joe nathan

Double testing of our high school students is costing Minnesotans millions of dollars. That’s money that could be better spent. What about spending some of those millions on, for example, high-quality early childhood programs? Or on extra-curricular programs? The ACT found many years ago that participation in debate, drama, speech, music and journalism programs was [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Money was not mentioned by any of the more than 30 educators who responded to a question I asked about the first month of school. Each of them described the most important things that families can do in September. Everything they suggested is free: helping youngsters set goals, establishing routines, learning something yourself, talking positively [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Americans have complicated, conflicted feelings about how much to rely on statewide standardized tests, such as those whose scores were recently released. I think this year’s results suggest three changes. Minnesota should: –Make much more use of highly successful schools. –Share results sooner with teachers. –Use a broader array of assessments. Results for schools and [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

From Anoka-Hennepin to Richfield, Stillwater, Waconia, International Falls, Houston and all over the state, more than 50 of the 331 Minnesota school districts will have new superintendents in the 2014-15 school year. We hear a lot about student mobility. But outside of professional meetings, there has not been much notice of, or discussion about, what [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Sean McComb, recently named 2014 National Teacher of the Year, has given one of the best speeches I’ve ever read about what teachers can and often do accomplish. As he told thousands of other educators gathered at the National Education Association conference: “When those children come through the school doors, teachers are the decisive element. [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

“Breaking Bad” TV show actor Steven Quezada had several strong messages for about 4,000 educators recently gathered to discuss charter public schools. At a conference sponsored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, (http://www.publiccharters.org) Quezada began, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for recognizing that children learn in different ways.” Then he talked about [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon
up arrow
up arrow