More from the Homepage
Staff Directory 169409976

Alejandra Matos

Reporter | Minneapolis education
phone: 612-673-4028
Alejandra Matos joined the paper in 2012 after graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. She was a Star Tribune health intern in 2011.
Recent content from Alejandra Matos
Obituary: Gordon Mortrude, longtime teacher of teachers

Obituary: Gordon Mortrude, longtime teacher of teachers

Gordon Mortrude challenged teachers to treat their students with respect and kindness, even at times when students were acting out. This was back in the…

State asks judge to dismiss teacher tenure suit

Lawsuit alleges tenure system hurts the students.
St. Paul superintendent buyout far exceeds others in Minnesota

St. Paul superintendent buyout far exceeds others in Minnesota

An unusual clause triggered the nearly $800,000 payout, including $208,000 in health insurance benefits.
Valeria Silva to step down as chief of St. Paul schools

Valeria Silva to step down as chief of St. Paul schools

Silva is leaving two years before her contract was set to expire. Her six-year tenure was marked by gains in graduation rates and policies aimed at improving outcomes for minority students, but her time was recently marred by declining enrollment and questions of school safety.
Ex-nonprofit CEO Davis pleads guilty to 16 fraud, theft charges

Ex-nonprofit CEO Davis pleads guilty to 16 fraud, theft charges

Bill Davis had been set to face trial next week on federal charges for spending thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on lavish trips, personal charges, cars and other questionable spending.
Ex-nonprofit CEO expected to plead guilty to charges this morning

Ex-nonprofit CEO expected to plead guilty to charges this morning

Bill Davis, the former head of Community Action of Minneapolis, was set to face trial next week on more than a dozen federal theft and fraud charges. Jordan Davis, Bill's son, is still expected to stand trial.
State board OKs licensing request for Minneapolis superintendent Ed Graff

State board OKs licensing request for Minneapolis superintendent Ed Graff

Minneapolis superintendent choice is granted a variance by a state board; he'll start July 1.
Provisional license for new Mpls. schools leader on hold

Provisional license for new Mpls. schools leader on hold

The state Board of School Administrators says it needs more information from the school district.
Mpls. School District official on leave while payments investigated

Mpls. School District official on leave while payments investigated

District officials are investigating the relationship between Lucilla Davila and the Windom Enrichment Resource Center, an after-school program she helped create.
Mpls. school official's ties to after-school program probed

Mpls. school official's ties to after-school program probed

The district investigating Lucilla Davila, who has received more than $26,000, in a possible conflict of interest.
Mpls. school board approves Ed Graff's superintendent contract

Mpls. school board approves Ed Graff's superintendent contract

He will be paid $225,000 per year and will start July 1.
New Minneapolis school chief seen as stabilizing force in Alaska

New Minneapolis school chief seen as stabilizing force in Alaska

In a boardroom that has echoed with the demands of protesters, the cries of parents and the frustration of board members, the quiet presence of…
Cost of Minneapolis schools superintendent search looks to top $200K

Cost of Minneapolis schools superintendent search looks to top $200K

Expert says the cost, one of the most expensive in the country in recent years, is not unreasonable.
Ed Graff has tough assignment ahead in Minneapolis schools

Ed Graff has tough assignment ahead in Minneapolis schools

New superintendent faces hard work, but with support, in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis school board picks Ed Graff as next superintendent

Minneapolis school board picks Ed Graff as next superintendent

In a 6-3 vote, Graff was chosen over Brenda Cassellius, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, to end a 16-month search.
Minneapolis school board quizzes superintendent finalists

Minneapolis school board quizzes superintendent finalists

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius and outgoing Anchorage Superintendent Ed Graff were asked about equity, school budgets and discipline.
Candidates for Mpls. schools chief make their pitch to community

Candidates for Mpls. schools chief make their pitch to community

The two Minneapolis schools finalists may have vastly different backgrounds, but each believes rebuilding trust will be their first task if they get the job.
2 finalists for Mpls. schools post: Cassellius, Alaska leader

2 finalists for Mpls. schools post: Cassellius, Alaska leader

Next week, the school board will interview Brenda Cassellius, who has led the state's Education Department since 2011, and Ed Graff, superintendent of the Anchorage school district

Minneapolis School District budgeting errors add up to $17M

The district failed to budget for expenses such as pension contributions. The shortfall will be made up by getting rid of two investment funds.
How Roosevelt High School's principal keeps the students coming back

How Roosevelt High School's principal keeps the students coming back

Roosevelt High School Principal Michael Bradley roams the halls at a time when most students should be in class. Here comes a student heading to…
Interim Mpls. schools chief named CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters

Interim Mpls. schools chief named CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters

Goar has worked in public school districts since 1999.

Group donates $2.7M to address achievement gap in Minneapolis

Minnesota Comeback made $2.7 million in donations to schools in an effort to help Minneapolis combat some of the largest achievement gaps in the country between white and low-income and minority students.
Education Commissioner Cassellius applies for Mpls. superintendent

Education Commissioner Cassellius applies for Mpls. superintendent

Brenda Cassellius has served as commissioner for five years.
Suit ignites debate over teacher job protections, education reform groups

Suit ignites debate over teacher job protections, education reform groups

California plaintiffs lose appeal in anti-tenure battle similar to one in Minnesota.

Suit accuses Minnesota of protecting bad teachers at students' expense

The lawsuit is the third of its kind in the nation and will likely bring a fierce debate.

2 school board members may not run after DFL snub

Minneapolis board members Reimnitz and Asberry lost second attempt at DFL endorsement.
Hundreds of Mpls. South High students opt out of state tests

Hundreds of Mpls. South High students opt out of state tests

Only 48 students South High took the math exam in 11th grade — out of 405 students. Statewide, less than 2 percent of all students opted out of that test.

Minnesota Comeback gives $2.7M to Minneapolis public, charter schools

New group of foundations funds Minneapolis teacher program, charter school expansion.

Mpls. school board firms up superintendent search committee

The board selected six community members, including a student and principal.
Obituary: Joan Munzner, longtime teacher passed along passion for French

Obituary: Joan Munzner, longtime teacher passed along passion for French

Joan Munzner loved her students, fencing, hedgehogs and all things French.The longtime teacher died last month at age 81 after a long battle with Parkinson's.Munzner,…

St. Paul teachers best paid in state; more than half at $75,000-plus

More than half of all teachers in St. Paul earn more than $75,000 a year, wages not seen by most teachers across the state.

Mpls. school board changes deadline, process for picking new superintendent

Selection committee will see trimmed list of applicants, with final choice due in June.
Minneapolis schools approve new teacher contract

Minneapolis schools approve new teacher contract

The deal will cost about $7 million. The district also hired a new search firm for the superintendent post.
Metro school districts scramble as enrollments rise, fall wildly

Metro school districts scramble as enrollments rise, fall wildly

While overall metro school enrollment grew by only 3 percent in the past five years, some districts are scrambling to adjust to dramatic changes. Minnetonka's up, Burnsville's down and others are seeing populations shift.

Minn. graduation rates flat but more minority students finish school

More students of color are getting diplomas, rates are up since 2010.

Minnesota schools not closing education gaps, report shows

Minneapolis, St. Paul and metro schools among hundreds falling short of new state law.

Minneapolis schools put controversial budget plan on hold

District looking at ways to better distribute money.

Choice fair is one-stop shop for Minneapolis schools

Daylong event gives parents a chance to compare public, charter options in the Minneapolis district.
New name emerges in search for Minneapolis schools chief

New name emerges in search for Minneapolis schools chief

In board meetings, Facebook forums and e-mails to the board, some community members are saying they hope Michael Thomas applies.
Mpls. school board proposes changes to search for new leader

Mpls. school board proposes changes to search for new leader

The district will ditch its search firm and expects to have a new superintendent by July.
Goar quits bid for Mpls. superintendent job

Goar quits bid for Mpls. superintendent job

Michael Goar, interim superintendent of the Minneapolis School District, said Saturday that he has become a distraction in the contentious process.
After year in crisis, Minneapolis school board promises change

After year in crisis, Minneapolis school board promises change

Minneapolis school board members say they want to do less micromanaging.
Minneapolis school board faces pressure to select a new leader

Minneapolis school board faces pressure to select a new leader

After dropping Sergio Paez, it considers its next steps in filling the superintendent job.
Mpls. school board rejects Paez for its superintendent job

Mpls. school board rejects Paez for its superintendent job

The Minneapolis school board dumped Sergio Paez as its choice to lead the district, and a move to offer the job to interim superintendent Michael Goar was put on hold after protesters interrupted the meeting.
On day of Mpls. superintendent vote, questions arise around link between finalists Goar, Paez

On day of Mpls. superintendent vote, questions arise around link between finalists Goar, Paez

School board members say interim superintendent's Massachusetts connection should have been disclosed.
Support for Paez to take Mpls. superintendent job dwindles

Support for Paez to take Mpls. superintendent job dwindles

Six sources close to the debate said Sergio Paez appears to be lacking majority support going into a school board vote on Tuesday.
Report confirms pros, cons of Mpls. choice for school superintendent

Report confirms pros, cons of Mpls. choice for school superintendent

Sergio Paez was praised for programs and focus on students in Holyoke, Mass., but struggled to navigate the city's politics, according to the Minneapolis school board's site visit report.
4th assault of a staffer in Mpls. alternative schools surfaces

4th assault of a staffer in Mpls. alternative schools surfaces

One involved the principal suffering injuries at a North Side alternative high school.

Minnesota school integration proposals draw fire

Charter school supporters fight plan that would force them to integrate like other public schools.
Paez makes rounds 'to talk to the community directly' about school job

Paez makes rounds 'to talk to the community directly' about school job

Picked to head Minneapolis schools, Sergio Paez awaits a final decision after allegations about his former job.
Minneapolis Superintendent candidate Sergio Paez comes back to answer questions

Minneapolis Superintendent candidate Sergio Paez comes back to answer questions

Sergio Paez is in Minneapolis for talks about abuse allegations in previous district, other issues.
Minneapolis' Winter Break Academy aims to help students graduate on time

Minneapolis' Winter Break Academy aims to help students graduate on time

In its second year, Minneapolis' Winter Break Academy draws 800 high school students.

Minnesota recognizes 22 schools for efforts to close education gaps

Almost all of the schools are elementary schools. No schools in the Minneapolis or St. Paul districts were recognized.
Mpls. school board pick's track record under scrutiny

Mpls. school board pick's track record under scrutiny

The superintendent finalist has supporters in his old district of Holyoke, Mass., but allegations have raised questions.
Obituary: Marcella Walsh, Northwest flight attendant, jazz aficionado

Obituary: Marcella Walsh, Northwest flight attendant, jazz aficionado

Marcella Walsh read “Jane, Stewardess of the Air Lines” when she was 9 years old and decided she, too, wanted to be a stewardess. The…
Mpls. school board puts contract talks with Paez on hold

Mpls. school board puts contract talks with Paez on hold

District suspends contract negotiations but did not rescind its offer to Paez for the superintendent job.
State Sen. Jeff Hayden, wife to pay $2,750 to settle Community Action of Mpls. claims

State Sen. Jeff Hayden, wife to pay $2,750 to settle Community Action of Mpls. claims

A receiver overseeing the organization's finances claimed the couple received $3,500 in trips, spa treatments and other perks from the defunct nonprofit.
Report alleges child abuse under watch of new Mpls. Superintendent Paez

Report alleges child abuse under watch of new Mpls. Superintendent Paez

The report comes just 48 hours after Sergio Paez was named Minneapolis superintendent.
New Minneapolis schools superintendent may start as early as January

New Minneapolis schools superintendent may start as early as January

Sergio Paez, the newly named superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, may take over the school district sooner rather than later. In a split vote Monday,…
Mpls. schools' choice for superintendent: Sergio Paez

Mpls. schools' choice for superintendent: Sergio Paez

The Colombia native most recently ran schools in Holyoke, Mass. The board voted for two board members to visit Holyoke before settling on a contract.
South High teachers illustrate inequalities through math

South High teachers illustrate inequalities through math

Sisi Mitchell pores over tables of data showing the number of homicides, assaults, arrests and community engagements with police in Minneapolis. Her task is to…
Parents, community weigh in on top Mpls. schools job

Parents, community weigh in on top Mpls. schools job

Community is divided over role of Minneapolis schools chief as interviews wind down and preferred candidate is picked Monday.
Minneapolis superintendent finalists cite varied experience in quest for top job

Minneapolis superintendent finalists cite varied experience in quest for top job

The three diverse candidates would bring different skills to the job. A finalist will be chosen Dec. 7.
Interim leader, 2 from out of state are finalists for Mpls. superintendent

Interim leader, 2 from out of state are finalists for Mpls. superintendent

The school board cut its list of finalists in half Wednesday. A final selection is expected by Dec. 7.
Minneapolis schools interview 3 of 6 superintendent semifinalists

Minneapolis schools interview 3 of 6 superintendent semifinalists

Closing the achievement gap is a common theme from Mpls. superintendent candidates
Semifinalists named in Minneapolis superintendent search

Semifinalists named in Minneapolis superintendent search

Six people, including an administrator from Houston, an associate superintendent in Anoka and a regional superintendent Milwaukee, were named semifinalists.
At Bemidji charter school, American Indian students excel

At Bemidji charter school, American Indian students excel

Bemidji charter school helps Indian students soar past peers.
Lawsuit: Schools failing poor, minorities in Mpls., St. Paul

Lawsuit: Schools failing poor, minorities in Mpls., St. Paul

Attorneys are asking for a metro-wide integration plan, including new school district boundaries.
Mpls., St. Paul school districts are among the least integrated

Mpls., St. Paul school districts are among the least integrated

Elementary students in Minneapolis and St. Paul attend schools that are more racially segregated than they have been in a generation.
Heritage Academy sues Mpls. school district over canceled contract, takeover

Heritage Academy sues Mpls. school district over canceled contract, takeover

The district canceled the pact after months of strife.
Gun discovered at Henry High in Minneapolis

Gun discovered at Henry High in Minneapolis

Minneapolis School District announces anti-violence campaign after the discovery at Henry High.
Minneapolis School District takes over Heritage Academy

Minneapolis School District takes over Heritage Academy

Heritage Academy loses contract following conflict between parents, board.
Minn. fourth-graders see drop in math, reading scores on national exam

Minn. fourth-graders see drop in math, reading scores on national exam

Test results also show the achievement gap persists. Still the state continues to outperform others across the country.
Mpls. high school bets on arts as way to keep students in class

Mpls. high school bets on arts as way to keep students in class

Theater shows, art exhibits and musical performances are all part of Roosevelt High School's strategy to engage students in school and ultimately boost achievement.
'Report card' for Minneapolis, St. Paul shows big achievement gap persists

'Report card' for Minneapolis, St. Paul shows big achievement gap persists

Problem is one of several that group seeks to tackle in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools.
More from Star Tribune