Education policy folks and Minnesota’s high school juniors can stop holding their breath about this year’s math graduation test: with the stroke of his pen, Governor Tim Pawlenty has turned the once-high-stakes test into a dead letter. A compromise solution was reached earlier this year by the Governor, and both houses of the state legislature, that would permit students to retake the test three times, prior to graduation. Pass or fail, though, no-one is barred from graduation. Legislators were concerned that, since the test results come back a few weeks into summer vacation, high school Juniors wouldn’t have much time to take remedial courses and retake the test before they have to start studying for finals, or graduate.
According to the Strib’s Emily Johns, though, the real reason is that the test is too hard. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Achievement Gap, Education, Education Policy, GRAD test, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota, Testing, Tim Pawlenty
Dylan Thomas, schools reporter at the Southwest Journal, has a Southwest-specific recap of Tuesday night’s discusion that led to Superintendent Green temporarilly pulling his restructuring proposal from considderation by the Board. Also, Steve Kotvis, a parent activist from Southwest Minneapolis, was at the meeting taking notes, and pointed me to his summary in the MPS Parents’ Forum. His notes, after the jump. (To pay the bills, I have a night job that required me to miss Tuesday night’s Board meeting). Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Education, Minneapolis Public Schools, Restructuring, Steve Kotvis
When Minneapolis Superintendent Bill Green presented his downsizing plan (pdf) to the Board of Education a week ago, a number of school board members poked and jabbed at portions of the proposal — too little, said Tom Madden; not enough attention paid to the East Harriet/Kingfield Open Area and overcrowding in Southwest schools, said Pam Costain; don’t close schools that are doing well, said parents at Pratt and Longfellow Elementary Schools. Seems those voices have carried the day — below is a press release I just received from Minneapolis Public Schools:
Last night at a working session, the Minneapolis Board of Education raised additional questions and submitted alternative ideas to the administration’s recommendation for Changing School Options submitted Tuesday, April 28, 2009. The Board was scheduled to vote on the plan on May 26, 2009, for changes that would go into effect in the 2010-2011 school year. Board members indicated the recommendation in its current form would not gain the majority vote required to pass on May 26.
Minneapolis Public Schools’ leadership is in the process of studying the potential impacts of the Board’s ideas. Because these decisions are complex and critical, the process of analyzing the impact of different ideas requires time and careful deliberation. Therefore, previously announced community engagement meetings for May will be postponed. We will notify our families and communities as soon as we are able to establish a new schedule, likely within the next week.
In the meantime, please know that doing what is best for our students, raising academic achievement and creating a sustainable school district for the future is at the heart of our decision-making. We would like to acknowledge the families’ investment of time and energy that has informed our planning every step of the way. We need, appreciate and want our families’ continued involvement.
More to come…
Filed under: Minneapolis, East Harriet, Education, Kingfield, Minneapolis Public Schools, Restructuring
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
This morning, the state Senate’s Finance Committee approved Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s education budget, but critics and education activists are questioning the wisdom of relying on Federal stimulus funds to fund a $100 million increase that the state won’t be able to support when the stimulus money runs out in two years. The Education and Taxes committees will both have a say before the full Senate votes on the bill later this month. (Hometown Source / MN Daily)
In Minneapolis, city cops are returning to the halls of public schools after a 5-year hiatus where the Park Police provided these school liaison officers. The Star Tribune article says the aim is to “de-criminalize ‘school’ behavior”, but is sketchy on what that means. From the reduced number of cases referred to courts cited in the story, it sounds like these officers are trying to mediate disputes and discipline problems in the school, without threatening legal action.
Lastly, someone has organized a “snuggie bar crawl.” James Lileks reports…
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, Budget Crisis, Education, Education Funding, Minneapolis Public Schools, News, Stimulating Stimuli
Happy Thursday? Mostly budget news today:
- “Budget work is starting in earnest,” says MPR as the state Senate and House square off over their respective education budgets. The Senate leadership fully pulled the wraps off its proposal yesterday, with a net cut of around 3% — 7% cut across the board, with a little over 3% restored by federal stimulus money. The House leadership isn’t too happy. (MPR/St Paul Legal Ledger)
- MTN has video of one of the Minneapolis schools forums on how the district might restructure opperations to close their budget deficit. (MTN, via TC Daily Planet)
- St Paul teens organize and advocate to end the sale of candy cigarettes in the city.
- Lastly, I forgot to include this development in yesterday’s item about suburban segregation. Plans are moving ahead in Lakeville to establish magnet programs that would draw minority students from around Lakeville and from neighboring districts to create more integrated schools.
Today’s recipe: My obsessoin with kale continues: Kale, Butternut Squash, and Pancetta Pie!
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, National, St Paul, Achievement Gap, Arne Duncan, Education, Education Funding, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota, News, Restructuring, Segregation, St Paul, Stimulating Stimuli
Last month’s fight around the West Metro Education Program centered around issues of segregation in suburban districts. Now the Pew Hispanic Center has a report out, giving a national overview of the increase in the suburbs’ minority population. However, the researchers note that most minority students attend schools that are majority non-white — like cities, the suburbs are segregating. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t go into the economic demographics of the trend. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota, National, St Paul, Achievement Gap, Arne Duncan, Budget Crisis, Education, Education Funding, Minneapolis Public Schools, News, Segregation, St Paul Public Schools, Stimulating Stimuli