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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Center for School Change Moving to Macalester College
Move from U of M Humphrey Institute to Macalester is “Win-Win”

November 30, 2009 - St. Paul, Minn. - Macalester College will be the new home of the Center for School Change, a nationally known program to improve K-12 education.

“We're delighted to welcome the Center for School Change to Macalester. We are looking forward to developing mutually-beneficial connections, building on the strengths of our Educational Studies Department and other academic programs, and increasing student engagement in our local schools,” said Kathleen Murray, provost. “Simply, it’s a win-win for both the Center and Macalester.”

The Center for School Change, founded and led by Joe Nathan, PhD, was established at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 1990. Under a new agreement, Macalester will house the program, which includes two staff people, and act as its fiscal agent.

“Joe Nathan and the Center for School Change have a record of sustained achievement in advancing K-12 education,” said Brian Atwood, dean, University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute. “We at the Humphrey Institute have shared in this success over the years. We wish Joe all the best as he prepares to write a new chapter of the center's story with Macalester College and are glad that he will retain an affiliation with the Institute going forward.”

Murray explained that Macalester students will benefit from the new relationship through:

  • Expanded access to community-based research projects, internship, and service opportunities in K-12 schools
  • Involvement in new types of educational research projects
  • Opportunities to forge new partnerships with communities and foundations
    Increased national visibility as home to innovative K-12 policy research

“We chose Macalester because its commitment to service and academic rigor complements the Center’s mission and values,” said Nathan. “We are excited about the opportunities this new partnership with one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges brings to the Center.” Nathan and Sheena Thao, the Center’s Outreach and Public Information Coordinator, will be moving to Macalester.

The Center for School Change has a record of successfully working with educators, parents, business people, students, policy-makers and other concerned people throughout the United States to increase student achievement, raise graduation rates, improve student attitudes toward learning, their schools, and their communities, and strengthen communities by building stronger working relationships among educators, parents, students and other community members. Current Center projects include work with governors in six states and with public schools in a number of communities to help increase achievement and the percentage of students who graduate ready to do college level work.

The Center is entirely grant and contract-funded. Since its inception, the Center has received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the State of Minnesota, and the Annenberg, Blandin, Carlson, Helzberg, Frey, Rockefeller and Walton, Minneapolis, and St. Paul foundations, among others. The new relationship is budget-neutral to Macalester; the Center will cover the full cost of its space, and grants administration and other fiscal services Macalester will provide. The parties have finalized the partnership agreement and are planning for the Center to move January 1, 2010.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.