Insight News

Monday
Oct 20th

Education

Government shutdown causes MPS to cancel tests

Due to the recent state government shutdown, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) announced it will cancel test administration for the writing portion of the Minnesota Graduation-Required Assessment for Diploma (GRAD) and the Minnesota Basic Skills Test (BST) written composition retest, originally scheduled July 19. The next opportunity for Minneapolis Public Schools students to retest is November 2.

Test results for students who completed the Minnesota GRAD math or reading retest in June are also delayed due to the state government shutdown, the School District said in a press release Wednesday. Test results will be delivered to families via U.S. postal mail when state government operations resume.
 

The promise of Freedom Schools

In many school districts across the country summer vacation is getting into full swing. But for a lucky group of nearly 10,000 children in 87 cities and 27 states around the country, it’s not just summer—it’s a Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools® summer.

“For me, Freedom Schools was my first exposure to African American college students. Until that time, I couldn’t tell you what college was, couldn’t spell ‘college,’” said Donnie Belcher, who began attending the CDF Freedom Schools program at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. when she was 12 years old. “I actually put a face, a Black face, behind the idea of going to college. We talk about the impact of fatherlessness on Black males, but not on females—and I still remember Lavelle, who was a Morehouse man. He served as the first positive Black male I had ever seen in 12 years.” That experience stayed with Donnie and fueled her dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher through her high school years and beyond.
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Teaching the importance of goal setting

Teaching the importance of goal settingStudents from eight northwest metro school districts participated in a new education initiative designed to reduce the achievement gap.  Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) presented the 2011 Step-Up Summit for males of color on June 20–24.  All sessions were held at the University of St. Thomas downtown campus from 9 am–2 pm, except for the Thursday, June 23 session which was held at YMCA Camp Ihduhapi, located in Loretto, MN. 

Drop-out rates for Black and Latino students begin to increase in comparison to their White peers in 9th grade.  The 2011 Step-Up Summit brought together fifty 8th grade male students of color for a research-based experience that sought to prepare them for success in 9th grade and decrease the drop-out rate.  Participating students are offered additional mentorship and support throughout the school year. 
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Education and Employment Access Day:

Developing skills and increasing opportunities for all

Please join Healthy Together Northwest and Rasmussen College, Brooklyn Park for an event dedicated to helping community members increase their access to area educational opportunities as well as develop essential employment and job-seeking skills.  The event is July 21st from 9:45am-2:30pm at the Rasmussen College, Brooklyn Park: 8301 93rd Ave. N. Brooklyn Park, MN 55445.
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Hale Elementary math students place top in nation

Students from Hale Elementary School on June 14 were recognized by the Minneapolis Board of Education for their achievements in the “First in Math” online learning program. Hale placed first out of all grades in the state of Minnesota and 21st in the nation. In addition, a third-grade class taught by Josh Bliss finished 30th in the nation for all grades and first in the nation for third grade.

Two students in Bliss’s class were individually honored for placing in the top 100 in the nation. Mandie Flint placed 30th for all grades, fifth for all third-graders in the nation and first overall for the state of Minnesota. Emma Haugstad ranked 66th in the country for all grades, 11th for all third graders in the nation and second in the state for all grades.
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Emerson and Windom students experience ultimate immersion in Puerto Rico

Emerson and Windom students experience ultimate immersion in Puerto RicoFourth- and fifth-graders from Windom Dual Immersion School and Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center in early June embarked on an immersion experience, spending a week in Puerto Rico to study Spanish and learn about the island’s culture.

“The best way to learn about another culture is to totally immerse yourself,” said Windom teacher Jim Clark. “We work hard to create authentic Spanish-speaking environments in our schools, but of course they are not entirely real. These students experienced a new culture firsthand and had an incredible opportunity to practice their Spanish and make new friends.”
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Hopkins Public Schools hosts three-day Equity Symposium

Hopkins Public Schools hosts three-day Equity Symposium Hopkins Public Schools hosted an Equity Symposium on June 7, 8 and 9. Each day was devoted to a different topic around equity and education. About 60 people attended each session, which was open to equity specialists, equity team members, principals, master teachers, and school board members. Three facilitators led the symposium. The lineup is listed below:

•    June 7 – “Undoing whiteness: calling out the wizard behind the curtain.” Led by Dr. Heather Hackman.
•    June 8 – “Teaching BeBe’s kids: methodology for teaching ‘hard to teach’ students.” Led by Dr. Lucian Yates, III.
•    June 9 – “Race matters when teaching and reaching African American students.” Led by Dr. Mack Hines, III.
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