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Generation Next is also proposing to make sure every child in the Twin Cities meets third-grade reading proficiency goals by developing common practices and protocols for literacy tutors deployed across the metro-area.
The group has agreements in place with both St. Paul and the Minneapolis school districts and will begin working with literacy tutors in a couple of metro-area pilot schools that have yet to be publicly identified.
Similarly, Generation Next will work through pilot schools to achieve its goal of making sure every student graduates on time, ready for either a college or career.
That calls for deploying specially trained adults in the schools to help students there develop plans to guide them after they leave high school.
“Too many of our college students are taking high school classes in college and we can’t have that,” Rybak said.
Schools lend support
As Rybak pointed out, there have been a multitude of plans dedicated to erasing the achievement gap in Minnesota.
But Generation Next’s plan might have garnered the broadest support in recent years. The framework for the plan — which was created by the Cincinnati-based Strive Partnership — has been adopted in other cities with encouraging results. In Cincinnati, for example, the graduation rate of black students surpassed that of white students in 2006, 2007 and 2010.
In Minnesota, the most recent graduation data show minority students making recent gains year to year.
The graduation rate for black students rose almost six percentage points from 2012 to 2013. That increase is five times the progress made by white students.
Both St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva and Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said they were pleased to have Generation Next supporting their efforts to close the achievement gap, but conceded more work needs to be done.
“Why in America, why in a state like Minnesota, why in cities as strong as Minneapolis and St. Paul, do we have this disparity?” Silva asked.
Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469