For more information contact: Peter Grafstrom 651-296-5524
I wanted to be sure you were aware of the Town Hall Forum that Sen. Sandy Pappas and I are hosting this weekend. We’re both really looking forward to it!
Town Hall Details
Saturday, February 28th, 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Neighborhood House, 179 Robie Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55107
Joins us for a good, thoughtful conversation about what’s going on at the capitol and what’s going on in our part of Saint Paul. We should have some light refreshments and all are welcome.
The State of Our Schools
One thing I’m paying close attention to this year is how our education policies might shift now that we have split party control at the legislature. I’ve always found opportunities to work across the aisle when my colleagues on the other side of it are in control. That said, I’m waiting to see if what I’ve heard about “effective reform” will be followed up by setting aside what’s politically expedient, and instead working on real policy – and then providing the resources to implement it.
This week saw seemingly conflicting news about the state of our schools in Minnesota. On the one hand, we heard that Minnesota’s graduation rate has risen for four straight years for all students to 81.7% - the highest since rigorous education standards were adopted a decade ago. Moreover, the gap between white students and students of color continues to narrow at a faster pace than the overall rise in four-year graduation rates.
On the other hand, we heard that Minnesota’s “opportunity and achievement gap” remains the worst in the nation and that our schools are failing. On national standardized tests, Minnesota’s students show some of the widest gaps between students of color and white students in the nation; and while in some cases Minnesota’s students of color might out-perform their peers in much of the nation, these disparities absolutely still matter. That Minnesota has some of the worst disparities between whites and communities of color in both education and employment is no coincidence. Unequal outcomes in education follow children for the rest of their lives. While real improvements are happening, this is a crisis for our state.
Please join me this weekend to discuss the real challenges our state faces in education and in other areas. If you can’t make it this weekend, you’re always welcome to get in touch with me at 651-296-9714, or firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check me out on facebook or Twitter at @Cmarianirosa.
I hope to hear from you soon,