I devour school news — probably far more of it than is good for my mental health. Several recent stories seem especially worth noting:
Steve Marchese and Zuki Ellis are two of the Caucus for Change candidates for St. Paul’s school board.
St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) will have at least three and possibly four new members after the November 2 election. So who are you voting for? And will that make a change? Continue reading
Parent speaking during public comment time at August 18 board meeting.
The St. Paul school board voted Tuesday to shut off television coverage of public comment, ending a decades-long tradition. Until now, the St. Paul school board televised its meetings, including the public comment time when regular people get to say what they think about the schools. The public comment time was part of the board’s regular agenda. No more — now public comments will no longer be televised and the comment section will come before the meeting, rather than as a part of the agenda. Continue reading
Steve Marchese and Zuki Ellis are two of the candidates in a field of nine. Others: Jon Schumacher, Mary Vanderwert, Keith Hardy, Scott Raskiewicz, Aaron Benner, Greg Copeland and Linda Freeman.
With filing now closed, St. Paul school board candidates include one who eschews social media and another inspired by “The Untouchables.” The five most serious candidates are DFL-endorsed Zuki Ellis, Jon Schumacher, Steve Marchese, and Mary Vanderwert, all of whom identify with the teachers-union-backed Caucus for Change, and school board incumbent Keith Hardy, who is running without endorsement. The four who are elected in November will deal continuing problems, including student achievement, discipline and budgets, as well as middle school students leaving the district.
Zuki Ellis has deep connections to St. Paul Public Schools, as an alum of Webster Elementary and Highland Park Senior High School, and the mother of three SPPS students. Her web page lists detailed and thoughtful positions on key issues from the botched mainstreaming initiative rolled out a couple of years ago to iPads in classrooms and corporate talk in the district office. On mainstreaming:
“For both Special Education and ELL students, the word ‘mainstreaming’ has been used to disguise blatant neglect for individual student progress, and I cannot support the way it has been carried out.
“By cutting entire programs for the sake of ‘mainstreaming’ students, without any regard for the needs of individual students, the district has shown a total disregard for those students’ potential to succeed. (They’re called Individual Education Plans for a reason.) “By providing additional support staff in the classroom, we can make steps toward making sure students are still getting the individual attention they need and deserve, and that our teachers are able to fully address the needs of all students.”
Carstarphen going to Texas The Austin school trustees >voted unanimously to hire Meria Carstarphen as superintendent on Thursday morning, ending the suspense over her future plans.