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Articles written by Elizabeth Shockman


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  • Elizabeth Shockman, MPR News|Jan 13, 2023

    Gov. Tim Walz kicked off his second term last week saying he wants to make Minnesota “the best state in the country for kids to live” and promising “the largest investment in public education in our state’s history.” Walz made specific mention of prioritizing universal school meals and making mental health help more accessible for young people. Last year’s attempts to pass education legislation floundered amid political disagreements between the DFL-controlled House and the Republican-led Senate. So did other proposals on health care, taxes...  Website

  • Elizabeth Shockman, MPR News|Sep 9, 2022

    New state test data released Aug. 25 shows the majority of Minnesota students are below state proficiency standards in math, and just over half are proficient in reading — a sharp decline since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Just under 52 percent of students met or exceeded reading standards — a drop of 8 percentage points since schools moved to distance learning at the start of the pandemic. Fewer than 46 percent of students statewide met or exceeded math standards — a drop of 10 percentage points from 2019. Minnesota schools were far l...  Website

  • Elizabeth Shockman|Aug 27, 2021

    In July, Mounds View Public School officials sent emails to families, telling them the district would only recommend, not require people to wear masks in school buildings. “As we’ve learned over the past 18 months, guidance can change quickly depending on the spread of Covid-19 and our local conditions. This decision reflects our current intentions, but it is subject to change,” Superintendent Chris Lennox and board chair Jonathan Weinhagen wrote in an email to district families and staff. In just over two weeks, those intentions had indee...  Website

  • Across state, districts migrate to online

    Elizabeth Shockman|Dec 4, 2020

    MPR News With Covid-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations at or near record highs, roughly 60 percent of Minnesota K-12 students are currently in distance learning - more than double the rate from early October. Many schools pivoted to remote instruction just before Thanksgiving break and plan to stay that way for at least a couple of months. St. Paul Public Schools, for example, which began the year with distance learning, won't resume any in-person instruction until at least Jan. 19, or two...

  • Teachers reveal frustration

    Elizabeth Shockman|Oct 16, 2020

    Elizabeth Shockman MPR News Minnesota educators are stressed, overwhelmed, and worried — and 29 percent of them are considering quitting their jobs. That’s according to a survey recently published by Education Minnesota, the state’s largest teacher union. Denise Specht, the president of Education Minnesota, said low educator morale is the result of a pandemic that has forced the majority of the state’s students out of full-time in-person learning and virtually all educators to change the way they teach. “They’re especially worried about their...

  • Minnesota schools revamp plans

    Elizabeth Shockman|Aug 28, 2020

    Dozens of teachers gathered outside Eisenhower Elementary School and the district offices in Hopkins last week, eliciting some honks of approval from cars passing by on Highway 7. The teachers waved signs reading “Educator lives are more important than child care,” and “Safety first. Distance learning will not kill us, but COVID can.” Keenan Jones, a fourth-grade teacher, said he has been rattled by some of the missteps schools around the country have made as a result of trying to reopen too soon. He doesn’t want his district to make the same...

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