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February 16, 2012

N.J. man convicted in schoolyard killings

(UPI) -- A 32-year-old Newark, N.J., man was convicted of murder and robbery for his role in the 2007 slaying of three people in a schoolyard attack.

Jose Carranza, one of six men accused in the killings outside Mount Vernon School, was also convicted Tuesday of robbing a fourth person, who survived the attack. The jury found him not guilty of sexual assault, The (Newark, N.J.,) Star-Ledger reported.

Prosecutors say Carranza, an illegal immigrant from Peru, and the other defendants have ties to a Central American gang.

Terrance Aeriel, 18, Iofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey, both 20, all died from gunshots to the head. Aeriel's sister, Natasha, who was 19 at the time, survived the attack.

Rodolfo Godinez and Alexander Alfaro were convicted by a jury and are serving life sentences. Melvin Jovel pleaded guilty and is also serving a life sentence. Shahid Baskerville accepted a 30-year sentence in exchange for testifying at Carranza's trial and the upcoming trial of Gerardo Gomez, the newspaper said.

Comments :

Sonia


03/28/2014
(to Caroline) I think the biggest point of the reprot is that third grade is major benchmark and has to be a focus for teachers, schools and districts. I'm sure many of us have heard that states project their prison population going forward by how many kids are NOT reading at grade level in third grade. As the reprot notes, if you are behind at this point it becomes less likely you'll ever catch up. The emphasis on third grade reading is one being taken very seriously in my own school now. However, not so long ago, there were several teachers in our lowest grades that had the attitude that kids would just catch up , that there wasn't that much to worry about as kids would just make it up at their own pace. For all the obvious reasons, this becomes problematic pushing the problem off another year to another teacher. Each year the teacher has to bring them up MORE than a grade level to be AT grade level by the end of the year. My son was blessed with a fantastic 3rd grade teacher who literally brought him from behind grade level in several areas of language arts, to above grade level by the end of the year. It wasn't what any of us thought was possible (she was the one who taught me that, at best, a student usually can only grow a grade level and a half in a school year.)I was happy to see this highlighted as a focus in the Annie P Casey reprot. There are many paths to get there including (as your link suggests) reducing poverty, increasing access to books, etc. But also establishing clear goals and benchmarks and measuring it through assessment in these early grades is critical to ensure we get kids to be readers in 3rd grade. On a similar note: I'm listening to Po Bronsen's Nurture Shock which reviews the current scientific research on children's learning and development and am struck by how much happens long before kids can even walk. Talking and responding to your baby leads to language and vocabulary development, which ultimately leads to reading and writing skills, for example. I highly recommend this book.

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03/31/2014
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