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Social Programs that Work

Ron Haskins, Brookings Institute Up Front, December 1, 2014   As I argue in my new book, Show Me the Evidence (co-authored with Greg Margolis), the last six years have seen the most impressive expansion of evidence-based policy in the history of federal social programs. The Obama administration has launched a series of evidence-based initiatives […]

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Valley View Elementary students beat the odds

…This article highlights an elementary school in Columbia Heights that serves a high percentage of children of color living in poverty, including many students learning English. The principal engages his teachers as professional leaders, they are practicing co-teaching, they place emphasis on building relationships with students, and teachers use formative assessment to inform their teaching. […]

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Leaders and Laggards: Minnesota’s report card on K-12 education effectiveness

Minnesota Academic Achievement Relative to other states, student performance in Minnesota is very strong—the state ranks among the highest in the nation. Fifty-nine percent of 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam, 17 percentage points above the national average. Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students Minnesota earns […]

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Chicago Teachers Union Breaks With Common Core

Anthony Cody, Education Week (Teacher), May 8, 2014 Yesterday, in a vote that shows democracy is alive in the American Federation of Teachers, members of the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted — reportedly unanimously — to join the growing national resistance to the Common Core standards. A statement released by the union says, Now that the […]

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A bittersweet victory at Lucy Laney Community School

Beth Hawkins, MinnPost, April, 24, 2014 A few days ago Mauri Melander’s heart broke in a way it hadn’t ever before in her 35-year history first as a student and then an educator with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). After years of failed initiatives, overhyped plans and other efforts to change some bleak realities at the […]

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Basic-skills exam for teachers remains despite efforts to scrap it

Kim McGuire, Star Tribune, March 23, 2014 Legislative efforts to repeal a controversial test for Minnesota’s aspiring teachers have all but sputtered out this year, but questions linger about whether the exam presents unfair challenges to teachers of color and those whose native language is not English. Legislators who support the test, most of them […]

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Four Lessons for Better Ed Reform

Michael Diedrich, Minnesota 2020, March 18, 2014   I’ve been watching education reform for the past few years, I’ve seen a few common mistakes repeated over and over again. Here, I’ve identified four connected lessons we’d do well to keep at the front of our mind when thinking about reform. The Indicator Is Not the Problem […]

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Want change in the schools? Speak up.

Lynnell Mickelsen, Star Tribune Commentary, December 19, 2010 – In Minneapolis right now, the teachers union has all of the influence. Last week, four incoming Minneapolis school board members sent an extraordinary letter to the current members. Writing on the official stationary of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, they criticized the current board’s tougher stance […]

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Educators cheer Dayton’s NCLB waiver move

Beth Hawkins, MinnPost, August 9, 2011 – Yesterday, Gov. Mark Dayton made it official: Minnesota will apply for a waiver from compliance with No Child Left Behind. In fact, even though they know only the broad parameters of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s waiver program, announced Friday, state officials said they hope to have a […]

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Education for all: It’s in the Constitution

Michael V. Ciresi and Roberta B. Walburn, Star Tribune, June 12, 2011 – Minnesota is failing to meet its declared obligation to many students. Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that — despite a multibillion state budget shortfall — it was unconstitutional for the legislature to cut funding for disadvantaged schools. The court […]

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