Chris Stewart certainly doesn’t mince his words when talking about race. Tim Cadotte, until yesterday the principal of Burroughs Elementary, found that out when Stewart paid a routine, although unannounced visit to the school a few days ago as part of his duties as a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education. At least one Board member is supposed to visit every school in the district each year, to check on the school in-person. I’ll bet that Cadotte flew off the handle at Stewart when the latter accused him, his school, and his Site Council (a PTA-like body) of racism for trying to get an English-Language Learners program re-instated. Burrough’s old ELL program served mostly Spanish-speaking Latino students.
Wait. What? ELL programs = racism? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Achievement Gap, Chris Stewart, Education, Education Policy, Education Reform, Minneapolis Public Schools, Restructuring, Segregation
April 21, 2009 • 10:41 am
Chris Stewart (Photo: MPS)
The principal of a Southwest Minneapolis elementary school has been placed on indefinite paid administrative leave, following what Patrice Relerford of the Strib is describing as a “heated exchange” between Chris Stewart, a member of the Minneapolis Board of Education, and Tim Cadotte, the principal of Burroughs Elementary. Stewart, Cadotte, Cadotte’s lawyer, and Minneapolis Public Schools have all declined to speak in detail about the exchange to both Relerford and Art Hughes, of KFAI, but parents at Burroughs say Stewart accused Cadotte of being racist, and promoting racist policies. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Achievement Gap, Chris Stewart, Education, Education Policy, Minneapolis Public Schools
Only in financial times like these can you hear things in school board meetings that make your blood run cold, or at least a bit nippy. Like an additional $10 million in cuts to the school budget, on top of a $25 million shortfall. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minnesota, St Paul, Budget Crisis, Education, Education Funding, Minnesota, St Paul
Apologies for the light posting this week: I’ve been dealing with a family crisis and trying to advance work on a project I’ve been neglecting.
Filed under: Uncategorized, Announcements
And now for something completely different (Originally published on the Twin Cities Daily Planet, 4/6/09)
Now that spring has officially begun, a lot of you are probably wondering how to get your bike ready for the road, since you’ve left it in the garage or chained to the porch all winter. When it comes to bicycles, most of you are probably not as crazy as I am. I was like the US mail – neither snow, nor sleet, nor hail could stop me. That left my bike in need of a spring clean-up.
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, St Paul, Bicycles, Shameless Self-Promotion
- Another school district goes to the 4-day week to save money, without cutting staff. (Bemidji Pioneer)
- A propos of the anti-bullying before the legislature (that comes up for a vote soon), an Ohio family is suing their son’s school district for failing to stop the homophobic bullying that led their 17-year-old to shoot himself in the head in 2006. The family is seeking to force the district to institute an anti-bullying program. (Minnesota Independent) Via TowleRoad comes the story of a sixth-grader in Springfield, MA, who hung himself after school officials failed to address the bullying or its emotional impact. (Springfield Republican)
- St Paul Public School students have won their fight to ban candy cigarettes, saying they promotes youth smoking. (Star-Tribune)
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar is holding hearings around the state about NCLB reform (see the bottom of the page).
- As the announcement of this year’s Broad Prize winner draws near, the folks at Change.org remind us of the prestigious education prize’s sordid history. (Change.org)
- An editorial in today’s NY Times accuses the federal government of leaving too many loopholes in the education portion of the stimulus package, and the Fordham Foundation’s education blog reviews the extremely fuzzy metrics governing how states can spend this money. (NY Times / Flypaper / Ed.gov)
- From Minnesota’s own Liberian Journal, a neat (but short) essay on the reforms needed in war-torn Liberia’s education system.
Today’s recipe: vegan Carrot-Parsnip Soup (Poor Girl Gourmet). I hope the next time I make this, I don’t get almost-struck by lightening like that!
Filed under: Minnesota, National, St Paul, "Safe Schools for All" Bill, Education, Education Funding, Education Reform, LGBT, Minnesota, News, St Paul Public Schools, Stimulating Stimuli
- Admission Possible expands into North Metro suburbs. AP is an college-prep organization that works in schools to get low-income students ready for college, and guides them through the admissions process. (Star-Tribune)
- The St Paul Public Schools’ Board of Education gets an update on how they can spend federal stimulus dollars. The district expects to receive $29 million, but because of strings attached to the funding, it will not prevent layoffs planned to close the district’s $25 million budget shortfall, caused by declining enrollment, which reduces the amount of aid a school district receives from the state. (Pioneer Press)
- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks more about how he’d like to see schools spend the stimulus money. (Education Week)
- Remember the Pioneer Press’ recent series on how hyper-competitive school sports have become? The Star-Tribune has a piece on the pricey “spring training” trips to Florida taken by some high school sports teams. (Star-Tribune)
- Tom Doher of Education Minnesota (the state teacher’s union) doesn’t like the Senate’s education budget. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t really like any of the big three budget proposals – from the House, Senate, and Governor – circulating around the State House. He also doesn’t really answer Cathy Wurzer’s questions (and she doesn’t press him further) about why districts can’t use their reserves to make up payment shifts, and how he proposes to close the education budget gap. He definitely does not like Q-Comp, though, and argues that it will increase inequity in the classroom, and between districts. Look for more on this, later. (MPR)
I think I’ll have to try to make this recipe: artichokes braised in lemon and olive oil. One of my favorite foods as a kid was Artichokes boiled with peppercorns, and served with a mustard-herb vinaigrette, so maybe I’m biased, but my mouth watered when I read that post!
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, National, St Paul, Admission Possible, Arne Duncan, Education, Education Funding, Food, School Sports, Stimulating Stimuli, Tom Doher
Today, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First, the bad:
- MPR points out that between them, Minnesota public and charter public schools have around $1 billion in reserves, an unprecedented amount. Some state legislators argue that this means they can handle a deferred payments from the state, or a cut in the education budget as legislators try to plug the $4.5 billion hole in the state budget. (MPR)
- Why is this bad? because some schools, like the St. Louis County schools, in the Iron Range, are so desperate for funds, they’re closing schools. This re-organization, though, might mean the district will loose up to $2.1 million in sparsity aid (given to schools that draw students from a very wide area). “We can envision no scenario that would keep the district out of statutory operating debt without sparsity aid,” said a consultant helping the district. (Mesabi Daily News / Timberjay Newspapers)
- Meanwhile, St. Cloud schools are considering raising taxes to fill their deficit, and Mendota Heights school leaders are taking a pay freeze, and schools in Michigan are skeptical that federal stimulus money – intended to help schools stave off budget crises – will help, or even be accepted by most schools because it has so many strings attached. (St Cloud Times / Pioneer Press / Adrian Daily Telegram)
Now, the good news!
- The federal government is considering simplifying the colelge student financial aid process. (MN Daily)
- Fargo-Moorehead students are back in class after spending two weeks manning the levees on the Red River (Associated Press)
- Many metro-area districts are echoing Minneapolis Schools’ complaints that current integration efforts like the West Metro Education Program are not working. This may sound like a death-knell for these integration efforts, but it also means there is an energy that can be channeled for reform and progress.
Lastly, China considders reforms to their higher education system (BeijingReview.com.cn), and the NY Times’ Room for Debate blog gives five common food myths.
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, National, Budget Crisis, Education, Education Funding, Education Reform, Minnesota, Segregation, Stimulating Stimuli