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Erin Golden

Reporter | Politics and government reporter
Phone: 612-673-4790
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Erin Golden is the statewide education reporter for the Star Tribune. She previously spent two years covering Minnesota politics and government and another two years covering Minneapolis City Hall. 


Before joining the Star Tribune, Golden covered business, city government, public safety and other topics at newspapers in Nebraska and Oregon.
Recent content from Erin Golden
Fifth graders worked on multiplication workbooks in 2013. In some districts, leaders say they are trying to do more to show both parents and students

More Minnesota students opt out of state tests, create a dilemma

Around the state, the rate of students choosing to bypass the state's largest standardized exams has risen steadily for more than a decade.

Parent sues Edina schools over strip-search of second-grader

An Edina schools spokesperson said the district "vehemently denies the allegations in this lawsuit and will defend itself from these inaccurate and misleading claims."
From left, Abdirizak Alibos high-fived his twin sons, Rayan and Ridwan, before they went to start the second grade in Minneapolis on Tuesday.

A day of firsts marks opening day for Minnesota schools

The emphasis was on the new: New shoes. New start times. New principals. New clothes — even uniforms pulled together at the last minute.
Construction was in high gear last month at Irondale High, as it was at nearly all schools in the Mounds View district.

Twin Cities suburbs feel effects of school enrollment boom

In some cases, it is raising tough new questions on how the district will pay for the growth.
In this November 2017 file photo, Elizabeth Ledesma taught a 2nd grade class at Richard R. Green Central Park School in Minneapolis.

Minnesota students' math and reading scores drop

New data released by state education officials shows little improvement in other measures, including attendance and students' progress over time, although graduation rates are on the rise.
Minnesota teens fill crucial jobs at the State Fair. State law calls for schools to start after Labor Day, with a few exceptions.

As some Minn. students prepare for fair, others already are in class

Most state districts won't start until after Labor Day.
Meme Hoes, 4, of Minneapolis waited her turn for an ear of corn at the Farm to School community barbecue at the Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary an

Minnesota seeks applicants for "Farm to School" grants

Districts have used the funds to outfit kitchens with on-site cooking equipment and tools.
This billboard, located just west of Hwy. 169 and I-394 in St. Louis Park, was paid for by the Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children. The group said

Low graduation rate prompts ads branding Minnesota as 'worst' for students of color

A nonprofit foundation says state's low graduation rate needs more attention than it is receiving.
The morning after an anti-Semitic message was left at the Lake Harriet Upper Elementary School in Minneapolis, chalk was available for people to leave

Minneapolis police investigating anti-Semitic graffiti on school door

It's not clear how long the graffiti, which include a swastika and a threatening message that used an ethnic slur, were at Lake Harriet Upper School.
First- and second-graders, at top, were on a nature scavenger hunt, part of Lakeville’s “Launch into Learning” program.

Summer school steps outside the classroom

Metro area districts' enrichment and academic offerings are broader than ever.
Mary Vanderwert

St. Paul school board member won't seek second term

Mary Vanderwert decided to leave the race after failing to win key endorsements.
John Schatzlein

John Schatzlein, accessibility advocate and U.S. sled hockey team founder, dies at 70

For Schatzlein, making sports arenas — and sidewalks, hotels and more — more accessible for people with disabilities was a lifelong mission.
The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district is weighing a $19 million levy increase. Above, kindergarteners watched a show during snack time at Glacier

Two metro school districts will ask voters to help stave off steep cuts

Amid cuts, districts plan to put referendums on the ballot in November.
Tarnue David practices African drumming through Trio Educational Talent Search at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park.

Drum class aims to equip aspiring Minn. college students with skills to succeed

Summer college-prep program for low-income and aspiring first-generation college students blends practical instruction with the drumming and dance.
Kelly Holstine, 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Former Minnesota Teacher of the Year to move into LGBT advocacy in schools

OutFront Minnesota hires Kelly Holstine in new outreach role to schools.
A school bus in northeast Minneapolis in 2017. School officials turning to apps to track buses expect them to be particularly useful in the winter, wh

Minneapolis, Rosemount schools to debut bus-tracking apps

"Here Comes the Bus" will provide real-time updates about when school buses are nearing scheduled stops — and when they're running late.
The Minnesota State Capitol

Despite more funding from state, some Minn. school districts face big budget cuts

School leaders around the state say years of insufficient funding and rising costs mean help from the state isn't enough.
Nothing like a good old fashioned Snow Day to get kids outside. The hill along Minnehaha Creek near Cedar Ave. and 49th Street was a sledders paradise

Snow day relief law spurs dispute over school worker pay

With the school year over, some school districts and hourly workers are still wrangling over missed pay from weather cancellations.

Twin Cities school segregation case proceeds after ruling on charter schools

Lawsuit involving public and charter area schools could go to trial in 2020.
Jason Wenschlag, left, principal of Minnehaha Academy's upper school, Rev. Mark Stromberg, President Donna Harris and chairman of the board David Ande

Minnehaha Academy prepares to reopen school destroyed by explosion

Work on rebuilt campus will wrap this summer.
Nahomy Gonzalez Rivas and Aileen Garcia Romano worked on a conversational assignment during an ESL class at Centennial Elementary School in Richfield.

$600M a year to fight Minnesota's achievement gap, yet it persists

It's tricky to track where the aid to schools is going – and whether it's working.
The development of pollinator gardens at Forest Lake High School by students like Jake Ross and Kaitlyn Atkin, both 17, were among the projects recogn

Forest Lake High School, Minnesota education official honored for environmental efforts

The school and state education leader won awards from the national Green Ribbon Schools program.

Top school counselors recognized with award

School counselors from Bloomington, Minnetonka and an online school program based in Fergus Falls have been recognized with the Minnesota School Counselor of the Year…
Superintendent Joe Gothard spoke about the incident in a video posted Thursday.

St. Paul school staff member on leave after using racial slur in 'disturbing' video

District officials said the Highland Park Middle School staff member's language was damaging to St. Paul Schools' relationship with students and the community.

Two Twin Cities students selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars

The students from Wayzata and Mounds View high schools are among 161 students recognized for top academic performance.
FILE -- In this May 16, 2016 photo, then-Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius listened to another Minneapolis school superintendent cand

Former Minnesota education commissioner picked to lead Boston schools

For eight years, Brenda Cassellius was the state's top education official.
Anoka High teacher Paul Heida helped sophomore Ebony Elliott, bottom right, with illustration software during yearbook class Tuesday. Last year, state

Minnesota graduation rate hits all-time high; racial gap narrows

More than 83 percent of students graduated on time, with some progress in narrowing the achievement gap.
Theresa Battle

Burnsville school board picks St. Paul administrator as new superintendent

Theresa Battle, the board's preferred candidate, has served in the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Osseo school districts.

After referendum defeat, Floodwood schools plan for major cuts

The northeast Minnesota school district's financial woes were highlighted in Gov. Tim Walz's recent address.

Nine finalists named for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Winner will be named at a banquet on May 5.
As Minnesota schools make their way through their first year under a new teacher licensing system, they’re entwined in a vigorous debate at the Stat

DFL bills aim to rein in teacher licensing changes after just one year

The bills have met with strong resistance from Republican lawmakers, education advocacy groups and some school administrators and teachers.
Gov. Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz signs 'snow day relief' bill for Minn. schools

It's official: Minnesota schools that shut down during this year's relentless run of snow and cold won't have to make up for missed days of…
After a winter of record-setting snowfall, some schools have canceled as many as 13 days, with more still possible.

Minnesota lawmakers approve 'snow-day relief' for schools

Gov. Tim Walz has expressed support for the issue and is expected to sign the bill.
Owatonna High School

'We believe in the future': With millions of dollars, businesses come to the aid of Owatonna schools

Supplies and funds from the community will lower a school bond referendum to $116M.
A snow day in February brought out a crowd of kids in Minneapolis to play.

Lawmakers debate snow-day relief as hourly school workers worry about pay

Make-up days, pay for hourly workers at issue.
Someone filling out Financial Aid Application form. istock photo

Minnesotans say college admissions scandal shows 'stacked' system

For many Minnesota students and families, the federal indictments alleging a widespread bribery scheme have prompted anger, frustration and disbelief.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, shown earlier in March with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz highlights education proposal in tour of Minnesota schools

The DFL governor visited schools in nearly a dozen cities to gather input and ideas, wrapping up in New Hope.
Bob Boldt

Bob Boldt, ad director and designer for Dayton's and Target, dies at 90

As a retiree, Boldt designed logos and programs for his church — all with the same care he'd given to the major campaigns he'd overseen.
Children off from school Wednesday enjoyed a mini-mountain of snow piled up from a parking lot at a park in Minneapolis.

Minnesota school districts digging out from chaos brought on by cancellations

Some administrators are calling state lawmakers to ask for an exemption from the state's instructional time requirements.
Lulete Mola spoke to the group of women assembled to choose microgrant recipients through the Young Women's Initiative.

These young women aren't waiting around to spark real change in Minnesota

Young women find guidance, connections and funding to become forces for change now.
Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, pictured in 2016. Nelson, chairwoman of the Education Finance and Policy Committee, said lawmakers are motivated to ta

To make state's schools safer, Minnesota lawmakers focus on student mental health

Bills seek to add counselors, beef up suicide prevention training and grant programs.
Mary Cathryn Ricker spent her career as a teacher and union leader before becoming the state’s education commissioner.

New Minn. education commissioner brings 'solution-driven ambition'

Mary Cathryn Ricker upbeat as she takes on challenging role.
Madeline Strobel gave Adery Cham a turn at the harp. The school’s population of 5- and 6-year-olds is diverse, with more than 20 languages spoken.

At southern Minn. school, everyone and everything focuses on kindergarten

The Woodson Kindergarten Center emphasizes power of focused attention at early ages.
Gov. Tim Walz spoke after taking the oath of office at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.

Walz considers shift away from referendums to fund Minnesota schools

DFL governor weighs making local referendums "either rare or extinct."
Myron Peterson, a janitor at Lakeville Christian Academy who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car crash, and ended up with a new ability: dra

An accident, a janitor and a Lakeville school's unexpected gift

More than two years after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, Myron Peterson has morphed from an average doodler into a prolific, talented artist.
Tiffini Flynn Forslund, pictured in 2016, is the lead plaintiff in the court challenge against teacher tenure.

Minn. Court of Appeals dismisses lawsuit over teacher tenure

The court said a group of parents who sued the state in 2016 did not prove that students' rights are being violated.
Duluth Public Schools has agreed to pay $55,000 to a former school board member who sued the district over its handling of his public records requests

Duluth Public Schools pay ex-board member $55K over records dispute

A former school board member filed suit over his public records request.
Fifth-grader Khadra worked with Kyrstin Tenjack, a special education assistant, at Howe School in Minneapolis.

Minnesota schools facing 'crisis level' in special-ed funding

School administrators say the mandate's growing financial burden is threatening their ability to provide the same for all students.

Minnesota lawmakers target special education paperwork, teacher burnout

Bills would streamline reporting, give teachers more time in classroom.
Preschoolers listened as Alan Page, a retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, read to them the book he wrote e

Minnesota gets $4.7 million to assess early learning programs

Officials say federal planning grant will make early education programs easier for families to access.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attends a meeting at the White House on Aug. 16, 2018.

New rules on sexual misconduct could affect Minnesota K-12 schools

Federal changes in colleges' investigations of sex misconduct may have wider impact.
Gov.-elect Tim Walz has pledged to continue Mark Dayton’s long effort to expand public prekindergarten programs for all 4-year-olds in Minnesota. Ab

On lawmakers' education agenda: school funding, safety and prekindergarten

School groups are hoping state education spending increases during new session.

Tickets available for Tim Walz inaugural party

The Jan. 12 public event at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre will be free.
“Nimbus” is lowered into its new home on the Nicollet Mall.

Crane lowers 'Nimbus' into its new Nicollet Mall home

The 10-ton sculpture is located across from Minneapolis Central Library.
Joan Gabel, provost at the University of South Carolina, is slated to visit Minnesota next week for public forums on all five campuses.

U president finalist unafraid of challenges, say those who know her

Joan Gabel has brought a collaborative style and low-key charisma to academia.
Josh McLay

Hastings administrator, coach demoted over allegations of misspent funds

Josh McLay allegedly spent thousands of dollars meant for the school's wrestling team on out-of-state trips to college football games.

Minnesota awards $5 million for specialized mental health at schools

The "innovation grants," approved by the Legislature in 2017, were divided between the state's four intermediate school districts.
Gov. Mark Dayton said the results of early learning programs will be most visible in a decade or two.

Gov. Mark Dayton's education legacy: a new focus on early learning

Investment in all-day kindergarten, free pre-K shifted focus in state.
Andrew Dickhausen piloted a small drone at Nicollet Middle School in Burnsville.

Minnesota schools embrace hands-on learning with 'makerspaces'

That's a place for creativity and hands-on learning, and it's increasingly becoming a part of school buildings, classrooms and courses.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton remains in hospital a month after back surgery

The governor said during an interview this week that he was still at Mayo because of "post-surgical complications" that damaged his lungs.
Sharon Tolbert-Glover

Sharon Tolbert-Glover, educator and strong advocate for young people of color, dies at 78

Sharon Tolbert-Glover was still a teenager when she decided to spend her life in service to her faith and her community.After a decade in a…
Ilhan Omar delivered her victory speech Tuesday to supporters in a packed ballroom after she became the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

Ilhan Omar makes history, is first Somali-American elected to U.S. House

Omar and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib will become the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.
Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL, Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District

DFLer McCollum wins 10th term to U.S. House from Minnesota's Fourth District

She defeated two repeat challengers to keep the seat she's held in Congress for nearly two decades.

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan schools select insider as new leader

Kreger was Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan's interim superintendent.
University of St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan, shown at her inauguration ceremony in 2013, said the meeting sent “a clear message.”

St. Thomas cancels classes for campus-wide talk about racism

While university officials said they were "sending a clear message" about racism, the freshman student who reported the slur called it "just talk."
Education Minnesota rallied in Minneapolis before early voting Oct. 19. Edina Brown, a construction laborer, left, greeted David Bipes, who is retired

Education Minnesota's election strategy: Get more teachers to vote

In high-stakes election, Education Minnesota is focusing on its own members.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, shown at this summer's DFL State Convention, is nearing an end to his two terms in office.

As time in office nears an end, Dayton has approval of majority in poll

Following through on his pledge to keep the state on solid financial footing impressed some taking part in the Star Tribune/MPR News Minnesota Poll.
Nari Thao, right, and Gina Yang talked coding. Members of the Asian Penguins computer club at St. Paul’s Community School of Excellence, they’re h

St. Paul school's computer club gets to work shrinking digital divide

In the seven years since Stu Keroff founded the Asian Penguins, the school group has refurbished and donated more than 200 computers.

Minnesota agency awards $33 million in school mental health grants

State grants will go to 57 service providers helping more than half of districts.
A computer-based practice ACT English test is displayed on a computer monitor in 2015.

Minnesota's ACT scores remain steady, among best in the U.S.

Minnesota's average declined slightly but not enough to alter its best-of-the-nation standing.

Rosemount educator resigns after 'kill Kavanaugh' tweet

The staff member's resignation followed a school investigation.
A past MEA teachers conference in St. Paul. Next week’s annual conference for Minnesota teachers will be shorter than in previous years and open onl

Annual Minnesota conference for teachers will be shorter, only open to union members

Students will still get two days off in many districts.
Principal Mary Mackbee was greeted by Peggy Cobbins before Mackbee was honored at halftime of a recent St. Paul Central football game.

Retiring Principal Mary Mackbee leads St. Paul's Central High through one more year

Principal of the St. Paul high school will step aside after 25 years.

Eight Minnesota schools receive federal 'Blue Ribbon' recognition

They are among 349 U.S. public, private and charter schools recognized because of their academic performance or their work in closing achievement gaps.

State picks 123 schools for safety funding

Schools will use the money to upgrade entrances, improve other safety features.
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