240 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap Book Review

240 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap 51y9qBrOTIL
by M. Donnell Tenner, M.Ed.
Foreword by Dr. Stephen D. West, Ed.D.
Gold Boot Publishing
Paperback, $17.95
172 pages
ISBN: 978-1-482713217

Book Review by Kam Williams

“Our educational arenas have forgotten about what has made us tick… We have forgotten about family values, community and that it takes a village to raise a child…

Some time ago… teachers took the time to methodically walk us down the path that we needed to go. Unfortunately, those individuals are hard to find these days…

We lost that personal touch, time and commitment to other human beings. We just text and float by, not worrying about connecting.

This book was written to help families and policymakers follow a road map [towards] humane educational, community and societal goals that create a better quality of life.”

Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 6-7)
I don’t need to cite the shameful statistics showing how badly the woeful, urban public schools are failing black and Latino kids all across the country. In Atlanta, morale apparently deteriorated to the point that teachers, principals and administrators gave up trying to teach students, and simply conspired to raise test scores by erasing incorrect answers on tests during staff-only, after hour pizza parties.

Donnell Tenner is one academic who hasn’t yet thrown in the towel. In fact, he’s written an opus offering a profusion of solutions. Entitled: 240 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap: Action Points for Salvaging the Futures of Black & Latino Students, the book might best be described as a socially-progressive guide chock full of common sense suggestions.

The problem is that in these days of cost-cutting and downsizing, I’m not sure where well-intentioned school districts would even turn for funding if they were interested in implementing some of the author’s altruistic ideas. But let’s put the question of money to the side and simply take a look exactly what Mr. Tenner is proposing.

For example, he suggests that teachers, “Provide extra help as needed.” Nobody’s going to argue with that, but there’s a powerful union that will insist on extra pay for any overtime. He also proposes decreasing class size. Again, this would be an excellent step in the right direction, but it ain’t free.

In a chapter on nutrition, he backs the expansion of the federal free breakfast and free lunch programs. While hungry kids’ performance would undoubtedly improve on full stomachs, are we, as a debt-riddled nation, inclined to invest in them in this fashion?

But wait, there’s more! Tenner would not only guarantee universal, pre-school education from the age of 3, but he’d provide “clothing and supplies for families who are poor,” because “children cannot focus on academic achievement if they are hungry or cold.”

Whether an impractical pipe dream or a viable solution, there’s no doubt that Donnell Tenner is a visionary who has crafted a bold blueprint for a new and improved public educational system in America.

To order a copy of 240 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap, visit:


Abductee Seeks to Escape Kidnappers in Mindbending Sci-fi Thriller

  Rupture Film Review by Kam Williams Abductee Seeks to Escape Kidnappers in Mindbending Sci-fi Thriller Renee (Noomi Rapace) was leading an unremarkable existence in suburban Kansas City the day she was abducted by five strangers after her car broke down. Until then, she was just an average divorcee' doing her best to shield a young son (Percy Hynes White) from an embittered ex-husband's (Paul Popowich) vicious barbs.   Otherwise, … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Cop under Fire

  Cop under Fire Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics for a Better America by Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. with Nancy French Foreword by Sean Hannity Worthy Publishing Hardcover, $21.99 272 pages ISBN: 978-1-617-95857-1 Book Review by Kam Williams “David Clarke refuses to bow a knee to political correctness, and he refuses to give his party over to the hands of black activists whose politics would destroy America. … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]


Make Way for Dulé!

  Dulé Hill The “Sleight” Interview with Kam Williams Make Way for Dulé! Born in Orange, New Jersey and raised in Sayreville, Dulé Hill began attending dance school when he was 3 years- old. He later received his first break as the understudy to Savion Glover on Broadway in “The Tap Dance Kid.” Dulé went on to perform the lead role in the musical’s national tour. And his additional stage credits include “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in … [Read More its Good for You...]


Cajun Baby chooses Skeeter for a reason

  Cajun Baby chooses Skeeter for a reason By Craig Lamb Cliff Crochet, known on the pro bass tour as the Cajun Baby, has a lot to be proud of besides his south Louisiana roots. In Cajun country, boats are part of life, either for a livelihood or connection to the outdoors for recreation with friends and family. Crochet quote about Cajun roots. Crochet's resume includes 9 Top 10 finishes, three appearances in the Bassmaster Classic, and a … [Read More its Good for You...]


“Sin City” Becomes Acceptable?

  “Sin City” Becomes Acceptable? by Amy Lignor   So…what changes will occur if an NFL team hits Las Vegas? Not many, actually. Perhaps more of the ‘contract money’ will be lost considering the blackjack tables ARE right in the vicinity; however, NFL owners seem just fine with the fact that the Raiders will once again wave good-bye to their “Nation” and relocate to Sin City. But when you look at the news headlines, the NFL has and … [Read More its Good for You...]


Buying & Selling: Learning the Art of the Tag Sale

  Buying & Selling: Learning the Art of the Tag Sale by Amy Lignor   When people speak about making a few extra bucks, there is more than one way to skin a cat these days. Perhaps you’re trying to save up for a vacation for the family to take this summer. Perhaps you are looking for collectibles to invest in. Oddly enough, many people do not realize what, exactly, was in Great Grandma’s house when she passed on to a happier place. … [Read More its Good for You...]



  Vacations…Underground by Amy Lignor   There are millions of spots to visit and sites to see around the world when it comes to vacation time; however, there are also those you can’t necessarily “see.” In this world of digital technology and highly imaginative architecture that creates buildings that are higher and more “glitzy” than ever before, it is important to remember that in ancient times, people were building “down.” Various … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]