Humphrey School News—June 3, 2015

Humphrey School Partners with Minneapolis Public Schools on New Education Fellows Program

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota is partnering with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) on a new education fellows program. Humphrey graduate students will work closely with MPS administrative departments to help identify ways to impact systemic change and student achievement.

“I believe there is no greater policy issue that we are dealing with as a society than the education of our children and the educational achievement gap,” said Laura Bloomberg, associate dean at the Humphrey School, who conceived the program along with MPS Chief Executive Officer Michael Goar. “This partnership is a great opportunity for our students to be exposed to the world of K-12 policy, not only curriculum and instruction in the classrooms, but all of the school district policies that impact the education of our children.”

Humphrey Fellows will work full-time for a 12-week period during the summer on the following projects:

  • Dennis Duffy (Master of Public Policy candidate) will provide analysis of teacher movement and its impact across the district and develop recommendations to improve outcomes for students and schools, with a focus on high priority schools.
  • Jennifer Sanchez (Master of Public Policy candidate) will evaluate current policy, programs, and practices that support English Language Learners’ graduation rates and college readiness, in addition to supporting the efforts of the work force and board sub-committee.
  • Adam McFarlane (Master of Public Affairs candidate) will assess school security in relation to school climate and provide recommendations related to three models of school security.
  • Leif Kurth (Master of Public Policy candidate) will develop a proposal for an inter-district integration plan focused on educational equity and access.

Fellows also spend time during the week supporting the specific needs of students and leadership at summer school sites, and participating in professional development experiences focused on specific topics and components of public education within Minneapolis Public Schools. All professional development is then linked back to the policies that impact decisions and action within K-12 education. Thus far, Fellows have participated in professional development related to student support services (homeless and highly mobile students, social emotional needs of students), research and evaluation (achievement data, collection methods), and college and career readiness. 

"We consistently look for ways to increase capacity and talent among our staff, which includes leveraging our partners and resources in the community to help us take on some of the complex issues we are faced with every day,” said Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, superintendent of schools. “I’m always proud of the partnerships that we are able to establish with the University of Minnesota." 

“It is fundamentally important that we have colleges of education to prepare great principals and great teachers and great superintendents, but we also must have great public policy schools that provide the kind of training that allows people to think broadly about the education of our children in the context of our society,” said Bloomberg. “The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is well-positioned to partner with school districts.”

At the end of the 12-week fellowship, students will present their work to a panel of MPS executives.

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Humphrey School of Public Affairs
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