Insight News

Feb 06th


Mike Favor, Principal Extraordinaire

Mike Favor, Principal ExtraordinaireConsidered by many to be the best principal that North High School ever had, the Northside community of Minneapolis was shocked when Mike Favor announced that he was leaving to become principal of Cooper High School in the Robbinsdale School District. Favor is credited for turning a plethora of North’s failures into successes.

With the beginning of his fourth year in Robbinsdale, Mike Favor has used his same magic at Cooper. At a school where many students lacked discipline and struggled academicslly, Favor came to demonstrate that all children could be successful in school.

Favor is a former offensive lineman, who has been called the greatest player in North Dakota State football (1985-1988). Mike Favor played in three national championship victories. He graduated from North Dakota State in 1989 with a degree in social work. He also earned a Master's degree in Education from Hamline University. Favor was a teacher and administrator at St. Louis Park High School and then assistant principal at Minneapolis North High before being promoted to principal.

MUL Young Professionals hosts Politics with a Purpose

MUL Young Professionals hosts Politics with a PurposeDiscussion on how the 2010 gubernatorial election will affect communities of color

The Minneapolis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) will host "Politics with a Purpose: How the 2010 gubernatorial election affects communities of color" on October 6. It will be hosted at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium and Atrium starting at 5:30 pm.

The event will consist of a diverse panel of politicians and community leaders discussing the importance of the upcoming gubernatorial race and how young professionals of color can actively engage the political process. The panel discussion, moderated by Robyne Robinson former FOX News anchor and former candidate for Lt. Governor, include:

Our history: We must fight for ethnic studies

Our history: We must fight for ethnic studiesThe right wing educational attack in Arizona expressed in the May 11 passage of HB 2281 banning the teaching of Ethnic Studies in all levels of education, k-12 through Higher Education, and new social standards by the Texas State Board of Education, confronts directly the historic struggles of people of color.  These are attacks on our ability to tell our stories, to speak our truths, and to transform the curriculum regarding the history of the United States.  These transformations in US education came from hard-fought struggles.  From the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College resulting in the establishment of a Third World College, to the  1969 Morrill Hall Take Over by Black students at Minnesota and the struggles for  American Indian and  Chicano Studies on that campus, these fields emerged out of struggle.

Indeed, the Third World Strike at San Francisco State College might be called the borning struggle of contemporary Ethnic Studies in the academy.  “On strike! Shut it down!” resonated on the campus from November 1968 to March 1969.  This five-month strike,  according to Helene Whitson, archivist of the San Francisco State College Strike Collection,  was “longer than any other academic student strike in American higher education history.”

USDA awards support research and teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

USDA awards support research and teaching at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

USDA has awarded grants to strengthen the research, teaching and extension capabilities at 18 historically Black land-grant colleges and universities in an effort to recruit and train students for careers in agriculture, announced Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"Our 1890 historically Black land-grant universities play a critical role teaching students to meet the high quality, innovative research needs that are vital to the wellbeing of our nation's food, fuel and fiber," Vilsack said. "These awards mark a substantial investment in addressing the robust and varied research challenges facing American agriculture today, but more importantly it is also an investment in our future scientists and engineers, farmers and foresters."

Superintendent column

Superintendent columnI so enjoyed visiting classrooms on the first day of school and seeing the anticipation on children’s faces. Principals were enthusiastically greeting students and families. In the midst of all this excitement, teachers were focused on teaching on the very first day of school.

That enthusiasm and focus will serve us well as we set course for a new year. Our 2010 Report on Academic Progress underlines the importance of good teaching and the urgency with which we must approach our work.

Overall, proficiency in our district is at 51 percent in reading and 45 percent in math – 20 points below the State average. As a group, our white students significantly outperform the State; however, students of color make up almost 70 percent of our enrollment and are 36 points below the State in reading and 35 points below in math. While our annual gains in achievement are comparable to the State they are not enough.

Admission Possible celebrates 10th anniversary

Admission Possible celebrates 10th anniversaryFor 1,400 Twin Cities students, going back to school will include Admission Possible. As school kicks off, Admission Possible celebrates its 10th anniversary serving low-income students, having grown services more than 200-fold since the organization’s founding in the Twin Cities on September 11, 2000. In its biggest program year yet, Admission Possible will work with more students than ever before and, to help coach these students to success, will welcome its largest team of AmeriCorps members.

Documentary Questions Overscheduling of ADD Generation

Documentary Questions Overscheduling of ADD Generation Race to Nowhere

Most of the recent documentaries about the American educational system indict it for failing to challenge students enough. They’ve generally blamed the high dropout rate on top heavy school administrations and blasé teachers’ unions that care more about benefits and cutting corners than learning and test scores.

Race to Nowhere takes a novel approach to the problem, by suggesting that kids don’t need longer school days and more homework, but exactly the opposite. Co-directed by Vicki Abeles and Jessica Congdon, the telling expose’ examines the Attention Deficit Generation on its own terms, interviewing students of all ages who complain about wilting under the stress of being micromanaged for success by their well-meaning, if slave-driving parents.
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