Insight News

Saturday
Aug 29th

Education

Board should reject proposed teacher contract: Once again our students are sacrificed

It has been announced that Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contact. Teachers will soon vote to ratify the agreement and the Minneapolis School Board will vote to accept the deal on April 17th. As an advocate over the years for all students, I believe this agreement essentially sacrifices the advancement of underachieving African American students to the benefit of adult teachers. If the board accepts this agreement it will not be in the best interest of those African American and other students who are not at grade level in reading and/or math. The Board should reject this agreement and send its negotiators back to the table to secure an agreement that will accelerate the academic achievement of underperforming students in district schools.

There are many reasons the Board of Education should reject this proposed contract and the following will demonstrate exactly why our students will be sacrificed, or shortchanged, if MPS accepts the proposal.

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Northside Hmong students meet legislators

 Northside Hmong students meet legislators

Hmong students urge representative Bobby Joe Champion (DFL, Minneapolis) to support school bus transportation to Hopkins, Wayzata

On April 5, 25 North Minneapolis Hmong students stormed into the
Minnesota state capitol.   All these students go to school in the
Hopkins and Wayzata school systems, and they went to the capitol to urge the legislators to continue to support their school bus transportation,

The Hmong fought along side the Americans in the Vietnam war, saving many downed pilots. After being forced to flee Laos in 1975, many Hmong families were trapped for decades in Thai refugee camps.  In 2005 the last Hmong refugee camp closed, and hundreds of Hmong came from Thailand to North Minneapolis.

Beginning n the 2007-2008 school year, some of these newly-arrived Hmong refugee students started entering the Hopkins and Wayzata school systems.  They wanted to learn English as fast as possible and get a quality education enabling them to go to college.  Bus transportation has been provided through the Choice Is Yours program.

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EMS Academy: In the tradition

On April 16, the fifth graduating class of the Saint Paul EMS Academy will receive their EMT certifications.  Saint Paul EMS Academy is unique in many ways, including its holistic, multi-faceted teaching and support services that stand out among traditional EMS training programs.

“Forty years ago, there was an institution remarkably similar: the Freedom House Ambulance Service.  What began as a grassroots, civil rights and community organizing center, Freedom House later grew into the first paramedic service in the United States.  It was directed and staffed by entrepreneurial African American men and women of a low-income Pittsburgh neighborhood who wanted to save lives and serve their community.  Their efforts resulted in the nation's earliest paramedic program and catalyzed the birth of modern pre-hospital medicine,” said Luz María Frías, director of St. Paul’s Office of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity which sponsors the training program.

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Morgan State University takes home grand prize as first-time champion of National Academic Competition

Morgan State University takes home grand prize as first-time champion of National Academic Competition

In a thrilling intellectual showdown, Morgan State University emerged victorious among 48 teams and claimed its first National Championship title at the 23rd Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (www.hcasc.com). The annual academic tournament brought 250 top students from the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) together in the Los Angeles area for a two-day competition and the opportunity to win as much as $50,000 in grants for their school.

In a culmination of a year-long program, Morgan State took home the title and beat second-place finisher Oakwood University after answering the following question correctly:

Who was America’s only chief executive never elected as president or vice president? Correct Answer: Gerald Ford.

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Metropolitan State welcomes three new trustees to foundation board

Metropolitan State welcomes three new trustees to foundation board

Dawn E. Campbell, Minneapolis, Dr. Chia-Yin Lo, Golden Valley, and Joseph Neuberger, Saint Paul, were recently elected trustees to the Metropolitan State University Foundation. 

Campbell, vice president–financial advisor for Bernstein Global Wealth Management, has been in the financial services industry for 19 years.  She holds a B.A. in journalism and economics from the University of Minnesota.

Lo is a staff dentist at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.  She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and a D.D.S. from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  She is pursuing board certification from the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine.

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Costain: Some parents don’t care about integration

Costain: Some parents don’t care about integration

James Burroughs,executive director of the Office of Equality and Diversity for Minneapolis Public Schools listens to a group of citizens discussing school integration.

A group of about 50 citizens – many education professionals – gathered to discuss integration in the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and hear what is being done to improve academic achievement.

Pam Costain, president and CEO of AchieveMpls, expressed that Minneapolis has unique challenges when attempting to achieve school diversity. She said though the city is increasingly more diverse in its population, the housing trends tend to be very segregated, making school integration more challenging.

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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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