Video: Wendy Kopp from Teach For America at Minnesota Meeting – April 2011

Minnesota Meeting with Wendy Kopp of Teach For America from Minneapolis Foundation on Vimeo.

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Watch a Live Webcast of Minnesota Meeting with Wendy Kopp

Visit this link to watch a live webcast of Minnesota Meeting featuring Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America from 5 to 6 p.m. today.

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Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp featured on MinnPost’s Learning Curve

Upcoming Minnesota Meeting speaker shares her thoughts on how to reframe the discussion on education.

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Upcoming Live Webcast with Wendy Kopp of Teach For America

Please join us for a live webcast of Minnesota Meeting featuring Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America. The webcast will be broadcast from TPT Studios, will be available on this site, and is generously co-sponsored by the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children.

April 14, 2011
5 to 6 p.m.
Webcast will be shown on this website

The Minneapolis Foundation invests in proven and promising strategies to ensure every student receives the excellent education needed for individual and regional prosperity. TFA is one of many efforts that, together with the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children, we have funded to support high quality teaching in the classroom, a critical factor in student achievement. In addition, The Minneapolis Foundation– through grants and civic leadership activities – promotes early childhood learning, increased family and community involvement, and ensures every public school student in Minneapolis receives an enriching academic experience. To learn more about our efforts visit our website.

Questions will be taken during the event from the studio audience and online viewers. We look forward to an insightful dialogue on this approach and other strategies for closing the achievement gap and preparing our students to compete globally.

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Minnesota Meeting 2011

Check here after April 1 for more details about an upcoming Minnesota Meeting event.

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View the Gubernatorial Debate on P-12 Education

Minnesota Meeting: Minnesota Gubernatorial Debate on Education from Minneapolis Foundation on Vimeo.

Through its Minnesota Meeting public affairs program, The Minneapolis Foundation hosted a gubernatorial debate on P-12 education on September 23rd. The goal was to offer all Minnesotans a chance to better understand each candidate’s vision for education in our state.

All three major candidates participated in the debate, which was held at Twin Cities Public Television Studios and moderated by Cathy Wurzer. It was broadcast live on-line and on TPT’s Minnesota Channel. The event was co-sponsored by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children and the Itasca Project.

The Minneapolis Foundation hosted the debate as a nonpartisan activity and does not endorse any of the candidates or their positions.

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Register for the live webcast of Minnesota Meeting

The Minneapolis Foundation would like to invite you to a special Minnesota Meeting live web broadcast featuring a gubernatorial debate on P – 12 education. This event is co-sponsored by the Itasca Project and the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children.

Gubernatorial Debate on P – 12 Education
September 23, 2010
5:00 – 6:00 pm

We are partnering with Twin Cities Public Television for this special Minnesota Meeting event. It will be broadcast live on the web from TPT (before a small studio audience) and will air on a later date. 

We have invited major candidates Tom Horner, Tom Emmer, and Mark Dayton to the debate. And well-known TPT and Minnesota Public Radio personality Cathy Wurzer, will moderate. Each candidate will have the opportunity for opening and closing comments in the context of a free flowing format without timed answers. An advisory committee comprised of the full array of educational interests will prepare questions to be posed to candidates, intermixed with questions from the audience.

Our primary objective is to help inform Minnesota’s electorate about each candidate’s vision for Minnesota’s education system by exploring the range of complex issues that influence policies and decisions. We look forward to a dynamic conversation focused on what it will take to move Minnesota forward as a premier education state.

Click here to register for the event.

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Watch the video of Minnesota Meeting

Minnesota Meeting on Education Reform on June 10, 2010
from Minneapolis Foundation on Vimeo.

We are pleased to share with you the video of the special Minnesota Meeting, recorded on June 10 at TPT studios.

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Education: A lesson in perseverance

Sandra L. Vargas

Sandra L. Vargas, President and CEO, The Minneapolis Foundation

Thank you to everyone who attended or watched the special Minnesota Meeting on education reform held on June 10th, which The Minneapolis Foundation co-sponsored with RKMC Foundation for Children, and the Itasca Project. Special thanks to our guest speaker, Alex Johnston, as well as our panelists and the audience, whose insights, experiences and questions provoked a stimulating discussion about what we need to do to succeed in transforming Minnesota’s education system to ensure that our state remain a prosperous and vital region for all of our citizens.

By now, both the challenges facing Minnesota and some of the proposed solutions are well known. But as Nancy Hylden noted in an earlier post, progress has often been frustratingly slow.

So, what happens next? We do not walk away, dejected. We must continue to do the very hard work of helping everyone understand what’s at stake, and mobilizing the forces necessary to bring reform to Minnesota. As Alex Johnston noted at the event, ConnCAN’s success helping shepherd through meaningful education reform measures in Connecticut was five years in the making. “Being right just isn’t enough,” Alex said.  “The status quo is too powerful. What you need is the political will to enact the right policies.”

We at the Foundation continue to work with nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and corporate allies through grant making and collaborative efforts to help make the transformation of our education system possible. We also seek to raise awareness of the facts, spotlight effective reform efforts, and build public will for change.

This is an election year in Minnesota. In addition to the gubernatorial race, Minnesotans will vote on every legislative seat and statewide office.  Ask your candidates to explain how they will ensure that Minnesota’s public education system is more flexible, innovative and accountable, how they will contribute to closing the achievement gap, and what they will do to ensure that we’re making appropriate investments in the lives of all our children and the future of our state.

I was thinking about the incredible return on those investments as The Minneapolis Foundation celebrates the conclusion of Destination 2010, a pioneering initiative we established 10 years ago to support a group of St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools students from third grade through high school graduation in the year 2010. Over the past several weeks we’ve had the joy of watching 114 of them collect their high school diplomas and prepare for college.

This remarkable accomplishment that would not have been possible without the contributions of our community and school partners, support from the students’ families, and the hard work of the students themselves. We, as a state, are richer for their perseverance and success.

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Five Ways to Close the Achievement Gap

Valeria Silva and Bernadeia Johnson are experienced educators and new superintendents. Silva became superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools in December, and Johnson assumes the top job in Minneapolis on July 1. Johnson will be part of the panel discussion on education reform at the June 10 Minnesota Meeting.

Both superintendents have made closing the achievement gap one of their top priorities. With that in mind, we asked them to respond to an admittedly hypothetical question: If, through a stroke of the pen, you could do three things to close the achievement gap, what would they be?

Number 1:

Bernadeia Johnson

Bernadeia Johnson, Superintendent Designee, Minneapolis Public Schools

Johnson: That’s a hard question because there are so many things we could do to help improve student performance. What do I leave out? First, I would drastically address how we identify, prepare, place, mentor, support and hold teachers accountable. It’s unfortunate, but too many colleges and universities are turning out teachers who are not prepared for today’s classrooms. That’s why I think programs like the Bush Foundation’s Teacher Effectiveness Initiative are so important.

Valeria Silva

Valeria Silva, Superintendent, St. Paul Public Schools

Silva: I agree; we must do more with teacher preparedness. We must intervene and provide the tools they need to succeed because they are not being prepared to handle classrooms that have 25 students with different needs. So, what happens? They teach to the middle. The top kids don’t get the stimulation they need to stay engaged, and the kids who are struggling don’t get the help they need to progress.

Number 2

Silva: I’d require more time and more days per student in academic programs. That’s not the same thing as saying we need a longer school year. That isn’t necessary for every student. But for kids who are struggling, summer school and community education programs should be a must, not an option.

Johnson: I would remove some of the restraints that come with school funding sources. Right now we have funding streams that come into the district that require specific set asides for programs that we know are not making a difference. These resources could be used more effectively, including investing in more academic time for the students who need it.

Number 3

Silva: Resources is my No. 3, but I’m talking about more than money. We need people and services. Many of our families are struggling. They lack health insurance, or they can’t afford the prescription medication their kids needs. And unfortunately, many of the wrap-around services, such as school nurses, mental health and chemical dependency counselors have been cut.

Johnson: I would enact a stronger, standards-based curriculum. Issues like accountability and school governance mean nothing if you’re not teaching kids the things they need to know. The strongest charter schools have very strong curriculums with tightly aligned assessments. Programs and textbooks are not the same thing as a curriculum.

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