Now that she’s had a few months to settle into her new role — a whirlwind that included a number of listening sessions in school districts across the state — MinnPost sat down with Ricker at the Department of Education to hear about her vision for Minnesota students and schools.
The district is in the midst of re-evaluating its strategies for driving up academic achievement, boosting enrollment, and creating more equitable access to programming, districtwide.
Outfitting low-income students in first, second and third grade with their own home library ensures that young readers have access to grade-level reading material outside of school.
The full Legislature will convene later this session to cast votes on two at-large seats, one student at-large seat and one seat from Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.
The class roster generally includes 20 to 24 students. Half of them are enrolled in special-education services. The other half are general-education students.
Among the 30 college and university presidents in the Minnesota State system, half are women and a third are people of color.
Minnesota has the widest gap in reading scores between white and nonwhite students in the nation.
“The current system our special-education teachers follow is not an easy one. It is repetitive. It is costly. It is burdensome. It is complex. And it is exhausting,” said Denise Dittrich, a spokesperson for the Minnesota School Boards Association.
During his first couple of years at Riverland Community College, something as basic as not being able to afford food threatened to derail Oballa Oballa. Now he’s helping meet other students’ needs.
In some ways, the scene felt reminiscent of the youth-led gun reform movement that defined much of last session — albeit on a much smaller scale.
Democratic and Republican legislative leaders express similar appetites for working in a bipartisan fashion to set the education budget this year.
Systemic education issues in the spotlight this year signaled a growing appetite for change — in how students’ health needs are met in school, in how students are disciplined, in how school safety is addressed, and more.
Often it means entering a two-week period of instability in housing, in meals, in daily routine — the very things that youth need to feel secure.
Asked about her leadership style, Gabel talked about surrounding herself with “really smart people who balance each other well, balance you well, care about the institution,” and then letting them do their job.
The commissioner needs to bring a renewed sense of urgency, experts agree. “We’ve got huge educational gaps, opportunity gaps,” said St. Paul Public Schools Supt. Joe Gothard. “We need some drastic catalyst for change right now.”
State lawmakers recently paved the way for five initial alternative teacher preparation programs to take root in Minnesota.
The Therapeutic Teaching Model that Intermediate District 287 has piloted in three elementary classrooms at its North Education Center is supported by nearly $2 million in one-time grant funding that the district and its partner, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, received from the state.
Low-property-wealth rural districts — knowing that their taxpayers have to shoulder a higher proportion of any referendum ask — are being forced to triage their bonding asks.
Kimberly Caprini and Josh Pauly win the two at-large school board seats in Minneapolis.
Reading instruction has a lot of political baggage. Nearly four decades ago, the so-called “reading war” had taken center stage, overshadowing the science behind learning how to read.