minneapolis schools

Recent Articles

Betty Ellison-Harpole: Teaching beyond the recipe, living outside the box

By Alleen Brown

Contributing Writer


Betty Ellison-Harpole moved to the Midwest in the 1950s from segregated Memphis, Tennessee. For 37 years she taught kindergarten through third grade, as one of few African American teachers in Minneapolis schools. She piloted the city’s first all-day kindergarten class at Bethune school in the early 1980s. Although she’s retired now, Ellison-Harpole is still active in education circles, and age has not diminished her personality. If you give her the opportunity, she will talk to you for hours about early education, Minneapolis politics, and growing up poor and African American in the South. 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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