Joe Nathan

Even if they have a slight decline in the number of students served, most Minnesota districts and charter schools will be receiving more money per pupil in the coming school year. That’s one of the key lessons learned in talking with Tom Melcher, director of the Minnesota Department of Education’s finance division. Thanks go to [...]

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Eighteen-year-old David Greer is remarkable. He’s just earned a high school diploma and a four-year college degree. He may be the first Minnesotan to use Minnesota’s Post Secondary Enrollment Options law to pay all the costs of tuition, book and lab fees for a bachelor’s degree. The University of Minnesota recently awarded him a B.A. [...]

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Taking college-level courses at his high school was “fantastic,” according to Khalique Rogers, a student at Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul.  “Our research shows that in just one year, these courses produced more than $13 million in potential savings for students and families,” according to Mary Olson, director of communication and public relations [...]

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Congratulations and concerns. That’s how we might react to recently released Minnesota high school graduates’ performance on the ACT college entrance test. Where do the congratulations come in? Minnesota seniors ranked first among the 40 states where at least 30 percent of seniors took the test.  The percentage of students taking the ACT in those [...]

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Wanted for the soon-to-start school year — more parent and family involvement, right? That’s been a frequent request … “if we could just get more families involved, students would do better.” The good news is, according to Johns Hopkins University professor Joyce Epstein, that we know how to produce it. Epstein was here last week [...]

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There’s “promising progress” in Minnesota’s just released elementary and middle school test results.  However, would it be acceptable for about 40 percent of Minnesota youngsters not to graduate from high school?  The question arises since 42  percent of Minnesota’s high school juniors did not pass Minnesota’s soon-to-be-required math test.  That was part of the Minnesota [...]

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Three important questions come from “Do Schools Challenge our Children?” a new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP): •Is school too easy for many youngsters? •Should we believe student surveys? •If the answer to the first two questions is “yes,” now what? CAP describes itself as a “ non-partisan research and education institute,” [...]

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People like Eric and Sam have valuable insights about free college courses via Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). And now, the Legislature has expanded PSEO to include 10th graders. Responding to an earlier column, Eric wrote the Forest Lake Times, “PSEO is a great option for high school students (who are) ready for it. I [...]

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Why are some families doing home schooling, how many are doing it, and is it a good idea? Several readers responded to a recent column on district and charter enrollment by asking these questions. First, why? Professor Milton Gaither of Messiah College in Pennsylvania responded, “The most recent (2007) National Center for Education Statistics data [...]

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