Nathan on Education

One of my saddest and happiest days in school was the first day I wore my glasses, in the third grade. I already disliked my ears, which stuck out, and now I was the only kid with glasses. I felt super ugly and hated the idea of going to school. Fortunately, a teacher intervened. She […]

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Here’s some good news, looking ahead to the 2015 Minnesota Legislature’s discussions about improving public schools. Two leading Minnesota Senate Democrats described several of their priorities as similar to those described last week by leading House Republicans. While this doesn’t ensure agreement, it’s encouraging that these leaders share some similar priorities. They include a review […]

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By Joe Nathan Contacted on Election Day, two key Minnesota House Republicans offered several priorities in education. Democrats are still the majority in the Minnesota Senate, and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton was re-elected, but Republicans replaced DFLers as the majority in the Minnesota House. The legislative process ultimately requires compromises between House, Senate and governor, […]

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Riches and rogues. The more I look, the more I find some of each, and a lot between, on the Internet. Families and educators have a huge task helping young people learn how to gather information on the Internet. Here are five guidelines to consider. But first, a brief story. Youngsters in schools today have […]

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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 […]

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Here are two pieces of encouraging news about Minnesota’s public schools. First, the state teachers union has agreed on the potential value of yearly teacher evaluations. Second, a just-released report, “Quality Compensation,” encourages Minnesotans to build on success from a formerly controversial reform called Q Comp, which provided extra funds to districts and charters that […]

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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. National research says cost and preparation for good jobs is […]

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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. As he told thousands of other educators gathered at the National Education Association conference: “When those children come through the school doors, teachers are the decisive element. […]

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One of my favorite family memories is sandbagging by the St. Croix River with two of our children. It came to mind as we entered summer and the Fourth of July holiday – a holiday celebrating the sacrifice and selflessness of others. One of the most important things a family can do together this summer […]

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