If the Minneapolis School Board approves it, Interim Superintendent Michael Goar plans to “right size” the district. “What we are proposing are the things that I will be focusing on as superintendent for the next four months,” says Goar, who was named Bernadeia Johnson’s interim successor in December and assumed his new duties Feb. 2.
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St. Paul Public Schools [SPPS] has “evolved” since 2009, the year Valeria Silva was hired as its superintendent. “Have we made mistakes? Yes. Have we improved on the mistakes we made? Absolutely,” says Silva, who adds that SPPS must keep pace with a city that has “gone through the largest transformation in 25 years.” Continue Reading →
Many young African Americans will be shut out of the high paying jobs of the future, if they don’t earn a degree in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a new report.
The new report by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 advocacy and outreach groups, said that less than 3 percent of Blacks… Continue Reading →
In 2002, April was designated as Minority Health Month to increase awareness about health disparities that exist for people of color. Even though April 2014 Minority Health Month is now past, we must continue to address health disparities head on every month of the year. Health disparities exist when certain segments of the population have higher rates of preventable diseases and mortality. Many populations are affected by disparities, including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In a recent report to the MN legislature on health equity, the MN Department of Health stated that although Minnesota is deemed one of the healthiest states, African Americans and American Indians in the state have continued to experience higher rates of preventable disease as well as reduced life expectancy. Continue Reading →
On behalf of the Xcel Energy Foundation, Marsha Connor, communications consultant-web, Xcel Energy, recently presented a $5,000 educational grant check from the Xcel Energy Foundation to the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Twin Cities Chapter to help BDPA’s youth technology programs.
Accepting the check was Dorothy Richburg, vice president of strategy and planning for the BDPA Twin Cities Chapter and president of Keystone Computers, Joseph Richburg, vice president of finance, BDPA, and Cushmeer Haines, president, BDPA Twin Cities. BDPA programs focus on education designed to spark student involvement in the Professional Development, High School Computer Competition, and Mentoring programs that aid in the personal and professional development of high school students. The high school students learned web programming, digital technology, and recently returned from participating in the national high school computer programming competition held in Washington, D.C.
The BDPA Twin Cities chapter typically partners with local businesses such as Xcel Energy. This partnership provides programs that increase the technical capabilities of BDPA’s membership and the local community. Xcel Energy volunteers include Connor, Lacy Lee Johnson and Jeandre Williams, Business Systems. Connor, along with Johnson and Williams, has represented Xcel Energy on the BDPA Marketing committee. Continue Reading →
By Vickie Evans-Nash
In October 2012, Edward McDonald was appointed director of the Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM). The process began when he was approached by friends and colleagues who thought he would serve well in the role. Raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completing his undergrad studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 1980, he received a post-graduate degree as a legal assistant and completed his graduate studies at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. He returned to the Twin Cities in the early ’90s, working as public policy manager for Family and Children’s Service. Now married for 32 years with two adult children, he has lived in Oakdale, Minnesota since 1994 but says he is not disconnected from areas with a larger population of people of African descent. Continue Reading →
When news began to flash across the airways Friday, December 14, that a tragedy was taking place in Newtown, CT, the magnitude and the heartbreak of this violent and insane action began to sink in. Twenty of the 26 lost lives were six- and seven-year-old children dying from multiple gun shots from an assault/combat rifle. This incident caused me to pause and relook at what to write for this end-of-year/looking-forward-to-the-future column, especially in terms of the tragedies in Minneapolis’ African American communities in terms of education, jobs, housing and getting caught holding the bag to pay for a stadium neither the state nor city can afford. In terms of school shootings, we remember Virginia Tech; Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation; Springfield, OR; Columbine, CO; Jonesboro, AR; Blacksburg, VA.; and 1927 Michigan: 45 killed, mostly children. Recent school killings have also been in Norway; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Sana’a, Yemen. Continue Reading →
However, wellness gap remains between White youth and youth of color
Collectively, Minnesota’s teens are doing better today on key health measures than they were in the 1990s, according to a recent analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Since the 1990s, students 12 to 19 years old from all racial and ethnic groups have experienced substantial declines in rates of smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, sexual activity, hitting or beating up another person, carrying a weapon on school property, drinking pop or soda, and riding in a car without a seat belt, according to The Health and Well-Being of Minnesota’s Adolescents of Color and American Indians: A Data Book (PDF: 3.62MB/86 pages) from the MDH. One exception is the level of emotional distress, which has remained basically the same since the mid-1990s. This marks the first time the MDH has systematically compared the health of teens from different ethnic and racial backgrounds — White, Latino, African American, Asian, and American Indian — and found a persistent wellness gap between Minnesota’s White adolescents and its adolescents of color and American Indians. “This teen fact book shows that efforts in some targeted areas have been working to protect adolescents of color and American Indians, but it also shows that much more needs to be done,” said Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota commissioner of health. Continue Reading →
By Mel Reeves
“The Developmental Dual Language [DDL] program at Green [Central School] is a new approach, and starting new things — moving out of a comfort zone — is always a little threatening. But it’s the right thing to do for our Spanish-speaking students,” says Green Central Principal Catalina Salas. Salas was not available to be interviewed for this story but provided the MSR with a written statement explaining the reasons for curriculum changes. Salas has come under fire from some parents and community members who are nervous about the program and fear that, while it may be the right thing to do for Spanish-speaking students, it may leave African American students behind. Some even fear that this will result in segregation of those students in the same school. Continue Reading →