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New 2020 plan sought for Minneapolis schools

  • Blog Post by: Steve Brandt
  • February 17, 2014 - 5:53 PM

With its first strategic plan in 20 years already extended by two years and set to expire this year, the Minneapolis school board will hold a listening session Tuesday evening to gather public feedback on a new set of goals.

The session is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Richard Green Central Park Community School, 3416 4th Av. S. Child care for children ages three and over, and translation into Spanish, Hmong and Somali will be provided.

The original five-year plan adopted in 2007 was to expire in 2012, but the board extended it to this year. It set the overarching goal of preparing every student for college by raising expectations and rigor, improving teaching and principals, and opening new schools and revamping those in the lowest quartile.

Under Superintendent Bernadeai Johnson, the district has instituted a teacher evaluation system, higher expectations for principals, and a more structured curriculum.

Yet barely half of the district's class of 2012 finished high school in four years, the new federal yardstick for that measurement.

The district set academic standards in 2007 as part of its first strategic plan in more than 20 years. But it eased them two years ago, after administrators said the earlier goals might make people throw up their hands and call them impossible. They called the revamped goals doable -- and said that districts similar to Minneapolis were achieving them.

Still, the most recent measurements released by the distric tin November showed it met only three of 22 academic targets, although it made progress in more areas than where it regressed. It hit its marks on percentage of students who have passed first-level algebra (84 percent), the percentage of students in carrer and technical education who take an advanced class (59 percent) and the share of entering High 5 prekindergarten graduates who have skills needed for kindergarten (82 percent).

The strategic plan the board plans to adopt later this year is intended to take the district through 2020.

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