joe nathan

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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A provocative email from a recently elected Central Minnesota school board member included the following: “The world is much different (than) when my parents made their decisions (about schools). I am struggling with how much tax money should be spent to retain and attract students.” Below is my response. Hope to hear what you think. [...]

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Praise and perspective – that’s what more than 30 Minnesota education leaders offered last week when asked about the 2013 Minnesota Legislature’s decisions on K-12 education. They included superintendents Deb Henton of North Branch, Linda Madsen of Forest Lake and Bruce Novak of Cambridge, as well as Cam Gordon, director of Lakes International Charter, and [...]

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