Recent Articles

Mpls. school board approves measure to decrease suspension

Superintendent disputes claims that schools are warehouses, mini-jails

Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

The Minneapolis School Board last week approved a new district-wide discipline policy. The “Behavior Standards Policy,” which will take effect in the 2014-15 school year, “sets clear expectations, defines consistent responses and helps staff members find alternatives to suspensions.”

This came in response to an “alarming” suspension rate of one in five Black males annually being suspended compared to one in 29 White males, especially in the early grades. According to Minneapolis Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, who spoke with the MSR during a December 19 interview, a new policy is needed to help Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) close the achievement gap between Blacks and other students. “It’s really about expanding learning time for students and reducing suspensions and out-of-school time, especially for our African American students and African American boys,” Johnson explained. “I am not saying that kids are creating an unsafe environment and leaving them [in school], and I am not sure I am interested in in-school suspension rooms either. Continue Reading →

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Individual Education Plans left my children isolated, unchallenged



By Jessica Wright

Guest Commentator


I would like to warn parents about the disadvantages of an IEP or Individual Education Plan. My children were educated in the Minnesota Public and Charter School systems. Three of my four sons were placed in IEPs in kindergarten, and in two cases they remained there until high school. Normally, an Individual Education Plan is developed for children with learning disabilities. Over the years, I have witnessed IEPs being used as a “tool” to control children and contain them in classrooms that grow smaller as the level rises. Level 1 is mainstream; this is where there is no IEP required. Continue Reading →

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