ERIC Number: ED439134
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Strange Brew: Minnesota's Motley Mix of School Reforms.
Pearlstein, Mitchell B.
Minnesota has been the first state to embrace many education reforms, but it is also characterized by low state standards and problematic desegregation and diversity proposals. This report examines why Minnesota is good on some education policies and bad on others. It also draws the lessons with the greatest importance for other states. The political, social, and cultural topographies of Minnesota are reviewed. The heart of the analysis examines educational freedom and choice, academic standards and accountability, and diversity and race. The analysis indicates that no institution or individual is more important in the making and breaking of state education policies than governors, particularly, governors who are engaged. Also of importance is the amount of time an idea or initiative is allowed to linger in educational "catacombs." Minnesota has benefited from a rich array of civic organizations and public intellectuals who are skillful in advancing policies they like and retarding those they do not. The report also shows the reluctance of Minnesotans to deal with the issue of race and the way in which Minnesota teacher unions have opposed the victories spotlighted in this report. The probable position of the state's new governor, Jesse Ventura, is discussed. (Contains 57 end notes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Administrators, Diversity (Student), Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Political Influences, Racial Attitudes, School Desegregation, Social Influences, State Legislation, State Standards
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1627 K Street, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, DC. 20006 (single copy free). Tel: 202-223-5452; Fax: 202-223-9226; Tel: 888-823-7474 (Toll free); Web site: http://www.edexcellence.net.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota