Press Release: Hiawatha Leadership Academy recognized by Minnesota business leaders for outstanding academic achievement

Hiawatha Leadership Academy – Morris Park is the 2013 winner of the Minnesota’s Future Award from the Minnesota Business Partnership

Minneapolis – The Minnesota Business Partnership today presented Hiawatha Leadership Academy executive director Eli Kramer with a check for $20,000 to recognize the school’s success in raising overall student performance and closing the achievement gap between white students and the population the school serves – a majority of whom are low-income and English Language Learners.

Minnesota Business Partnership member Pat Ryan, CEO and President of Ryan Companies and chair of the Partnership’s Education Policy Committee, presented the Minnesota’s Future Award to Eli Kramer at the school today.

“We call this the Minnesota’s Future Award because a quality education is critical to every child’s future and the future of our state,” said Ryan. “We need to recognize, encourage and learn from schools like Hiawatha Leadership Academy, which teach us that ‘poverty’ and ‘race’ don’t have to be synonymous with ‘low achievement’ and ‘high failure.’”

“Year after year, Hiawatha Leadership Academy students are proving that there’s no reason every student in Minnesota shouldn’t be able to read and do math at grade level,” said Business Partnership executive director Charlie Weaver. “The students here succeed because everyone – leadership, teachers and support staff – are all aligned to the same goal and don’t accept excuses for failure.”

“It’s a great honor to accept this award on behalf of our Hiawatha scholars, their families, and our incredible teachers,” Eli Kramer said. “Hiawatha Leadership Academy welcomes the opportunity to work with the Minnesota Business Partnership to ensure all students have an effective school that will prepare them for success.”

The Minnesota Business Partnership is comprised of chief executives of more than 100 of Minnesota’s largest employers. For the past eight years, the Partnership has presented the Minnesota’s Future Award to public elementary schools that serve a high percentage of low-income and/or minority students, and are closing the achievement gap based on MCA-II reading and math scores.

  • Hiawatha students – 98% which are students of color; 97% which are low-income; and 84% which are English language learners (ELL) – were on par with the state’s overall performance in Reading in 2010 and 2011, and in 2013 they substantially closed the achievement gap between ESL students and the state’s overall performance.
  • Hiawatha students have out-performed the state’s overall performance in Math for three consecutive years.

Hiawatha Leadership Academy will be honored before 800 business, community and political leaders at the Partnership’s Annual Dinner on September 23rd in Minneapolis. Previous recipients of the Minnesota’s Future Award include:

  • 2012: Harvest Prep and Best Academy, Minneapolis
  • 2011: Longfellow 45-15 Choice Elementary, Rochester; Global Academy, Columbia Heights
  • 2010: Sibley East-Gaylord Elementary, Gaylord; Concordia Creative Learning Academy, St. Paul
  • 2009: King Elementary, Deer River; Dayton’s Bluff Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2008: J.W. Smith Elementary, Bemidji; Ames Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2007: Kelliher Elementary, Kelliher; Farnsworth Aerospace Elementary, St. Paul
  • 2006: Nettleton Magnet School, Duluth; Sheridan Elementary, St. Paul