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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Rassoul Dastmozd, president, Saint Paul College
August 20, 2015

Saint Paul College president: under-served populations key to state's jobs future

Overview

If Minnesota is to maintain its high-quality workforce in coming years, the state has no choice but to give major emphasis to education and training of its under-served populations, who will make up 70 percent of the state's future population growth, according to Rassoul Dastmozd, president, Saint Paul College.

 

Business as usual won't be enough, given less than adequate results to date in E-12 education, high numbers of  college dropouts and high unemployment rates for people of color. Places such as Saint Paul College, already successful in attracting students of color and low-income students, are well-positioned to provide education and skills training for this growing segment of our population.

 

Low-income students and students of color often face other challenges, such as housing, health care, transportation, and income, that make it extremely difficult for them to devote first priority to education and training. Consequently, for Minnesota to maintain its high-quality workforce, the state must take a broad-based approach to address these areas of need, in addition to education and training.

 

For the complete interview summary see: Dastmozd interview

 

Response Summary: Readers rated these statements about the topic and about points discussed during the meeting, on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

  

1. Topic is of value. The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

 

2. Further study warranted. It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

 

3. Emphasize the under-served.  If Minnesota is to maintain its high-quality workforce in coming years, the state has no choice but to give major emphasis to education and training of its under-served populations, who will make up 70 percent of the state's future population growth.

 

4. Change in focus is necessary. Business as usual won't be enough, given less than adequate results to date in E-12 education, high numbers of college dropouts and high unemployment rates for people of color.

 

5. Some especially well positioned. Places such as Saint Paul College, already successful in attracting students of color and low-income students, are well positioned to provide education and skills training for this growing segment of our population.

 

6. Mistake to rely only on schools. But the state is making a mistake if it relies only on educational institutions to help under-served populations prepare for successful entry into the workforce.

 

7. Other challenges must be addressed. Low-income students and students of color often face other challenges, such as housing, health care, transportation, and income, that make it extremely difficult for them to devote first priority to education and training.

 

8. Broad approach necessary. Consequently, for Minnesota to maintain its high-quality workforce, the state must take a broad-based approach to address these areas of need, in addition to education and training.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

0%

67%

33%

6

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

0%

67%

33%

6

3. Emphasize the under-served.

0%

0%

17%

50%

33%

6

4. Change in focus is necessary.

0%

0%

17%

50%

33%

6

5. Some especially well positioned.

0%

0%

0%

67%

33%

6

6. Mistake to rely only on schools.

0%

0%

17%

50%

33%

6

7. Other challenges must be addressed.

0%

0%

0%

67%

33%

6

8. Broad approach necessary.

0%

0%

0%

50%

50%

6

 

Individual Responses:

Denny Carlson  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (5)  (10)  (10)

 1. Topic is of value. I think Rassoul is one of our fine Minnesota educational leaders!!  A very good voice to hear from.

 

6. Mistake to rely only on schools.  I don't have enough information to make that judgment.  Who would we rely on as a provider?  The private sector?  Don't they have that option now?

 

Mark Ritchie  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)

 Great interview.

 

Wayne Jennings  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (8)  (10)  (10)  (10)

 A superb presentation and program. The use of industry advisory committees keeps programs current with practice. Iím concerned with the amount of resources necessary to remediate students in basic skills, a K-12 responsibility. We have not solved or even adequately studied that issue. Itís real and a major roadblock to a good future.

 

Paul Hauge  (9)  (8)  (8)  (8)  (10)  (9)  (9)  (10)

 

Great curriculum and results from a school once thought of as very moderate and little accomplishment.

 

Lyall Schwarzkopf  (7)  (6)  (9)  (9)  (8)  (6)  (8)  (7)

 

Chuck Lutz  (9)  (8)  (9)  (8)  (8)  (8)  (9)  (9)

 

Tom Spitznagle  (8)  (7)  (5)  (5)  (7)  (10)  (7)  (7)

Who actually is being ďunderservedĒ by our educational systems?  This term is used often as if it were a fact.  If Iím not mistaken, K-12 is available to everybody at no additional cost and access to post-secondary education is readily available with various subsidies available to assist low-income youth.  The only solid evidence that there are children who may be underserved is within the public school districts of Minneapolis and St Paul. But, to the defense of these two systems, there are very substantial cultural problems, clearly and honestly identified by Mr. Dastmozd in this interview, that interfere with the ability of schools to successfully educate minority students.  Until these cultural problems are resolved, there will be no combination of new programs and additional education funding that can yield adequate results for most minority students. This is one of the most significant challenges of our time and, if not successfully addressed, will directly impact the future social and economic well-being of all citizens regardless of race and economic circumstances.

 

 

To receive these interview summaries as they occur, email civiccaucus@comcast.net         Follow us on Twitter

 

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie,
Dan Loritz (Chair), Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

 

 

 


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.
 

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