Minnesota man behind influential education group steps down after heart attack

Author:
Updated:
Original:

One of the most prominent voices in Minnesota education is stepping away after a heart attack.

Joe Nathan founded the Center for School Change in 1990, according to Ballotpedia, a nonprofit that was hailed by former University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute Dean Brian Atwood as having "a record of sustained achievement in advancing K-12 education."

The center's website says its goals include increasing student achievement, raising graduation rates, improving student attitudes toward learning, and strengthening communities – which it hopes to achieve by working with "educators, parents, business people, students, policy-makers and other concerned people."

That includes, according to the site:

  • Helping write the nation's first charter law.
  • Working with 11 Minneapolis district and charter schools to make “above average” gains in reading, math and family involvement
  • Directing a project with Cincinnati Public Schools that increased overall high school graduation rates by more than 25 points, and eliminated the graduation gap between white and African American students.

But Nathan, who serves as director and has been a key leader with the nonprofit since its inception, is now stepping away.

In a blog post, Nathan goes over everything that happened – the sudden pressure in his chest, the sweating, the light-headedness. He called a nurse line, who told him to call 911. He did, and within the hour was at the hospital and had a stent put in to open up an artery that had been 99 percent blocked.

One of Nathan's former students Beth Hawkins writes on MinnPost about his career work and personal efforts. One small quote:

"And he is a prolific writer, doggedly reporting education columns for a network of some 15 suburban and Greater Minnesota newspapers, as well as research and policy papers. It’s not unusual to get emails from him that bear wee-hours time stamps."

He's previously worked as a teacher, administrator and public school aide, and has been invited to testify on educational issues by more than 20 state legislatures and several Congressional committees, his bio says.

He's one of two people on the center's staff page.

You can view the job posting here.

The Center for School Change is located at Higher Ground Academy in St. Paul and became an affiliate of the Henderson, Minnesota-based nonprofit EdVisions Schools in 2012.

Next Up

Minneapolis police

3 Mpls officers injured on night of shootings, stabbings and fights

It was a tense weekend for the city of Minneapolis.

Fruen Mill in Minneapolis.

Teen in serious condition after fall at abandoned Minneapolis mill

Multiple urban explorers have been hurt at the Fruen Mill.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center City Council votes to create department for noncriminal calls

The resolution is named after Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, who were both killed by police in Brooklyn Center.

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 7.54.26 AM

Train derails while passing by lake in Albert Lea

The Union Pacific train derailed Saturday afternoon.

Kaprizov, Wild

5 questions for the Wild's playoff series against Vegas

The Wild seem to have the advantage, but can they win their first playoff series since 2015?

police tape, crime scene

Young girl shot in the head in north Minneapolis

The girl was outside when she was struck by the bullet, police said.

prison, Rush City cell block

Former Army Green Beret and U of M student sentenced for Russian espionage

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, was sentenced to 188 months in prison.

Miguel Sano

Miguel Sanó's 8th inning blast ends Twins losing streak

The 5-4 victory over the A's snapped a five-game losing streak.

Thomas Humphrey, charged in vaccine thefts.

Viral videos of vaccine thefts lead to charges for MN anti-vaxxer

Thomas Edward Humphrey is a 32-year-old St. Paul resident.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Related

Mark Phillips steps down as DEED commissioner, Katie Clark steps in

Gov. Mark Dayton says Mark Phillips, commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, is resigning effective Friday to "pursue opportunities in the private sector," Politics in Minnesota reports. Dayton has promoted Katie Clark, the head of Minnesota’s Trade Office, to lead the state's economic and workforce development agency.

MnDOT chief steps down to run AAA Minneapolis

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel is leaving the 5,000-worker agency that he has guided since April 2008, and on Dec. 1 will become the new leader of AAA Minneapolis, a 200,000-member auto club.