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Distinguished alumna Carol Johnson takes on challenges for public schools

CarolJohnson140.jpgCEHD alumna and former Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) superintendent Carol Johnson believes that public schools across the country are facing some of the greatest challenges ever. Johnson, who received her M.A. in elementary education ('80) and Ph.D. in educational policy and administration ('97), also thinks that "teachers are the most important people in the world." She spoke at the AchieveMpls annual Education Partners luncheon on Nov. 10.

In an article in MinnPost, Beth Hawkins writes that Johnson, who is currently superintendent of Boston public schools, "traced the history of efforts to achieve equity in U.S. schools, outlined barriers to closing the achievement gap and challenged the 600 educators and policymakers in attendance to set the bar much, much higher." In an emotional speech, Johnson talked about the need for high-quality public schools as a continuing civil rights issue, noting her own memories of segregation and discrimination as a child and describing the current "gulf between public education's 'great equalizer' promise and the reality for millions of disadvantaged children," writes Hawkins.

Current MPS superintendent and CEHD alumna Bernadeia Johnson introduced her former boss as a "mentor and dear friend." They worked together when Carol Johnson was MPS superintendent from 1997 to 2003, before leaving to head the Memphis public school system.

Read more in "Carol Johnson's three big lessons on school reform."

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