joe nathan

Money was not mentioned by any of the more than 30 educators who responded to a question I asked about the first month of school. Each of them described the most important things that families can do in September. Everything they suggested is free: helping youngsters set goals, establishing routines, learning something yourself, talking positively about schools and building or continuing a strong relationship with educators.

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Americans have complicated, conflicted feelings about how much to rely on statewide standardized tests, such as those whose scores were recently released. I think this year’s results suggest three changes.

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Youngsters like Kerrie Maleski, Kayley Schoonmaker, Matt Rubel, and Will Tully are part of a major trend in Minnesota. They are among the growing number of students in Minnesota’s two-year community colleges. They’ve also been elected as leaders of the Minnesota State College Student Association.

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Alia Jackson and Pierre Fulford are just two of the millions of youngsters who have gained from charter public schools. On July 29, they joined with former Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Howard Fuller and almost 200 Minnesota parents and educators to discuss what is working well and what needs to be improved with Minnesota’s charters. The conference was co-sponsored Cargill, CliftonLarsonAllen and the Center for School Change.

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