California group helps St. Paul schools confront achievement gap

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The St. Paul School District will continue to work with a San Francisco-based consultant to help narrow the achievement gap between its white and minority students, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Pacific Educational Group (PEG) has been working with St. Paul schools for the past three years.

The principal at St. Paul's Frost Lake Elementary tells the paper her school has created an "equity team" to address the issue of achievement disparities by having educators confront their own racial biases and the ways racism affects schools.

Stacey Kadrmas says the administration is asking their staff members to change, "rather than expect kids to change to fit our comfort level -- and that's huge."

Some of the policy changes include reduced suspensions and the integration of students with intensive special needs into mainstream classrooms.

The Pioneer Press says PEG's work has alienated some educators. Critics say some discipline issues have been recast as cultural misunderstandings, and as a result, disruptive students and families are not being held accountable.

So far, about 90 St. Paul schools staff members have taken the two-day PEG "Beyond Diversity" seminar, which asks them to have "courageous conversations" about race. The Pioneer Press says that the district wants all of its roughly 6,000 employees, including janitors and bus drivers, to take the "Beyond Diversity" seminar by 2015.

The St. Paul School Board earlier this month voted 6-1 to enter into a $380,000 agreement with PEG for the 2013-14 school year, the Star Tribune reports.

The district has already paid PEG $850,000 for their consulting services over the past three years.

Meanwhile, 27 Minnesota schools, most in the Twin Cities, are showing major signs of improvement, according to a ratings system that replaced the No Child Left Behind initiative two years ago.

Minnesota’s Multiple Measurement Ratings judge schools on how well they’re addressing the achievement gap, graduation rates and proficiency -- not just on math, reading and science test results like No Child Left Behind.

Next Up

Jared Vanderbilt

Shorthanded Timberwolves fall to Atlanta in Monday matinee

D'Angelo Russell scored 31 points, but didn't have much help.

police lights

Man, 72, critical after possible robbery outside Minneapolis business

The 72-year-old sustained gunshot wounds in the incident.

vaccine

It could take months to vaccinate MN teachers, people 65 and older

"This is going to be harder than going to Ticketmaster and trying to get Bruce Springsteen tickets," Walz said.

Herb Brooks statue

Trump's planned statue garden would include 2 Minnesotans, others with MN links

But there were some notable names absent from the wide-ranging and eclectic list.

k9 zeke

Petition seeks to allow retired Corcoran officer to keep K9 partner

Corcoran's public safety director says if K9 Zeke is donated to the officer it will be a loss for the department.

covid

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 18

The latest update from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Tom Kelly Jr.

Tom Kelly Jr., son of Twins World Series manager, dies at 42

He was a member of the 2001 UST national championship team.

Hennepin County CSI

Police: Man shot in the head by woman in Richfield

It happened in the early hours of Monday.

University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas students robbed by suspects in ski masks

Nobody was injured in the early Saturday incident.

Related