Race to the Top Director Joanne Weiss discussed the President’s blueprint for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with a group of about 60 Minnesota parents, educators, community leaders and state officials at Windom Spanish Dual Immersion Open School in Minneapolis on April 23. The activity was aimed at generating understanding and feedback on education reforms advanced through the proposal, which would replace the most recent ESEA reauthorization signed in 2002, better known as No Child Left Behind.
“We really need ideas and support from teachers, administrators and parents to ensure this proposal gets the attention it needs,” said Weiss, who visited Windom after leading two days of technical assistance workshops for potential Race to the Top, Phase 2 state applicants in Minneapolis.
Fair and accurate assessments, integrating more community resources into schools and balancing education reform with budget needs were key topics addressed by Weiss, who was joined by Ann Whalen, special assistant to the Secretary. Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren, Minneapolis Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and Windom Principal Lucilla Yira also participated in the dialogue.
Weiss and Whalen also saw firsthand how Windom students simultaneously learn in both English and Spanish through visits to kindergarten, 1st and 4th grade classrooms. Through new measures including a teacher mentoring program and literacy centers, Windom, an ED School Improvement Grant recipient, has achieved double-digit improvement since 2006 in its overall percentages of students meeting reading and math proficiency levels.
Office of Communications and Outreach
Photos courtesy of Minneapolis Public Schools