Good and Bad News for Minnesota Kids

Minnesota continues to be one of the best states in the nation for children, but the latest snapshot on their well-being shows some areas of concern. The state is ranked fourth overall in the latest KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, but several areas worsened over the past year:

  • The number of children in poverty grew to 15 percent.
  • Minnesota’s child health ranking went from 7th last year to 15th this year.
  • The percentage of fourth graders not proficient in reading increased from 62 percent to 65 percent.

Read more about the Kids Count report at the following links:

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The Achievement Gap: A family affair

Minneapolis’ Andersen United school has a bottom-up effort to reach parents to teach them how to help build their students’ reading skills at home. From reading road signs and recipes together to talking about plots and characters in books. Students bring home a half hour of reading each night and then discuss it with their parents.

Seventy-six percent of participating sixth-graders made greater-than-anticipated gains in reading proficiency last year, when half of the sixth grade’s 93 students got the extra help.

Supporters of the reading-boosting program at the heavily Latino school are seeking the money to expand from a homegrown effort dependent on extra commitment by teachers to a district-supported pilot for Andersen’s grades five through eight.

Read more about the program here: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/208429411.html?page=1&c=y