Troubled schools submit fix-it plans

  • Article by: KIM McGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 19, 2012 - 10:01 PM

Minnesota schools now have more local control over turnaround plans after being freed from unpopular federal mandates.

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rshacklefordSep. 20, 12 1:55 AM

"State education officials say the new system offers a better, potentially faster fix for struggling schools than the requirements under No Child Left Behind, which branded almost half of Minnesota's 2,255 schools as failures and mandated such unpopular steps as hiring tutors and firing principals." ---- Quick, someone change the grading system of us! I was wondering why the Education Minnesota commercials were blasting to the public, asking for more money for our supposedly successful school system. Good news against bad news equals no news? Not quite a sturdy PR platform. "Now, it's not just about what these schools are going to do to improve. It's about how they're going to improve," said Steve Dibb, who directs the Minnesota Department of Education's school support division. ---- Wait a sec here. So, we learn the "what's wrong" and now they are giving us the "how to fix" but not the "how much" with regard to improvement? Same old story, different day. Blame it on the kids, and pay us anyway.

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comment229Sep. 20, 12 5:55 AM

Same old story here. Thirty kids walk into a classroom, and 20 to 25 do exceptionally well and several others fail miserably in ALL their classes. Why is that? Tell me that teacher didn't do his/her job. I don't know how many times I have heard my colleagues in the work force say "good help is hard to find." Why is that? So you hire 30 people, and 5 to 10 of them (or more) are lousy workers. Can I assume it is the bosses fault? Obviously not but the lesson learned here is that we have a societal problem. How do you fix that? I have no idea but blaming a school teacher is just gotten out of hand and I suspect it is easy to do because we have all had teachers we did not like at one time or another. Payback?

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minneg56Sep. 20, 12 6:21 AM

Educational succcess in 3 words- parents, parents, parents ...

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ranger78Sep. 20, 12 7:18 AM

Local control as it should have been all along. Educational performance has gone down with every federal intrusion. While there are other factors (parental involvement, state mandates, etc.), federal mandates and structures have had a negative impact. Get the federal gov't out of the education business and bring all school controls back to the local level. It would be especially nice for the unfunded federal mandates to go away. Frankly, we'd be better off limiting the state controls too. But let's start big first.

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wplettfanSep. 20, 12 9:38 AM

In a school of hundreds or thousands it only takes 1-3 kids to do poorly on the MCA's and the whole school is branded as failing. 99% of the kids do well and the teachers are busting their butts, but that doesn't matter because the grade says "failing." Change the grading system? I should certainly hope so.

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EleanoreSep. 20, 1210:13 AM

"Local control as it should have been all along" - Please. This is not reality in MN. Constitutionally we have a state system of schools, for which the only constitutionally defined authority IS the legislature. Local control is an illusion, and one that people would be wise to disabuse themselves of if they wanted to see our schools function more sustainably, and more effectively within the law. This new program is just the next bait and switch to make you believe that the negatives of the last one can be overciome by doig the same things differently. The only thing that will actually fix this system, is when the legislature steps up and does their job in a responsible fashion, including getting the federal government out of Minnesota schools unless they pay 100% of their way and it helps our kids. That hasn't happened yet.

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okeanosSep. 20, 1211:33 AM

While there is some merit to these reform efforts, it doesn’t appear to me that any of the districts are talking about meeting students’ developmental needs or educating the “whole child”. No educational reform will succeed in closing the achievement gap unless the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the individual student are recognized and embraced along with the intellectual challenges necessary to produce motivated, engaged students.

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EleanoreSep. 20, 1211:47 AM

"the acheivement gap" is one of the most overvalued and dysfunctional currently popular tangential occupations shifting focus and keeping our system of school from becoming sustainable, and constitutionally compliant. It's little more than an effort to create a money magnet for special interests.

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