achievement gap

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TruthToTell Monday, Feb 10- 9AM: MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOLS: Plenty of Planning. Results? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7; Streaming @ KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, February 10, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Courtesy of Twin Cities Daily Planet

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What sort of civilized democratic society formed along a set of basic rights and principles maintains such wide disparities between its treatment of one demographic set of citizens (Whites/Caucasians) versus all the others (People of Color and those in poverty and homelessness) whose contributions should be as important as anyone’s.

Urban America has so long been plagued with glaring disparities in education, nutrition, healthcare, and employment opportunities, not to mention prison pipelines and treatment by members of law enforcement and corrections, that one would think some measure of shame would fall on the consciences of those who claim to be living and behaving faithfully under this nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Simply not so.  Nearly 250 years after our original founding premise that “all ‘men’ are created equal” in the eyes of the state and their maker, the enduring disparities have not only not been washed away by law or conscience, they have recently intensified, as persistently chronicled in studies from a variety of sources – including the University Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity(Oct, 2013) – originally The Institute on Law and Poverty – directed by Prof. Myron Orfield; the Minnesota Department of Health’s recent report on structural racism and health disparities and Prof. Michelle Alexander’s indictment of the law enforcement and correction system’s treatment of men of color – The New Jim Crow.

Still, the institutions serving our diverse urban cores keep setting goals and objectives designed to rid us of the chronic gaps in providing safe and encouraging spaces and participatory opportunities in the mainstream of this otherwise most affluent culture. The questions must be asked – when are words and plans simply not enough to close the widening achievement gaps in our P-12 education settings?

The words sound as committed as ever, but repeated five-year strategic plans and similar documents have thus far been toothless in actually closing those gaps. Not that the schools themselves are completely responsible for either the gaps or closing them. This is a community-wide, Metro-wide and citywide problem of the first water. Lying underneath all of these issues is the aforementioned structural racism that drives, often too subtly to be identified and addressed in truly effective and accountable ways. In fact nearly 70% of all enrolled students are of color in Minneapolis (as they are in so many cities). And, still, segregation by geography, class and income persist.

Now, the Minneapolis Schools have concluded one 2007 Strategic Plan, issued a 5-year Enrollment Plan (in the face of declining enrollment, despite population growth) and a preparing for the construct of a new, 5-year Strategic Plan. These are all probably necessary, but does the public really get it? Can the District possibly meet its ambitious goals and implement its objectives – as they adjust themselves each year – to successfully create an educational climate full of achievement and opportunity for all students, let alone the larger goals of college attainment in communities of color?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query senior Minneapolis Schools officials as to the successful and not-so-successful outcomes at the end of one strategic plan and moving into another while giving action to its enrollment plan approved in December.

GUESTS:

BERNADEIA JOHNSON – Superintendent, Minneapolis Schools (Independent District #1)

 

 

 

KIM ELLISON – Member, Minneapolis Board of Education – At-large; Clerk of School Board

REBECCA GAGNON -  Member, Minneapolis Board of Education – At-large; Board Treasurer

 


 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, February 3, 2014

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

"Americans overwhelmingly agree, nobody who's working full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty…and that is why I firmly believe it is time to give America a raise,” This was the proclamation of President Obama in his recent 2014 State of the Union address. The President even gave some credit to higher wage renegades at the St. Paul-based chain Punch Pizza (though he caught some flack for saying they were based out of Minneapolis) for voluntarily raising their starting wage to $10 an hour because it was the right thing to do for employee morale. But the president’s comments on Tuesday night weren’t the first we’ve heard about raising the minimum wage in America.

The debate over whether or not raising the minimum wage will help or hurt already struggling low-wage Americans has been raging on for decades, particularly in the wake of the great recession.

Supporters of a raise tout that raising the minimum wage to a living wage will give people more money to spend, which in turn would boost spending and jumpstart the economy. Several conservative business people are coming round to this fact.

Dissenters, however, worry that a forced wage increase will present too much of a burden on small businesses, thus forcing them to cut jobs or go out of business all together. Worse still, is the concern that increased wages will lead to consumer price inflation that will nullify any progress supporters of a wage increase hope to gain.

The current state minimum wage in Minnesota is $6.15 an hour, which seemed generous when the adjustment was made in 2006, but now all of Minnesota’s neighboring states have raised their minimum to match the new federal minimum of $7.25 and Minnesota has yet to join the club. Many argue that there is little need to do so because most businesses are beholden to the federal minimum anyway, but new pending legislation in the state House and Senate, are proposing wage increases somewhere between $7.75 and $9.50 per hour. Some, including Governor Dayton, would say that this still isn’t high enough, considering that the Living Wage Calculator (by Poverty in America), calculates the living wage for a single person with no children in Hennepin County at $9.69 per hour.

Who has it right? Can anyone really know for sure until these changes go into effect? Can a wage increase in absence of any other corporate regulation at the federal level to reign in greedy profit margins really do more good than harm? TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi ask these questions and more of our guests this Monday.

Guests:

SEN. JOHN MARTY - (DFL- 66), Chair, MN Senate Environment and Energy Committee


REP. JIM ABELER -  (R-35A), Candidate for US Senate in 2014


 

 

 

REP. RYAN WINKLER - (DFL-46A); Co-Author, HF 1980 calling for a Constitutional amendment requiring inflation-adjusted minimum wages starting Jan. 1, 2015



 

REP. JOHN LESCH - (DFL-66B-St. Paul)



 

 

JESSICA ENGLISH -  Organizer, Take Action Minnesota;  Single mom and former retail worker

 


SCOTT COY KENDALL, Now a Robbinsdale Dominos Pizza employee, after being laid off in the recession.

 

TruthToTell Monday, Feb 10: MINNEAPOLIS SCHOOLS: Plenty of Planning. Results? - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/10/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Courtesy of Twin Cities Daily Planet

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What sort of civilized democratic society formed along a set of basic rights and principles maintains such wide disparities between its treatment of one demographic set of citizens (Whites/Caucasians) versus all the others (People of Color and those in poverty and homelessness) whose contributions should be as important as anyone’s.

Urban America has so long been plagued with glaring disparities in education, nutrition, healthcare, and employment opportunities, not to mention prison pipelines and treatment by members of law enforcement and corrections, that one would think some measure of shame would fall on the consciences of those who claim to be living and behaving faithfully under this nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Simply not so.  Nearly 250 years after our original founding premise that “all ‘men’ are created equal” in the eyes of the state and their maker, the enduring disparities have not only not been washed away by law or conscience, they have recently intensified, as persistently chronicled in studies from a variety of sources – including the University Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (Oct, 2013) – originally The Institute on Law and Poverty – directed by Prof. Myron Orfield; the Minnesota Department of Health’s recent report on structural racism and health disparities and Prof. Michelle Alexander’s indictment of the law enforcement and correction system’s treatment of men of color – The New Jim Crow.

Still, the institutions serving our diverse urban cores keep setting goals and objectives designed to rid us of the chronic gaps in providing safe and encouraging spaces and participatory opportunities in the mainstream of this otherwise most affluent culture. The questions must be asked – when are words and plans simply not enough to close the widening achievement gaps in our P-12 education settings?

The words sound as committed as ever, but repeated five-year strategic plans and similar documents have thus far been toothless in actually closing those gaps. Not that the schools themselves are completely responsible for either the gaps or closing them. This is a community-wide, Metro-wide and citywide problem of the first water. Lying underneath all of these issues is the aforementioned structural racism that drives, often too subtly to be identified and addressed in truly effective and accountable ways. In fact nearly 70% of all enrolled students are of color in Minneapolis (as they are in so many cities). And, still, segregation by geography, class and income persist.

Now, the Minneapolis Schools have concluded one 2007 Strategic Plan, issued a 5-year Enrollment Plan (in the face of declining enrollment, despite population growth) and a preparing for the construct of a new, 5-year Strategic Plan. These are all probably necessary, but does the public really get it? Can the District possibly meet its ambitious goals and implement its objectives – as they adjust themselves each year – to successfully create an educational climate full of achievement and opportunity for all students, let alone the larger goals of college attainment in communities of color?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query senior Minneapolis Schools officials as to the successful and not-so-successful outcomes at the end of one strategic plan and moving into another while giving action to its enrollment plan approved in December.

GUESTS:

BERNADEIA JOHNSON – Superintendent, Minneapolis Schools (Independent District #1)

 

 

 

KIM ELLISON – Member, Minneapolis Board of Education – At-large; Clerk of School Board

REBECCA GAGNON -  Member, Minneapolis Board of Education – At-large; Board Treasurer

 


 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

TruthToTell Oct 8: FELON VOTING: Deserved or Disenfranchised?; TruthToTell Oct 1: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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Important Reminder: 

If you were convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state and as of Election Day you are NOT incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or supervised release, YOU CAN VOTE! In fact, the minute you have completed your felony sentence and are "off paper," you can register to vote OR you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor you NEVER lose your right to vote. If you are in jail on Election Day and are not serving a felony conviction sentence, you have the right to vote by absentee ballot.

From time to time, we find it imperative to talk about incarceration rates in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States – and the toll such imprisonment – behind bars and out front of them – takes on a huge slice of our humanity and that of those incarcerated.

The lifetime branding of anyone jailed for anything in the US is devastating to them, but also to the community and families from which they come and to which most will one day return.

We’ve taken on an ethos about imprisonment and punishment that is uniquely American in its cruelty and disproportionate impact on offenders from poverty and, more often than not – of color.

In an excellent New Yorker Magazine piece, “The Caging of America,” Adam Gopnik quite eloquently relates the following on this subject earlier this year:

“…no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded.

“For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

“The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that.”

Burning up the wires now, among other issues, is the proposed Minnesota constitutionalamendment requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote or even register at the polls in future state elections. The ballot question is seen by many as a remedy for fraud that is very hard to prove and harder to be concerned about at the rate of illegal voting supporters keep citing as the reason why Minnesota should back away from its very liberal methods for ensuring higher turnouts than in any other state in the union.

Not so liberal are the various rights accorded those exiting jails and prisons after convictions have imprisoned them either physically or with paper – paroles and probation – at least inMinnesota, among them the right to vote. ((Other states have varying rules about the extent of such limitations.) The restriction is limited to felons (vs. the less severe misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and others adjudged incompetent or under guardianship (this is under major challenge as well). But it is the felons who voted in the last election that Voter ID proponents believe justifies this much broader restriction on voting – as if by voting, all of these offenders and ex-offenders are committing fraud by casting ballots, and purposely distorting the popular vote in this state.

The question for us is: Why? Why do we deny the voting franchise to convicted offenders at all? And, if we must deny the franchise to these men and women – most of whom are citizens of color – why should they not be allowed to vote after leaving prison, parole or not, probation or not? What are the percentages in essentially removing the citizenship of men and women who have done time or remain incarcerated? Just how much punishment is required of people who have already had their freedom to move freely outside of prison taken away?

Eventually these rights must be restored, but is it really all that important to deny the voting rights of anyone considered a citizen of the US, the state, the city in which they live?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with post-incarceration advocates and at least one political animal who supports the law as it stands.

GUESTS:

 MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Officer,Second Chance Coalition


 SARAH WALKER – Chief Administrative Officer, 180 Degrees, Founder, Second Chance Coalition

 

 


 MICHAEL BRODKORB – politics.mn blogger; Communications, social media, public affairs & research consultant; former Communications Director, Minnesota Senate Republican Majority Caucus

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just a couple of days left to help approve of KFAI respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. CALL NOW: 612-375-9030 – or go online atwww.KFAI.org and PLEDGE PLEDGE PLEDGE!

Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesotans have allowed their education systems to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but from where those funds come. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

TruthToTell, Monday Oct 1-9AM: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy; PODCAST: Monday Sept 24: EMPOWERING U: Civic Engagement for the Disengaged - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 1, 2012

KFAI is respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesota has allowed itself to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but of the source of those funds. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

INVITED: Rep. Carlos Mariani Rosa/Jennifer Godinez – Minnesota Minority Education Partnership

AND YOU! Call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Become a Friend of TruthToTell. and let us put you on RADIO! We want to THANK YOU for coming to and/or donating to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash last Thursday, Sept. 20th. Your help will keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! If you were unable to join us or donate thus far, you can do so now: Always time to become a part of our family HERE! Welcome aboard!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Collaborative efforts between and among advocacy and service groups seeking social justice and eliminating disparities – race, class and otherwise – are nothing new, but Heartland Democracy, Twin Cities RISE! and 180 Degrees have figured out how to take the time necessary to touch many age groups finding it tough to succeed in today’s world.

From Heartland’s website:

Empowering U is Heartland’s deep civic empowerment program. Through a series of guided discussions, participants discover the tangible benefits of involvement in community, politics, and self-governance. They develop the motivation and tools to become active, informed members of their communities. Heartland Democracy works with partner groups serving our neighbors with little or no experience of participation in community, government, or politics. Hence, Twin Cities Rise!, which provides employment training to adults who have faced challenges in gaining and holding jobs, is a natural host. TCR! understands that when their participants learn the methods for networking to achieve a community or political goal, that same network pays off in job networking, the identification of resources, financial stability, and wealth. In other words, when you can till the roots of democracy, you can cultivate the roots of the economy as well. Similarly, HD is working with juvenile ex-offenders under the auspices of 180 Degrees. Both cohorts are in St. Paul.

Policy analysis and progressive advocacy group Heartland Democracy is able to bring Empowering U to our St. Paul area neighbors at Twin Cities Rise!, 180 Degrees, and, later this year, Unity Center for Youth Leadership's high school internship program with the generous support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation. In this way, Heartland and cohorts are helping Minnesotans realize their own self-interest in the full range of citizenship.

Citizenship is really what TruthToTell has been about, lo, these past five years-plus. Civic engagement is the source of survival for our entire democracy.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL urges you to listen to Empowering U stories of the young men and women this program is meant to assist in gaining a grasp of public life and citizenship coming out of more troubled pasts.

GUESTS:

TOM VELLENGA – President, Heartland Democracy

KEITH SIMONS – Director of Personal Empowerment, Twin Cities Rise!

MONICA SANDERS – Alumna of Twin Cities Rise! Program

TruthToTell Oct 1: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 10/01/2012

Just a couple of days left to help approve of KFAI respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. CALL NOW: 612-375-9030 – or go online at www.KFAI.org and PLEDGE PLEDGE PLEDGE!

Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

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One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues: www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

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As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesotans have allowed their education systems to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but from where those funds come. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

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*See “How to Succeed in Business…”


45:39 minutes (41.8 MB)

TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 19-9AM: TEACHERS AND TENURE: Achievement, Contracts, Certification

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Watch us from Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv or in iTunes

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 19-9AM: TEACHERS AND TENURE: Achievement, Contracts, Certification - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Education in Minnesota seems ever in upheaval. Well, everywhere. Witness the assault on teaching and teachers by Tea Partiers over the last year or so, resulting in several states going after teacher pay, benefits and general rights. Major changes have been installed in the schools over the last year or two or more. Teachers, parents and administrators in all districts, especially, face renewed pressures to build in reliable systems for teacher accountability and, in core city systems in particular, aimed at significantly narrowing the well-known achievement gaps between students of color and their white counterparts, but also improving learning overall, what with recent math and reading scores hitting historic lows nationally.

Several perceived remedies have been passed by the State Legislature, including:

•  alternative licensing and certification of professionals outside the system to enter the classroom – with proper supervision (since teaching methods are themselves are part and parcel of the field);

• despite many doubts and failures, charter schools continue their increases in numbers as alternatives for parents concerned with system schools;

• private and nonprofit teachers corps, such as Teach for America have been introduced to Minnesota, permitting newly graduated semi-volunteers to enter our classrooms for a couple of years’ service, then depart.

• teacher tenure has come under fire, especially when teachers’ union contracts ensure seniority as the time-tested safety net for teachers, good and bad.

Minneapolis is in the midst of contract negotiations and some parents and activists are stepping up and insisting on historic shifts in how teachers are evaluated and whether contracts should use only seniority to release or retain teachers or base tenure on some combination of seniority and competence and other criteria. It’s possible Minneapolis will become the bellwether for contractual reform.

TTT’S ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI examine these issues with our guests this week.

GUESTS:

REP. CARLOS MARIANI-ROSA – DFL Lead, Minnesota House Education Reform Committee, Member of Education Finance Committee and Executive Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP)

MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

LYNNELL MICKELSEN – Minneapolis Education Parent Activist; Blogger (Put Kids First Minneapolis); Editorialist and former Co-host, TruthToTell

LOUISE SUNDIN, President Emeritus and Lobbyist, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers; Trustee, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

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First Person Radio, Weds, Sept 14: ROBERT DESJARLAIT: Ojibwe Artist-Manoomin Advocate Audio HERE

Robert Desjarlait is Ojibwe-Anishinabe from Red Lake, Minnesota. He is a co-founder of Protect Our Manoomin – a Minnesota Anishinaabe grassroots organization that informs and educates on mining and its effects on manoomin. DesJarlait is involved as a facilitator for White Bison Wellbriety groups in the Twin Cities. He is a journalist and has written for The Circle Newspaper. He is also a member of the University of Minnesota Council of Elders.

First Person Radio's Laura Waterman Wittstock with Andy Driscoll get an update on the wild rice and other highly sensitive environmental issues threatening the survival of wild rice in the Upper Midwest ricing areas in Minnesota. Wild Rice - Mahnoomin - is one of the sacred foods of the Anishinabe. It has been harvested by environmentally protected processes for centuries by the Dakota and Anishinabe peoples.

TruthToTell Sept 19: TEACHERS AND TENURE: Achievement, Contracts, Certification - Listen Below

On-air date: 
Mon, 09/19/2011

Watch us from Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen on Blip.tv or in our Archives above.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Education in Minnesota seems ever in upheaval. Well, everywhere. Witness the assault on teaching and teachers by Tea Partiers over the last year or so, resulting in several states going after teacher pay, benefits and general rights. Major changes have been installed in the schools over the last year or two or more. Teachers, parents and administrators in all districts, especially, face renewed pressures to build in reliable systems for teacher accountability and, in core city systems in particular, aimed at significantly narrowing the well-known achievement gaps between students of color and their white counterparts, but also improving learning overall, what with recent math and reading scores hitting historic lows nationally.

Several perceived remedies have been passed by the State Legislature, including:

•  alternative licensing and certification of professionals outside the system to enter the classroom – with proper supervision (since teaching methods are themselves are part and parcel of the field);

• despite many doubts and failures, charter schools continue their increases in numbers as alternatives for parents concerned with system schools;

• private and nonprofit teachers corps, such as Teach for America have been introduced to Minnesota, permitting newly graduated semi-volunteers to enter our classrooms for a couple of years’ service, then depart.

• teacher tenure has come under fire, especially when teachers’ union contracts ensure seniority as the time-tested safety net for teachers, good and bad.

Minneapolis is in the midst of contract negotiations and some parents and activists are stepping up and insisting on historic shifts in how teachers are evaluated and whether contracts should use only seniority to release or retain teachers or base tenure on some combination of seniority and competence and other criteria. It’s possible Minneapolis will become the bellwether for contractual reform.

TTT’S ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI examine these issues with our guests this week.

GUESTS:

REP. CARLOS MARIANI-ROSA – DFL Lead, Minnesota House Education Reform Committee, Member of Education Finance Committee and Executive Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership (MMEP)

MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

LYNNELL MICKELSEN – Minneapolis Education Parent Activist; Blogger (Put Kids First Minneapolis); Editorialist and former Co-host, TruthToTell

LOUISE SUNDIN, President Emeritus and Lobbyist, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers; Trustee, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.


57:06 minutes (52.29 MB)