PHOTOS | MSR’s 20th Annual Grad Celebration highlights

On May 20 the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR), now in its 80th year of publication, and its nonprofit namesake the MSR 501c3, hosted the 20th annual High School Graduation Celebration at the Metropolitan Ballroom located in Golden Valley. As in previous years, the Celebration echoed its traditional theme “Education and Graduation: It’s a family affair.”

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Scholarships groom young Black men for leadership

In late April, three African American male college students received the Eddie Phillips Scholarship Award. The scholarship is currently a two-year pilot program awarded to young men who give back to their community through volunteer and community service projects. The scholarship is a partnership of the Minnesota Private College Fund and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Fund.

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Public schools foe Better Ed campaigns for school choice

Nearly two years ago a billboard appeared in North Minneapolis that raised quite a few eyebrows. Strategically placed across the street from the Minneapolis Public Schools’ Davis Center at 1250 West Broadway, the billboard declared, “Minneapolis Public Schools spends $525,000 per classroom of 25 students…PER YEAR.”

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Teacher brings award-winning education expertise to N. Mpls

James Barnett, principal of Minneapolis College Preparatory School, a public charter school currently serving 9-12 grade students at the old “Lincoln Elementary” building on 12th and Penn Ave. N, is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He moved to Minneapolis when he was in the fifth grade.

Living predominantly on the North Side, he went to Hall Elementary and Franklin Junior High. In high school, he attended Minnehaha Academy, and then went to St. Olaf College for his post-secondary education.

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Minnesota college students face loan crisis

Minnesota is fifth among U.S. “high-debt states” where college student debt upon graduation on average has surpassed $30,000, says The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS). The 2014 project student debt report that TICAS released last November points out that in 2013 seven in 10 college graduates from public and private nonprofit colleges owe an average of $28,400 in student loans, up two percent from 2012.

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Graduation

Blacks now finishing high school at record levels

After 30 years of little to no progress, Black youth are completing high school at the highest rates in history.

This is the finding in a new issue brief titled, “Young Black America Part One: High School Completion Rates are at their Highest Ever,” published by the Center for Economic Policy Research, a Washington-based think-tank. The report examines Census Bureau data for 20 to 24 year-olds, and compares high school completion rates around the country over the past 30 to 40 years.

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Age 0 – 3 the focus of achievement gap forum

On March 5, North Minneapolis’ Phyllis Wheatley Community Center hosted Mayor Betsey Hodges’ Cradle to K Public Forum. Roughly 100 Minneapolis parents and community members gathered to voice concerns and add input to the city’s growing factors that contribute to the Minneapolis achievement gap between students of color and their Caucasian counterparts.

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Educator’s faith in schools and students bears fruit

A “difference-maker who loves children.” That’s how Bill Wilson describes Dr. Tyrone Brookins. Wilson has known Brookins for almost 20 years.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Brookins has become a widely praised math teacher and now principal at Battle Creek Middle School in St. Paul Public Schools. He is the kind of person almost everyone wants working with young people and other educators.

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Interim MPS super says this is no time to ‘play scared’

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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SPPS super says battling the board not her style

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.”

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