TOPIC: The Necessity of Education Reforms
Recent data reported by the US Department of Education indicates that Minnesota has the worst graduation rates in the nation for Latino and Native American Indian Students and the second lowest rate for African-American and Asian/Pacific Island students. Many will argue that if we continue to ignore this crisis -- and what it means for the children who are most in need -- Minnesota's ability to produce a highly educated workforce that can compete in a global economy will be greatly diminished. For students, it is also an issue of social justice. This talk will focus on common sense education reforms and the need to change current laws and policies that put up significant barriers to higher student achievement and force effective educators and innovators to operate in a bureaucratic, out-of-date environment.
SPEAKER: Kathy Saltzman
Over the past 16 years, while serving as a state senator, the executive director of the nation's largest state AmeriCorps program and legislative advocate for both state and national organizations, Kathy has focused on improving achievement for Minnesota students. She currently serves as the State Director for StudentsFirst, a national grassroots movement founded and led by former DC School Chancellor Michelle Rhee that is committed to transforming public education and closing the achievement gap. As part of the Political Engagement team, she is responsible for turning the StudentsFirst’s policy agenda into governing law and advocating for pro-student, common sense reform measures.
Prior to her present position, she was Executive Director of the Minnesota Education Corps, placing over 900 AmeriCorps members in a year of national service in the Minnesota Math Crops, Opportunity Corps, and nationally recognized Minnesota Reading Corps.