NCLB hurts students with disabilities

by Jamie Grabowska, January 2008 • All Learning, All the Time • This past week, many discussions have begun to crop up at my workplace concerning NCLB. This stands for The No Child Left Behind Act. Many people know that the law exists and the basic requirements it makes for our schools. However, most don’t know that NCLB has a hugely negative effect on students, specifically, students with disabilities.

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Class size matters

by Don Fraser • Last weekend the National Invitational Conference of the Early Childhood Research Collaborative was held at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. The Bank and the U of M Center for Early Education and Development were joint sponsors.

A discussion of class size was led by Jeremy D. Finn at the University at Buffalo – SUNY. He concluded that smaller class sizes at the earliest grades had substantial benefits especially for minority students.

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Schools need Web 2.0

by Rosa Maria de la Cueva PetersonAt St. Paul E-Democracy’s workshop on E-Tools for All, held in November at Rondo Library, we had a full house. Continue Reading

School board election reform is a critical piece of reinvigorating Minneapolis Public Schools

by Jim Davnie • Minneapolis School Board Chair Pam Costain’s recent argument against my proposal to reform the way Minneapolis school board members are elected revealed we have much more in common than would first appear. Minneapolis public schools are facing critical challenges as never before, not the least of which is a sense of disconnect between residents and the board. The current system of at-large school board elections is a key reason for that sense of disconnect, and undermines the concept of representative democracy in Minneapolis. Continue Reading

Why I oppose the Davnie bill

by Pam Costain
Last week I was in Nashville to attend the annual conference of the Council of Great City Schools and came back to a mailbox full of posts on the Davnie bill. My opposition to this change is fairly well known, but I would like to weigh in a few items again because this is an important debate.

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Vote Yes on school board election reform

by Carla Bates • The School Board Reform statute requires the MPS School Board to vote on a plan to change how the school board is elected – moving from a city-wide election of seven representatives to a model that follows the park board elections: 6 areas and 3 at-large representatives – or the proposed change would go to the voters.. The Board will be voting on the statute on November 13th. If the board votes yes then the reform will be implemented for the 2008 election cycle. If the board votes no then the proposed change will go to the voters in November 2008. Continue Reading

Focusing on amazing kids and families

by Eric Oines

Are there parents and educators who don’t care whether their kids get the best possible education? Of course there are, and there always have been.

The trouble is, we focus on what doesn’t work in the macro, or the bad apples that make things hard for the whole block, and don’t see the pockets of amazing kids, families and citizens who, instead of be-moaning the present, focus on the future.

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Race, parenting and high school

by Carla Bates

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the stand-off of the Little Rock 9 – a group of black teenagers who wanted to attend Little Rock Central High School – and the white middle class of Little Rock, Arkansas who were willing to resort to armed force to keep them out.

I listened to an interview with the Little Rock 9 on my way to work this morning and one woman discussed her absolute fear as she – a 14 year old – walked among the crowded streets up to the high school and how people she knew, adults, were spitting on her.

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