Elected in 2016, I joined the Minneapolis Board of Education in January 2017 for a four year term.

Though elected by District 4, my work on the Board is on behalf of all Minneapolis students and families.

Information about current Board meetings can be found here.

MPS CDD #2 Fresh Links – 8 February 2020


Varios padres han notado que la retórica en torno al Diseño Integral del Distrito (CDD) es muy similar a lo que se dijo sobre el último plan principal del distrito, Changing School Options (CSO). Aqui hay un enlace a una presentación de CSO de 2009 en ingles para que pueda verlo usted mismo. Lamentablemente yo no puedo descubrir eso en Español.

Nicole Nafziger, una madre en MPS, ha realizado una cuidadosa investigación sobre las escuelas K-8. Puedes ver su resumen bien documentado (¡todavía tiene 10 páginas!)  en esta enlace (en ingles).


Several parents have noted that the rhetoric around the Comprehensive Districtwide Design (CDD) is very similar to what was said about the last major district plan, Changing School Options (CSO). Here is a link to a CSO presentation from 2009 so you can see for yourself.

Nicole Nafziger, an MPS parent, has done some careful research on K-8 schools. You can see her well-documented summary (still 10 pages long!) at this link.

El diseño integral de MPS (CDD en ingles) #1

(Scroll to next post for English)

31 de enero de 2020

La administración de las Escuelas Públicas de Minneapolis ha estado desarrollando un “Diseño Integral del Distrito Escolar” (CDD por las palabras en ingles) durante un par de años. Las razones dadas para esto han incluido

  • La configuración actual es insostenible, especialmente los costos de transporte.
  • Un deseo de aumentar la integración.
  • Un deseo de abordar las disparidades académicas y de otro tipo.

El cronograma actual para esto apunta a una votación de la Junta de Educación de Minneapolis en su reunión del 14 de abril de 2020. De acuerdo con el protocolo, se debe proporcionar un diseño final a la junta un mes antes de la votación final, es decir, en su reunión del 10 de marzo y el protocolo también requiere que los materiales de una reunión se presenten a la Junta una semana antes de cualquier reunión. En otras palabras, para el 3 de marzo la propuesta final llegará a la Junta. Por lo tanto, desde el momento en que se escribe esto, hay un poco más de 4 semanas hasta que se finalice la propuesta.

La presentación de la Administración del 28 de enero se puede encontrar en este enlace . Y el video de esa reunión se puede encontrar aquí . Los comentarios de la comunidad sobre el proceso hasta ese momento y dados en la reunión de la Junta del 14 de enero se pueden encontrar aquí a partir de las 34:13.

La lista de “Audiencias y Sesiones Informativas” se puede encontrar en este enlace (nota: hasta la fecha, estas sesiones han sido principalmente personal del distrito que presentó al modelo, y después, algunas respuestas a las preguntas escritas enviadas por la audiencia pero elegidas por la administración. Estas no son oportunidades para que la comunidad hable en voz alta con la administración y sus vecinos).

Los miembros de la comunidad han proporcionado críticas al plan. Una revisión de la presentación de diapositivas de la investigación sobre las escuelas K-8 se puede encontrar aq (en ingles) y una versión más corta en este enlace .

Aquí se puede encontrar una crítica de la desconexión entre la retórica de la administración y el contenido real del plan, y se puede encontrar una crítica más detallada de las afirmaciones de la administración con respecto a la integración y más en esta dirección.

Avíseme de otras fuentes y recursos de interés con respecto a la DDC.

MPS CDD #1 Comprehensive Districtwide Design

31 January, 2020

The administration of Minneapolis Public Schools has been developing a “Comprehensive Districtwide Design” (CDD) for a couple of years. The reasons given for this have included

  • The present configuration is unsustainable, especially transportation costs
  • A desire to increase integration
  • A wish to address academic and other disparities

The present timeline for this aims for a vote by the Minneapolis Board of Education at its April 14th, 2020 meeting. According to protocol, a final design must be provided to the board one month before the final vote, that is, at its March 10th meeting and protocol again requires that meeting materials must be provided to the Board one week before a meeting. In other words, by March 3rd the final proposal will come to the Board. Thus, from the time of this writing slightly over 4 weeks remain until the proposal should be finalized.

The Administration’s January 28th presentation can be found at this link. And video of that meeting can be found here. Community comments about the process to that point given at the Board’s January 14th meeting can be found here starting at 34:13.

The list of “Listening and Info Sessions” can be found at this link (note: to date these sessions have been primarily district staff presenting the model with some responses to written questions submitted by the audience but chosen by the administration. These have not been opportunities for individuals to speak aloud to the administration and their neighbors.)

Community members have provided critique of the plan. A slide deck review of research on K-8 Schools can be found here and a shorter version at this link.

A critique of the disconnect between the administration’s rhetoric and the actual contents of the plan can be found here, and a more detailed critique of the administration’s claims with regard to integration and more can be found at this address.

Please let me know of other sources and resources of interest with respect to the CDD.

Bob’s Bookshelf

Here’s a selection from the books I’ve read as a complement to my work on the Minneapolis Board of Education. In the future, I’d like to do a more detailed “Book Report” on a few of these titles, some of which have touched me deeply. This list makes a start with a few words about each title. Hope it’s helpful!

Dintersmith, Ted (2018). What School Could Be. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

A venture capitalist visits 50 states to find out what’s actually working in schools around the country.

Gabor, Andrea (2018). After the Education Wars : How smart schools upend the business of reform. New York & London: The New Press.

A business journalist’s take on various attempts at and models of school change.

Jackson, Yvette (2011). The Pedagogy of Confidence : Inspiring high intellectual performance in urban schools. New York: Teachers College Press.

Argues that “school-dependent students” need exactly the same kinds of services that “advanced learners” get.

Jennings, Wayne B. (2018). School Transformation. North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Wide-ranging views from a former St Paul, Minnesota principal.

Jensen, Derrick (2004). Walking on Water : Reading, writing, and revolution. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green.

An elegant and at times laugh-aloud narrative about the challenges of teaching literacy by the fascinating author of A Language Older than Words.

Meier, Deborah (1995). The Power of Their Ideas : Lessons for America from a small school in Harlem. Boston: Beacon Press.

The inspiring narrative of Central Park East school.

Meier, Deborah and Emily Gasoi (2017). These Schools Belong to You and Me : Why we can’t afford to abandon our public schools. Boston: Beacon Press.

From the flap: “A challenge to narrow, profit-driven conceptions of school success and an argument for protecting public education to ensure that all students become competent citizens in a vibrant democracy MacArthur award-winning educator, reformer, and author Deborah Meier draws on her fifty-plus years of experience in education to argue that the purpose of universal education is to provide young people with an “apprenticeship for citizenship in a democracy.” Through an intergenerational exchange with her former colleague and fellow educator Emily Gasoi, the coauthors share their experiences working in democratically governed schools and analyze the last several decades of education reform. Reflecting on the trajectory of education and social policies that are leading our country further from rule “of, for, and by the people,” the authors apply their extensive knowledge and years of research to address the question of how public education must change in order to counter the erosion of democratic spirit and practice in schools and in the nation as a whole”–

Russakoff, Dale (2016). The Prize : Who’s in charge of America’s schools? Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Christie, and Cory Booker were ready to reform our failing schools. They got an education.” This one’s almost a thriller – a fascinating glimpse inside a part of the school “Reform” world.

Sahlberg, Pasi (2015). Finnish Lessons 2.0 : What can the world learn from educational change in Finland? New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.

Finland rocketed to the top of many educational charts over the last decade. This explains how that happened.