Brenda Cassellius

Recent Articles

Generation Next tackles the achievement gap

Some educators feel left out of the conversation
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Solving current educational problems over the years, especially the achievement and opportunity gaps for Blacks and other students of color in the Twin Cities, has been attempted many times in some form or another with mixed results. However, leaders of “a powerful coalition” last week announced a multi-faceted plan that, if successful, could make a much-needed difference. Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak last Monday — exactly a week before the new school year begins in Minneapolis and two weeks before St. Paul schools open — stood behind the podium at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs and unveiled “an aggressive, comprehensive plan” by Generation Next, a local organization that he now heads. Target Corporation has consented to grant $1.1 million to Generation Next for this initiative. Continue Reading →

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Racial Equity Report Card and legislative agenda announced

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP) called January 30 for a statewide racial equity agenda. It was introduced along with the organization’s seventh annual Racial Equity Report Card during a rally at the State Capitol. “This agenda is not controversial but rather a multiracial and multi-issue group of community leaders working for racial, cultural and economic justice,“ said Phyllis Hill of ISAIAH, one of the 50-plus organizations that support the OAP’s plan. “I think we can turn our state around,” she believes, if more attention is given to such important issues as health care, education, economic opportunities, housing and justice issues as they affect Blacks and other people of color. Such an agenda is important now more than ever, noted Minneapolis School Board Member Kim Ellison. Continue Reading →

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Educators urged to partner with families

  

North High hosted top national expert on
community engagement
   
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A productive school involves effective family and community partnerships, a leading community engagement expert said last week at North High School. Although there was little family involvement in this event, some hope the educators present will spread the word that such partnerships are essential to student success. “She is the number-one reference” in the nation for community involvement research, said Center for School Change Director Joe Nathan of Dr. Joyce Epstein, the director of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. A program of Macalester College, the Center for School Change and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) co-sponsored a November 10 two-hour evening event attended by nearly 300 educators and other professionals. Family involvement is important “for students to do better in school,” said Epstein. Continue Reading →

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