Minneapolis superintendent's efforts deserve support

  • Article by: SANDRA VARGAS, CHRIS STEWART and DANIEL SELLERS
  • Updated: May 29, 2013 - 9:48 PM
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Bernadeia Johnson

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A new plan by Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson (“Johnson gets blunt with Minneapolis teachers,” May 28) will help remedy some of the worst educational inequities in the nation and raise the bar for K-12 education in Minnesota.

This is an opportunity to ensure that all children receive a great education — whether their parents attend PTA meetings or not, live in southwest or north Minneapolis, speak English or another language at home, or receive public assistance, work three jobs, or have Ph.Ds.

But change often creates discomfort. It’s imperative that we base our decisions on what will get the best results for children.

To build awareness of what works, we launched the RESET Education campaign with diverse community partners, promoting five proven strategies for schools where every student succeeds.

These include a relentless focus on effective teaching, empowering leaders while holding them accountable for results, continually gauging student progress and adjusting instruction as needed, a longer school day and year, and a culture that expects all students to achieve.

(Or, in the RESET acronym: Real-time use of data; Expectations not excuses; Strong leadership; Effective teaching and Time on task.) District and charter schools in Minnesota and around the country are using these strategies to get outstanding results for their students.

So let’s support Superintendent Johnson’s plan, which includes these proven practices that make for effective learning.

Let’s also stand with teachers who believe they can make a difference, who know we don’t need to solve poverty first but who instead see education as the most promising path out of poverty for our kids.

It’s the smartest investment we can make. Let’s RESET Education in Minnesota.

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Sandra Vargas, Chris Stewart and Daniel Sellers are, respectively, president of the Minneapolis Foundation, executive director of the African American Leadership Forum, and executive director of MinnCAN.

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