The education of Bernadeia Johnson

  • Article by: COREY MITCHELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 5, 2011 - 1:59 PM

Ahead of her first job evaluation, the Minneapolis schools leader is learning from mistakes and relying on her instincts.

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sharkysharkDec. 3, 11 8:30 PM

How much is Minneapolis paying her to learn while doing? You would have expected her to know her job before being hired.

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dflleftDec. 3, 11 9:40 PM

SHOULD HAVE NEVER been hired and should have been fired. This article FAILED to mention the several million dollar accounting error from last January. this district has 7 of the worst schools in the state and now we have a 49% graduation rate for the mpls public schools. NO ONE reading this would even allow their own kids to go there. she is even worse than Thawada Peebles....remember her? and her leased $60,000 Escalade that the district was paying for.

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thbensenDec. 3, 1111:06 PM

Hopefully, she will learn her job competently enough so that she can look for the same position somewhere else. It seems as soon as a superintendent has sucked all the marrow out of the bones of either Minneapolis or St Paul it is who cares about the children and off I go.

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pdf123Dec. 4, 11 6:34 AM

This didn't mention her very anti-tecaher, anti-union politicies. As a Mpls schools parent, my wife and I haven't had a real problem with any teachers so far. We have a total of four years in now, with some very good experiences. Johnson is in league with some of the African-American ministers on the north side who think teachers' union seniority is racist or some silly thing. The teachers' union should have been involved in reaching out to the minority community in the past, and it is unfortunate that the teaching staff is so white. But to take that fact based on past demographics and other factors and use it to attack teachers is a lie. The teachers' union does far more good than bad, it is the most powerful force fighting for quality schools. I think the teachers deserve every penny of their pay and benefits.

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ephrakerDec. 4, 11 9:33 AM

"...the district has made small strides in closing the achievement gap between white students and those of color." /// There is nothing like overt racism in a politically correct story about education. So white people are without color? Hmm, no actually that is not true and is factually and grammatically incorrect. Black which of course is what they mean when they say "people of color" is achromatic, or void of any color. White on the other hand reflects the entire color spectrum in equal proportion and is by definition representative of every color. But since adding a value to one group and not the other is not racist as is clear by the term "people of color" I would suggest that white people be called "People of the Most Color" and everyone else be called "People Without". Oh, that isn't politically correct enough for you? Jeez I can't imagine why you would feel that way when the tables are turned. How obnoxious must these people be to keep coming up with different terminology that the press just eats up?

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ephrakerDec. 4, 11 9:39 AM

There must be a COMPETENT person who can fill the right politically correct categories who can lead the school district. When will some people learn that having (fill in the blank) category of person in a position is not the same as having the right person for the job? I am sure there are plenty of qualified people but do they play by the tired old game of the dinosaurs of the civil rights establishment and community groups? It is far time we thanked those dinosaurs for the work they accomplished and moved on to new and successful tactics which yes, they helped to usher in. It is a shame that some of those very people who made such great strides are the same ones who are making it nearly impossible to take advantage of the new situation.

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Irreverent12Dec. 4, 1111:02 AM

The old school thinking of the Minneapolis school district has had more than twenty years to "close the gap" and little has been done to accomplish this. I don't blame the teachers at all. I blame the parents, the administrators, the ACLU, the Democratic Party and every other adherent to political correctness. There is no discipline in schools these days. Teachers are threatened daily and they have no authority to instill any kind of order in their classrooms. Until order is restored to the classroom there can be no improvement in test scores or graduation rates. The ones who do suffer are the students who desperately want to learn and are being left by the wayside because of PC attitudes.

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rlwr51Dec. 4, 1111:04 AM

Why is there one administrator for every 100 students?

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rlwr51Dec. 4, 1111:22 AM

Expecting less from students who are at or above grade level than those who are below grade level is not an appropriate way to reduce the "achievement gap". This is exactly what is being done. Student are tested at the beginning of the year. For students (for example) who score, say 85, at the beginning of the school year in math, the teacher may only expected to raise that students score by 5 points and for students who score a 45, the teacher might be expected to raise that students score by 40 points. Not only is that counter intuitive, it is a waste of talent and places what are quite likely unreasonable expectations on students and staff. The lower scoring student often ends up taking two math classes and misses out on something else that may be of more value to them. Losing the chance for them to excel is some un-found talent of their own The teacher gets labeled a failure for what is often not being able to over to overcome natural ability, while overlooking students who have the potential to be years above their grade level, robbing society of future engineers, physicists and the like. - Remember that old word - aptitude.

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rlwr51Dec. 4, 1111:32 AM

How about the rest of the story on that paid survey that led to the $270,000 in retroactive raises for administrators? The part where it concluded that some people were making too much money. How about mentioning that this survey company rewrote job descriptions, without supervisor input as to what those jobs are supposed to be? That some positions could not be filled over the summer because those job descriptions were wrong. How about the part where these rewritten job descriptions were introduced in June and were to be contested by the middle of August. How about including the fact that many employees have not had raises in ten years.

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