Insight News

Oct 07th


Our history: We must fight for ethnic studies

Our history: We must fight for ethnic studiesThe right wing educational attack in Arizona expressed in the May 11 passage of HB 2281 banning the teaching of Ethnic Studies in all levels of education, k-12 through Higher Education, and new social standards by the Texas State Board of Education, confronts directly the historic struggles of people of color.  These are attacks on our ability to tell our stories, to speak our truths, and to transform the curriculum regarding the history of the United States.  These transformations in US education came from hard-fought struggles.  From the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College resulting in the establishment of a Third World College, to the  1969 Morrill Hall Take Over by Black students at Minnesota and the struggles for  American Indian and  Chicano Studies on that campus, these fields emerged out of struggle.

Indeed, the Third World Strike at San Francisco State College might be called the borning struggle of contemporary Ethnic Studies in the academy.  “On strike! Shut it down!” resonated on the campus from November 1968 to March 1969.  This five-month strike,  according to Helene Whitson, archivist of the San Francisco State College Strike Collection,  was “longer than any other academic student strike in American higher education history.”

USDA awards support research and teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

USDA awards support research and teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

USDA has awarded grants to strengthen the research, teaching and extension capabilities at 18 historically Black land-grant colleges and universities in an effort to recruit and train students for careers in agriculture, announced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"Our 1890 historically Black land-grant universities play a critical role teaching students to meet the high quality, innovative research needs that are vital to the wellbeing of our nation's food, fuel and fiber," Vilsack said. "These awards mark a substantial investment in addressing the robust and varied research challenges facing American agriculture today, but more importantly it is also an investment in our future scientists and engineers, farmers and foresters."

Superintendent column

Superintendent columnI so enjoyed visiting classrooms on the first day of school and seeing the anticipation on children’s faces. Principals were enthusiastically greeting students and families. In the midst of all this excitement, teachers were focused on teaching on the very first day of school.

That enthusiasm and focus will serve us well as we set course for a new year. Our 2010 Report on Academic Progress underlines the importance of good teaching and the urgency with which we must approach our work.

Overall, proficiency in our district is at 51 percent in reading and 45 percent in math – 20 points below the State average. As a group, our white students significantly outperform the State; however, students of color make up almost 70 percent of our enrollment and are 36 points below the State in reading and 35 points below in math. While our annual gains in achievement are comparable to the State they are not enough.

Admission Possible celebrates 10th anniversary

Admission Possible celebrates 10th anniversaryFor 1,400 Twin Cities students, going back to school will include Admission Possible. As school kicks off, Admission Possible celebrates its 10th anniversary serving low-income students, having grown services more than 200-fold since the organization’s founding in the Twin Cities on September 11, 2000. In its biggest program year yet, Admission Possible will work with more students than ever before and, to help coach these students to success, will welcome its largest team of AmeriCorps members.

Documentary Questions Overscheduling of ADD Generation

Documentary Questions Overscheduling of ADD Generation Race to Nowhere

Most of the recent documentaries about the American educational system indict it for failing to challenge students enough. They’ve generally blamed the high dropout rate on top heavy school administrations and blasé teachers’ unions that care more about benefits and cutting corners than learning and test scores.

Race to Nowhere takes a novel approach to the problem, by suggesting that kids don’t need longer school days and more homework, but exactly the opposite. Co-directed by Vicki Abeles and Jessica Congdon, the telling expose’ examines the Attention Deficit Generation on its own terms, interviewing students of all ages who complain about wilting under the stress of being micromanaged for success by their well-meaning, if slave-driving parents.

Earn a high school diploma by preparing for a career

The Minnesota Internship Center (MNIC) Charter High School reaches out to students who have not fared well in traditional high schools and alternative settings. For these students, MNIC creates small learning communities that allow each student to build a learning plan within the reflecting his or her own personal/career interests. 


Metropolitan state appoints dean of students

Metropolitan state appoints dean of studentsCecilia Stanton, Crystal, was appointed dean of students by President Sue K. Hammersmith. The appointment was effective August 4.

As dean of students, Stanton is responsible for overseeing services and programs to foster student success, including student life and leadership development (orientation, student organizations and governance), TRiO programs, multicultural student and retention services, international student services, veterans, women’s and GLBT services, and handling student judicial and disciplinary matters.

Stanton has more than 10 years’ experience in student affairs and extensive experience in diversity training and development. She served as interim dean for seven months this year. She came to the university from the Art Institutes of Minnesota, where she was on the faculty. Previously, she was director of faculty diversity and engagement for Capella University, assistant vice president for culture and leadership with Allianz of North America, and assistant dean of students for Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. She also has a consulting business, Stanton Consulting.
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