joe nathan

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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What are some key questions arising from the 211-page k-12 education bill that the Minnesota legislature has just produced? Give the 2013 Minnesota Legislature considerable credit. It expanded long-needed opportunities for many young people and families. But several things deserve additional attention in 2014. Why did the legislature allocate almost three times as much money [...]

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Jack Wickenhauser, De’shawnte Taylor, Vincent Smith Jr. and Denisse Sanchez are eloquent young people. They recently earned awards in a statewide Minnesota charter public school writing contest that attracted more than 2,200 entries. Their essays answered the question, “What was your best day in school?” Whether you’re an educator or parent, I think you’ll learn [...]

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With racial diversity growing in many suburban and rural areas, several recent awards are especially important. The national Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, online at www.coseboc.org, has recently recognized five outstanding district and charter public schools, including one in Minnesota. Coalition Director Ron Walker has spent 42 years as a public teacher and [...]

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What advice would you give to a young man who recently asked for suggestions? He’s hoping for a career in which he helps make major improvements in public education. Here’s a little about him, and a few suggestions. Reactions welcome. The young man works in a suburban public school. He’s a first-generation college graduate, and [...]

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