Volume XIII, Number 1                     "Building Family Unity Through Communication"                       January, 1999

The Wisdom Of The Ages

The State Of America’s Schools 

hanksgiving is a time to recall why we say grace, but I opened the Washington Post Tuesday and read about an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report that caused my heart to sink. I am thankful that school choice is on the rise, and I believe it will continue to emerge; but school reform also means improving the quality of public instruction. 

The OECD report confirmed that 1998 was a year when it became clear that the US has a severe standards and curriculum problem. The longer our kids stay in public school the further behind they fall. We fail our children and their possible futures unless we improve the quality of their education — all else is academic. 

In February 1998, the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) showed us that American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized nations in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 countries in science. . . . The longer our kids stay in school the further they fall behind. In July, international studies and the rigor of our public schools’ curriculum compelled the National Science Board to write the following: “No nation can afford to tolerate what prevails in American schooling: generally low expectations and low performance in mathematics and science, with only pockets of excellence at a world-class level of achievement. Formal education has traditionally been the path to productive careers, upward mobility, and the joy of lifelong learning. If we do not arm our children with appropriate tools, we fail them.” 

In July, The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation reported the bleak condition of state standards. By January 1998, 38 states had drafted academic standards in core subjects (English, math, science, and social studies) and 34 states used standards-based assessments of math and English. But scholars engaged by the Fordham Foundation found that only 1 state had truly rigorous and clear standards in English, 1 in history, 3 in  geography, 3 in math, and 6 in science. Unfortunately, most states didn’t fare as well: Twelve out of 28 states with English standards failed, 19 out of 38 states with history standards failed, 18 of 39 in geography failed, 16 of 48 in math failed, and 9 out of 36 states with science standards failed. 

In November 1998, in its annual study of international education statistics, the OECD discovered that 22 countries outpassed the United States in 1996 high school or equivalent graduation rates for 18-year-olds. The report also found that US eighth-graders continue to lag behind their counterparts in many industrialized countries in math. Between fourth and eighth grades, math test scores for American students get progressively lower compared with other countries 

In the Tuesday OECD article, the Washington Post observes the “Economic troubles have motivated young people in many countries to seek higher education so they can compete in the work force.” Does that imply students and/or public schools are apathetic, lethargic, in a slumber of intellectual fatigue? I am unsure, but all indicators suggest we have a real content and teaching problem. 

We damn well better get very serious and soon, and stop failing our kids. 

*From Dave De Schryver, a Senior Policy Analyst for The Center for Education Reform, an dependent, non-profit group providing support to individuals seeking school reform. For more information, call 202.822.9000 or 800.521.2118, or e-Mail: cer@edreform.com. 

What’s Inside

The State of American Schools
The News Quarterly Has A Website
The Grand Messenger Has Passed
    More Must Be Said
    Miss Me – But Let Me Go
We Need You!
The R-N-H Family Reunion News Brief
News From Virginia
The Ida B. Wells Community Academy
The Passing of Neora Robinson

The News Quarterly Has A Website

s promised in the October issue of the News Quarterly, at no additional cost to family members who have already subscribed,we continue to publish online. All of our subscribers also continue to receive a copy of the News Quarterly through the mail as usual. The only difference is that those family members who are connected to the World Wide Web (the Internet) can read the News Quarterly on their home or work computers, too. Given that the
U.S. Postal Service has been sending you severely damaged copies, if you get a copy at all, reading the News Quarterly online assures you will receive an undamaged and readable copy. These copies can be printed out for others in your family to read. 

Not only will this current quarterly issue be on the “Family News Quarterly Website,” but past issues of the News Quarterly will be available as well. In the News Quarterly Archive we will place issues as far back as 1987 when the News Quarterly was first published. Many of you have requested xerox copies of the News Quarterly. Now, you will be able to view these issues on the Internet as the Robinson-Naylor-Harris family enters its thirthteenth year and the 21st Century and the Computer Age. 

Since nothing comes to us for nothing in this world, there are some things each family member must do: Only those family members who have presently paid the $5.00 subscription fee will be allowed to enter the Website. If you don’t already own a PC (personal computer), IBM compatible or Mac, you should buy one as soon as possible. We were informed recently that here in Ohio, at least, WebTVequipment can be purchased for $59 at Big Lots. It will cost an additional $19.95 for the Internet access fee. This, if it is available in your community, will make you 21st Century ready at a very reasonable expense. 

Those of you who have subscribed and are connected will need a valid User ID and Password to access the News Quarterly Website. These will be issued to you by the Webmaster via e-Mail within a day or two after you have accurately completed the Authorization Form and submitted it. 

Once you are ready to access the News Quarterly Website, type in the “Location” space on your browser the following code exactly as it appears below: 


This will take you to the News Quarterly’s Authorization Form. Here you should enter the User ID and Password you wish. Note: Both of these should not have more than 12 letters — no numbers, please.Your authorized User ID and Password will come to you via e-Mail within a day or two. Questions should be addressed to the News Quarterly’s Webmaster by sending an e-Mail to: hierogfx@hierographicsonline.org.

Please inform other family members who may not be subscribers or have not received this issue that the News Quarterly is Now Online!

Your History
by Joel A. Rogers
                  From J.A. Rogers. Your History from the Beginning to the Present (The Pittsburgh Courier Publishing Co., 1940).
                        Reprinted from the original collection of Heru-Ka Anu, 1983.

The Family’s Messenger Has Passed 

Lillian Mae Robinson

illian Mae Robinson was a Messenger. When we think of a message, we think of something in writing, or a phone call or a spoken word. Our mother was all of these and much more. Yes, her message was not only paper or words, it was conveyed as a living example of how one should live their life and how it should effect others. She has gone from life on earth. and is now resting in a place where there is always peace, there is joy and where a very special reunion has occurred. She is again going to see her husband, our daddy, WilIard P. Robinson and for eternity taking up where they left off several years ago. 

Beause she is no longer living on this earth there’s no reason for those of us who knew her to stop receiving her messages. We can always remember and feel very proud that in her early years, she was the midwife that brought many newborns into this worId. Some babies and mothers are with us today. 

She was a loving and caring wife that mentally inspired and physicalIy assisted her husband as they raised a family providing all of the things that were needed until “death, do us part,” just as their wedding vows promised. 

She was a Mother that provided her children with, all of the lessons of life they needed. They got a formal education that resulted in their becoming adults that she could look upon as successful in their chosen fields and raising families of their own. More importantly, by living the example and by her actions, she taught her children good values and common sense. It’s called “mother wit” and “home training,” two characteristics very often forgotten in the 90s. “Nana,” as she was affectionately called, knew how to teach these characteristics especially to her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great great-grandchildren. Also she added to her list other children and  sometimes the adults she came into contact with. 

The Messenger!!! Just her presence, whether it was with a group of people or in a one-on-one situation, she automatically conveyed a message of friendliness and high spirit. Want to hear a good story? Have a conversation with Lillian Robinson. Who else could talk about damaging her car and tell it to you as a joke or talk about buying the wrong item at the store and see it as a great experience. There’s an important message from her for all of us, take life seriously, but not to the extent that you don’t enjoy your life’s journey. 

The Messenger!!! She was a gift from God and a salvation for many people. Very few will ever know how much she has helped family members and friends in need. The reason nobody will know is because it was not done for personal gain or public notoriety but because it was an opportunity to assist a fellow human being and do God’s work as he intended. Bestow kindness upon mankind on earth and you will reap your reward in heaven. Don’t look for this anywhere. I wrote it because I truly believe it. I’m sure we can agree that my Mother was a Messenger. Let us acknowledge receipt of her many messages and not file them away just because she has gone home to Heaven. The reason for that request is simple. For many of us, both the happy and sad messages have helped us in our past. Her messages have proven to be a benefit to our present but more importantly, if they are received and applied in the spirit that they were given, her messages can help make our future a lot brighter. 

In Tribute to my Mother, Lillian Mae Robinson, and with love and respect to my Sister, Helen L. Alexander. 

Lawrence P. Robinson

More Must Be Said

n the night of January 6, 1999 the Angel of mercy entered the room and quietly sealed the lips of Lillian Mae Robinson. Daughter of the late Albert and Laures Robinson. She was born July 27, 1912 in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

She was converted and baptized a member of Mount Olive Baptist Church on May 5, 1968 along with her husband, Willard P. Robinson who preceded her in death. To this union came three children. She was also preceded in death by one son Haywood T. Robinson. 

Mama was a trained Fairfax County Midwife and delivered most of the babies born in Centreville and Prince William Counties. She retired from midwifery in 1958 and spent many years thereafter as a foster parent for children with special needs. In her later years, she became the historian for the large extended Robinson family reunions that brought kin together from around the world. She was also an historian for the Robinson-Naylor-Harris Family News Quarterly that serves as a communications medium for family members to keep in touch with each other. 

She leaves to cherish her memory one son, Lawrence P. Robinson, one daughter, Helen L. Alexander, one adopted daughter, Janet L. Crew, and one foster daughter, Grace Louise Boykins. Sixteen grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 12 great 
great-grandchildren. One brother, Pendleton Robinson, 2 sons-in-law, 2 daughters-in- law and 3 sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. 

Miss Me – But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road 
 And the sun has set for me, 
 I want no rites in a gloom-filled room 
Why cry for a soul set free? 
Miss me a little but not too long 
And not with head bowed low, 
  Remember the love that we once shared. 
Miss me, but let me go! 
 When you are lonely and sick at heart. 
Go to friends we know 
         And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds 
Miss me, but let me go. 

We Need You Now!

e repeat: Without the regular submission of news and information from you, our subscribers, the News Quarterly will not long be able to continue its service to the family at large. We are now entering our 12th year of publication, so we don’t think it is entirely necessary to remind you that the News Quarterly is one of the very few regularly published and growing family newsletters in the United States. 

We will not, however, be able to maintain this uniqueness without regular family news from each of you on a wide variety of topics relating to family history, births, scholarships, graduations, etc. We know many of you have various and exciting things happening in your family. Let us report these events to the rest of our family! 

The R-N-H Family Reunion News Brief


             You will receive a letter with more information in the mail soon. Look for it! 

News From Virginia*

Let us pause for a moment and remember our relatives who are sick and shut in. 

obert Lancaster, a very close cousin of the Crosbys and Naylors, is a patient at Mary View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chesapeake, VA. Hopefully, he will be returning home in the near future. Cards may be sent to his home address, 2544 Bugle Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23321. 

helby Beverly, who is the son of the late Aurelia Beverly (sister of Geraldine Ellis and Mazie Beverly, who passed away in June 1997), is confined to his sick bed for the pass twenty-one months. He is a patient at the Pine View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clinton, MD. Please pray and send cards to his wife, Lenora Beverly who has been through a lot of stress. She has lost two brothers and a sister during the time Shelby has been in the hospital. Speaking of ‘STRESS,’ she has had it. She is a tiny little lady, but she is strong. Pray for her and send cards to 5212 Tinker Creek Place, Clinton, MD 20735.

swald Robinson is a patient at the Annaburg Manor in Manassas, VA. I had a nice conversation with him on Friday, January 10. I asked him to give me some news on himself for this issue of the News Quarterly. He said, “Tell everyone I am getting along fine and I have been at this facility since the 10th day of July 1997.” “Also I am eighty-nine years old today, I was born on January 10, 1910.” He, too, can receive cards at 9201 Maple Street, Manassas, VA 20109. 

awrence and Gerry Ellis are the proud parents of Michael who will have had eighteen years of service in the military this January. Michael is a Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, where he is a Warrant Officer Instructor. He turned out his first class of sixty-two soldiers in December. After each trainee went to different parts of the world, he received e-mail notes of thanks and appreciation from each one of them letting him know where they are stationed and that they arrived at their destinations safely. Michael will be starting another class in January. 

Michael is attending Troy University in Dothan, AL during his spare time at nights and some days, receiving credits toward his BS degree. He is preparing himself for retirement in the next couple years. Although he sometimes says, “I might do five more.” 

The Ellises would also like to announce the news of the engagement of their granddaughter, Tabitha Leigh Ellis, who is employed by Bell Atlantic and is presently attending Graduate School working toward a Masters degree. She and David Williams plan to be married during the summer of 1999. The Ellises oldest granddaughter, Lesa and her husband, Deron Johnson, are relocating to Atlanta, GA from Charlotte, NC due to her husband’s promotion to a management position with the furniture company where he is employed. They are very excited and happy about making this move. 

Lawrence, Jr. (Lonnie), the father of Lesa and Tabitha, is enjoying his home in the Centreville area after being out of this area for so long. He held a sales manager position at Sunset Pontiac in Tampa, FL for quite a while before relocating back to Virginia and Sheehy Ford.

rt Beverly is a retiree after twenty-one years of service in the military and also a retiree from E-Systems Raytheon. He is now spending most of his time in real estate when he is not on the golf course. 

*These news item are from the “News Book” of Geraldine Naylor Ellis. 

The Ida B. Wells Community Academy

n September, Cousin Edward Crosby attended a workshop sponsored by the Ohio State Department of Education in Columbus. About a year earlier, in June 1997, Ohio had passed a law authorizing the establishment of Community Schools which are public and completely independent of local school districts. These schools, if their applications are approved, by the State will be funded from tax monies that would have gone to school districts for students now enrolled in Community Schools. 

After hearing officials of the Ohio Department of Education explain the laws governing Community Schools and later attending a two-day workshop on the issues that must be addressed in a contract with the State of Ohio, Edward saw this as his chance to get reinvolved in the educational process, but this time he would be teaching young children, not college students. 

When he left Columbus, he immediately joined with the Task Force for Quality Education in Akron, Ohio and drafted the application which was approved on January 8, 1999. He is now drafting the contract for submission on February 15. The Ida B. Wells Community Academy (IBWCA) will be a public school operated by African Americans and serving African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and any other children whose parents are interested in giving their children a quality education. America’s schools are in terrible condition; when it comes to African American and other children of color the schools become warehouses for youth instead of educational institutions. In Akron, African American youth are being educated and are suspended and expelled at alarming rates. 

IBWCA seeks to bring an end to this intellectual carnage. IBWCA will open in September 1999. Its first class will consist of kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders. At the end of its first five-year contract, if not sooner, it will enroll students from K-6. By 2010, IBWCA will be a High School. 

For more information, call 330.673.9271 or send e-Mail to IBWCA@ Netscape.net.

NOTE: In the October issue of the News Quarterly, we erroneously reported that both Gloria and Neora had passed. We want to take this opportunity to apologize to Gloria Robinson’s family for this error. .

The Passing of Neora Robinson 

eora Robinson departed this life on December 27, 1998 while residing at the Arnold Home on W. 7 Mile. Mrs. Robinson was born September 8, 1917 in Huntington, AR to the late Albert and Georgia Jones. Neora moved to Beaver Falls, PA with her family at an early age. There she met and married her late husband Oceola Robinson and to this union was born one son, Donald, who preceded her in death. 

Neora enjoyed traveling to Pennsylvania to visit her many relatives and enjoyed traveling to the Caribbean Islands. 

She leaves to cherish wonderful memories, five sisters, Juanita Watson of Detroit, MI; Dr. Gwendolyn Farmer of Uniontown, PA; Francis Allen of Patterson Heights, PA; Alma Robinson of Rochester, PA; Katherine Brown of Fort Smith, AR; one sister, Ruby Thomas of Tulsa, OK preceded her in death this year; two brothers, Robert of Rochester, PA and Edward of New Brighton, PA also preceded her in death. She is survived by one grandson, Donald Robinson, Jr. of Detroit, MI, a special friend, Roy Warren, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Editorial Board
 Fred M. Crosby                                    Editor
 Edward W. Crosby                Managing Editor
                                                and Publisher
 Sweetie T. Crosby             Business Manager
 Lillian Robinson                               Historian
 B. Oswald Robinson                        Historian
 Geraldine Naylor Ellis                      Historian
 HieroGraphics Online    Webmaster, Graphics
                                                   and Layout
Regional, City, and Staff Reporters
 Carla Crosby                        Beachwood, OH
 Earnell Harris                              Suffolk, VA 
 Sharon Wake                          Columbia, MD
 Carla Young                            Baltimore, MD
 Warren Bloom                     Philadelphia, PA 
The second week of January, April, July and October  are the deadlines for receiving copy. Copy received after the second week will be published in the next issue. The Managing Editor reserves the right to edit all copy to con- serve space or have copy conform to the News Quarterly’s editorial policy. Mail all copy to any of the five staff reporters. You may also send typed or legible handwritten copy, letters and inquiries to: The Editor, 12435 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44108, or call (216) 541-5040; send a FAX to (216) 541-5043. You may also send e-Mail to: 
Copyright © 1998 The Ohio-Western Pennsylvania Plan- ning Committee. All rights reserved.

Layout and Graphics by HieroGraphics Online, Kent, OH. Visit our Web Site at:http://hierographicsonline.org.