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

Fear, danger, poor leadership cited as FAIR School parents, teachers demand firing of principal

Screenshot shows FAIR English teacher Thomas Rademacher, 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Parents at FAIR value the teachers and school, but strongly criticize the administrative leadership.

High teacher turnover. A climate of fear and silence. Children put in dangerous situations. A lack of oversight, governance, and responsibility. Extremely poor leadership and communication.

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New pathways for teachers of color

For students and families alike, seeing school reflect their identities and experiences is important. A key part is who’s in front of the classroom.

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University of St. Thomas adjuncts prepare for July union vote

Adjunct professors at the University of St. Thomas, the third group of St. Paul college educators to file a petition to unionize with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are scheduled to have their ballots sent out on July 3, according to Kelly Donahue, a St. Thomas adjunct organizer.

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Students urge training in finances, debt control

Students entering the University of Minnesota should have an orientation program to help them manage their finances and control their debts, said a report from a student group to the Board of Regents.

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University of Minnesota plans to become more engaged with its neighbors

University Vice President Pamela Wheelock said the opening of the Green Line through the campus and Stadium Village will forever change the campus. (Photos by Bill Huntzicker)

The University of Minnesota would promise to be a better neighbor to the communities that surround its Minneapolis campus under an “engagement” policy proposed to the Board of Regents on June 13.

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American Indian parents demand changes in St. Paul school programs

SPPS superintendent Valeria Silva speaks to June 16 community meeting. (Photo by Sheila Regan)

Recent controversies within the St. Paul American Indian community over programs associated with St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) have led to the director of the SPPS American Indian Education program requesting a reassignment within the district. Questions about the future of the program continue. Among the controversies: adoption of former director Rosemary White Shield’s proposed New Day model, staff restructuring, and criticism of how elections of the two Indian Education Parent Committees were conducted. The recent controversies add to ongoing criticism that Indian Ed fails to serve all Native students adequately and that Native students continue to be affected by the achievement gap.

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Minneapolis school board candidate Ira Jourdain wants to move away from 'rigid mandating and testing'

Image courtesy Ira Jourdain

Among the candidates running for school board this election is American Indian candidate Ira Jourdain, who lives in East Phillips and is employed at the Father Project, part at the Division of Indian Work. He works with Native fathers and their families on issues such as employment, housing and transportation. A parent who will have four children in Minneapolis Public Schools next year, Jourdain hopes to build better communication in the district, and wants to shift the direction of the schools away from testing. He believes that having kids in the district (only two of the seven candidates do) makes him better attuned to what’s really happening in the schools.

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Universities, diversity and creating equity

A few weeks ago, I met with new professionals in Student Development. They were participating in the national conference of the ACSD (Association of Christians in Student Development) and had visited the Sanctuary Covenant Church, to “observe and participate in an intentionally multi-cultural church community.” I had been invited to join them for lunch and a discussion, their leaders were challenging them to see the importance of welcoming diverse students to their primarily white schools and creating an inclusive and supportive environment. As we closed out our time together a group of young, European-American, men asked me, “What do you see as the “end goal” is it, tolerance, reconciliation, diversity, inclusion or….?”

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'Whose Diversity?' resists cooptation, wants more than 'sprinkling a few faces of color in catalogues' for University of Minnesota

“Whose Diversity?” members (l-r) Rahsaan Mahadeo and Tori Hong (Photo by Charles Hallman)

The issue of diversity is ever-present at the University of Minnesota. However, this may be the only thing both top administrators and a diverse group of students can easily agree upon.

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OUR STORIES | Getting past fear to flourish: Meet Aida Al-Kadi

 “You can produce at any age. You can create at any age. Nurture yourself, expose yourself, and keep thriving” – Aida Al-Kadi

It’s been a long and bumpy road these last nine months, but Aida Al-Kadi is glad she stuck it out.

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