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Joe Nathan

St. Paul, MN
Commenter for
4 years 32 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 01/19/12 at 05:36 pm in response to Gary Eichten and the craft of journalism

As a listener and a person who Eichten interviewed several times, I found him to be
a. A person who knew a lot about the subject
b. Able to ask important, piercing questions that represented what lots of folks would like to know
c. Unwilling to accept jargon or lack of clarity, regardless of who he was interviewing
d. To be really fair and to not take one side or another, but push the person he was interviewing to really justify her/his position.

I also found...

Good to see this program receiving attention, but for more than 20 years high schools have been developing cooperative programs with 2 and 4 year colleges and universities. A number of these programs don't require students to be at the top of their class.

The Center for School Change documented this in a report released about 10 days ago, and described in a Minnpost commentry:

Very nicely done, Don. I learned a lot.

Posted on 11/11/11 at 04:39 pm in response to Carol Johnson's three big lessons on school reform

Yes and No
Yes, teams of teachers and school leaders matter a lot.
Yes, it's important to learn the most effective district and charter public schools, including providing district public schools with the same flexibility available to high quality charters.
Yes, public schools can bring youth from low income families to the same achievement levels as middle and upper income youngsters. I've written about how it was done in Cincinnati.

Posted on 10/29/11 at 09:52 am in response to Schools generally fail at outreach to parents

A few brief reactions to comments above re the free workshop we are helping organize for Nov 10
1. Beth, thanks for writing about it. Yes, I think it is fixable but it does require making communicating with families a priority (one that I think has many rewards). For example, schools could (and some do) start out with a family student conference before the school year starts. This makes the first contact between home and school a positive one. Educators could devote 10-15 minutes a...

Posted on 10/21/11 at 11:36 pm in response to 'Beat the odds' schools: exploring their lessons

Thanks for Beth's invitation to discuss these issues.
Some ideas can be transferred. We helped the Cincinnati district public schools increase overall graduation rate by more than 25 points, and eliminate the high school graduation gap between white and African American students. We used a variety of research based strategies which I wrote about on Minnpost, here:

Posted on 10/14/11 at 04:19 am in response to Report shows Somali kids test kindergarten-ready: Why?

Sorry, I don't think we have any evidence that Spanish speaking, or Native American, or Asian American families VALUE education any less than Somali American families.
We do a lot of work with immigrant families and youngsters. I have no systematic data to present. But I don't think this report (or Boyd's column) present any data to support the idea that one group of families "cares more" than others.

Posted on 06/22/11 at 01:04 am in response to MELF's data: The ROI on quality early ed has been firmly established

The headline is correct, but a key assertion by Ms. Hawkins is not.

The headline: "MELF's data: The ROI on quality early ed has been firmly established." True - going back many years (I helped write a report for the National Governors Association in 1986 that used some of this data, and it has accumulated since then, most recently in the research by Prof Arthur Reynolds and Prof Judy Temple at the Univ of Minnesota.

This assertion is not correct:

"Looking at things...

Mr. Foster, I'd encourage you to come to the meeting and consider what the two people from Cincinnati share.

Posted on 04/29/11 at 11:06 am in response to Jeb Bush III: The voucher carve-out edition

Hawkins writes, "It seems a fissure has appeared in the case against vouchers, and cites a recent US Supreme Court decision.

Actually, in 2002, the US Supreme Court rule in al v. Simmons-Harris, et. al, that allowing public funds to follow students to private and parochial schools is acceptable in the case of a school district where many low income students are not succeeding.