Nathan on Education

How can public school options help youngsters? Pam Jutila, a mother in Ramsey, has been writing to me since April. She described how her three youngsters have gained from options. Her first note commented on a column about a student who had trouble in a large high school and was doing far better in a [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Local field trips for students are common, but not so much for teachers. But a Minnesota school recently took its teachers around neighborhoods they serve to help them understand more about their students and families. The ultimate goal is more student success. Many of the students at Academia Cesar Chavez, or their parents, come from [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Their important accomplishments, a historical coincidence and public fascination with major anniversaries recently produced attention to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy. Within the span of one week, we recognized the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” and the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. Leading up to the anniversaries, I thought: How can we help [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Congratulations to the many parents, community members and educators who produced a record approval rate of local district referendums. This was a huge amount of work, especially in an economy that is challenging for many Minnesotans. According to the Minnesota School Boards Association, 51 of 59 operating levies were approved. That’s 86.4 percent, higher than [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

“We have halls of fame for athletes and entertainers and should afford the same degree of recognition to our star educators and through that channel of the education profession. … This is an excellent idea.” That’s how Arthur Dorman, a Minnesota educator, responded to a recent column praising Oklahoma’s Educator Hall of Fame. Most but [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Students Mac Schwartz and Mariah Van Heel and U.S. Sen. Al Franken agreed on several important things when the senator visited Forest Lake High School, Oct. 22. Fortunately, both the school district and the senator are not just talking – they are working hard to advance ideas displayed during the visit. That’s good for students [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Pounding basketballs and children sitting on sofas come to mind as I think about the $40 million that Minnesota has just made available to families for early childhood program scholarships. While the money may be used well, I think it’s too early to describe this as a “major step forward,” as one advocate asserts. Give [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Two Morrison County elementary schools have just earned an important state award. Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota commissioner of education, released information this week showing that Lindbergh Elementary in the Little Falls Community Schools District and Royalton Elementary in the Royalton Public School District are among the state’s top 15 percent of the 853 Minnesota public schools [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon

Should parents have their children “opt out” (not participate) in local or statewide testing? Some anti-testing advocates are suggesting this. Last week, more than 30 districts, charter and union officials responded when I asked them about this. Their responses reflected a mixture of respect, responsibility and frustration. Some educators agreed that tests are imperfect, they [...]

facebook icon
twitter icon
comments icon
up arrow
up arrow