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  • School funding is like a sweater

    school funding is a warm sweaterFor a moment, think of each of Minnesota's 341 districts as a sweater, knit by the state itself. Within the weave of each sweater, there are strong and tight threads that maintain the basic integrity of the garment. There are also snags and holes...Sometimes patches are provided...Sometimes the sweater has to go back to the original knitter for repairs...Luckily in Minnesota, we really appreciate our sweaters. It’s cold here. We need to stay warm and generally, our sweaters endure under even the harshest of conditions…Read more.    
  • Update: at the capitol

    images-1Game is On! The Governor's Budget is out, and education is a winner. Committees heard about his plan from Commissioner Cassellius, and ed stakeholders responded. All gave a nod to effort. Opinions abound about priorities and funding levels. Testimony on assessment, early childhood and other topics reveal debates are at hand. New nationwide data on school children and poverty show us importance of these decisions. Read the Update for January 30...

  • Parents: What we hear you saying

    What is "success?" In 2013, it was written into state law that Minnesota's public education system would graduate 100% of its students. Kent Pekel from Minnesota's Search Institute is asking the question, "What do kids need to succeed?" He cites Lori Sturdivant's recent article about Dual Credit Programs like College in the Schools, agreeing with their strengths for kids who are on track, but also questioning how they serve high school students who still lack basic skills.
    images At Parents United we recently discussed with parents across the state how they felt about college as a goal for all students. Interestingly, they had reservations about traditional college for all, believing that valuable post-secondary endeavors are broadening. Read more…

    Although Minnesota is committed to a 100% high school graduate rate, our vision of post-secondary success seems to be changing. For kids not on track for college, Pekel sights supportive relationships as key to their success at finishing school with the skills to live, access training, secure jobs and maybe, attend college.

    Because Pekel believes relationships are so fundamental to youth’s success, he is asking the question, ”How can we articulate and measure the intangible dimensions of relationships so that they become both more credible and more actionable in the realms of policy and practice?” If we can make it law that 100% of our students graduate, can we make it law that positive, supportive relationships are available to get them there?