Federal

St. Paul Will Lose Top Hmong Official

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 09, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The highest-ranking administrator in the St. Paul, Minn., school system who is Hmong, a member of one of the city’s largest ethnic groups, is leaving the school system to help create a charter school that focuses on Hmong language and culture.

Mo Chang, the charter school liaison and special-projects coordinator for the school district, plans to leave Feb. 28 to become the start-up director for the Community School of Excellence, scheduled to open next fall. The school’s sponsor is Concordia University, in St. Paul.

Ms. Chang, who began working in the school district 21 years ago as a teacher’s aide, has earned a master’s degree in teaching and learning and has become licensed to be a principal or superintendent. She said she believes she can better meet the educational and cultural needs of Hmong students in a charter school than through the St. Paul school district.

With charter school governance, she said, “I will have leeway and the autonomy to do whatever it takes.”

She added: “We can initiate a project and start the next day if we want to. It’s harder to do in a big district.”

Twenty-nine percent of the district’s 41,000 students are Hmong, and most are English-language learners. The Hmong are a Laotian ethnic group whose members began coming to the United States as refugees in the late 1970s after the Vietnam War. (“Team-Teaching Helps Close Language Gap,” Dec. 6, 2006.)

Ms. Chang, the only Hmong member of a “cabinet” that meets regularly with St. Paul Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, told Education Week in November that if the St. Paul school district didn’t create a magnet school focusing on Hmong language and culture, it would continue to lose students to charter schools such as Hmong Academy and Hope Academy.

Deb Henton, the chief of staff for the St. Paul school system, said that she hasn’t received or seen a formal proposal for a Hmong-focused magnet school, but said the idea was discussed in a meeting the superintendent had with Hmong leaders last fall.

At the time of the Education Week interview, Ms. Chang already had decided to leave the school system but wasn’t ready to say so publicly, she said recently.

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Which States Have Sued to Stop Biden's Title IX Rule?
A summary of all the lawsuits challenging the Biden administration's Title IX rule that expands protections for LGBTQ+ students.
3 min read
Misy Sifre, 17, and others protest for transgender rights at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, March 25, 2022. On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Utah and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
Misy Sifre, 17, and others protest for transgender rights at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, March 25, 2022. On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Utah and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation. The case is one of eight legal challenges to those expanded legal protections contained in new Title IX regulations issued by the Biden administration.
Spenser Heaps/The Deseret News via AP
Federal The Topic That Didn't Get a Single Mention in Biden-Trump Debate
K-12 schools—after animating state and local elections in recent years—got no airtime.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, right, and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, left, during a presidential debate hosted by CNN, Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta.
President Joe Biden, right, and former President Donald Trump, left, face off on stage during a presidential debate hosted by CNN, June 27, 2024, in Atlanta. Not a single question was asked about K-12 education and neither candidate raised the issue.
Gerald Herbert/AP
Federal Social Media Should Come With a Warning, Says U.S. Surgeon General
A surgeon general's warning label would alert users that “social media is associated with significant mental health harms in adolescents.”
4 min read
Image of social media icons and warning label.
iStock + Education Week
Federal Classroom Tech Outpaces Research. Why That's a Problem
Experts call for better alignment between research and the classroom in Capitol Hill discussions.
4 min read
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022.
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022. Experts called for investments in education research and development at a symposium at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 13.
Patrick Semansky/AP