Sept. 15 2011 12:00 AM

National back-to-school program coming to the Lansing School district

Eva Evans and Melvin J. Holley

Thursday, Sept 15 – If you’re convinced that good test scores usually equal a progression in learning, you’ll find a different opinion from Eva Evans, former deputy superintendent of the Lansing School District.

For Evans, tests don’t necessarily measure what progress is made, but instead measure whether students are simply there. This, along with a strong message about the importance of high-stakes tests, will be the message that Evans carries to Sexton High School on Sept. 23.

The nation’s largest African American oral history archive, “The HistoryMakers,” will send Evans, and Melvin J. Holley, a Lansing city transit worker and genealogist, to Sexton as part of the Back To School With The History Makers program.

Evans and Holley are graduates of Michigan State University, where Holley received his bachelor’s and Evans earned her master’s and Ph.D. They are natives of Detroit.

In addition to her educational achievements, Evans, from 1994 to 1998 was the international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest African American Greek-lettered organization for women.

Holley, was president in 2006 of the Lansing Area African American Genealogy Society, an organization that specializes in the preservation of African American family history.

“Our goal is to inspire kids to do well in school and to be motivated to stay there,” Ashley Thomas of History Makers said.

Before she and Holley come to Sexton, the students will have the opportunity to learn about each careers and experiences via The History Makers video archive located on their website,