My Brother’s Keeper

Recent Articles

New MPS director to focus on Black male achievement

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) now has in place their new office that will specifically look at Black male student achievement. Michael Walker, a longtime district employee and most recently Roosevelt High School assistant principal, was selected as the first director of the district’s Office of Black Male Student Achievement. He begins work July 28. The district’s Black males are “a very narrow group,” admits MPS CEO Michael Goar when oft-asked why this student population is receiving so much focused attention. Eliminating the achievement gap between Black males and their MPS peers has presented “persistent challenges for the community” as well for the district, stated Goar. Continue Reading →

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New MPS programs to focus on Black male student achievement

Unified office, more instruction, more teachers planned
 

This story concludes our report on new MPS initiatives to address disparities that began with last week’s story, “Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity.”

 

Second in a two-part  story 
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

A new Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) department “aimed at accelerating academic strategies and reducing the achievement gap” has been established. The primary reason for the office is that there are multiple programs within MPS Central Office “that are doing similar work and as long as these [five] departments are in a silo and not connected together, we are not going to have a comprehensive, unified vision on how we allocate and be more thoughtful [on a] strategic way to deliver services,” explains CEO Michael Goar, who adds that a search for someone to head the new office is currently underway. “We want to make sure that all of our students of color will be just as successful as our White students,” pledges James Burroughs, MPS equality and diversity director. MPS serves approximately 36,000-plus students “and we’re growing,” reiterates Goar. “When you look at our student population, you are talking about the majority of our kids are kids of color. Continue Reading →

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My Brother’s Keeper: Trauma must be part of conversation on helping Black males

Black History Month has come and gone once again. I hope that folks learned something useful and constructive during this period. Oftentimes, I believe as Black people we forget that everything we do today is making Black history. Sadly, we think about what would be in the history books 50 years from now based on current events — the major events would be the election of President Obama, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and maybe even the first openly gay professional athletes being Black as well. However, I do not think these things encompass what we know Black history is about today. Continue Reading →

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President Obama visits St. Paul to promote transportation budget

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Reportedly Barack Obama’s approval rating in Minnesota is at its lowest since he became president over five years ago. But based on the loud, enthusiastic reception he received last week during a stop in St. Paul, his popularity apparently has not yet wane. “We love you,” said someone from the overflow crowd. “I love you back. Continue Reading →

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