Insight News

Jul 31st


Progress made; challenges ahead

In the last decade, a coalition of public school educators, parents and civic activists across the country have charted substantial progress in deterring tens of thousands of students from dropping out of high school, according to a newly-published study.

Among other things, the study showed there were 120,000 more high school graduates in 2008 than in 2001 (holding population constant) – a result fueled by overall graduation-rate increases in 29 states and significant graduation-rate increases among African American, Latino American and Native American pupils.

“Empowerment” operative word in Kenya visit

“Empowerment” operative word in Kenya visitValerie Geaither recently visited Kenya to share and explore ideas about empowering families in the African diaspora. But when the Metropolitan State University professor returned to Minnesota, she was surprised by just how much she felt empowered.

Media stereotypes suggest Africa is an economic basket case and rife with disease, government upheaval and corruption and myriad other ills. But what Geaither witnessed during her trip to Kenya was a progressive, education-centric country determined to shed Third World status.

Final days to submit entries to the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition

Competition to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation

WASHINGTON –  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminded teams participating in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition to submit their recipes by 5:00 PM EST on December 30, 2010. Teams across the country are working to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition - part of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative - will draw on the talents of chefs, students,  school nutrition professionals, and  parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods. 

Klobuchar congratulates award-winning teachers

Klobuchar congratulates award-winning teachersWashington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with Stephen Kaback of the Blake School in Minneapolis and with Karen Hyers of Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale, MN, to congratulate them on earning the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in science teaching (Kaback) and mathematics teaching (Hyers). Kaback and Hyers were two of 103 science and math teachers across the country who teach grades seven through 12 who earned the award.

In a statement Klobuchar said, “It was great to meet with the teachers on earning this prestigious distinction. The fields of science, math, and technology have long been the core of America’s strength and competitiveness, and it’s critical that we have exceptional teachers to develop the next generation of leaders in these fields.”

Northside deserves district’s full attention

Northside deserves district’s full attentionWhen I became superintendent six months ago, I promised to do whatever it takes to make sure that all students enrolled in the Minneapolis Public Schools receive a high quality education. I remain committed to that promise.

I know that the past three months have been extremely difficult. Your confidence in our commitment to North Side families may have been shaken. My recommendations to phase out the current North High School program and to close Cityview Performing Arts School started a heated but necessary dialogue, one that I believe we must continue. However, I know that the recommendations also opened deep wounds. People ask me on a daily basis, “Why are you giving up on educating North Side students? Why is the district getting into the charter school business? Why not support the current teachers by giving them more time? Why are you are trying to close successful schools in North Minneapolis?”

MPS sends 7,000 books home with students

In support of Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson’s goal for all kindergarten students to be reading by Level B after winter break, Target Corporation donated 7,000 books, two for each kindergartener to take home over winter break.

When Target Corporation heard of Johnson’s goal to increase literacy this fall, they wanted to help. Target shipped approximately 7,000 books to MPS elementary schools, for each kindergarten student to take home two multi-page books to read over winter break. The books align with the reading skills taught in classrooms. A tip sheet for parents to learn how to help support the development of their child’s reading skills was also sent home with the students.

$1.2 million grant supports Indian education

The Minneapolis Public School district was awarded one of nine demonstration grants for American Indian children by the United States Department of Education in the amount of $1.2 million over four years.

The grant will fund an individualized mentoring program, College PREP (Personalized Resources and Education Pathways), which was established by the MPS Indian Education department and a consortium of American Indian community organizations.

The program will provide all American Indian ninth-grade students from each MPS high school and alternative school with one-on-one academic mentoring support, including an individualized support plan, specific to each student. In total, approximately 105 students will be served. Mentors will provide referrals to culturally relevant education services and monitor student progress to keep them on track toward post-secondary enrollment and success.
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