Insight News

Feb 11th


House passes education reform to reduce achievement gap

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed an education reform bill Thursday, March 3, which creates an alternative pathway to teacher licensure. The bill aims to reduce the achievement gap between white students and students of color and is likely to be signed into law by Gov. Dayton. African American legislators supported the bill, calling it a positive first step to increasing teacher diversity and education outcomes for African American students.

Making the grade 

While most New York City kids enjoyed their winter recess from school, a group of students in Harlem continued their learning process at the North Harlem Kumon Learning Center, where the learning never stops.

For many of uptown kids, getting the educational edge is always a challenge and it bears out in the statistics.  Recenty, for example, the New York Amsterdam News reported the release by the city of a report that shows a crisis in the number of Black and Latino students attending specialized high schools in New York City.

AARP scholarship opportunities for women 40 and older

AARP Women's Scholarship Program is about creating chances, fostering opportunities and, ultimately, changing lives. Since 2007, The Women's Scholarship Program awarded scholarships to help over 500 women.

An applicant for the Women's Scholarship Program must be:
•    Woman, age 40 and older
•    Low-income
•    Pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associates degree, or a first bachelor's degree
•    Scholarship recipients who wish to reapply for a second year of assistance
•    Enrolled in a U.S. Department of education accredited school or technical program within 6 months of the scholarship award date

Friendship Academy Wax Museum

Friendship Academy Wax MuseumStudents from Friendship Academy of Fine Arts Charter School have taken a new approach to learning facts about Black History.

In celebration of Black History Month, last month more than 100 students from Friendship Academy of Fine Arts Charter School in South Minneapolis created their own wax museum of historical Black personalities. The students prepared speeches and created costumes for all of the featured Historical Black Personalities. The students then presented their speeches to fellow classmates, community and family members with the push of a button launching the first ever interactive Wax Museum. One of the featured personalities was our very own Al McFarlane.

Students study history makers

Students study history makersWE WIN Institute makes a difference in the lives of all children. Whether they are African, Asian, European or Indian, WE WIN creates successes with them. The organization’s Afrocentric curriculum teaches all the students served about the great accomplishments of people of African descent. Not just Black children need to know about the triumphs of African people, all students need to know the great feats of Africans including how they built the pyramids, how Africans started the first universities, created astronomy, mathematics, farming, irrigation systems and even developed the ironing board. Elizabeth Varavang, who is of Asian descent, and Deratu (African Ethiopian descent), share their understanding of Garrett Morgan and Granville Woods.

Metropolitan State appoints Melendres to AVP of Enrollment Management

Metropolitan State appoints Melendres to AVP of Enrollment ManagementDrew N. Melendres, Houston, TX, was appointed associate vice president of enrollment management by President Sue K. Hammersmith. The appointment is effective March 1.

In this position, he will oversee the offices of admissions, financial aid, Gateway Student Services and the registrar. He is responsible for a staff of 45 and a budget of $4.9 million. He reports to the student affairs vice president and is a member of the President’s Cabinet, collaborating with colleagues across all divisions of the university to provide strategic and operational enrollment management leadership.

Celebrating the arts and academics

Celebrating the arts and academicsLast month, I was given the opportunity to participate in a series of Young People’s Concerts presented by the Minnesota Orchestra. They invited me to narrate a popular story, “Tubby the Tuba,” as they filled Orchestra Hall with the beautiful sound of music. The story is about a tuba trying to find his place in the musical world of an orchestra. It was a wonderful way to weave reading and literacy into the arts and I am so thankful that all of the third-graders in the Minneapolis Public Schools were able to attend the concerts.
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