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Big Questions: Why Haven't We Closed the Achievement Gap?

April 8, 2016

Monday, April 18
12:00 - 1:30 pm

Coffman Memorial Union Theater, first floor

Big Questions is a series brought to you by College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, and MPR News. We hope to foster thoughtful discussion through a liberal arts lens, bringing multiple and diverse perspectives to bear on today's pressing questions.

Minnesota high school students who are black, Hispanic, or American Indian are much less likely to graduate on time than their peers in almost every other state. According to data from 2014, nearly 86% of white high school students graduated in 4 years, compared to 82% for Asian-American students, 63% for Hispanic students, 60% for black students, and 51% for American Indian students. State and local governments, in addition to many for-profit and nonprofit organizations, are taking steps to close this gap in partnership with Minnesota’s various K-12 systems. Although there has been some improvement over time, the gap still remains. Why haven’t we closed the achievement gap?

MPR News host Tom Weber will moderate a discussion with Dr. Catherine Squires, professor of communication studies and director of the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative (RIGS); Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Education, State of Minnesota; Dr. Mitch Pearlstein, Founder and Senior Fellow, Center for the American Experiment.

Big Questions is free and open to the public. Complimentary box lunches available for all guests following the event. This event will be recorded for future broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio News.