Contested Mpls. school board seat may sway union talks

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 15, 2012 - 7:34 PM

Two candidates, both with education experience, pursue District 4 spot with differing views on changing the role of seniority.

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chemnpOct. 15, 12 8:40 PM

Wycoff looking down her nose at TFA teachers is the ultimate irony given that she's a substitute. I went to MPLS public schools and I'm pretty sure that I never learned anything from a substitute, and I would have liked to have a TFA teacher (don't remember if I actually had one) who cared enough to go through a rigorous application process to teach underserved students. Wycoff just lost my vote. Good luck to you, Mr Reimnitz. I hope you can make meaningful changes in MPS.

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norselandcOct. 15, 1210:08 PM

Teach for America should be called Teach for A Resume. And that is kind of how Mr. Reimnitz is using his experience there in order to get elected to the school board. Not many in TFA stick around very long, which creates a further burden on the professional staff who then have to guide the next new colleague through the nuts and bolts of teaching. Also, I subbed in Minneapolis middle schools for 2 years in the 90s and it is a nearly thankless, impossible job. And no, the sub is not really there to teach you anything, but more so to get through the day without incident. I used to get up at 5 and wait for the phone to ring. I would decide if the job offered was something I could do or not. Then go and face the children, many of whom delighted in the change of pace. And let us not confuse an application process with actual teacher professional practice curricula.

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joejoe63Oct. 15, 1210:41 PM

Shame on MPS for placing 6 TFA teachers at Bethune.

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farcicalOct. 15, 1211:59 PM

Let me see if I am getting this right...a kid teaches for two years and KNOWS the difference between Good and Bad Principals/Teachers? Then campaigns for School Board with a layoff philosophy NOT based on experience. In my greatest Captain Renault impersonation, I'm Shocked! Shocked at such a viewpoint! I'd laugh away this candidacy if I did not know the truth about Teach For America - which is NOT about teaching so much as an avenue for college grads to break into the education field without building a solid pedagogical foundation. It's fast track careerism at its worst.

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educator1Oct. 16, 12 3:58 AM

It concerns me that a school board candidate, Ms W, would categorically condemn all TFA teachers. Some are great, some are not. They do have to go through an extremely rigorous process to be selected for TFA, and they must be mentored by a veteran teacher. Only young people with a strong belief that young people can learn are selected for TFA. So as a parent with three children who attended & graduated from urban public schools, I would be open to a TFA teacher. I would not say automatically yes or no.

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familyguy01Oct. 16, 12 6:55 AM

Shame on MPS for placing 6 TFA teachers at Bethune. WHY?? Can you back that up with some facts?

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vrittlerOct. 17, 1210:13 PM

As a parent with three students in the Minneapolis Public Schools, I am backing Patty Wycoff. I am interested in a school board member who has shown commitment to students, teachers and families. I also appreciate that Patty has not been vulnerable to the counter-productive corporate reform noise machine.

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jcswatOct. 18, 12 8:08 PM

Reimnitz was in Atlanta the year of the test cheating scandal. Where is the learning curve in his thinking? Linking test scores to teacher evaluations creates a culture of fear and corruption. The achievement gap was at its lowest when schools were integrated and there were more resources for families. Reimnitz's experience in a school district that succumbed to the pressure of linking student achievement to test scores does not qualify him for a position on the school board. More importantly, it does not qualify him as a teacher.

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northatlastOct. 19, 12 1:15 AM

a quote from the article: "former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, then prodded Wycoff to file." Will you people never learn? Remember the last time Margie got into local politics? Park Board? Remember that fiasco? a political payback from the MPLS DFL she was shamed away from after an amazing public outrage? Now she has a cushy job at MnScu thanks to the governor and she is back pushing the buttons in local DFL politics. Get a clue. Minneapolis is a DFL machine and they are learning from the pros in Chicago.

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ireadstribOct. 19, 12 7:50 PM

I think it should be clarified that TFA teachers don't have a real teaching license their first year, they teach on a waiver, or alternative license. When there's a diverse group of teachers who have completed full educations to earn a MN teaching license, why is the district placing these non-fully licensed teachers at Bethune? $$$ The district may save $ in the short term, but the state will pay later when students in a high needs neighborhood school may miss out by being taught by an inexperienced teacher. By that time North Dakotan, Reimnitz, may be long gone, pushing his TFA agenda in another district. I wonder what people within the district have encouraged him to run? I would trust a long time resident like Wycoff, who has experienced the schools by being a parent of students, volunteering and subbing within our schools. If TFA is the cure, maybe if Reimnitz get elected to the School Board he can get his TFA agenda pushed into some other MPS schools and the Burroughs, Southwest, Lake Harriet Upper, Lake Harriet Lower, Barton, etc. can each get 6 not fully licensed TFA teachers. It's not that TFA teachers aren't hard working or dedicated, but it's a short cut program and other teachers took the long, more dedicated, and challenging path to become a teacher, and those teacher stay in the profession, and don't leave after 2 years as many TFAers do, thus the district has a ready made path to avoid paying more experienced teachers, and chipping into pensions, and all ultimately at the cost of education of the most disenfranchised students.

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