joe nathan

Local field trips for students are common, but not so much for teachers. But a Minnesota school recently took its teachers around neighborhoods they serve to help them understand more about their students and families. The ultimate goal is more student success. Many of the students at Academia Cesar Chavez, or their parents, come from [...]

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Pounding basketballs and children sitting on sofas come to mind as I think about the $40 million that Minnesota has just made available to families for early childhood program scholarships. While the money may be used well, I think it’s too early to describe this as a “major step forward,” as one advocate asserts. Give [...]

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What does it take to help students from low-income families succeed? One hundred thirty-one Minnesota district and charter public schools have just earned an important state award because they have answers. They have earned the Minnesota Department of Education designation of “reward schools.” Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota commissioner of education, released information this week showing that [...]

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It’s not surprising that some Minnesota educators are angry about how high-stakes MCA testing operated during the past year and how some newspapers reported results. The rules changed, there were statewide computer “freezes” caused by problems with the testing company’s technology, and one of the state’s tests was much harder. Whether from suburbs like Hopkins, [...]

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Fortunately, a second medical opinion this week showed I did not need a painful “spinal tap.” Instead, the second doctor who examined me (after I expressed concerns about the first, dramatic diagnosis), prescribed ice on my back and anti-pain pills every four to six hours My morning’s very sore neck felt much better by the [...]

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Judy Galbraith, formerly Farmington and west suburban public school teacher, has been a remarkable resource for families and students for 30 years. As the summer starts, I don’t know of a better family activity than checking out the hundreds of books her company, Free Spirit, has published and selecting several to read. Her books have [...]

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