Minneapolis Public Schools

Recent Articles

Way to Grow shows one way to close the achievement gap

Intensive home program supports students and their families
 

 

News Analysis

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Way to Grow Executive Director Carolyn Smallwood is passionate about the community empowerment institution. Sitting in a South Minneapolis coffee shop, she animatedly attests, “I have been blessed over the past eight years to be affiliated with such a great organization. It’s an honor. We have great staff. We’ve made a

significant impact in the community. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

MPS revising Black history curriculum

 

Mahmoud El-Kati calls for a ‘radical’ change to educating youth
 
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Following two recent incidents that occurred at Minneapolis high schools — a Black doll hung by the neck from a string at Washburn High School and a cafeteria fight at South High School — Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Chief Communications Officer Stan Alleyne said, “There is a new level of intensity and urgency” around the importance of teaching Black history in the schools,

The two incidents are “about misunderstandings and about ignorance” of Black culture, said Mahmoud El-Kati, who has taught Black history classes at North High School for 18 years. “All children should learn the wisdom of Frederick Douglass, [W.E.B.] DuBois, Mary Church Terrill, Ida B. Wells and Mary McLeod Bethune, Martin [Luther King, Jr.] and Malcolm [X], and God knows how many [other] people we can call on who are very important in American democracy. These children haven’t heard their names, [as well as] too many adults.”

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson was unavailable for comment, but Alleyne pointed out, “The superintendent has spoken numerous times on how important it was to take another look at what we are doing. We have to make sure that students are learning things that are important for them to learn.”

The current Minnesota K-12 Social Studies Standards has four key components: citizenship and government, geography, economics and history. Students in kindergarten through third grade are required “to master fundamental understandings” of social studies, then study North America geography (grade four), North American history (grade five), Minnesota studies (grade six), U.S. Studies 1800-present (grade seven) and global studies (grade eight). Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

South High food fight gives voice to Somali student’s frustrations

One student response to turmoil is to “mix it up” culturally
 

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

“We don’t feel safe,” said 16-year-old Kowsar Mohamed, a Somali student at South High, during a recent press conference addressing the reasons for a Feb. 14 fight in the cafeteria of the school involving Somali, other African Americans, and Native American students. Her classmates surprisingly pointed out that their sense of insecurity extends to the Minneapolis police stationed at the school. “We were mishandled by the police,” said student Halima Abumunye. “I felt disrespected by the police. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Financial aid workshops, free ACT exams to boost college applications

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is sending a strong message to students, families, staff members and the community that we believe it is imperative that all students be prepared for college, career and life. Providing more students with the right preparation will advance our whole nation. We know that when college is affordable, the chances of college completion increase. Each year hundreds of MPS students fail to get federal college aid because of difficulties completing the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These students are 70 percent less likely to apply to college. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Letter to the Editor: Honoring our community leaders

 

 

I am honoring the late Evelyn Eubanks as my local hero. For those of you who never had the opportunity to meet this dedicated leader, you missed out on a great thing. 

Evelyn was a tireless activist in the education of our children. She was the founder of the Minneapolis Parents’ Union and a former chairperson of the Minneapolis NAACP Education Committee. For a little woman, Evelyn had a big voice. She was vocal when she believed the Minneapolis Public Schools were lacking in the education of our children of color. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Press conference on Mpls high school racial incident held at MSR

 

A press conference about a recent racially charged incident at Washburn High School in Minneapolis was held Tuesday, January 22 at the MSR office. As told in a press release issued by Minneapolis Public Schools, on Friday, January 11, “a…group of students [dangled] a dark-skinned baby doll by its neck with a piece of string. Students recorded the incident and images were posted on social media sites. School security cameras also captured the events.”

 

Watch MSR Online for an upcoming story about this event.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Letter to the Editor: Why is the superintendent of the MPS silent on segregation at Richard Green Central?

 

Segregation is happening right in our neighborhood at Richard Green Central Park School. This school is under scrutiny due to the segregation of African American and Latino students. Students are separated and placed into classrooms based upon their last names in order to determine if a student will be placed in a Spanish- or English-speaking class. Many parents, community members, educators, and students have voiced their concerns about the maltreatment of students, lack of concern for underrepresented populations and the segregation, which has created a hostile school environment. The Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson has been contacted numerous times about this matter, but she fails to respond and is not concerned with ensuring that the Minneapolis Public Schools are adhering to school laws. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Where are all the teachers of color in Mpls and St. Paul schools?

First of a two-part story

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer

 

…In St. Paul 15 percent of teachers are not White, compared to 76 percent of students. In Minneapolis, 17 percent of teachers are not White, compared to 65 percent of students. Minneapolis and St. Paul district human resources officials say they want more teachers of color, but race doesn’t trump credentials. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Businesswoman specializes in customized strategies

 

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

 

For organizations that want to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace, equip a workforce with new skills, and get better at offering ideas that transcend genres and categories, it isn’t easy. Millennium Consulting Group’s president Yvonne Cheek is up for initiating a dialogue on the subject. At a glance, she is a strategic change consultant. Along with her colleagues at Millennium Consulting Group in Minneapolis, Cheek helps her clientele broaden and shape their ways of thinking about designing, launching and reaping the benefits of new initiatives. The North Carolina native taught at both elementary and junior high schools in Greensboro, N.C., and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Puget Sound, where she served as the chair of music education, in Tacoma, Washington. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Poor MPS test scores show leadership’s lack of commitment to students

 

“We exist to ensure that all students learn” is the mission of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson states on the MPS website that she believes “more strongly than ever that our top priorities lie in narrowing the achievement gap and offering all of our students a high-quality education that prepares them for college or a career.”

All of this sounds great, but by the time you get through reading this column you will realize that those are just empty words. In this column I will discuss the 2011-2012 MPS test results. These results have been swept under the rug by the so called “Leadership Council” and their representatives. In 2010, when the NAACP called for parents to remove their kids from Minneapolis Public Schools some people thought that they were going overboard. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,