,000 schools over five years doesn’t have to be daunting. That’s 1,000 schools, or an average of 20 schools per state, annually, he said.

“Are we really going to stand up in front of those kids and their parents and say we can’t take a shot at turning around 20 schools a year?” Mr. Guenther said.

As education leaders and managers mobilize to do turnaround work, they must avoid past mistakes, Mr. Guenther said. Instead of changing only the people or programs in low-performing schools, their operating conditions must also be changed, he said, including providing more autonomy for school leaders.

Mass Insight’s framework envisions “lead partners” that work—with a state-level unit’s support—to coordinate all programs and services within a school, and that are held accountable for student achievement.

Robert Balfanz, a Johns Hopkins University research scientist who located the 2,000 high school “dropout factories” that Mr. Duncan repeatedly highlights as symbols of needed turnaround, said he believes the education field possesses the knowledge to make low-performing schools work well.

In struggling high schools, for instance, educators know what has to be done: Below-grade-level skills must be addressed, and a range of approaches can do that, Mr. Balfanz said. High-poverty schools have more inexperienced teachers, so special support must be provided to them, he said. And, he said, effective approaches for combating student disengagement and truancy, and providing tutoring and social supports, are all out there.

Still, he said, the knowledge base for all those efforts is not “codified, easily accessible, and packaged for broad consumption.”

“We have a knowledge base about what works and what doesn’t, and the conditions under which it works,” Mr. Balfanz said. “We need to draw on that. The challenge is getting the right strategy in the right place, and getting the know-how to more people.”

‘Top to Bottom’
In Hartford, Conn., one of the school districts singled out by Secretary Duncan for success in turning around low-performing schools, leaders have found that it requires a new school principal and staff members, more school-level autonomy, and a year of planning that yields a complete redesign of a school’s operations.

“You can’t just change a couple things in silos, like a new principal or staff. You literally have to redesign a school from top to bottom, specifying every detail, so everyone there knows what they are committing to,” said Steven J. Adamowski, the superintendent of the 25,000-student district, which redesigned one high school and two elementary schools last year.

Mr. Adamowski, who helped lead school improvement work at the American Institutes for Research before going to Hartford in 2006, said the danger in turnaround work is to do “too much in a shotgun manner,” without “going deep.”

The University of Virginia’s business and education schools run a joint program that trains teams made up of a principal, school staff members, and a district-office “shepherd” to do rapid school turnarounds. It began in Virginia seven years ago, has trained 84 principals and 272 team members, and has expanded to other states and districts.

Daniel Duke, an education professor with the program, said those experiences have not shown that school closure or wholesale staff replacement is necessary. But a new principal is key, and the quality of that leadership is crucial to the practices that will determine a successful turnaround.

For instance, educators often say that teachers should meet in teams to analyze data, but they might do that at schools where turnarounds work as well as those where they don’t, Mr. Duke said. The difference is a principal who can lead the staff in being open to what the data tell them, not “warding off” conclusions about how instruction needs to change, he said.

Responding to Call
Regardless of the debate over the fine points of turning around schools, and who should do that, organizations of many stripes are responding to the turnaround call.

Joseph Wise, the chief education officer at EdisonLearning, said the New York City-based school management company has “staffed up pretty aggressively” to position itself for more turnaround work. It has added staff members with expertise in school turnaround, and started a new team to help the company’s regional managers plan strategy with school boards, superintendents, and charter school boards.

Mr. Meranus of the NewSchools Venture Fund said that in the past two months, more of his organization’s investment partners have been calling for guidance on getting into turnaround work.

New Leaders for New Schools, a New York City-based nonprofit group that trains and places new principals, is getting more inquiries from its state and district partners about expansion, said Jon Schnur, its chief executive officer. One state, for instance, has expressed interest in having New Leaders expand from one district to multiple districts statewide, with a particular focus on the lowest-performing schools, Mr. Schnur said.

Mr. Guenther of Mass Insight cautioned that the big turnaround push, with its attendant funding, risks attracting those unprepared for the work.

“States will have lots of money they have to spend quickly,” he said. “Providers could just hang out their shingles, rename their existing staff, and call themselves turnaround partners.”

Even with its risks and challenges, many see the high-visibility call for school turnarounds as an unprecedented opportunity.

“This is a transformative moment in time,” Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a recent interview. “If we blow it, if we don’t come up with models that work, it’s a disappointment to people.”

Coverage of leadership is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at www.wallacefoundation.org.

No comments:

Jay-Z - History



(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighter)
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighters)
Victory is finally ours
(Yeah)
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours


[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long



Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)


Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook






It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.



Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen


“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.


Lift Every Voice and Sing


This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC (www.ascender-c.com) at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean




If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige



Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"


If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.

YES WE CAN



Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!

YES WE CAN!

Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions


Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.


The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.
There was an error in this gadget

Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding



"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"

STAR SPANGLED BANNER


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President



Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

FIGHT THE POWER



We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.


We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.


We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!


FIGHT THE POWER!

PEOPLE GET READY


“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.


“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.


“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!


Alicia]
(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

[Lyfe]
People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

[Alicia]
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


“PEOPLE GET READY!”

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood


Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A