Tag Archives: School of Urban Education

In the News: Century-old ‘work college’ model regains popularity as student debt grows

…the idea of a work college is drawing renewed interest, thanks to rising student debt, skepticism about the financial payoff of a liberal arts education and employer complaints that graduates aren’t prepared for jobs. The fact that work colleges get extra funding under a little-known federal program also hasn’t hurt.

Century-old ‘work college’ model regains popularity as student debt grows

Twin Cities Public Television interviews professor Nicholas Hartlep.

Aug. 29: An Evening With Oscar López Rivera

 

Click here for flyer.

The author of Between Torture and Resistance (2013), Oscar López Rivera, will speak to the Metropolitan State University community from 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 29 in the Founders Hall auditorium, Saint Paul Campus.

López Rivera is the longest-serving Puerto Rican political prisoner. His sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in January 2017. Since his release, López Rivera has been traveling extensively to speak about his life experiences and his quest for Puerto Rican independence.

The program will consist of a presentation by López Rivera followed by time for audience dialogue with him. Copies of Between Torture and Resistance will also be on sale from the Metropolitan State University bookstore.

This event is co-sponsored by the School of Urban Education, the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Puerto Ricans in Minnesota, and the Minneapolis NAACP. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact René Antrop-González, dean of the School of Urban Education, at 651-999-5959 or email rene.antrop-gonzalez@metrostate.edu.

Nicholas Hartlep named editor of the Journal of Educational Foundations

Dr. Nicholas Hartlep, assistant professor of urban education, has been named the new editor of the Journal of Educational Foundations (JEF). The journal’s new home is the School of Urban Education (UED) at Metropolitan State University.

In addition to the role that Hartlep played in bringing this top education journal to Metropolitan State University, then-Interim Provost Carol Bormann Young  supported UED’s request to publish the journal from Metropolitan State’s UED.

Brief history of The Journal of Educational Foundations:

The journal was initially published by Prakken Publications from 1986 to 1989 and then by Caddo Gap Press from 1989 onward.

1986-1987 – JEF started under sponsorship of the American Educational Studies Association and the University of Calgary with co-editors Alan H. Jones of Prakken Publications and Roger Woock of University of Calgary.
1988 to Spring 1992 – sponsored by the University of Cincinnati with co-editors Kathryn Borman and Patricia Reilly.
Summer 1992 to Winter 1995 – sponsored by Youngstown State University and National Lewis University with editors Jane Van Galen and James Pusch of Youngstown and William Pink and Robert Lowe of National Lewis.
Spring 1995 to Spring 1997 – sponsored by National Lewis University with William Pink and Robert Lowe as editors.
Summer 1997 to 2004 – sponsored by Marquette University with William Pink as editor.
2005-2006 – sponsored by Jersey City State University with Darrell Cleveland as editor.
2007 to Winter/Spring 2012 – sponsored by Stockton College of New Jersey with Darrell Cleveland as editor.
Summer/Fall 2012 to current – sponsored by the University of Texas at San Antonio with Michael Jennings as editor.

Hartlep spoke about his responsibilities as the incoming editor,

“I have many responsibilities. Appoint other members of editorial team and editorial board (either keeping or altering the current editorial board); recruit peer reviewers (keeping any current reviewers as desired); solicit and receive submissions (including any carry over submissions from current editor); coordinate review of submissions; select manuscripts for publication; copy edit manuscripts; determine which articles will appear in each issue; write introductions for issues if desired; send manuscripts for each issue to the publisher; receive and review final proofs for each issue from the publisher; approve final version of each issue prior to publication.”

Metropolitan State University has a three-year commitment to  host JEF, and Metropolitan State can renew the contract indefinitely. Hartlep intends to keep the journal at Metropolitan State “for many years, so we will become the longest-standing institution.”

Hartlep thinks that Winona State University is the only other university in the Minnesota State System that hosts a journal. He feels that “it is very significant for Metropolitan State University to host JEF because JEF is a reputable journal that is in print and that is indexed [in Education Index].”


JEF is an independent quarterly journal in the social foundations of education sponsored by Metropolitan State University.
Subscriptions: $50 (individual)/$100 (institutional) per year ISSN 1047-8248.
JEF features research and analysis in the social foundations of education, with a focus on interdisciplinary scholarship among the foundations fields.


Colleagues, direct inquiries regarding the Journal of Educational Foundations to Hartlep at Nicholas.Hartlep@metrostate.edu

July 19: Hear from Professor Nicholas Hartlep on his book, ‘The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education’

To say Professor Nicholas D. Hartlep is moving at the speed of light is not hyperbole. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and is a transracial adoptee. His family moved from to Green Bay, Wis., where he grew up supporting the Green Bay Packers football team.

The pace of his life changed drastically after he enrolled as an undergraduate student at Winona State University (WSU). As Hartlep studied at WSU to become a teacher, he enlisted in its study abroad program and went to Granada, Spain; and then student-taught in Quito, Ecuador.

After graduating in December 2006 from WSU, Hartlep took a short break and worked as a substitute teacher until he finally landed a full-time position in the Rochester Public Schools (RPS). Hartlep says he was fortunate to find that RPS’ yearlong Graduate Induction Program (GIP) for “inexperienced” teachers would allow him to earn a Master of Science Degree (M.S.Ed.) from Winona State University’s (WSU) Rochester campus. After the GIP he and his wife moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where he was admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Urban Education Doctoral Program (UEDP).

Enrolling in the doctoral program meant that Hartlep could teach at Harford University Elementary School during the day and attend graduate school at night. During that time, Hartlep was busy between doctoral coursework, his full-time job as a second-grade teacher, and raising his daughter with his wife.

Three college degrees and numerous scholarships later, Hartlep, then 28, found himself with student debt, something he and Lucille Eckrich write about in their co-authored article, Ivory Tower Graduates in the Red: The Role of Debt in Higher Education.

It was this personal experience as a college student that prompted Hartlep to co-edit the book, The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education with Eckrich and a former doctoral student of his, Brandon Hensley.


BOOK READING

Hear Nicholas Hartlep, assistant professor in the School of  Urban Education at Metropolitan State University, present his new book, The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education.

• 7 p.m., July 19 at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul.

More information at this website.


 

Hartlep spoke recently from his office at Metropolitan State’s Midway Campus:

How long have you been teaching here at Metropolitan State University?

I started last fall (2016). This is my third semester teaching here at Metropolitan State.

Where did you previously teach?

I was at Illinois State University for four years in their Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. I taught Foundations of Education there. Here at Metropolitan State I am in the School of Urban Education.

Did you grow up in Minnesota?

My background is transracial adoptee. I was born in Korea and was adopted here in the Twin Cities, but I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Currently, I live in Hudson, Wisconsin.

What is it about Metropolitan State University that attracted you?

It’s a small world, if you ask me. The Dean of the School of Urban Education [Rene Antrop-Gonzalez] here at Metropolitan State hooded me when I received my Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He was a faculty member there and I knew him from back then. I knew he would be an excellent dean to work under. I was right! That was one reason why I chose to come to Metropolitan State.

But another reason is, Metropolitan State focuses on urban education and the fact that it’s located in the Twin Cities area, means that it is well situated to serve the community.

On top of that, I also came to do policy work and the State Capitol is located here in Saint Paul.

Is there something about the Metropolitan State community that stands out in comparison to traditional universities and colleges?

I think our words and our deeds align here at Metropolitan State. We are really walking the talk. Our mission and vision is urban focused, so I do think we are highly unique in that way.

But the prime example of why I believe Metropolitan State is different than other “neoliberal institutions” is the population we serve. We serve many students who are first in their family to go to college; including refugee students and other marginalized populations. That is why it is important for me to do a very good job of equipping these students with all the skills they need in order to be successful in their lives. We are the most affordable urban four-year institution in the state. And the students and faculty in the School of Urban Education is made up of a diverse population.

Certainly, there are areas where we can improve. I know that Metropolitan State is a teaching-focused university. Nevertheless, I still think research is important to do. It is very important for educators in higher education to do scholarly work; it keeps them sharp in the classroom.

One other important thing to consider about Metropolitan State is that it has a strong focus on professors to become stellar teachers. At research-focused institutions the pressure to write is the greatest force at play. That means sometimes the teaching duties get reassigned to graduate assistants and adjunct faculty members. Here at Metropolitan State, the teaching assignments take precedence over everything else we do. That keeps you on your toes.

You are passionate about race relations. What is it about that topic that interests you?

Race and socioeconomic critique are part and parcel to who I am. Race in general has been important to me, most likely because I am an adoptee and have always been aware of how race operates in society. Our new book centers race, centers economics, and critiques capitalism within higher education.

Was there a turning point in your career or life that changed you?

The turning point was college itself. The positive experience of feeling included, valued, loved and cared for that I experienced in college was a major turning point.

I had a miserable time sitting passively in class in high school. I had a critical mentality and I found the traditional teaching method—a “banking method”—very unengaging and dry. All that changed for me in college. For the first time in my life I really enjoyed school—in the sense of formal higher education. And I think the key difference is that in college you have more autonomy and are inspired by professors to read and write.

From kindergarten through 12th grade, I was a reluctant reader. I disliked reading. Towards the tail end of my bachelor’s degree, I fell in love with reading. I became an avid reader. Most of my high school friends and teachers would never envision that I am doing what I am doing right now.

The experience of going to college changed you?

Yes! I saw the lifestyle of these professors and thought to myself, ‘I see what you are doing. I want to do what you are doing. You get to think deeply. You get to write. And you get to teach.’ That combination of reading, teaching, research and service was really something that I saw and fell in love with. I consider myself very fortunate because to become a professor is very challenging.

What motivated you to write The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education.

The current practice of higher education, based on the neoliberal agenda, is a pay-to-play sort of model. In my own case, I could not become a professor without acquiring a terminal degree. And I could not get a terminal degree without having the capital to invest in my future.

Now that I am a professor, the dilemma I feel is this dichotomy between a debtor, one who is trying to pay off his debt by working, and the establishment that I work for. My employer is an institution of higher education. Which means that some students are acquiring debt to pay for my salary. Although, I do understand that Metropolitan State has one of the lowest tuition rates within the state of Minnesota. Nevertheless, the thought that many students are becoming indebted to pay for their education remains unsettling within me in many ways because higher education should be accessible and not require debt in the first place.

I am fully aware that the profession I have chosen is not going to make me financially wealthy. If you have amassed a large amount of debt and you are not going to pay it back within your lifetime, then from an economic standpoint, that was a bad decision. Still, I consider myself lucky because I am only 33 years old. I have my whole life ahead of me. Even with all the difficulties I have faced in order to get here, I still consider myself an anomaly. There are millions of students out there that are not as lucky as I was.

Especially when you have these students that are sold this bill of goods whereby they are told that, after 10 years of making on-time payments on their student loan debts, it will be discharged. Then you have these politicians in the state and federal legislatures talking about eliminating the loan forgiveness program altogether. When that happens, it really shows the main ideology behind the whole system. And even these loan forgiveness programs have their own shortcomings. The student debt that is written off through the loan forgiveness program is considered personal income for federal tax purposes.

Traditionally education is viewed as a human capital from a neoliberal viewpoint. The regime claims that you have to make an investment on your future, and the return on your investment will balance itself out once you are done paying off your student debt. That is a typical neoliberal economic point of view.

With this book, I want to discuss the main cause for the student debt crisis. Ultimately, I want to be able to steer the discussion of the value of education in society towards a more equitable system. A vision that considers it a human right for everyone who chooses to pursue higher education.

Do you think government should fund higher education?

My personal view is that some level of higher education should be public and paid for. But we don’t have that system here in the United States. We have a system where we can go to K–12 grades supposedly free, minus the hidden fees. That is it.

And my main concern is, we have these legislators, both in the state and federal legislatures, being lobbied by the financial sector into having these conversations about who should pay for higher education. How are we going to fund it, etc.? And that is a big problem.

Instead of these bureaucrats and lobbying groups, I feel that the best discussions happen at a grassroots level. It is crucial for the demos to be involved in these deep and holistic conversations about the value of education in society and make decisions based on that. And, to tell you the truth, that discussion is taking place in certain pockets of the society.

But we live in a capitalist society. Much of our freedom is afforded to us by the success of the economy.

The student debt crisis in higher education is a problem caused by capitalism, in my opinion. Embedded within capitalism is this imperative for constant growth that is untenable. That is unsustainable from a global point of view. Human beings on this planet have limited means and resources. Incessant growth is the reason behind much of the problem—regardless of whether its climate change or economic misfortune—we humans are facing right now.

We talk about this in our book in more detail. Just to give you an excerpt, in chapter 10 of the book, there is an article by Kay Ann Taylor titled “Golden Years” in the Red: Student Loan Debt as Economic Slavery, where she talks about “the neoliberal capitalist agenda, which has been escalating for decades, college is viewed not as a venue to pursue intellectual curiosity or learning, but instead as economic human capital to determine which cog we fill in the oppressive, undemocratic neoliberal privatization scheme (Giroux, 2014).”

Taylor goes on to explain her theory of accumulation and disaccumulation even further. As a young man—I am 33—I have my life ahead of me. I have the time to repay my debt and then start accumulating assets. Taylor describes disaccumulation with her personal example as an older woman where, even though she has the college degrees she does not have the time to pay back the student debt she accrued as a student and start accumulating assets. Her life circumstances and her personal journey have led her to this point where, even with a Ph.D. degree, she feels helpless.

There is a whole industry in the financial sector that benefits from student debt. In fact, the federal government pays $38 to private debt collectors to retrieve $1 of student debt. Which means, taxpayers are paying $38 to retrieve $1 of student loan debt. That is absurd. That is illogical. It doesn’t make any economic sense. And why is that? Why do we have this problem?

The twisted irony is that the student loan debt crisis is becoming a problem in terms of debt peonage enslavement. The masters are corporations in the financial sector, and to some extent, the federal government. That is a direct result of the neoliberal agenda.

The other paradox of this student debt crisis is that, students are now becoming aware of the fact that they are going to go into debt, and as a result they start questioning their educational choices—like the majors and minors they choose to study. What happens when students start making these decisions based solely on economic sensibilities? It causes the shrinking and narrowing of the occupations that are lower paying. In fact, millennials are making these calculations in their minds as we speak. They are asking themselves, “Why become a social worker that helps society as opposed to a career that just secures money?” When it becomes transactional like that, it defeats the purpose of a liberal arts education. The holistic understanding of what an education is supposed to mean fails as a result.

Did you find any solution to this problem in your research?

The only way out of this mess is a system that is non-capitalistic or non-neoliberal. After poring through all the research on this topic, we found very few non-neoliberal or non-capitalist programs that would be practical here in the United States.

For example, we looked at work colleges that are small sets of colleges where students, in most cases, graduate debt-free. They fund their college education by working within the college—they build things while they are learning. Those tend to be rural and smaller institutions. Would it work at an institution like Metropolitan State? Maybe. Maybe not. Would it work at an institution like University of Minnesota? No, it most definitely would not work.

To exacerbate the matter, researchers in academia produce research findings that can be used for policy, and during that research they like to re-label things. Consequently, major publications will promote the story about the next silver bullet, like “income share agreements,” for example. They present it like it’s this novel approach that is going to save higher education, as we know it. But then when you dig deeper into it, you realize that these are not new concepts. There are authors and contributors in the book that talk about this phenomenon.

All this diversion takes our eyes off of the real root of the problem that we should be focusing on, like: neoliberal capitalism and debtfarism. Until we devote more time to the monetary system that we have here in the United States—and interest is a key component of that—we will not be having the crucial conversation that is required of us to resolve this problem.

Even the language of policy we use to define the student debt crisis in higher education is littered with neoliberal terms like generalizability, scalability, efficiency, and effectiveness. And they are just economic buzzwords. That is why we talk about the need for a new lexicon in our book. We need a whole new lingua franca to dismantle the neoliberal agenda in higher education.

What that means is, ultimately we need to think about and create the policy for higher education from bottom up, as opposed to the current format, which is top down. Perhaps, it’s a policy from the community, the demos, like the People’s Budget.

One last thing I want to mention is, many of the authors and contributors in our book have high amount of student debt. Nevertheless, some critics would argue that they are not representative of the student debt crisis, because the actual crises are folks with smaller amounts of debt; folks who went to for-profit predatory colleges; folks who didn’t get their degree, etc. Yes, this is true. And their voice matters a lot. But, so do the voices of those who became indebted to become academics, people who have accrued six-figure student loan debt in their pursuit for higher education.

Michigan Public Radio reviews Nicholas Hartlep’s collected critique of debt-based higher education system

"The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education"
“The Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education”

The “Neoliberal Agenda and the Student Debt Crisis in U.S. Higher Education” is a series of essays co-edited by Nicholas Hartlep, assistant professor in the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State.

Michigan Public Radio obtained an advance copy of the collection, mentioned in an article on student loan debt.

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

Joe Nathan: All students benefit from diversity among teachers

“… There appears to be bipartisan agreement to address part of the shortage: the dramatic underrepresentation of teachers of color. State figures show that more than 30 percent of Minnesota K-12 students come from “communities of color” or are American Indian, but less than 5 percent of the state’s teachers represent any of these groups. …”

Read more

Joe Nathan, formerly a Minnesota public school teacher, administrator and PTA president, is director of the Center for School Change. Reactions are welcome at joe@centerforschoolchange.org.

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

Star Tribune: “Osseo Area Schools forms partnership to diversify teacher workforce”

“Osseo Area Schools is collaborating with the university’s school of urban education as part of an effort to recruit more teachers of color.  School districts national and locally are dealing with a shortage in teachers overall as well as teachers of color…

‘Effective teachers who are culturally responsive is mission critical for Osseo Area Schools,’ Superintendent Kate Maguire said at the event.”

Read more at the Star Tribune

 

 

Partnership of School of Urban Education and Osseo Area Schools will ease barriers and increase teacher diversity

Metropolitan State University President Virginia Arthur and representatives from Osseo Area Schools signed a partnership agreement at a ceremony Jan. 30, at Osseo Senior High School.

The agreement enables Metropolitan State’s School of Urban Education (UED) students access to priority placement at Osseo Area Schools for student teaching and priority consideration for hire in Osseo’s paraprofessional and teaching positions. The agreement will increase teacher diversity in Minnesota and ease barriers of entry for prospective teachers of color and place them at work in ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools.

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President Virginia Arthur speaks on the value of Metropolitan State’s new partnership with ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools. This partnership enables urban education pre-service teachers access to priority placement at Osseo Area Schools for student teaching and priority consideration for hire in the district.

Once hired as paraprofessionals, eligible UED students can access Osseo’s career ladder for prospective teachers. The career ladder includes benefits such as paid leave of absence during a student teaching assignment in Osseo Area Schools, first consideration for hire in licensed teaching positions, and up to two additional years of seniority upon achieving continuing contract status.

Signing on behalf of Osseo Area Schools was Superintendent Kate Maguire, E.D.D.

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.

“This is a substantive departure from the traditional student teaching model that puts teacher candidates through 13 to15 weeks of unpaid labor and deters many pre-service teachers of color and American Indian pre-service teachers from becoming licensed teachers. Teacher candidates of color and American Indian teacher candidates often do not have the ability to forgo paid work in order to complete student teaching,” says René Antrop-González, dean of the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University.

Metropolitan State delegates at the signing also included Provost Carol Bormann Young,  Tom Cook, special assistant to the president, Greg Mellas, director of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, professors Rosa Fagundes and Paul Spies of the School of Urban Education, among other faculty and staff. Representatives from Osseo Area Schools also included Judy McDonald, SPHR, executive director of human resources; Kelly Wilson, president, Education Minnesota-Osseo; Becky Hespen, president, Osseo Educational Support Professionals; members of the superintendent’s executive team; other district leaders; and other staff and community members who support this work.

The partnership is a result of ongoing efforts and advocacy by Metropolitan State University,   Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, and the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota to increase teacher diversity across the state. Metropolitan State and Osseo Area 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 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