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Jim Bartholomew

Mpls, MN
Commenter for
5 years 34 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 12/12/14 at 01:25 pm in response to Some painful truths about Minneapolis Public Schools' academic progress

An earlier comment - "show me the number of students on free and reduced lunch and I will tell you what the test scores are like."

This is wrong......!

There are plenty of schools in Minnesota and the U.S. that demonstrate every day that a student's demographic status (e.g. income, race) does not determine their ability to learn and succeed in school.

Students and schools face challenges, no question, but that does not mean they can't succeed.

We need to not only...

Posted on 11/17/14 at 04:59 pm in response to Harvest Network reinvents itself to deepen students' skills

Interesting article - especially the fact Harvest now provides 26 days for professional development.

From reading the comments it sure seems like "my way or the the highway".

Shouldn't we consider the best ideas from each perspective in trying to solve difficult issues (e.g. how best to close achievement gaps between students).....?

Until this year, the state required most students to take ONE reading and ONE math exam per year....

ONE science exam is also given in grades 5, 8 and 10 (generally).

These exams, the MCAs, are developed with MN educators and are directly aligned to MN student standards - also developed with MN educators.

As a result, MCA results give students, parents and educators critical information on how well students are performing relative to standards that have been set by MN...

Teacher evaluations are a critical strategy for helping all teachers improve.

That said, if a teacher gets help but still doesn't meet expectations they should be replaced by a teacher who is effective. We can't settle for keeping ineffective teachers - this doesn't help kids or the teaching profession.

School districts are a creation of the state. As a result, the state should, prospectively, give districts the flexibility to assign teachers based on effectiveness and...

Posted on 01/23/14 at 01:54 pm in response to How do we keep the teachers we need?

...but a couple additional points.

On teacher pay, isn't it time salary schedules go away - hard to think of a system that would be more unattractive for recruiting talented new teachers. Changes in your compensation will NOT reflect how effectively you do your job.

Coupled with a system that, when needed, bases layoffs strictly by seniority and we really stack the deck against recruiting - and retaining - talented new teachers.

Strategies for supporting new...

Posted on 01/06/14 at 03:46 pm in response to K-12 and Congress: Kids pay for adults' gridlock

Some of the positives from NCLB: expectations for what all students should learn (regardless of zip code), aligned measures of student progress, comparable information on student performance, giving parents access to some of the federal money to help their children if their schools couldn't.

Finally, the fed'l gov't decided to expect results for the money they gave states - to help at-risk kids succeed.

Yes, much of the "system" has objected to this culture change. However...

Just think - its amazing how difficulut it is for the public to get any information on if /what changes may/may not be made to the way public schools in Mpls. operate.

Thank you to Seth Kirk, Lynnell Mickelsen, Bill English, Chris Stewart, SFER and all others who just want to know what's going on before it's too late!

Operation of our PUBLIC schools comes down to Kremlinology....

Our answer to a crisis that's been brewing for years is to convene another group to talk.....again.

Posted on 10/14/13 at 01:14 pm in response to Who questions the test questioners?

MN's state standards in reading, math and science - and the aligned exams (MCAs) have been created and vetted in partnership with MN teachers, high ed representatives and community and employer representatives.

And congratulations to MN, our standards and exams have set higher expectations for students than most other states.

Not sure what Mr. Diedrich's goal is, but all his commentary does is include a bunch of contradictory messages.

* We want people to be able to...