6th Graders’ Rap About Academic Excellence Goes Viral

We wish we had this math teacher in grade school.

Terrance Sims may be a new math instructor at Milwaukee Excellence Charter but he’s already everyone’s favorite. He uses hip-hop to inspire his students to keep learning.

“I just started at this school this year, and when I got there, I wanted the kids to know right away that this was my approach to teaching,” Sims told ABC News. “So I wrote an introductory rap at the start of the school year to get them hooked in. The ball got rolling, and they started adding for lyrics. It catapulted to what it is today.”

Sims and his 6th-grade class made a music video called ‘Excellence First!’ with a beat borrowed from Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley. He wrote the first draft of lyrics and the kids quickly added their own. The lyrics riff on the importance of education and why you should be excited to learn.

The video broke the Internet – click play to see why.



“Michelle Obama showed me how to do it. So I’mma get it. Educated, motivated, melanated, elevated. got big shoes to fill, so I’ll do it with class,” one student raps on verse two.

The lead rappers are Aryn Fears and Savannah Patterson, who both have a 3.7+ GPAs. Fears and Patterson hope to become a singer and a lawyer, respectively.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Michelle Obama replied in praise.

“Young Queens – Stay focused,” Michelle Obama commented on the video

There are 240 kids in the school, which Sims says means there are 240 more stories to tell. So, stay tuned for more inspo.

“I think, especially when you look at African-Americans in school, there’s a strong stereotype that they’re not supposed to be successful, but that is so far from the truth,” he told ABC News.


Today we were on “Good Morning America” speaking about the song! ✊🏾🔥‼️#SimsStrong #MXCS

A post shared by Terrance Sims (@simsstrong) on

Feature photo Terrance Sims / Youtube.

SF Supervisor Jane Kim Proposes Taxing Robots

A commonsense approach to a problem that's only going to get bigger.

In August, SF Supervisor Jane Kim launched a campaign called Jobs of the Future Fund, with intentions to find solutions for those who will inevitably lose jobs as automation increases.

“Proceeds from the tax would bankroll things like job retraining, free community college, or perhaps a universal basic income―countermeasures Kim thinks might make a robotic future more bearable for humans,” says Wired.

The campaign’s site states that this ‘automation revolution’ has the potential to eliminate more jobs than the Great Depression and Great Recession combined. As much as half of the jobs in the US will disappear “through the transition to robot, algorithms or other forms of automation.”


Uber is piloting self-driving cars. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


Jobs of the Future is an organization and outreach program that asks for policy makers, labor leaders, businesses and civic organizations to start thinking about solutions to this problem.

The solution their touting: a statewide California tax on automated robots, just like our workers today are being taxed (inspiration taken from Bill Gates). If companies are required by law to pay taxes for the automation the money can be funneled into education and retraining for those whose jobs have become obsolete.

As Kim reminds us, this is all very new territory. The terms ‘job displacement’ and ‘automation’ are still actively being defined. If you’d like to get involved and voice your opinion as Californians start working towards ballot measures, do it here.

Donate to their Crowdfunding campaign here


Photo: TechCrunch

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