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
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

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 Cardona Back-to-School Tour to Focus on Teacher Pipeline, Academic Recovery
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will spend a week traveling to six states to highlight a range of K-12 priorities.
2 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona continues a tradition of on-site visits by the nation's top education official as the school year opens.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness: How Much Will It Help Teachers?
Advocates say Black educators—who tend to carry heavier debt loads—won't benefit as much.
5 min read
Illustration of student loans.
alexsl/iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A U.S. Education Secretary Cardona: How to Fix Teacher Shortages, Create Safe Schools
In an exclusive interview with Education Week, the secretary looks ahead to the challenges of this school year.
10 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington on Aug. 23.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Voters Want Republicans and Democrats to Talk About Learning Recovery, Not Culture Wars
A recent Democrats for Education Reform poll shows a disconnect between political candidates and voters on education issues.
4 min read
Image of voting and party lines.
TheaDesign/iStock/Getty