Policy and a Pint: The State of Education

Michelle Walker, Sondra Samuels  and Kerry Muse  join Steve Seel to discuss the state of education in Minnesota.
Michelle Walker, Sondra Samuels and Kerry Muse join Steve Seel to discuss the state of education in Minnesota. (Todd Butcher for MPR)
  1. Listen Policy and a Pint: The State of Education

    Feb 27, 2014

We know Minnesota is changing fast. The jobs of the future will be different, and our workforce will be more diverse than ever. So how are Minnesota's schools making sure the students of today and tomorrow will be ready? Our State of the State series continues with a look at education at the next Policy and a Pint. Many of Minnesota's youngest students of color fall behind before they've even attended their first day of school. What needs to happen to not only get these children ready to learn, but ready to lead? Join host Steve Seel and guests Sondra Samuels of the Northside Achievement Zone, Kerry Muse of Venture Academy in Minneapolis and Michelle Walker, CEO of St. Paul Public Schools.

Download an MP3 of the conversation

Below, find key quotes from each of our esteemed guests:

"When we talk about achievement, we just call it what it is. It's racial disparities in achievements. So if we talk about any gap and we don't put race in the middle of it, then we're not having a real conversation. Because the disparities are racially predictable. And once we frame it in that way, we're actually able to address the real problem that we face."

– Michelle J. Walker, Chief Executive Officer, Saint Paul Public Schools

"When we (at Venture Academy) take an assessment, we engage kids in the process of how they did, but in a real way: 'what do you know?' 'what do you need to know to get better?' Set goals around this. And it's a consistent conversation. So it's not just adults having that conversation and giving that information to kids, but it's actually having a conversation with them as stakeholders in their learning. It's a relatively simple idea, it's not rocket science. But until we start actually cultivating kids to be creators and co-leaders of their learning, all they're going to be is consumers. And that's not going to help us make any growth towards closing this gap."

– Kerry Muse, Chief Learning Officer and Head of School, Venture Academy

"You may have made a decision that you can no longer tolerate the egregiousness of this achievement gap, but now it's time to take action. And that is looking at the policies that hold schools accountable for what they do best and that's teach and having outcomes, that's supporting policies that let resources flow to supporting families who need the most support, to wrap around them so they can show up as the baby's first teacher and be engaged in the school system, and just (remember) the urgency. That's my biggest prayer for you guys that you know that the house is on fire. You never just think the roof is a little leaky. The house is on fire."

– Sondra Samuels, CEO, Northside Achievement Zone

Policy and a Pint is a co-presentation of The Current and The Citizens League, with support from Target Corporation and Minnesota Credit Union Network.

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5 Photos

  • Policy and a Pint: The State of Education
    Policy and a Pint: The State of Education (Todd Butcher for MPR)
  • Steve Seel fields a question at Policy and a Pint.
    Steve Seel fields a question at Policy and a Pint. (Todd Butcher for MPR)
  • Steve Seel holds the mic for an attendee at Policy and a Pint, the State of Education, at the Varsity Theater.
    Steve Seel holds the mic for an attendee at Policy and a Pint, the State of Education, at the Varsity Theater. (Todd Butcher for MPR)
  • Policy and a Pint: the appetizer spread.
    Policy and a Pint: the appetizer spread. (Todd Butcher for MPR)
  • The terrific audience for Policy and a Pint: The State of Education
    The terrific audience for Policy and a Pint: The State of Education (Todd Butcher for MPR)
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