You can’t address the ‘achievement’ gap by ignoring Eurocentrism in education

Last night protestors seized the a meeting of the Minneapolis board of education over the district’s contract with a Utah-based publisher of Reading Horizons, a reading curriculum that has become controversial after parents and teachers called some of its materials ‘offensive.” At issue are depictions of native people, like ‘Lazy Lucy,’ that readers found racially backward. …

Mickelson: Don’t blame teens or their parents for teacher-driven opt-out movement

The opt-out movement against standardized testing in public schools has hit the gilded streets of Southwest Minneapolis. Parent activist Lynnell Mickelson has seen first hand that it isn’t a grassroots movement from concerned parents, but an effort of school staff to sabotage Minnesota’s soft drive for public school accountability. One of her neighbor’s daughters recently …

Ms. Harder’s ‘wish list’ for better serving students

In March 2007 a great teacher approached the microphone at a school board meeting to offer a few things she needed. I was taken by her insights because they were humbly stated, while also being elegant, reasonable, and born out of real experience. Her name is Brionna Harder and her reputation is amazing.  I visited her …

How to save a school without saving kids

The video above tells the exultant story of one community’s fight to save a beloved high school from closure. It’s narrated by a friendly female voice over slick graphics and fast transitions between copy-written messages that artfully define school reformers as bad guys and teacher unionists as defenders of community values. The narrator frames the story in a way …