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The Education Achievement Gap: Minnesota's Embarrassment
The Achievement Gap: Idea Generator
The Education Achievement Gap

Idea Generator

Ideas: Families | Teachers | Schools | Dollars | Society | Other | Help/FAQ
Help/Frequently Asked Questions

What is this?
The Idea Generator is a new experiment here at Minnesota Public Radio News, designed to focus the public's knowledge and insight on an issue of critical importance to the state's future: the achievement gap.

We have designed it to be an online collaboration that people can use to learn about an issue, and come up with ways to address the issue at hand in a cooperative way.

How do you judge which are the best proposals?
We have left that partly up to you, the participant. You can comment on and rate any idea. We will take special note of the highest-rated solutions. Our editorial team will also determine what we feel are the most compelling and practical solutions. We will combine your rating with our editors' best judgment to determine the best proposals.

What happens to the best proposals?
We will invite the authors of the best proposals to talk about their solution at a town hall meeting on October 18th, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul. The meeting is free and open to the public.

How do I use the Idea Generator?
It's pretty simple. Click on a category, read the research, read the proposals, explore the site.

When you're ready to vote, comment or propose your own solution, we will ask you to tell us a little bit about yourself - so we can post your name and location alongside your comments.

Then feel free to vote, comment and propose all you want. If you have any questions, e-mail us at

Can I vote, comment or propose more than once?
Sure. But we won't post any frivolous proposals. If we don't feel you have thought through your proposal, we may ask you to elaborate before posting your idea.

And we reserve the right to restrict postings from anyone we feel is being offensive or isn't otherwise interested in adding to the conversation.

Why do you require me to put my name next to my idea?
We want people to be accountable for what they say. We feel that anonymity leads people to take one another less seriously. We want people to take the ideas proposed within seriously.

Of course, you can always make up a name. But that wouldn't be nice. So don't do it, please.

I submitted my idea, why hasn't it appeared yet?
An editor or moderator must look at every proposal before it goes to the site. They will edit it for grammar, spelling and punctuation (we want to make sure people can focus on your idea, instead of grammar or spelling mistakes) and to make sure it's not offensive or derogatory. Then we will post it. Check back every morning to see the new ideas that came in overnight.

Why are you doing this?
Minnesota Public Radio News has long realized that there is a great deal of knowledge and expertise out in the public that, if tapped, could help transform the way we gather and disseminate information.

This is part of an ongoing project at Minnesota Public Radio called Public Insight Journalism. The idea is to draw in knowledge and insight from people throughout the state who have the expertise to help us illuminate the issues of the day.

Why isn't it working right?
If you're having any technical problems, e-mail us at It's helpful to know what operating system you have (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.), what browser and version you are using (Internet Explorer 6.1, Netscape 4.0, AOL 9.0, etc.), and how fast your Internet connection is (dial-up, DSL, cable modem, etc.)