said. “Communities…

said. “Communities need to engage kids in productive activities from a very young age,” she said.
Johnson emphasized the importance of team sports or scouts as outlets for cooperative learning. Churches, synagogues and mosques are vital educators in the community, she said, and thus need to reach out to kids after school and on weekends.
Schools should also be more sensitive to cultural issues in the community, she said. About 80 languages are spoken in Minneapolis, yet only eight are translated in public schools.
“We are at a very critical time in our student history,” Johnson said. “We have the largest diversity since the turn of the century.”
Ultimately, students need to take responsibility for their own educations, she said.
“Being smart is not something you are born with. It’s something you work at,” Johnson said.
Johnson has discussed the role of Minneapolis School District No. 1 with University President Mark Yudof. The district is currently involved with the College of Education in a study of the effects of early school start times. The district is also considering how to use the University system to register K-12 students.
“If you went to a doctor, you’d want them to use the very best research. Parents want the same for their kids’ education,” Johnson said.