Falak Sher Marri, 16, shakes hands with Dora the Explorer at Mall of America

Exchange student says Pakistan and America share morals

Before arriving in this country, I was curious about Americans. I often wondered about their lifestyle and culture. As an exchange student, my task is to answer the questions I had before coming here.

Junior Edwin Flowers and Principal Liz Wynne at Twin Cities Academy

Expecting more of our young black men -- and ourselves

When Edwin Flowers started attending Twin Cities Academy as a freshman, he figured that he’d catch some breaks since the principal is African-American like Edwin.

Liz Wynne quickly corrected that assumption. “I’m going to be harder on you,” she warned. “You’ve got to set an example for the younger students.”

Mind you, Edwin wasn’t a role model at the time. He was creative, funny, often in trouble for talking in class and so far behind in math he had essentially given up. Two and a half years later, he has a 3.65 GPA and a busy schedule as a basketball player, spoken word artist and ThreeSixty writer.

Pa Houa Thao poses with her mother

Hmong daughter and mother struggle to understand each other's different cultures

My mom stayed home and learned that, as a Hmong daughter, you are to keep the house clean and practice cooking to become a wife. So my mom has no clue what an after-school club is, what you do there, and why I like be there.

Election 2010

Bigger classes? Better teachers? How the governors' race matters to teens.

The governors’ election in Minnesota this year can make or break your next school year. Mark Dayton is the DFL candidate, Tom Emmer is the Republican candidate and Tom Horner is the Independence Party candidate. Each is offering something different to the schools if he becomes governor.

Even though I’m not of voting age yet, this election is important to me to see what the candidates have to offer and why this election makes a difference for schools.

One caring adult sometimes comes on-line

For those of us who are decades away from high school, it’s easy to forget the loneliness and downright misery for teens who stick out in uncomfortable ways.

Goth, geek, thug, fag, fatso, retard — the terms are fired like bullets. And technology amplifies the hurt into a kind of echo chamber. Thanks to texting, Facebook and e-mail, insults follow students home and broadcast them to a wide network of peers.


Americans go to school a month less than students in developed countries. Would adding a month improve education in the US?

No, school should be 2 months less
No, screw statistics
No, other issues are affecting the quality of our education
Yes, it could really benefit some of my peers
Yes, I love learning!
Senior slide illustration by Ruby Thompson

Senior slide: Will it cost you?

The term “senior slide” sounds like a school dance move, but it’s not.

Julie Brandt had to petition to start a girls lacrosse team in 2003

Popularity of lacrosse increasing so fast there aren't enough coaches

In 2003, Julie Brandt was interested in playing a spring sport, but her school didn’t have one that she liked. So she and her friends started a petition at Centennial High School to create a girl’s lacrosse team. Seven years later, Julie is currently the head coach of St. Paul’s fifth and sixth grade girls lacrosse league.

High school athletes fundraise as sports budgets continue to shrink

High school athletes fundraising more as sports budgets continue to shrink

Imagine high school without sports, yearbooks without athletes, Friday nights without the lights on at the football stadium.

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At three north Minneapolis schools, the kids know the answers

To the members of the service-learning program Lead Peace, a tree means something different from a mere plant.

Nyasia Arradondo

My black student group: support, not segregation

When a white student at her school questioned why black students like Nyasia needed an after-school group just for them, she had an answer for him. And an invitation.

Dropping out: "Not an option?" Then why do so many teens do it?

Dropping out: "Not an option?" Then why do so many teens do it?

In February 2009 and again that September, President Barack Obama issued a challenge to America’s teens: Everyone should graduate from high school and get at least a year of post-secondary training.

Exterior of Arlington High School

Its mascot is the phoenix, but Arlington H.S. will not rise from ashes

On April 14, while most students in the state of Minnesota were fretting about their MCAs, the students at Arlington Senior High in St. Paul were distraught over news the district wanted to shut down their school.

How to get a teen to read? Relevance and publication.

I was confounded when I learned that Minneapolis high school students pass the state writing test at a much higher rate than they pass the required reading test.

How can this be? Reading prepares us to write. We teach children to recognize and sound out letters before we teach them to imitate letters with pencil on paper.

Teens grinding at a school dance

Osseo High bans grinding at prom, dance too sexual

When Osseo High School outlawed grinding at prom, many students were so angry they jumped ship, literally. About 255 students plan on skipping the school’s May 15 prom to attend a party on a boat where they won’t be kicked out for dancing front-to-back.

New technologies or core skills? Summer camps require a balance.

As I organize schedules for our summer camps, I feel the pull between providing plenty of time for teens to practice the core process of reporting and making sure that they try other important storytelling tools.

Done correctly, journalism is a rigorous process. 1. Focus the story. 2. Find the sources. 3. Do the research. 4. Conduct the interviews. 5. Organize the notes. 6. Write the story.

Question at high school career fairs: Does journalism have a future?

If you haven’t been to a high school career fair lately, here’s what you’re missing: Two hours in a noisy gym with polite young people gripping hand-outs they must complete (“What are the advantages o


Despite lockdown, Minneapolis high school was pretty calm on Wednesday

By Sinthia Mireya Turcios

_Yesterday there was a lockdown at all Minneapolis public schools and at Cretin-Derha


Want President Obama at graduation? Apply by March 15!

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