Header 7-31-2015

– Outperform: CLBH, EBMT, MSL

– Market Perform: BANC, FFBC, ISBC,  PUB, TLMR, WFD

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Introducing my LinkedIn Influencers Empowerment eLibrary

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism Tour of 2014.

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism Tour of 2014.

Last year I was honored to be selected and asked to publish some of my thought leadership pieces as part of the new LinkedIn Influencers community at LinkedIn, as one of 500 leaders they have selected from around the world.  There are now more than 70 unique pieces in my dedicated eLibrary for LinkedIn Influencers, and I add additional pieces regularly.

I did this series to try to eMentor and help nurture a new generation of leaders who ‘get, give, care, engage, and want to solve.’  I hope that you are one of these people.  In any case, it is a free and growing resource, available to you and those you care about.

There are presently approximately 100,000 unique followers for my writings on LinkedIn Influencers, and growing.  Join the club of new-era thinkers!  Let’s spark a movement for our time.

Here are a few of my recent pieces below.  Or sign up to review the entire eLibrary here, or to follow me here.

 ~ Influencer

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Bryant Group Ventures

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Bryant test drives a ‘Miata Catfish’ through the Colorado Mountains

Miata Catfish in the Colorado MountainsIf you are looking for something a little sexier (okay, a lot sexier) in look and feel than a standard Miata, but you love the Miata handling, powertrain and the cost to maintain a Miata on the race track — then the Miata Catfish just might be your ticket.

After a business trip to Denver, Colorado, I took a brief detour to the Colorado Mountain community of Palisade, CO, where I was met at the airport by a understated and extraordinarily gracious Mr. Bill Cardell, owner and operator of Fly’in Miata.

Of course, he picked me up in a Miata. But not a normal one. This one had a racing number on the side of the door.

After a brisk drive to Palisade, Colorado, and a tour of his operation, which is very impressive and filled with techs passionate about all-things-Miata, we got down to the reason I was there. A test drive of the much talked about Miata Catfish. The Catfish is built on the Miata skeleton. but from there, customization and your imagination (and your wallet) can take you as far as you want to go with this car package.

And even though it was a bit wet (okay, it was really raining) on the day I test drove a car with no hard top and no windshield wipers (it is designed as a dedicated track car), I can honestly say that I felt like I got an extremely good feel for the car.  And even with the weather elements literally accessing every aspect of the driver’s space, I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe.  Not once.  Just the opposite, actually.

This car loves to hug the road, irrespective of conditions outside.  Very similar in cornering driving style actually to my beloved Lotus Evora, this car drives ‘like a slot car’ around corners.

And so, as you can imagine, it performed extremely well making its way through the winding two lane highways of the Colorado mountains.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a Miata+ experience, or you simply want to step out and you want to be different, the Catfish just may be for you.

Just make sure you take your umbrella to the track with you.  On second thought, after stepping into the Catfish and strapping into your four-point racing harness, you won’t even notice a little rain.

You might even think it’s cool. I did.

After the test drive.  The Miata Catfish.

After the test drive. The Miata Catfish.

To see all the photos from my tour and trip to the Fly’in Miata facility in Colorado, check out the Flickr gallery here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Miata Catfish, I would encourage you to contact Bill and his professional team at Fly’in Miata.

The Fly’in Miata team even gives back, every time someone purchases one of their high end performance packages. The company makes a matching contribution to help feed families in need, in Africa.  Now, these are my kind of people.  “Doing well, and doing good too.”

Here is a link to their website.

John Hope Bryant


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The Freedman’s Bank Tour comes to the California African-American Museum

John Hope Bryant backstage at the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles

John Hope Bryant backstage at the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles

This was backstage at the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles, where moments later I was deeply, deeply honored to join my spiritual father and mentor to so many, Reverend Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, founder of the Cecil L. Murray Center for Community Engagement at USC and the former pastor of First A.M.E. Church, for a rich conversation around the untold story, history and legacy of the Freedman’s Bank of 1865.

John Hope Bryant and Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray, founder of the Cecil L. Murray Center for Community Engagement at USC

John Hope Bryant and Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, founder of the Cecil L. Murray Center for Community Engagement at USC

Dr. Lula Ballton and CEO Joseph Otting

Dr. Lula Ballton and CEO Joseph Otting

Also joining us this evening on the program included Dr. Lula Ballton of the Church of God in Christ, leading economic development there, and my friend Joseph Otting, CEO of One West Bank here in Los Angeles.  Otting recently traveled to the national launch of the Freedman’s Bank Tour at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where he announced a pledge for the launch of 100 HOPE Inside locations throughout Southern California.

Too many legends and luminaries in the room to mention this evening, but a special mention to community leader Najee Ali, who is always present when there is important business of our community at hand, and actress and community supporter Dawnn Lewis, of A Different World fame.

John Hope Bryant and Actress Dawnn Lewis

John Hope Bryant and Actress Dawnn Lewis

Community Activist Najee Ali and Dr. Cecil "Chip" Murray

Community Activist Najee Ali and Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray

You can see a full montage of images from the evening on Flickr here.

For more information on the untold history of the Freedman’s Bank, and the ongoing Freedman’s Bank Tour, check out the website here.

John Hope Bryant



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New Superintendent in Palm Beach County Wants to Turn District All-Charter

The new superintendent in Palm Beach County was hired from the Fulton County School District in Georgia; Georgia has a law permitting “charter districts.” Superintendent Robert Avossa now wants to try it in Palm Beach County, where parents have been fighting for years to keep the hands of the charter industry out of their county. In his application for the job of Superintendent in PBC (which he assumed in June), he spoke of his passion for public education; there was no indication that he would immediately bring in the privateers, entrepreneurs, and fly-by-night operators whose charters overpopulate the lowest-performing schools in the state.

The Palm Beach Post reported:

Palm Beach County’s schools chief wants permission from state lawmakers to convert the county’s public school system into a “charter school district,” a designation that could let him end-run state rules and drastically reorganize schools’ schedules, class sizes and instruction time.

Superintendent Robert Avossa’s proposal would require approval from state lawmakers and the support of the county’s school board. If granted, he said the extra freedom would allow the county’s traditional public schools to better compete with charter schools, which have more flexibility under state law and are attracting thousands of new students each year.

In light of the fact that the charter industry has already bought control of the state legislature, he is not likely to have much opposition there. The question is whether the local school board is as happy to privatize public schools as Superintendent Avossa is.

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Announcing an expanded, deepened national relationship between Operation HOPE and Mutual of Omaha Bank


The growth of Operation HOPE is gathering an impressive array of credible national backers, partners, and supporters.  I am really happy to announce today that Operation HOPE has formed a deep and very important strategic relationship with Mutual of Omaha Bank.

Mutual of Omaha Bank, part of the 100+ year history of Mutual of Omaha the insurance company, is one of the largest and most stable financial institutions in the country, and we are honored to now enjoy a more substantive relationship with the company.

Jeff Schmid, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Bank, serves on the Global Board of Directors for Operation HOPE, and Mutual of Omaha Bank is an important Member of the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, where HOPE also enjoys an important national strategic alliance.

More information around this new national relationship between Operation HOPE and Mutual of Omaha Bank is detailed here, in this public release.  Operation HOPE also recently announced a new and first ever  HOPE Inside location in Las Vegas, Nevada, sponsored by Mutual of Omaha Bank and located within one of their branches there.  This is part of HOPE’s Project 5117 initiative to change communities, and empower people, nationwide by year 2020.

The best is yet to come. Stay tuned all.

John Hope Bryant


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A special thank you to MasterCard leadership

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism Tour of 2014.

How the Poor Can Save Capitalism Tour of 2014.

Operation HOPE thankfully has a growing list of committed partners to our work.  I am particularly thankful when leaders step up not only with financial resources, but with leadership commitments from the very top. This has been the case with Ajay Banga, CEO, and Shawn Miles, a Group Head at MasterCard.

They were there with us a decade ago, and then with the founding investment into HOPE Inside @Ebenezer, our flagship operation located within the Martin Luther King Sr Community Resource Complex in Atlanta, and now with the new, multi-year commitment detailed below, in broad support of our growing Project 5117 work on the ground, nationwide.

Read more about our work with MasterCard here.

We invite other leading card companies to follow MasterCard’s lead here.  When it comes to developing a national ‘private banker for the poor and underserved,’ we should be all in this together.

John Hope Bryant




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FairTest: A Weekly Update of Test Reform and Resistance

Here is Bob Schaeffer’s weekly update on the latest news about testing.

As the assessment reform movement monitors Capitol Hill where a congressional conference committee will soon take up the rewrite of “No Child Left Behind,” pressure to cut back testing volume and reduce high-stakes consequences continues to build at the grassroots. Be sure to check out the excellent new public education resources available for your local campaigns listed at the end of the news clips.

National How Changes in the Federal Education Law Might Cut Testing Time
National Still Need to Eliminate Annual Testing Mandate

Multiple States Are the PARCC Consortium Exams Toast?

California Top Education Official Plans Multi-Dimensional State Accountability System

Colorado More Students Than Ever Opted Out of Spring Testing
Colorado Test Scores Don’t Reflect Student Learning or Teacher Commitment

Delaware Opt-Out Supporters Regroup to Overcome Governor’s Veto

Florida School Testing is Like an Old Saturday Night Live Skit

Georgia Superintendent Rolls Back Some State Testing Requirements

Massachusetts Debate About Three-Year Moratorium on High-Stakes Exams

Michigan New State Schools Chief Favors Fewer Tests

Minnesota Scores Delayed After Year of Exam Disruptions

Missouri New Exams Causing Unexpected Test Score Reporting Delay

New Jersey State Senate Passes Opt-Out Resolution

New York State Ed Chancellor Would “Think Twice” Before Subjecting Child With Severe Disability to State Testing
New York Chancellor Tish Should be Held Accountable for Testing Abuse of Children With Disabilities

Pennsylvania Analysis Shows Strong Link Between Poverty and Test Scores
Pennsylvania Testing Mandates Have Narrowed Student Learning

Rhode Island Teacher Survey Shows Negative Response to PARCC Tests

Texas Local Civil Rights Activists Split Over Standardized Testing

Vermont State Leaders Seek Change in Education Testing Standards

Virginia State Seeks Feedback From Parents About School Performance Reports

George Washington University Joins Rapidly Growing Ranks of Test-Optional Colleges

Parents Across America Decries Student Abuse From Test-Related Stress

New Book by “Rog” Lucido — Returning Sanity to the Classroom:Eliminating the Testing Mania

“Education Inc.” Shines Spotlight on Dark Money Beyond Corporate “Reforms”

“Defies Measurement” Shows How U.S. Is Failing Its Public Schools

Education “Reform” Is Malpractice

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 699-0468
web- http://www.fairtest.org

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What Mercedes Schneider Did on Her Summer Vacation

Mercedes Schneider teaches high school English in Louisiana. She has ten weeks vacation. What did she do on her vacation? She wrote a book about school choice. She set herself a goal of 1,000 words a day, and she stuck to it.

She has written three books in three years. The first one was a bestiary of corporate reformers called “A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education.”

The second was “Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?”

A book a year!

My first book took seven years. I am impressed.

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