Minneapolis changing school options: A return to separate but equal?

by Kate Towle | September 21, 2009 The Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) are poised for landmark changes as they seek to reverse declining enrollment, growing competition with private and charter schools, and an internal choice system that exacerbated segregation.  Both the MPS Board of Directors and district leadership have admirably placed high importance on a strategy that add Continue Reading

Congressman Ellison and Mayor Rybak endorse school board districting referendum

ABC Referendum Committee, 10/30/08 • 5th District Congressman Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, honorary co-chairs of the Stong Schools Strong City referendum, have endorsed the school board districting initiative that will also be on the ballot for Minneapolis voters next Tuesday School Board Director Tom Madden announced today.

This multi-author Daily Planet blog includes writing by community members about education issues.

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Vote no on ABC referendum

by Pam Costain and Don Fraser, 10/26/08 • Two school issues on the ballot on November 4 get different verdicts
On the November 4th ballot Minneapolis citizens will decide two important questions about our public schools. One is the school levy referendum. We strongly urge a “Yes” vote on the Strong Schools, Strong City measure to continue to make progress on the strategic plan to raise student achievement adopted last year. Continue Reading

National debate on education priorities

by Pam Costain, 6/30/08 • In early June, the New York Times did a story about two groups of education leaders who are trying to interject public education issues in the presidential debate, as well as into the wider debate in civil society. One group put out a statement under the rubric of “A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education” that was signed by a number of leading intellectuals, practitioners and school superintendents. Continue Reading

The good, the bad and the ugly: Why it all counts for schools

by Lynnell Mickelsen, 5/30/08 • Whenever I get into these public discussions over the many real problems in the Minneapolis public school, i.e. graduation rates, the achievement gap, the endless funding crises.……I often feel compelled to add that our three sons, ages 15, 18 and 20, have been in the city’s public schools since kindergarten; two out of three have now graduated. Sure, the class sizes are too large and yes, we’re always doing things on a shoe-string budget. But our sons have received an excellent education in a far more diverse setting than any private school offers. Continue Reading

Parenting and poverty

by Carla Bates, 2/19/08 • Jolinda Simmes – a teacher and frequent contributor on the Minneapolis Public Schools forum – pointed all of us to some researchers from Harvard who were exploring the role of parenting as contributing to the achievement gap. The researchers are excellent and they suggested that two-thirds of the “achievement gap” could be attributed to factors other than the schools: parenting and poverty.

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