Insight News

Feb 11th


Culturally specific educational programming works for Black children

Something most African Americans who have children in school, ages 5-18, know, is the term, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  The reason they should know this phrase is because most public schools across the nation, who educate African American youth do not reach it.  AYP is the method the federal government uses to measure accountability for each school’s attempt to educate its students through the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.  NCLB is a federal law that says public school students, which include charter schools, must be 100 percent competent in reading and mathematics by 2014.  In Minnesota, the test that determines children’s success or failure is the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment or MCA.  For schools that do not make AYP, families have the right to ask for additional support for their child by getting a tutor.  Families must be low income to qualify for NCLB services, which is determined through free and reduced lunch.


Peter Christensen leading North High turnaround

Peter Christensen leading North High turnaround


Peter Christensen is the third principle in a three-year period to head North Community High School.  

“There is something to be said about consistent leadership,” Christensen said.  “There are statistical studies that say students do better when they stay in one place.  What I have been asked to do is to stay on board this year, and the next three years with the students here until they graduate,” he said.  


National education consultant cautions, ‘Keep Black boys out of special education!’

From an African American boy’s first day in kindergarten (or pre-school), the quest to mold him into the “ideal” student begins. However, his short attention span, high energy, and slow maturation will frustrate his teacher as she fails to transform him into a quiet, compliant student.

Unable to “fix” the child, the teacher refers him to special education. The teacher, a special education teacher, a psychologist, a social worker or counselor, and the principal will meet to discuss the student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). The parent may or may not know about this, the most important meeting of her son’s life.

Who will respond to the cry of generation next?

There is a crisis brewing in our young generation that needs our urgent attention. The workforce of tomorrow is our young adults ages 16 -24; and while small pockets are prepared, the vast majority are not. Right now, young people, ages 16-24, are crying out for intentional and sustainable career and workforce development rescue. 

This is not a hidden issue.  We see evidence everyday in our schools, in our organizations, or as we drive around in the Twin Cities; clear indicators that young adults ages 16-24 are crying out for intentional and sustainable career and workforce development rescue.  US Census data and numerous recent  reports such as One Minneapolis, Minnesota Skills Gap Survey, the Itasca Project and MN Compass tell the story, but immediate action is needed to ready these current young workers for the needs of today.

Thomas Edison High School “goes solar”

Thomas Edison High School “goes solar”CBS EcoMedia Inc. (“EcoMedia”) and Boston Scientific unveiled a solar project on the gymnasium rooftop at Thomas Edison High School last month.  The solar photovoltaic system is designed as an educational tool for students, teachers, and administrators and is the first environmental project to be funded as a result of Boston Scientific’s participation in EcoMedia’s ‘EcoAd’ program, which was launched in January.  As a launch partner Boston Scientific purchased advertising on local CBS stations featuring the EcoAd leaf, meaning the Boston Scientific ads would be tied to tangible improvements to communities and the environment.

Givens Foundation Conference to tackle major issues in education

Givens Foundation Conference to tackle major issues in education While African Americans are one of the fastest growing populations in Minnesota, teachers often lack the tools to effectively engage these students to increase their academic achievement. The current graduation rate of African American students in Minneapolis Public Schools is 35%. The Givens Foundation for African American Literature’s 5th Biennial Education Conference, Reach and Teach through African American Literature and Culture, will help educators to engage Black students and to become more culturally literate. Teachers will learn how African American children can achieve their academic potential by reaching them with African American culture and teaching them through African American literature.

Open House at Saint Paul Charter Schools

On Tuesday, November 15, four local public tuition-free charter schools will open their doors from 5 to 8 PM for prospective students in grades 6 – 12 and their families. Students from all over the greater metro area attend these schools. In the same spirit as a progressive dinner, each of the schools will have different food and beverages so visitors can grab a bite as they meet the fabulous faculty, students and families at each school.    While each of the schools has a distinct mission and focus, they all share a common progressive view that learning in a smaller setting can meet the needs of individual students, prepare them for a productive life and post secondary education.
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