Tag Archives: Rene Antrop-Gonzalez

Grants cover tuition costs for all spring 2018 Urban Education student teachers

Twenty-eight student teachers in the School of Urban Education (UED) at Metropolitan State University are currently placed in public schools in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and surrounding suburban areas for the spring 2018 semester.

For the first time, not a single student teacher from Metropolitan State paid tuition costs for their student teaching credits. UED Dean René Antrop-González proudly announces that through grants awarded to UED, Metropolitan State students who are fulfilling the student teaching requirement for licensure this spring semester were awarded grant monies to cover the costs of their tuition. In many cases, UED student teachers have received enough funding to pay for tuition and a portion of their living expenses.

“Mandated, full-time unpaid labor via student teaching is based on a raced and classed model that does not honor our students’ lived realities,” says Dean Antrop-González. “Consequently, pre-service teachers—especially pre-service teachers of color and American Indian pre-service teachers—have either not been able to become licensed teachers or have had to unjustly sacrifice their basic needs to complete student teaching. In a strong union state like Minnesota, the perpetuation of this practice is simply not acceptable.”

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Nov. 13: Panel discussion on the Model Minority Stereotype and Asian American Masculinity in a Post-Truth, #MeToo, #BLM Moment

Join the School of Urban Education for a panel discussion of the model minority stereotype and Asian American masculinity though personal and professional lenses.

The Model Minority Stereotype and Asian American Masculinity in a Post-Truth, #MeToo, #BLM Moment will be discussed 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, at the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center, Room 115,  Saint Paul Campus.

Panelists include Kevin K. Kumashiro, PhD, Kevin Kumashiro Consulting, Nicholas D. Hartlep, PhD, assistant professor, Metropolitan State and Brian V. Xiong, EdD, board member, East Side Freedom Library. For more information contact Dean René Antrop-González at rene.antrop-gonzalez@metrostate.edu.

Sept. 28: “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” forum

On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the DHS Secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

On Sept. 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it will terminate the DACA program. The Department of Homeland Security will stop accepting new DACA applications (i.e., from people who don’t already have DACA protection). People who already have DACA protection and whose work permits expire between now and March 5, 2018, will be able to apply for a two-year renewal if they apply by Oct. 5, 2017.

Metropolitan State will host a public forum about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA)  4 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Library and Learning Center, 645 E 7th St., room 301,  Ecolab.

Five panelists will lead a discussion and answer questions about the decisions and procedures supporting termination of the DACA program.  This forum is designed to be a setting for respective, civil discourse about what termination of the DACA program will mean to our students, our institution, and our community.

Panelists scheduled to attend this event include:

  • Emilia González, executive director of Navigate Minnesota
  • Dr. René Antrop-González, dean of the School of Urban Education, Metropolitan State University
  • John Keller, executive director of the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota
  • State Rep. Carlos Mariani, Saint Paul, District 65B
  • Deputy Consul Julio César Martínez, Consulate of Mexico

The panel will be moderated by Maureen Acosta, director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Metropolitan State University.


Partnership of School of Urban Education and Hopkins Public Schools will ease barriers and increase teacher diversity

An ongoing effort by Metropolitan State University and other groups to increase teacher diversity in Minnesota will see fruition with the signing of an agreement that will ease barriers of entry for prospective teachers of color and place them at work in Hopkins Public Schools.

Currently, nearly 30 percent of students in Minnesota schools are students of color and American Indian students, yet 4 percent of their teachers are of color or American Indian. The gap is even wider in many Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota schools with a majority of students of color and American Indian students. Metropolitan State’s School of Urban Education prepares more teachers of color than any other program in the state; currently there are 320 teacher candidates in six licensure programs, and 50 percent are candidates of color.

Representatives from Hopkins School Board and Metropolitan State University’s School of Urban Education (UED) signed the partnership agreement at a School Board Meeting, May 2, at the Eisenhower Community Center (room 233), 1001 MN-7, Hopkins, Minn.

Joe Nathan: All students benefit from diversity among teachers

Hopkins Public Schools is taking an innovative approach made possible during the 2016 legislative session with flexibility to the use of K-12 Achievement and Integration funding to increase K-12 student’s “equitable access to effective and diverse teachers.” The district will hire three UED student teachers as paid “interns” to complete their student teaching experience which is traditionally unpaid.  Increasingly, student teaching is a financial barrier to the profession during the intensive and culminating 12-week, full-time experience during which it is extremely difficult to work any other job to pay for tuition and living expenses. Hopkins will also give priority consideration to UED graduates for licensed teaching positions. Metropolitan State signed an innovative agreement with ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools in January 2017 that provides district paraprofessionals paid leave to student teach within Osseo.

Hopkins Public Schools is an award-winning kindergarten through 12th grade school district serving the city of Hopkins, most of Minnetonka, about half of Golden Valley, and portions of Eden Prairie, Edina, Plymouth, and St. Louis Park. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the district enrolled a richly-diverse K-12 population of about 6,860 students represented by nearly 43 percent students of color and 9 percent English language learners.

The partnership is a result of ongoing legislative advocacy by the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota to increase teacher diversity across the state. Metropolitan State and Hopkins Public Schools are joined with other concerned universities, districts and organizations in this new coalition formed around the common goal to double, by 2020, the current number of teachers of color in the state and ensure that 20 percent of candidates in the teacher preparation pipeline are persons of color or American Indian.

Last August, Metropolitan State University hosted a unique conference organized by the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota designed explicitly for current and aspiring teachers of color. The event was attended by 250 people from more than 100 organizations, school districts, institutions and various racial/ethnic communities throughout the state. The 2017 conference will also be held August 9-11 at Metropolitan State.

The coalition advocates at the state and local levels for the following policies and investments for systemic change needed to address major barriers to the profession and diversify the teacher workforce in the state:

  • Increasing pathways for diverse youth, paraprofessionals and career changers to enter the teaching profession
  • Eliminating discriminatory teacher testing requirements
  • Providing scholarship incentives, student teaching stipends, and loan forgiveness for teaching service
  • Providing induction and retention support
  • Making changes to ensure climate and curriculum are inclusive and culturally relevant in K-12 schools and teacher preparation programs

Pioneer Press: ‘Ridiculously overwhelming’: Can reforms to how Minnesota teachers get licensed stop shortage?

“Minnesota faces a growing shortage of teachers in math, science, special education and technical programs. State education leaders hope fixing what has been described as a “broken” licensing process will make it easier for teachers trained out-of-state or in alternative ways to get into Minnesota classrooms…”

“… a more diverse teaching force is essential if Minnesota is going to close one of the nation’s worst academic achievement gaps between poor and minority students and their peers,” says Rene Antrop-Gonzalez, dean of the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University.

Read more at the Pioneer Press

Dr. Sonia Nieto connects personal struggles to teaching

At age 6, Sonia Nieto decided to become a teacher. At age 10 she finished her first novel. But it took much more than ambition and determination to propel Nieto from her childhood home in a Puerto Rican enclave in Williamsburg, N.Y. to a long, productive career as an educator and writer.

It took some luck—and a change in zip code.

In discussing her memoir, Brooklyn Dreams, with a packed house March 3 in New Main Great Hall, Nieto noted that her family’s move from a poor neighborhood to the middle class Flatbush community was a significant factor in her life.

Attending Erasmus Hall, one of the best high schools in New York City—complete with tutors, honors classes and middle-class peers actively planning to attend college—balanced out the fact that she felt invisible as one of the school’s three Puerto Rican students. Having the good fortune to attend Erasmus allowed her to pursue further education and her dreams.

Even while opening the door to opportunity, Erasmus continued the implicit lessons of a devaluing the experience of minority students, which was common in the 1950s.

“We learn to be ashamed of who we are and who our families are if we don’t fit a particular profile,” said Nieto, an award-winning scholar, teacher and urban education advocate.

The social justice implications were not lost on Nieto, who was told early in her teaching career to “leave cultural baggage at the door.”

Since then, multicultural education and culturally responsive teaching has been her calling card. Finding ways to incorporate cultural background and experiences into the curriculum so that students may hang on to their identities without isolating themselves is a central theme of her work. Nieto noted that the trick is balancing that pride with mutual respect for other cultures, which is a must in our diverse and complex society.

“Sonia Nieto’s work is important, because she sheds much wisdom on how teachers can rethink their work to infuse social justice ideologies and practices in their everyday labor,” said Rene Antrop-Gonzalez, School of Urban Education dean, at the event cosponsored by Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools. “In the continued era of neoliberal approaches to public education, Dr. Nieto’s message is one of hope and keeping up the good fight to push back against forces that would rather see our children and youth fail than succeed.”


Science Museum partners with Metropolitan State to create female STEM leaders

The Science Museum of Minnesota has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead an innovative partnership with Metropolitan State University and St. Catherine’s University to build and grow a professional learning and teaching community.

The program is designed to increase the number of women teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics and give these emerging teachers valuable opportunities to incorporate technology-based programs, like Scratch and App Inventor, into their classroom curricula.

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Vance Holmes is 1st recipient of Metro State’s Urban Education master’s degree

Metropolitan State University recognizes Vance Holmes as its first recipient of the Master of Science degree in Urban Education. He received a certificate and special acknowledgment from Interim President Devinder Malhotra and Provost Ginny Arthur at a reception on Dec. 11.

The School of Urban Education anticipates that 14 students total will graduate from the Master of Urban Education program over the course of this academic year.
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