Joe Nathan

Important decisions were made in the last week. Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius and a number of local superintendents have decided it’s time for thousands of Minnesota families and students to have better information about some key education opportunities. Last week the Minnesota Department of Education posted a revised, updated and very helpful set [...]

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By Joe Nathan “I think it is vitally important to have the ‘Getting Prepared Report’ updated in 2014, given the push we did this legislative session to advance early college opportunities for all secondary students.” That’s what Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul and chair of the Minnesota House K-12 Education Policy Committee, told me in [...]

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Looking back over 2013, I think Minnesota parents, policymakers, taxpayers and educators sent each other three major, memorable messages about public schools. Column readers sent me more than 1,000 comments in 2013. Your messages helped me reach these conclusions: • We’re willing to put more money into education, especially if it appears that additional funds [...]

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A recent report on national and Minnesota college student debt has some surprising, and potentially useful information for families. The report comes from the Institute for College Access and Success, a national nonprofit group viewed as worthy of notice from organizations such as The New York Times, NBC News, CNN and USA Today. The Institute [...]

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Maria, Anna, Oscar, Tong and Adam have things that high school students and their parents may find useful. In a new, free booklet, these students describe how they saved thousands of dollars and gained enormously, by taking dual-credit (for high school and college) courses. Some refer to these school choice programs – including Post-Secondary Enrollment [...]

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By Joe Nathan Should parents have their children “opt out” (not participate) in local or statewide testing? Some anti-testing advocates are suggesting this. Recently more than 30 district, charter and union officials responded when I asked them about this. Their responses reflected a mixture of respect, responsibility and frustration. Most educators offered considerable respect for [...]

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