Tag Archives | Mary Cecconi

Beyond bullying bill, legislators likely to play it safe on education issues

Beth Hawkins, MinnPost, March 21, 2014 – A month ago as the 2014 legislative session was being gaveled open, the Capitol Soothsayer, aka Parents United Executive Director Mary Cecconi, ventured a prediction. “The overarching issue for the 2014 legislature is the November 2014 election,” Cecconi advised the members of her group, a grassroots organization dedicated to making education […]

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St. Paul parents hope to keep momentum after teachers contract deal

Mila Koumpilova, Pioneer Press, March 3, 2014 – When a teachers strike loomed last month in the St. Paul Public Schools district, parents joined forces on Facebook, peppered the school board with emails and rallied in front of district headquarters. When the district and teachers reached a contract agreement, union leaders credited parents. The superintendent called […]

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Trust Minnesotans, not outside franchises, on school reform

Denise Specht, Star Tribune Commentary, February 5, 2014 – I was on the Red Lake Indian Reservation last week for the fourth of Education Minnesota’s community conversations on teacher quality. The drive back to the Twin Cities gave me a chance to think about the two approaches to education reform playing out in our state. The […]

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St. Paul’s teacher talks have been a public affair

Mila Koumpilova, Pioneer Press, February 15, 2014 – The St. Paul district and teachers union negotiating teams have huddled behind closed doors in increasingly tense contract talks. But some of the most important conversations may have played out outside the bargaining room, where the two sides have curried public support and enlisted allies. Long before raising […]

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Seeking common ground may help improve schools

Joe Nathan, ECM Publications, January 22, 2014 – Can the Minnesota Business Partnership, which focuses on making the best possible use of existing funds, and Parents United, which urges that more money be spent on Minnesota’s public schools, find things they agree on? Can the African American Leadership Forum, which represents more than a thousand Minnesotans, […]

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Boot Camp Teaches Parents How To Lobby For Schools

Becky Glander, Hopkins Patch , January 3, 2014 – Three of the largest school districts in the metro area are partnering with the parent advocacy group Parents United for Public Schools to offer a 3-part series for parents who wish to effect change. Robbinsdale Area Schools, Osseo Area Schools and Hopkins Public Schools will host the […]

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Arctic forecast drives Governor to close schools

John Croman, KARE 11 News, January 3, 2014 – The specter of biting, arctic cold in the forecast led Gov. Mark Dayton to order schools closed statewide Monday. Dayton tapped a rarely used statute that allows the governor to order the education commissioner to change school calendars or close them altogether. “This is an historic weather […]

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Statewide group offers help for parents wanting to shape education policy

Kim McGuire, Star Tribune, January 2, 2014 – Understanding the legislative maneuvering that shapes education policy each year in Minnesota isn’t always for the faint of heart. In fact, it often takes someone who’s not easily daunted by unbelievably complex funding formulas and test data to decipher education legislation. For years, Mary Cecconi has untangled the […]

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Parents Add Heft to Bond, Tax-Measure Campaigns

Nora Fleming, Education Week, July 30, 2013 – Sitting in a cafeteria at Pimlico Elementary/Middle School last fall, parents were asked to imagine what their children’s school would look like with an influx of money under a proposed $2.4 billion bond project to renovate and upgrade facilities in the Baltimore district. Parents called for “basic standards”: […]

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For some Minnesota parents, standardized testing has reached its limits

Mila Koumpilova, Pioneer Press, June 29, 2013 – Sarah Lahm had a “revelation” this spring, courtesy of teachers and other parents at Clara Barton Open School in Minneapolis: She could opt her children out of the state’s standardized tests. Lahm followed a high-profile test boycott in Seattle, read up on research and asked her kids for […]

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