Roseville, Minnesota – A 12-member panel charged with evaluating the use of state integration aid for K-12 schools was announced by Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius today. A product of the final education bill passed during the 2011 special session, the task force is charged with developing recommendations to the Legislature regarding the current integration revenue program.
The 12-member panel was named through the open appointments process outlined in state statute. Commissioner Cassellius named six of the members and the House and Senate each named three.
“Given the challenges facing our state — from our changing statewide demographics, to the dubious distinction of having one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation, to the continued economic pressures facing our schools –- this task force has been given a daunting and difficult charge,” said Commissioner Cassellius. “I am hopeful they will engage in a rich discussion that will lead to substantive recommendations about how best to ensure that we meet the needs of every unique learner in public schools that reflect the rich tapestry of our state.”
The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville.
Members of the taskforce are listed below:
• Helen Bassett, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale School Board Member
• William Green, Professor, Augsburg College and Former Minneapolis Superintendent
• Myron Orfield, Executive Director, Institute on Race and Poverty, University of Minnesota
• Betty McAllister, Retired Middle School Principal, Nobles County Integration Collaborative
• State Representative Carlos Mariani, representing St. Paul
• Scott A. Thomas, Educational Equity Coordinator for the Rosemont/Apple Valley/Eagan School District
• Robert A. Erickson, Lakeville School Board Member
• Katherine Kersten, Center for the American Experiment Fellow
• Peter A. Swanson, Attorney, Golden Valley
• Reverend Robert Battle, Senior Pastor of Berean Church of God in Christ, St. Paul
• Arthur Brown, University of Minnesota Family Development Research Associate, Minneapolis
• State Senator Pam Wolf, representing Spring Lake Park and Blaine