Education coverage includes what's working, what's not working, how our kids are doing, how our college students are paying for their educations, the achievement gaps, teachers, students, parents, district schools, charter schools, private schools — and your contributions and opinions are welcome. 

Our weekly Education Newsletter highlights articles, blog posts, events, and links from TC Daily Planet and other local and national publications. Click here to subscribe. Click here to see current and archived issues.

Some specific focus areas for our education coverage:

• Who's Teaching in Minnesota? - licensure, certification, demographics
• Focus on Teaching - curriculum, standards, testing, Common Core, Focused Instruction, Aligned Learning
• GED and Adult Education - programs, students, teachers
Minneapolis Five-Year Enrollment Plan
Achievement Gap 

School Discipline

$7.9 million purchase expands University of Minnesota behind TCF Bank Stadium

Some of the unused land behind TCF Bank Stadium could sprout more research buildings as the University of Minnesota continues a slow expansion beyond the eastern confines of its Minneapolis campus.

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University of Minnesota celebrates completion of world-class NOvA detector

(Photo by Bridget Bennett) Members of a tour group take photos while observing the NOvA far detector on July 24, 2014, in Ash River, Minn. The 14,000-ton detector is one of the world's largest free-standing plastic structures.

A newly unveiled 14,000-ton neutrino detector built in part by hundreds of University of Minnesota students and staff is searching a kilometers-wide beam of particles for clues about the beginning of the universe.

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Crowded classrooms: Mapping it out

Minnesota has consistently ranked among the relatively low in terms of pupil-teacher ratios in recent years. However, the pattern shown on the map below reveals that even adjacent school districts can have dramatically different average student-teacher ratios. Thus, it is clear that there is no single cause for the variation in ratios across the state; race, income, and basic population density all come into play.

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Parents, educators, legislators continue fight to keep racial integration efforts alive

Crosswinds School of Arts and Sciences in Woodbury

Last week, part one of this story described how Crosswinds, a special Integration District school created by the settlement of a 1990s NAACP lawsuit to end segregation in Minnesota, was nearly taken over by another school district seeking to enhance its revenue and facilities. Following a legislative stalemate in the 2013-14 session, the takeover attempt failed and the school survived to continue its mission. This week’s conclusion describes the outcome of this struggle to date.

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Ending net neutrality: Greater higher ed costs

With more college students than ever jumping on the Internet, the issue of net neutrality is ever more relevant on campus.

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Five years of racing to the top

Congressional conservatives have made it hard to get much done these past few years. This has led to a series of creative workarounds by the Obama administration, including the Race to the Top grant competition five years ago which in part took the place of passing new education legislation. I’m less than thrilled with the program which led to many states agreeing to significant policy changes but only funded a few of those efforts.

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Despite financial lull, St. Paul Promise Neighborhood advocates remain hopeful

(Photo by Katie Nelson) St. Paul School Board member Keith Hardy greets the students of Freedom School on July 25. The Freedom School is a component of the SPPN initiative, which provides holistic academic and social support to children and their families living within a 250-square block area of St. Paul. 

It’s early Friday morning and students from the Freedom School on Concordia Ave. are greeting each other over the rumbling of a djembe drum. Staff members are playing loud, kid-friendly hip-hop music from gym speakers while little ones are eagerly expending their morning energy with some impromptu dancing, call-and-response and a little bit of reading aloud.

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OPINION | AGH initiative promises to finally close MN Achievement Gap

Satire is sometimes the best way for a writer to make a point, especially on topics that are simply so foolish as to invite a little constructive ridicule. Such is the case for the following commentary by MSR’s editor-in-chief.

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Ending net neutrality: Leaving K-12 behind

Every Minnesotan has a stake in the fight to keep the Internet an accessible, open platform. Schools and education groups, however, are particularly vulnerable to the damage of losing net neutrality.

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New Minneapolis Public Schools director to focus on Black male achievement

(Photo by Charles Hallman) L-R: Michael Walker and Michael Goar

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) now has in place their new office that will specifically look at Black male student achievement. Michael Walker, a longtime district employee and most recently Roosevelt High School assistant principal, was selected as the first director of the district’s Office of Black Male Student Achievement. He begins work July 28.

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