Public Schools

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Cyclotron
City Center
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Joined: June 1st, 2012, 7:56 am
Location: Golden Valley

Re: Public Schools

Postby Cyclotron » September 19th, 2013, 9:36 am

Hey, early führerprinzip immersion is essential for the development of future generations of fungible corporate cogs.

(I kid?)
The greatest danger of bombs is in the explosion of stupidity that they provoke. - Octave Mirbeau

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Nick
Capella Tower
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Joined: May 30th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Re: Public Schools

Postby Nick » September 19th, 2013, 9:48 am

David Greene wrote:
Nick wrote:I tend to think that, if the public school...situation?...ever improves, it won't be because of anything anyone did intentionally to fix it.
That's far too pessimistic. I'm not an expert but I know people who are and they tell me there are many programs around the country that have successfully closed achievement gaps. Solutions are known. We simply lack the political will to implement them.
There are just so many different problems before even getting to the achievement gap. I encountered quite a few very smart people in college who didn't really know anything. Great GPA, but didn't know why there are two Koreas, or whatever. And I don't necessarily think that has anything to do with "teaching to the test" as much as it is that the whole thing has just become a giant credentialing contest.

Also, no one knows how to write worth a damn. Nicolette [sic]. And those who maybe sort of do tend to be the people who think that jumbling a bunch of buzz/big words together incoherently makes them look smart.

Real cranky at O'Hare right now.

MNdible
is great.
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Location: Minneapolis

Re: Public Schools

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2013, 9:53 am

Go get yourself a sandwich and a beer. You'll feel better.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Public Schools

Postby mattaudio » September 19th, 2013, 9:55 am

Nick, maybe he was make-joke about how I've heard some Sconnie colleagues pronounce Nicollet. They pronounce it Nic-o-lay and act like we're weird for pronouncing it like the locals we are.

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woofner
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Public Schools

Postby woofner » September 19th, 2013, 11:16 am

Be thankful we pronounce it the way we do; my family from New Ulm pronounces it Nick-lit. Also, in case you didn't know, Minneapolis actually has 4 syllables (this has been proven through empirical research).

Maybe someday they'll figure out the perfect way to run schools. In the meantime, schools with large percentages of children from low-income families will tend to do more poorly [edit: for reasons that have nothing to do with the school itself], which is a problem for places like ours with significant geographic income segregation (that was my half-assed attempt to address the topic).
"Who rescued whom!"

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Public Schools

Postby talindsay » September 19th, 2013, 12:44 pm

MNdible wrote:Are you sure you didn't accidentally send your child to a German immersion school?

(I kid.)
Haha! Now GET BACK TO YOUR WORK!

612transplant
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Public Schools

Postby 612transplant » September 19th, 2013, 8:59 pm

Minnekid wrote:The apartment boom is full of millenials and empty nesters. When focusing on the millenials, the question is will they stay when they have kids? Public schools/ charter/ or special qualifying schools (?) like the International schools are very important. When do you think Minneapolis will put more focus into improving public schools or creating more schools like the International School?
Minneapolis pioneered charter schools. Also, Minnesota has typically had more liberal open-enroll policies than many other states. Many kids in Southwest Minneapolis have ended up in Edina or SLP schools because of this-- still do.

Within the past four years or so, St. Paul moved away from open-enroll/lottery/"choose-your-own-adventure" practices and towards community schools. Ask the kids at Humboldt how that one worked out...

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Public Schools

Postby talindsay » September 20th, 2013, 7:09 am

612transplant wrote:Within the past four years or so, St. Paul moved away from open-enroll/lottery/"choose-your-own-adventure" practices and towards community schools. Ask the kids at Humboldt how that one worked out...
That's only sort of true. What they did was that they stopped *BUSING* kids to whatever school they want to attend. Kids anywhere in the city (and in most cases, anywhere in the state) may enroll at any school but citywide busing is only available to designated citywide magnet schools. Kids have a default community school now too, but then that's been true in Minneapolis forever - the school your kid goes to if you don't fill out any paperwork. As one final layer, I don't know how willing Saint Paul is to actually facilitate open enrollment in a community school that's not your community - though I know it's not forbidden. So yeah, they've sort of moved toward a community school model but not by moving away from open-enroll practices - mostly just by limiting transportation and giving defaults.

612transplant
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Public Schools

Postby 612transplant » September 21st, 2013, 2:07 pm

^^^Right, thanks for the explanation. It was a big time cost saving maneuver, to say the least.

Humboldt and Arlington were always sort of "dumping ground" schools for kids/parents that didn't make a decision, back when the district would still bus you anywhere. We have that same issue in Pittsburgh right now with Westinghouse (ironically, Pittsburgh did the inverse of what St. Paul did....went from community schools towards bus-ing kids anywhere).

Difference is, of course, that I think there are laws on the books in Minnesota that districts *have* to provide the bus-ing to students. And I think that precludes contracting with, say, Metro Transit to get students' bus passes....I think they must physically have *school* buses, or contract with a *school* bus provider....that may have changed, or I may be wrong, though. In PA there is apparently no such law-- kids ride Port Authority all over the city to school, and to my knowledge, families pay, not the district...

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Public Schools

Postby ECtransplant » September 21st, 2013, 4:03 pm

I thought Minneapolis schools were in the process of shifting students to Metro Transit passes

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Public Schools

Postby talindsay » September 21st, 2013, 9:37 pm

ECtransplant wrote:I thought Minneapolis schools were in the process of shifting students to Metro Transit passes
My understanding was that this was a pilot program with kids attending South. It may well have expanded to the other high schools though, I'm not really in the loop on those details on my side of the river.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
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Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Public Schools

Postby Tcmetro » September 22nd, 2013, 12:12 am

It's expanded too all high school students who qualified for busing before. I wonder if Saint Paul will ever make such a move.

fehler
Rice Park
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Joined: July 30th, 2012, 8:33 am

Re: Public Schools

Postby fehler » September 26th, 2013, 9:03 am

More Minneapolis schools are reopening. Others are being added onto and renovated (Cooper will expand, and become K-8!). New "programs" are enticing families to look at their schools again, like an audition-entrance Performance Arts High School going in the Wildler building (Chicago and 34th, currently Transitions and special education programs).

More students means more opportunity to try new things. Its crazy that we closed 30 of these schools not very long ago.

http://www.startribune.com/local/minnea ... 03982.html

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Public Schools

Postby Viktor Vaughn » September 26th, 2013, 9:35 am

That's an interesting reversal. During the last 20 years, second ring suburbs could not build schools fast enough to accomodate all the growth. Now, as those suburbs age, they will be looking at closing and consolidating schools since they built to capacity of the school-age-kid bubble.

It would be a really crazy switch if suburban schools started seeking out city kids to enroll in order to keep funding and stay open. It would be a like the reverse of the 'keep poor kids out of Eden Prairie schools' controversy we've seen in the last couple of years.

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 607
Joined: July 10th, 2012, 6:37 pm

Re: Public Schools

Postby Viktor Vaughn » September 26th, 2013, 9:53 am

Ok, so despite being a voracious newspaper reader and enthusiastic student of all things policy and politics, I've largely ignored issues around public schools to date. Now I have a two year old son and a baby daughter that I plan on sending to Minneapolis public schools. My family may move in the next year or so, and I'd like to do so with the school situation in mind.

I'd like to be part of a take-back-the-city-schools movement, but let's be honest- I want my kids to go to a school that educates them rather than just passes 'em through.

So, I want to get up to speed. First, I'd like to understand the MPS system. Charter, magnet, neighborhood schools, how busing works, the progression from elementry on, school board issues, etc. I'm interested in how to evaluate different schools to make the decision about where to send my kids.

So, here's my question, what resources are available to give me the education I need to make sure my kids get the education they need?

Snelbian
Rice Park
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Joined: March 2nd, 2013, 9:03 pm
Location: Merriam Park

Re: Public Schools

Postby Snelbian » September 26th, 2013, 10:54 am

Tcmetro wrote:It's expanded too all high school students who qualified for busing before. I wonder if Saint Paul will ever make such a move.
I thought the high schools already did.

fehler
Rice Park
Posts: 444
Joined: July 30th, 2012, 8:33 am

Re: Public Schools

Postby fehler » September 26th, 2013, 11:09 am

Start here: https://schoolrequest.mpls.k12.mn.us/

Terms:
Attendance area: While you can enroll (or try to enroll) to any Minneapolis Public School (MPS), you only get busing to schools in your Attendance area. I'm in "2D", roughly Hiawatha Ave to Chicago Ave, 38th Street to Minnehaha Creek.

Community School:
This is the "default" school for your attendance area. Any student living in the attendance area can get placed into their Community School. Attending a different community school is possible, depending on the enrollment of the other school, and you are on your own for transportation.

Magnet School: This is a Public School under control of the Minneapolis School Board. They usually do a "Program" or other "Special" format of education. Busing is provided in most attendance areas to at least one school in each "Program". Examples as followed:
  • Environmental School: Special environment focus
    Montessori School: Uses mixed-aged classrooms
    Fine Arts: Fine/performing arts focus
    Open School: Not sure, but Barton Open School is the most-requested school in Minneapolis.
    Language Immersion School: Minneapolis has Spanish, French, and Chinese, I think
    International Baccalaureate (IB): Schools use an International curriculum based in Geneva, Switzerland, not one created by MPS or MN Department of Education
You are not guaranteed placement into the Magnet School of your choice. But you may request any Magnet School in the city.

Private School: Church-based (Catholic) or otherwise. Many have busing contract provided by MPS, so follow the same calender. Busing areas are their own, so check w/ each one if that's necessary. Charges tuition. Will not be listed on the MPS "School Choice Website", but many participate in the School Choice Fair (see below) if they have a large Minneapolis presence.

Charter School:
Schools operated by an independent "charter", which could be the Minneapolis Public Schools or some other agency or organization. However, the school is run independently, not controlled by their Chartered Partner. May use programs similar to Magnet Schools (Friendship Academy of Fine Arts) or other programs not used by MPS (Nova Classical Academy-focus on Latin and Greek language and literature. "Waldorf" is another program, not sure what it's about). Most are free to attend (public charter, they get per pupil funding from the school district/state), some have tuition (private charter schools). Will not be listed on the MPS "School Choice Website", but many participate in the School Choice Fair (see below).

School Choice Fair: one Saturday in January, all the Minneapolis Public Schools (Community and Magnet) set up booths in the Radisson or Convention Center with all the information about their schools, with teachers/principals around to answer questions. Some Private and most Charter schools also attend (but not all of them). A parent will usually go in, armed with an idea about which schools they want to look at (most will have received the "School Choice Packet" in the mail in the weeks before this), and the parent with specific questions can get them answered, and set up tours/visits at the school in February. Feel free to attend, even if your child isn't starting school the next fall.

School Choice Packet: Mailed out in November/December to all Kindergartners in Minneapolis. Basically a printed version of the above website, with attendance area maps, public/magnet school lists, "what to do" lists, and school choice cards.

School Choice Card: Either in the School Choice Packet in the mail, or picking one up at the School Choice Fair, you get a card for each student to complete their top three choices in schools. Mail it in by the end of February, and by April you will be told which school you've been enrolled at. Most students get their top choice, and if you choose your Community School and live in its Attendance Area, its pretty much a shoe-in. I've never had experience trying to select a Magnet program, there are "theories" about listing only the Magnet you want, or in listing your top selection and two other choices also impossible to get into, but I doubt those are more than wives tales.

Wait List: If you didn't get selected in the Magnet you want, you may get put on the Wait List. When school starts and students actually show up, you may get an opportunity in the first 10 days to suddenly switch into the Magnet program you really wanted. If it means that much to you, do it, but I'm not so sure about starting a kid in school and yanking them into a different school on that short of a notice. But I've seen parents do it.

Viktor Vaughn
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 607
Joined: July 10th, 2012, 6:37 pm

Re: Public Schools

Postby Viktor Vaughn » September 26th, 2013, 11:42 am

Thanks, fehler. That's really helpful.

I'd be interested to hear about people's experiences with different types of elementary schools.

NickP
Union Depot
Posts: 389
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 5:00 pm

Re: Public Schools

Postby NickP » September 26th, 2013, 12:12 pm

I went to Kenwood and can advocate for it. :)

Rich
Rice Park
Posts: 413
Joined: June 30th, 2012, 7:12 pm

Re: Public Schools

Postby Rich » September 26th, 2013, 4:10 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:It would be a really crazy switch if suburban schools started seeking out city kids to enroll in order to keep funding and stay open. It would be a like the reverse of the 'keep poor kids out of Eden Prairie schools' controversy we've seen in the last couple of years.
Minnetonka always has more kids wanting to open enroll then they can accomodate. Years ago they crunched the numbers and found (not surprisingly) that each additional enrolled student resulted in a reduction in the overall cost per student. Literally, bigger meant better. So they started building classrooms to house the kids from neighboring districts who weren't satisfied with their local schools. Now they're something like 20% bigger than they were 20 years ago. About 1 in 10 Minnetonka kids commutes from another district - many from Minneapolis.

The western suburbs are booming, so they don't need open-enrollees just to stay viable. But they do seek out city kids (and kids from adjacent districts) to enroll as part of their effort to improve their product.

Also hundreds of Minnetonka students spend what amounts to thousands of hours in Minneapolis elementary schools as volunteer tutors every year. So it's indeed the reverse of "keep the poor kids out". It's more like "go help the poor kids".


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