Schools

‘I can only do so much’: Families of kids with disabilities struggle with distance learning

BY: - April 15, 2020

By the seventh day of distance learning, Simone Lott could have used a day of rest. When Minnesota schools closed in mid-March, Lott found herself teaching her four children, including 7-year-old son Samael, who has cerebral palsy. That was on top of her usual responsibilities running a household as a single parent and her full-time […]

U.S. Department of Education says states can skip standardized tests

BY: - March 20, 2020

As schools across the country cancel classes and move instruction online, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Friday that states will be able to bypass standardized testing.  States can request a waiver to skip standardized testing for this academic year, according to a news release. The move comes after Michigan state officials urged DeVos […]

st. paul teaachers strike

St. Paul teachers strike for first time in over 70 years

BY: - March 10, 2020

Class was cancelled for more than 36,000 students in St. Paul as teachers began an open-ended strike Tuesday with picket lines in front of dozens of schools across the city. With no new negotiations scheduled, the strike will likely continue tomorrow and possibly through the week or longer. “We would like more resources for our […]

There are as many homeless kids in Minnesota as the population of some small cities

BY: - March 9, 2020

More than 9,000 Minnesota students were identified as homeless at the start of the 2019-20 school year, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Education. That’s about as many people who live in cities like Detroit Lakes and Waseca.  The proportion of Minnesota students who experience homelessness has hovered around 1% for at least […]

St. Paul teacher pay second-highest in the state

BY: - March 5, 2020

The average St. Paul Public Schools teacher salary of $75,199 was one of the highest in Minnesota last year, second only to the average pay in Edina Public Schools, according to data from the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.  Their wages relative to their fellow Minnesota teachers may help explain why St. Paul […]

Marshall is the site of a potentially litigious battle over a rainbow flag at a middle school

BY: - March 3, 2020

MARSHALL — The battle over a flag supporting LBGTQ students at a middle school here rages on amid threats of litigation on both sides. Advocates for LBGTQ students at Marshall Middle School said they have contacted the ACLU and will consider legal action if district administrators remove a rainbow pride flag that has sparked debate in […]

Saint Paul teachers threaten strike over mental health care for students

BY: - March 2, 2020

The threat of a teachers strike in Saint Paul beginning March 10 has shined a glaring light on an emerging crisis in schools both here and nationwide — untreated childhood mental illness.  The Saint Paul union says student mental health concerns are so urgent that they’re willing to walk out to push for more resources, […]

Lawmakers introduce bill to amend constitution to address education gaps

BY: - February 25, 2020

A bipartisan pair of state legislators introduced a bill Tuesday to amend the Minnesota Constitution to address Minnesota’s achievement gaps in education. The bill, introduced by State Reps. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, and Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, comes from a proposal by Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari and retired state Supreme Court Justice […]

COMMENTARY

Book excerpt details rise of labor leader who is now Walz education commissioner

BY: - February 25, 2020

Editor’s note: This book excerpt from “Beaten Down, Worked Up” by longtime New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse describes the difficult union negotiations in 2013-2014 between St. Paul Public Schools and teachers, who successfully pushed for smaller class sizes and more support staff in addition to higher wages. Last Friday, St. Paul teachers voted […]

Culture war rages in southwest Minnesota over rainbow flag

BY: - February 24, 2020

MARSHALL, LYON COUNTY — A rainbow flag displayed for a public middle school diversity project has met fierce opposition and a threat of legal action from religious leaders. At two packed school board meetings earlier this month, Marshall students, parents, teachers and community members debated whether displaying the LGBTQ flag offers positive support for students or […]

‘Increase Teachers of Color Act’ clears House committee

BY: - February 20, 2020

A bill that aims to help Minnesota schools hire and retain more teachers of color cleared a House committee Wednesday, though prospects of it becoming law remain unclear. For several years, advocates have pressed for legislation to increase diversity in Minnesota’s teacher workforce, which has remained overwhelmingly white even as children of color make up […]

Minnesota teachers still overwhelmingly white as student population becomes more diverse

BY: - February 14, 2020

Teachers across the United States are predominantly white, even as students of color make up a majority of those enrolled in public schools. Minnesota is no exception to this disparity: one in 20 teachers here are people of color, compared to one in three students. Research shows teacher diversity has a bevy of benefits for […]