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St. Paul – Teachability Factors in General and Special Education: Harnessing Adult Data for Change

July 27, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm CDT

Composite image featuring pictures of educators Dr. Keith A. Mayes and Maria Roberts, as well as the cover to Dr. Mayes' book, "The Unteachables: Disability Rights and the Invention of Black Special Education."

Join us for a special training for building and district administrators and school board leaders with Dr. Keith Mayes and Maria Roberts on Teachability Factors and Adult Data in General and Special Education.

As school districts examine and employ student data in the modification of their classroom practices, few researchers have called for a deep examination of adult data, and how it can be harnessed for change. Through the lens of racialized special education, this session will examine a broad spectrum of adult data in the areas of tolerability, efficacy, mindset, and relationships. We will demonstrate that when we refuse to look at school wide or adult data, we run the risk of believing students and families are inherently flawed. Educators most often find these “flaws” in our minoritized students and communities. When we refuse to interrogate the system, we believe it is functioning appropriately. We transfer the “problems of a system” to create the “problem student.”

During this workshop, participants will:

  • Deepen their knowledge of the racialized history of special education and make connections to current practice.
  • Reflect on current instructional practices and teachability factors in order to improve support for effective instruction.
  • Identify current sorting and removal practices within their own districts that create inequitable outcomes within both special and general education.
  • Consider how the implementation of tools or practices have either replicated or changed student outcomes.

This event is open to all Minnesota superintendents, school board members, equity directors, principals, district-level administrators, special education directors and assistant directors.

Registration fee includes:

Dr. Keith Mayes is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota; former chair of the Department of African American & African Studies; and the Horace T. Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Mayes earned his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. His teaching and research interests include the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements; education policy and history; and the history of African Americans. Dr. Mayes published a new book entitled, The Unteachables: Disability Rights and the Invention of Black Special Education (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2023).

Dr. Mayes provides consultant, professional development, and training services in the areas of DEI; curriculum development; ethnic and social studies, and special education. Some of his current and former clients include the Omaha Public Schools; Minneapolis Public Schools; St. Paul Public Schools; District 196-Apple Valley, Eagan, Rosemount Public Schools; Independent School; District 194 (Lakeville, MN); District 833-South Washington County Schools; Anoka-Hennepin Schools; Stillwater Area High School; Mankato Area Public Schools; National Geographic; the History Channel; the Minnesota Humanities Center; and the Minnesota Department of Education. Dr. Mayes has lectured widely throughout the Twin Cities Metro area in K-12 schools, churches, municipal governments and corporations. He has appeared on various media outlets, such as MSNBC, CBS, KMOJ, KARE-11 News, WCCO Channel 4, KSTP, Minnesota Public Radio, Radio Minnesota, KFAI, and National Public Radio.

Maria Roberts has worked in public K-12 educational systems for over 20 years. She began her career as a middle school special education teacher and has worked in federal settings I, II and III. She has experience in serving at all three school levels (elementary, middle and high school) and has served in both urban and suburban school districts. She has held leadership positions at both the district and school level including AVID District Director, Equity Director, and Associate Principal. She is the current principal of Wilshire Park Elementary School in the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District.Each experience has provided her the opportunity to successfully evaluate and implement equitable policy and practices resulting in changes in curriculum and instruction, grading and discipline practices.

In addition to her work in school systems, she actively supports learning and leadership among colleagues and values partnership between practitioners and academics. For the past five years, she has served as the Senior Facilitator for the Culturally Responsive School Leadership Institute and is a facilitator for the MN Principals Academy where, in partnership, she designed the culturally responsive leadership strand.


Registration Questions: registrations@mnhum.org | MHC Cancellation Policy



July 27, 2023
9:00 am - 3:30 pm CDT
Event Categories:


Sung Ja Shin


Minnesota Humanities Event Center
987 Ivy Avenue East
Saint Paul, MN 55106 United States
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