What should wise families, like careful coaches, help youngsters do to prepare for the upcoming school year? Forty-one district, charter and teacher union leaders recently responded to that question with specific, practical advice.
Here are two pieces of encouraging news about Minnesota’s public schools.
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.
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.
From Anoka-Hennepin to Richfield, Stillwater, Waconia, International Falls, Houston and all over the state, more than 50 of the 331 Minnesota school districts will have new superintendents in the 2014-15 school year.
Even if they have a slight decline in the number of students served, most Minnesota districts and charter schools will be receiving more money per pupil in the coming school year.
Sean McComb, recently named 2014 National Teacher of the Year, has given one of the best speeches I’ve ever read about what teachers can and often do accomplish.
“Breaking Bad” TV show actor Steven Quezada had several strong messages for about 4,000 educators recently gathered to discuss charter public schools. At a conference sponsored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, (http://www.publiccharters.org) Quezada began, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for recognizing that children learn in different ways.”
One of my favorite family memories is sandbagging by the St. Croix River with two of our children. It comes to mind as we enter summer and the July Fourth holiday – a holiday celebrating the sacrifice and selflessness of others. One of the most important things a family can do together this summer is help youngsters continue this tradition. Service should be a part of summer.