Joe Nathan's blog

Students, Parents, Teachers Celebrate Public School Choice

It was quite a bipartisan celebration. From Brainerd, Crystal, Golden Valley, Forest Lake, Princeton and the Twin Cities, students and adults danced, sang and spoke at a meeting in St.

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Seven Minnesota education successes in 2014

Looking back on 2014, seven Minnesota education stories strike me as especially encouraging . This isn’t to suggest everything is perfect. But students, families, school faculty, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota Dept of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and state legislators deserve credit for some important steps.

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Respecting Yom Kippur, Eidl-Adha, Christmas and Easter

Events this week led me to several questions about Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha. Many readers are familiar with the first two, but some may not know much about the last two holy days.

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Union, charter, district and community leaders offer families suggestions for September

Money was not mentioned by any of the more than 30 educators & community leaders who responded to a question I asked about the first month of scho

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"Keep their Minds Engaged in Wonder": Educators' advice about summer learning

“Keep their minds and bodies engaged in wonder during the summer months when they are not attending school.” That’s what Julie Olson, director of elementary education for the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools recommended last week. She was one of 41 union leaders, superintendents, principals and other education leaders who responded to my request for suggestions about what parents could do to encourage continued learning during the summer. They described a combination modeling, advocacy, exploration and encouraging participation in community, school and family activities.  This can produce a summer with great memories and student growth.

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Legislators mostly listened to students/community activists urging more info about Post Sec Options

 “As a graduate of the PSEO Program I can honestly say that participating is one of the smartest decisions I've ever made, and I would encourage every student to participate in this program, a

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High school student earns BA degree via post secondary options

Eighteen-year-old David Greer is remarkable. He’s just earned a high school diploma and a four-year college degree.

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Harding High School's graduation portfolio process is a model for Minnesota

What a great way to end a high school career!  For more than a decade, Harding High School, part of the St Paul district, has been requiring each seniors to create and present a portfolio with

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Long time civil rights activist challenges charter school/segregation charges

Below is Bill Wilson's Minnesota Senate testimony from earlier this year.  Bill is the first African American to be elected to the St.

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