Advocacy Group To Work On Achievement Gap

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new Minnesota advocacy group is presenting its solutions for closing the persistent academic achievement gap between the state’s white students and racial minorities.

The Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, or MinnCAN, presented statistics on the achievement gap and the group’s three policy proposals for closing it during a Monday news conference.

The group says Minnesota public schools have one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation, and it’s getting worse.

MinnCAN is calling for the creation of new ways to get talented people into teaching, creating a trusted system for measuring teacher effectiveness and implementing a system for measuring pre-schools so parents can make good choices for their young children.

The group is supported by long list of business and philanthropic leaders.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Kevin

    Gosh…dont you just love “diversity”….every time I hear the word “diversity” it costs me money….here is an idea for MinnCAN….take you children to a different state and search for ways to close the achievement gap….I hear Detroit Michigan has lots of room……Good God…..oooppsss…can I even say God anymore….

    • Timmy

      Why is it that you on the right always complain about what its costs rather than what it serves of what it saves??? This nation was built on the premise that we are all equal…if helping out the less fortunate bothers you so much…why don’t you move to another State pal…better yet…try China

      • John

        Your right, this is a nation of equals. So, why do you want to favor one group over another, sounds kind of UN-equal doesn’t? Why don’t we spend more money on the smart students to help them achieve even more?

      • John


        Lets see what you have to say when China becomes even more of a Super Power and we are just another 3rd woorld country. Unless you are 70 years old you most likely will live to see the day!!!!

  • MAJ

    You cannot narrow the gap by not encouraging the talented students. That would be the “dumbing down of MN.” I would not look for help from our Governor who only went to “private” schools. Children born to poor, uneducated mothers always have a strike against them. It is a problem with no easy answer.

    • John


      There is an easy answer – Stop paying the Poor uneducated mothers free money to keep having more kids!!!!

      • Kevin

        Good Lord John… come off like a racist, classist homophobe….I say we keep giving the poor uneducated mothers free money….and then since we are paying for their children….and the fathers are not….we should technically have the rights of the father….now I dont want visitation….I just want rights in the bedroom….make it feel like I am getting something for my money (wink wink nudge nudge)……For the record I prefer my single mothers with dark hair….and nice rear ends…and a bonus if they dont speak English…..less conversation that way…just get straight to daddyhood……

  • John

    This will end up just like no child left behind – Just make the teachers put way more focus on the slower minorities students and work less with the better students. Can anyone tell me how this will help the society in the long run. We will just end up with more average students and less smart one’s. Oh well just so everyone is equal in the end the bleeding hearts will be happy!!!! I’m really starting to dislike this State and country as well. We will end up a 3rd world country yet!!!!

  • Soapboxgod

    The obvious solution is quite simple really. Cap the smarties at 2.8 GPA. Anything they’ve earned above that should then be redistributed to the dummies thereby raising their GPA. Nothing has been taken away from the smarties as they will still outperform their dummer counterparts. It’s a great model of achievement why one need only look to our nation’s tax code.

  • Bob

    I’m not a teacher and don’t represent teachers but why do we always blame poor student performance on teachers. Maybe it’s not the teachers but the parents and environments these kids grow up in? I would imagine you could hire the best teachers and still have an achievement gap if the children go home to abusive, drug addicted, gang bangin, inattentive parents. One of the proposals is to rate pre-schools, how will that help, the well educated will send their kids to the good schools and the people you’re trying to help won’t care. I think this is a problem with society and immigration, not teachers.

  • Laurie

    If you want to help students, take their cell phones away at school and when it’s time for bed. Ask to see their school work or get online to see what the class is doing. Many teachers have homepages and many schools have online grades.

  • Kevin

    To help those students who are not achieving it may be beneficial to take a look at those students who are achieving. One of the things that you will find is that those who achieve put in the time and effort necessary to achieve. I don’t care how many new teachers you hire, or how many new facilities you build, or how much money you throw at the problem, the bottom line in any type of achievement is time and effort. How do I know that. When I went to school and didn’t do anything I got F grades. When I studied hard and spent time I got A and B grades. Its as simple as that.

    • DAK

      Time and effort are key in student achievement. As a teacher, I see this over and over every year. Those students who put forth the effort will succeed. Those who don’t put forth any effort and don’t turn in their work, fail. As a teacher, I will do everything possible to help students succeed, but I can only do so much, and then it is up to the student to do the rest.

      Another issue is how studious kids are perceived by their peers. I have seen bright African-American kids teased by their peers because they are acting “too white” when they study and try to do well in school. Until we as a society do something to change this mindset, we will not see the achievement gap close. You can throw more and more money at the problem, but until society changes, it won’t make any difference.

      • Keviin

        So being ranked 37th in the Nation is the parents and Childrens fault…..Thanks for insight DAK….I will now vote “yes” for the next levy in my city…..

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