Rybak, Generation Next announce steps to shrink achievement gap

Second-grader Maylena Carter puts the final touches on a book of her writing Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Capitol Hill Magnet School in St. Paul.
Jennifer Simonson/MPR News

Minnesota's student achievement gap between whites and people of color has been narrowing, but remains one of the highest in the nation.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's education group, Generation Next, announced Monday what it says are "concrete steps" to shrink disparities including kindergarten readiness and graduation rates.

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Rybak said members of the Generation Next coalition are working together to reach three goals:

Comprehensive health screening. Three-year-olds would be screened for health problems and disabilities -- such as speech impediments -- so they can get therapy and support.

Reading proficiency by third grade. Schools' reading tutors would receive training in promising techniques so they can more effectively help students learn to read.

Enhanced guidance counseling. Each child would receive closer attention from adults trained to help them draft and follow a plan to get them smoothly into college or a career.

Rybak joins The Daily Circuit along with St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva to talk about how they propose to make quantifiable progress towards leveling the playing field.

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