Pogemiller Interview Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.
The fundamental issue for Minnesota is completion of postsecondary education and attainment of certificates and degrees by students of color, asserts Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE). We must overcome the inequities in postsecondary education or we'll stifle the economy, he says, because we'll just run out of people to do the work. He calls it a moral and economic imperative.
Minnesota students of color, Pogemiller points out, are much less likely to complete high school on time and to complete postsecondary education than white students. And students of color, who now make up 24 percent of Minnesota graduates, are more likely to attend two-year colleges part-time than white students, meaning they are less likely to complete a certificate or degree program. These disparities, he says,
constitute "a scandal" and are creating a tiered system that is a major problem for our society in the long-term.
And students attending two-year colleges are much more likely to be enrolled in developmental (i.e., remedial) postsecondary courses than those attending four-year colleges, he says. Rates of enrollment in developmental courses-a measure of lack of readiness for college-differ widely by racial/ethnic group. The greatest difference is between white high school graduates, with 24 percent enrolling in developmental courses, versus black or African American graduates with 55 percent.
Pogemiller believes strongly that a critical step toward addressing these postsecondary inequities is to focus scarce resources on those most in need through targeted financial aid. He states that using targeted financial aid rather than free college or low tuition for everyone is a "no-brainer" policy issue. Targeted financial aid allows students to get to their best-fit institutions and increases their odds of success, he says.
We must start at the pre-K level in order to solve the postsecondary problem, because inequities snowball, he says, even at the lowest grade levels. He believes we don't intervene effectively enough through the early years for a lot of students who are lagging behind in basic skills. Those students start to believe they can't succeed.
For the complete interview summary see:link to 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. Minority population to surge. A dramatic increase in Minnesota's minority population, in absolute numbers and relative proportions, is inevitable.
4. Minorities must be ready to lead. It is essential for Minnesota's prosperity that people of color and other minorities play significant roles in the state's leadership in business, government, education and other fields.
5. Elite schools must enroll more minorities. Because a large proportion of state leaders are graduates of higher ranked public and private colleges and universities, those institutions must enroll more minorities than in the past to increase minority leadership.
6. Help more attain elite schools. Lower-income students will find community colleges affordable, but those with high potential for future leadership must be provided with opportunities at the more highly respected schools.
7. Target funding via need-based grants. That means more state funding must be targeted in the form of need-based grants for low-income students at such schools rather than used to hold down tuition for everyone.
8. Minority education key to having needed workforce. Without more targeted support of minority education and leadership development, the state is likely not to have enough qualified people to do the work of a healthy, growing economy.
9. Improved education at all levels required. Developing the a qualified work force as well as strong leadership will require a continued, strong commitment to improvement in education from pre-K onward.
Dale Fairbanks (5) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (5) (5)
(7.5) (2.5) (10)
Scott Halstead (7.5) (2.5) (10) (10) (10) (5)
(2.5) (5) (10)
Ray Ayotte (7.5) (5) (7.5) (10) (5) (5) (5) (7.5) (7.5)
Anonymous (0) (0) (10) (10) (10) (10) (0) (0)
Anonymous (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (5) (5) (7.5) (10)
Anonymous (5) (5) (10) (10) (0) (0) (2.5) (7.5) (10)
6. Help more attain elite schools. Leaders do not need to come from 'highly respected schools'
7. Target funding via need-based grants.
All low-income students or just minority low income students? This
question is not clear.
Mike McGee (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
Dennis Carlson (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
(10) (10) (10)
I would also like to know what Larry Pogemiller is going to do next. He is a great Minnesota resource and we need to keep him in the game after his OHE stint with Gov. Dayton is over.
Laura Urban (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
I am not sure who is responsible for wording the questions at the end of the interview, but I have a concern with how Question #6 is worded: " Lower-income students will find community colleges affordable, but those with high potential for future leadership must be provided with opportunities at the more highly respected schools." Is this question implying that graduates of community colleges cannot provide future leadership and that high potential leaders only come from highly respected schools? There are many good examples out there of community college graduates who are CEOs and great leaders. Case in point – Al Sholts, who you interviewed along with me for your last publication is a graduate of a two yr. college and is considered a leader in his field and within the community. Another case in point is Mona Dohman, Commissioner for Public Safety, is a graduate of ATCC and is a respected leader in law enforcement. Does this question mean that 2-year schools are not highly respected and do not produce leaders? Thank you for the good work you do and for listening to me.
Chuck Lutz (8) (6) (10) (9) (9) (10) (9) (8) (10)
Wayne Jennings (9) (9) (8) (10) (10) (8) (8)
Tom Spitznagle (5) (8) (8) (8) (5) (5) (4) (4)
There is also a strong tendency for social programs to address symptoms without addressing the underlying causes. As a result, too often significant public resources are used and the situation remains basically unchanged. In this situation, is it only [not] having the financial resources required to access higher education at the U or private colleges that is the main problem holding back minority students?
Mina Harrigan (8) (8) (5) (10) (5) (8) (8) (8) (10)
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The Civic Caucus is a non-partisan,
tax-exempt educational organization. The Interview Group
includes persons of varying political persuasions,
S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill
Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted
© The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405. email@example.com
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919 ~  Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.