Minneapolis Public Schools

Recent Articles

Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress

Some employees find workplace still hostile 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since MSR’s January 5 exclusive article on racial discrimination against current and former Black Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) employees, MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller, Board President John Erwin, and Minneapolis NAACP President Booker T Hodges have met several times and developed a process to address the issue of “inconsistency” in discipline matters. Whether this process and other measures will satisfy disgruntled employees remains to be seen. The MSR article, “Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” reported that after receiving numerous calls from current and former Park Board employees, Hodges initiated an investigation. The NAACP determined that Park Board supervisors used performance reviews “to systematically target minority employees to terminate them from their jobs” as well as moving longtime Black employees “to less desirable positions.”

Following that investigation and MSR’s story, nearly 80 past and current employees received letters inviting them to set up a time to meet with Miller on their concerns. A MPRB spokesperson explained that these meetings were not “grievance hearings,” but simply “meetings.” Even though the individual could bring anyone they chose to the session, no one else was allowed to speak on their behalf as might be the case in a grievance hearing. Continue Reading →

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Green Central enters new school year amid controversy

 

 

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

“The Developmental Dual Language [DDL] program at Green [Central School] is a new approach, and starting new things — moving out of a comfort zone — is always a little threatening. But it’s the right thing to do for our Spanish-speaking students,” says Green Central Principal Catalina Salas. Salas was not available to be interviewed for this story but provided the MSR with a written statement explaining the reasons for curriculum changes. Salas has come under fire from some parents and community members who are nervous about the program and fear that, while it may be the right thing to do for Spanish-speaking students, it may leave African American students behind. Some even fear that this will result in segregation of those students in the same school. Continue Reading →

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Advertorial – Students look forward to what comes next

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, graduates! Each spring, our preschool students visit kindergarten classrooms to get a sense of what they can expect from the coming year’s big transition. They embrace their day-long challenge with a blend of trepidation and excitement, understanding on some intrinsic level that they are getting a glimpse of their future, seeing that it is close enough to touch. Although they may not have a full grasp of what is to come, they know that their lives are about to change. Each spring, our graduating seniors prepare for their own big transition. Continue Reading →

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Segregation again: Black educators are being purged

 

 

Richard Green was the first Black superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools who later became chancellor of the New York City Schools. He was an educator’s educator. He earned respect and affection of all involved with education, educators, students and parents. He was honored when Central High School was renamed Richard Green Central Park School, now a K-8 school. Green was a native son, born and raised here. Continue Reading →

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Education versus learning: the war against Black students

 

 

By Donald W.R. Allen, II

Guest Commentator

 

The Minneapolis Public Schools has become a school system that isn’t able to successfully engage and teach students of color, as seen by declining enrollment and low graduations rates with suspensions and expulsions that one could argue skew heavily towards Black students in the district. In finding a solution to an ongoing challenge within an organization, it’s important to get information from the source. In this case, numerous calls to the Minneapolis Public Schools communications department went unreturned. If this were the same quality control the MPS is using for its students of color, this would explain one of many inactive, non-functioning components in the war against Black students in an educational environment. Let’s start by trying to figure out the reasons for suspending a child in kindergarten. Continue Reading →

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State’s integration program scrutinized

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since a 2005 State legislative auditor’s report that called for more clarity on the State’s Integration Revenue Program, some, including many members of the Minnesota Legislature, are asking whether State funding to integrate schools, which is set to expire in 2013, should be expanded, repurposed or eliminated. In its final report released in February, the legislature’s 12-member Integration Revenue Replacement Task Force recommendations include the creation of an Achievement and Integration for Minnesota program, and examining if a Metropolitan Integration School District is needed to serve all metro-area districts that receive integration funds. The task force also recommended that the existing Integration Revenue Program stay at the current level, and that the law define percentages for how funds are spent: at least 80 percent on students and 20 percent on professional development and administration, with administrative costs not to exceed 10 percent. The task force recommendations were almost identical to those that came late last year from the Minnesota School Integration Council (MSIC) report on State integration funding. MSIC recommended that the components of the current Minnesota Desegregation Rule prohibiting “intentional segregation” remain, and that the State establish an Educational Equity Through Integration program that would require all districts to participate in the program. Legislators will make the final decision on which of the recommendations will be implemented. Continue Reading →

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The best gift for our students: supporting their education

 

 

As we enter the holiday season and the season of giving, I wanted to reach out to our families and friends in Minneapolis. The best gift that a child can receive is your support in his or her pursuit of a high-quality education experience. There is nothing more important than preparing students to be successful. I see the future leaders of Minneapolis and our world in the bright eyes and intelligence of our students. The most essential factor driving student achievement is the effectiveness of classroom teachers. Continue Reading →

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Educators urged to partner with families

  

North High hosted top national expert on
community engagement
   
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A productive school involves effective family and community partnerships, a leading community engagement expert said last week at North High School. Although there was little family involvement in this event, some hope the educators present will spread the word that such partnerships are essential to student success. “She is the number-one reference” in the nation for community involvement research, said Center for School Change Director Joe Nathan of Dr. Joyce Epstein, the director of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. A program of Macalester College, the Center for School Change and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) co-sponsored a November 10 two-hour evening event attended by nearly 300 educators and other professionals. Family involvement is important “for students to do better in school,” said Epstein. Continue Reading →

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