Frustration is justified as Minneapolis students struggle

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 13, 2013 - 5:25 PM

There are plenty of strategies ready to be moved from talk to action.

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jjsbrwNov. 13, 13 6:50 PM

For all the teachers out there looking for the magic bullet in closing the achievement gap, I wish you all nothing but luck. It's the most pressing educational problem we face (maybe have ever faced) and, to date, nobody has found the systemic solution. Yes, there are small pockets or individual examples of progress, but systemically nobody has solved the problem.

bluedevil101Nov. 13, 13 7:42 PM

I'd suggest reading any of the books by Karin Chenoweth for ideas as to how to move forward with closing the gap.

momofboys2Nov. 13, 1310:00 PM

As the person at the top of the MPS organization, Supt. Johnson has far fewer powers than most of her peers in the corporate world. Give her the power to hire the best, move the worst out and make quick decisions to align strategy with goals and the gap will close. Currently her hands are so tied, she might as well be walking in quick sand with a weight pulling her down. It's such an unfair job and yet she's giving it her all 24/7. Who cares about the x#%$*& bonus? Just give her a job that's doable, get the barriers out of the way, and let her LEAD.

elmore1Nov. 13, 1310:31 PM

Rybak did little to help education during his twelve years. Why does the editorial board think that he is the savior>

LynnellNov. 13, 1310:44 PM

What momofboys2 said.

comment229Nov. 14, 13 5:02 AM

"to do administrative or curriculum work" Sorry but you can have THE best administrators and THE best curriculum in the world, and all you have done is perpetuated another myth. You are not, cannot, and will not solve these problems from "the top" or with something written on paper. I dare you to put 10 drop outs and 10 wannabes in a room and ask them candidly if they dropped out because of an administrator or the a lousy curriculum. You will get laughed at. Then ask them why they dropped out... call it a reality check if you will...and then deal with it but you won't see one administrator, politician, or member of a think tank who makes educational recommendations, show up..... The solution to this is societal and that is where we have failed and continue to fail.

comment229Nov. 14, 13 5:05 AM

The number one educational country in the world in Finland. They have two teachers in each classroom and I believe to teach you have to have a masters degree. But more than that, the reason they do well, is that it is a national priority that households and kids in particular, adopt. School is important.... the Finns live it; we give it lip service.

drposterNov. 14, 13 6:44 AM

@comment229 you're comparing apples to Buicks. The Finns have a fairly homogeneous population, low total and reasonably low density one at that. I think the biggest change that could improve the schools in the US would be the elimination of the NEA. Stop trying to place a one size fits all plan on top of wildly different populations and lets get back to states and districts deciding what is best for their people.

comment229Nov. 14, 13 7:14 AM

drposter: you must have a real problem with mandated federal programs and mandated state initiatives as well.... what works in Finland is a suggestion of where to begin with some awful good ideas; use parts that are relevant and work and ignore those that don't apply to our system. Finland values education; we do not completely. Do away with the NEA? Do you work for fox? Just checking. NEA keeps tabs on a whole bunch of people with warped educational ideas. Ask ten drop outs if they did so because of the NEA.... and get laughed at.

tandabussNov. 14, 13 7:14 AM

Right on drposter. We need to curb the NEA, Education MN and all of their locals. Not eliminate them, not stop their power to ensure due process, but stop letting them make the schools all about making teachers and other adults feel good and start making the focus that of kids' learning. And, public schools have always and will always taken the kids who walk through the door. Regardless of who their parents are or what their parents do. So pointing fingers at parents is irrelevante. Let's hire and support people who want to be effective teachers, who want to innovare and differentiate, who thrive on challenge. And let's ditch the deadwood.


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