Teachers look beyond ‘cookie-cutter’ signs and banners with community art build

Teachers in St. Paul are throwing out the playbook in contract negotiations with the district this year. Banners, signs and posters in the union’s storage closet are on the way out, too. Educators, parents, students and community stakeholders will work together on new, artist-designed signs and banners this weekend at a “community art build” co-hosted […]

Erik Brandt: An open letter to Macalester College (and its peers)

I’d like to tell you about my long-time colleague, Amy. Over the last 20 years at Harding High School in St. Paul, I have watched Amy work tirelessly with thousands of our fantastic students – nearly all of whom are low-income, minority, first generation to attend college – to help them navigate the college acceptance […]

Teachers kick off contract campaign by targeting corporate tax dodgers

  Anticipating negotiations with a school district that seems perpetually short on resources, St. Paul teachers launched their contract campaign today – Tax Day – by calling on the city’s wealthiest corporations to pay their fair share toward local public schools. St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 kicked off its contract campaign early this […]

St. Paul teachers answer Trump’s divisive rhetoric with wall of support for immigrant students

  Teachers, parents and community members lined the walkway outside LEAP High School in St. Paul yesterday, forming a protective wall around students at the school for new immigrants as they walked to their buses after dismissal. Organized by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers on the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the public action […]

Union plumbers step up to keep St. Paul Schools’ water safe

Union plumbers are stepping up to make sure drinking water is safe for students and staff in the St. Paul Public Schools. The district recently finished testing all water fixtures in its buildings for lead. While more than 95 percent of fixtures passed the initial test, maintenance staff identified 233 fixtures that needed replacing. At […]

This summer job is a crash course in construction careers

  One by one Friday, graduates of the inaugural MN Trades Academy stepped up to the podium inside IBEW Local 110’s union hall and offered their three favorite construction crafts. Welding was a popular choice – not surprisingly, given the teenage demographic – but there was something for every one of the 20 graduates, who […]

Colleagues, labor community mourn Teamster fatally shot during traffic stop

Philando Castile, the man fatally shot during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last night, was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul and a member of Teamsters Local 320. Officers of Castile’s union today expressed grief at the sudden loss of their union brother, “an amazing person who did […]

In new report, St. Paul teachers give ‘cookie-cutter’ policies a failing grade

  There is no one-size-fits-all solution for improving under-performing schools, according to a report issued yesterday by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. To achieve lasting improvement, district leaders must engage a school’s surrounding community and address the unique, underlying challenges in students’ neighborhoods, homes and lives. That’s the conclusion policy researcher Michael Diedrich, author […]

As lawmakers haggle, faces behind education budget speak out in St. Paul

As Minnesota lawmakers announced a breakthrough in negotiations over the state’s E-12 education budget yesterday, the faces behind the financial figures – students, parents and teachers – rallied against staff and programming cuts in St. Paul. “We cannot nickle and dime our kids’ future,” school board candidate Zuki Ellis, the parent of a first-grader in the St. Paul Public […]

School board to senators: Raise minimum wage to boost student achievement

School board members weighed into the minimum-wage debate this week, when all seven members of St. Paul’s Board of Education signed a letter urging state senators to help close achievement gaps in their district by supporting a substantial wage hike this session. Louise Seeba, a board member and AFSCME Local 3757 member, spearheaded efforts to […]