Insight News

Tuesday
Nov 25th

Education

MPS: Reform working here

As leaders of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), we are often surprised but pleased by the number of people who fervently follow the ebbs and flows of teacher contract talks. We need more people paying attention to the critical issues pertaining to public education in our country. We commend the intelligent public discourse on these issues and we feel it is important that the commitment and enthusiasm people have for this work continue. Now is the time when the systems, the people and the passion are aligned. Knowledgeable individuals can only help us in our work to make the necessary changes to state and local policies that lead to practices that yield positive outcomes for the city’s youth.

While reading articles, blog posts and editorials, we sometimes wonder if people truly understand the complexities of our work. Education reform: what does that really mean? It is so much more than making adjustments to the teachers’ contract.

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Audrey McKay: An HBCU experience

Audrey McKay: An HBCU experience

Born and raised in the powerful District of Columbia – Metro area, home to the legend President Barack Obama; Audrey McKay, an accomplished author, CEO of Two Shoes Publishing House, former scientist, and graduate of Spelman College has decided to take a few moments from her successful life to share her famed “HBCU experience”.

Where are you from? How did you first hear about HBCUs?

I grew up in the D.C. Metro area, and I had always known about HBCU’s but I hadn’t really planned to attend one over any other type of school in the beginning.

What made you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

When I visited the school, (Spelman), it just touched something in me and I felt like it was the only place I wanted to spend my college years in.

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Youth program in East Phillips produces college-bound scholars

Youth program in East Phillips produces college-bound scholars

Photo courtesy of  The Banyan
Left to right, Tyler Moore, Abby Mohammed, Nathanael McNair, and Seng Ye Xiong

There’s a big reason to celebrate in East Phillips! Four high school seniors from the Banyan Community in South Minneapolis are going to college. So far, they have received a total of 16 college acceptance letters. The University of Minnesota, Yale University, Swarthmore, and Marquette University are just some of the colleges waiting to hear from these scholars. Although many Twin Cities students are preparing to enroll into college this fall, these students don’t fit the conventional profile for success.

Abby Mohammed, Seng Ye Xiong, Nathanael McNair, and Tyler Moore are graduating seniors at DeLaSalle High School through the Banyan’s Higher Ground scholarship program. They’ve made a commitment to their education and used the 4-year scholarship as a stepping stone to higher education. These students come from neighborhoods where low educational outcomes are commonplace. They were not expected to graduate from high school, much less attend competitive colleges and universities. Mohammed explains it best in her college entrance essay, “Minneapolis is a city of arts and diversity. However, my neighborhood is one of the less savory sections of this metropolis. People here are born into a caste in which they will stay from birth to death. They are trapped in their class…and remain relatively uneducated throughout their lives.”

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The Rites of Passage: Building strength of mind, strength of character

 The Rites of Passage: Building strength of mind, strength of character

Photos by andrews-photography.com

On Saturday, March 10, 2012,seventeen, high school seniors experienced a traditional African ceremony that symbolized their transformation from childhood to adulthood. In front of their family, friends and mentors, the seventeen initiates were presented at the 14th Annual Minneapolis Chapter of Jack and Jill’s Rites of Passage (ROP) ceremony, entitled:  Building Strength of Mind and Strength of Character.

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Richard Green celebrates African American Family Night

Richard Green celebrates African American Family Night

 

Richard R. Green Central Park School, 3416 4th Avenue S., celebrated Black History Month with a presentation of poetry, music, food and arts.  The Sankofa African American Family Celebration took place 5-7:30pm Tuesday Feb 28.  Former FOX 9 news anchor Robyne Robinson hosted the event which included keynote speaker Dr. Josie Johnson and musical performances by the Mile High Club and Gary D. Hines & The Sounds of Blackness. 
           
“This is a blessing to be invited to such an event,” said Reverend Mary Spratt, founder of Greater Mount Nebo Community Missionary Baptist Church.
          

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New data from U.S. Department of Education highlights educational inequities around teacher experience, discipline and high school rigor

Minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
 
In an event at Howard University attended by civil rights and education reform groups, federal education officials today released new data from a national survey of more than 72,000 schools serving 85% of the nation’s students.  The self-reported data, Part II of the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), covers a range of issues including college and career readiness, discipline, school finance, and student retention. 
 

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Minnesota school district makes national case for anti-LGBT bullying prevention

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today praised the settlement reached between the federal government, LGBT students, and the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota, resolving complaints of sex- and sexual orientation- based harassment of students. The resolution is due to incredible work by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education and the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Southern Poverty Law Center that represented six student plaintiffs.

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