Minneapolis to table plan to leave integration district

  • Article by: PATRICE RELERFORD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2009 - 11:48 PM

Superintendent Bill Green said he wants the city's schools to work with WMEP and others to boost achievement among minority and poor students.

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resa917Mar. 10, 09 1:04 PM

My daughter goes to IDDS. Disruptive students keep everyone down. There is no discipline. Maybe that should be addressed rather than how many white kids are in the school.

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mhrichardson99Mar. 10, 09 1:43 PM

The problem is that you have to actively apply for FAIR or WMEP schools. If you have parents who are not able to be involved in their child's school choice, or do not know how to work with the MPLS schools or don't know about the WMEP schools, of course you will get a more predominately white, middle class population who have access to that information. The questions is how do WMEP and MPLS plan to reach out to the population they want to attend WMEP schools. Just putting out the school choice catalog and holding the school choice fair does not seem to be getting the job done.

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SteveKotvisMar. 10, 09 2:40 PM

I am pleased to see Superintendent Bill Green is taking a time out to listen to passionate members of this school community. In the interest of building upon what's working, this school has demonstrated that 1) it is achieving academic success even for those students who often struggle the most, 2) has a passionate and engaged community of parents, 3) has a strong and vital team of teachers, and 4) has what I believe is a good principal as a leader. What it apparently needs are some clear reminders of the expectations about it integration objectives and a commitment by each member school district and the schools to be held accountable for reaching those objectives. This may be a real opportunity for a win-win as a potential model of success. It's not too late for all parties to step up to the table and commit to success in adding integration objectives to the first four success factors.

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parrot1234Mar. 10, 09 2:44 PM

I think Supt. Green should look at some REAL ways to save money, rather than attack something that is working. There are tons of wasted dollars in the Minneapolis Public Schools, everything to top-heavy administration to lack of dicipline in many of the schools. He needs to look closer! There are some great kids in the schools and some great teachers, but the whole system there needs an overhaul.

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lynnterese1Mar. 10, 09 2:48 PM

It's all easier said than done. Everyone doesn't have the fight in them that most of us do. It's like telling a fighter whose both eyes have been swollen shut that he must get up and get back in the ring and keep fighting. Yeah.. he'll get back in the ring but he'll keep swing and hope he hits something. Many of our kids both black and white are having a hard time with just swing blindly. They aren't saying that it's the white's man problem. No... it's America's problem. It's like the old saying, "me and my four and no more." The system has failed. And it will continue to fail until WE all take a stand and stop looking the other way. They are schools right the district where there aren't enough books for everyone. The classrooms are over crowded, understaffed and underpaid. They're are plently of qualified teachers (black and white) teching the children. The problem is that they aren't seasoned. They get the harder schools while the more experinced go to the less diffulcult ones, like those in the Southwest.

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treetoadMar. 10, 09 3:01 PM

Time to wake up diverse groups, help yourself and quit blaming everybody else for your problems.

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plathropMar. 10, 09 3:21 PM

The problem is with WMEP and school budgeting. Neither school in WMEP has achieved half of what it set out to do. FAIR has turned into an elitist 4-8 arts exclusive school that many IDDS parents (especially the suburban ones) escape to once they're done with 3rd grade. Thus, IDDS has been seen by the suburban member districts as a place to send their problem kids, and by suburban parents as a place to get a toehold for their kids to get into FAIR. Through the 8 years I've had kids at the school, IDDS has been stuck with a series of unfocused, ineffective administrations. And overall, the WMEP board has been far too focused on FAIR and has never quite understood or had a vision for what to do with IDDS (does anyone else remember the Comer Model that IDDS supposedly was based on?). Even now, with a supposed plan to turn IDDS into a K-12 arts school with, I believe, the ultimate goal of making it more attractive to open enrollment, it's very impractical, unworkable and probably too difficult to completely implement in any period of time that will make the FAIR parents who pushed for it happy. WMEP is broken, and has been from the start since it has always been completely reliant on the member districts for support. It lacks the ability to directly draw funding from the state as other districts can, so losing half of its funding and seats will certainly destroy the district. Something on a much more global scale needs to be done here besides questioning whether the schools have achieved any integration targets.

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mnbrnnraisdMar. 10, 09 3:28 PM

i grew up in crystal and attended Robbinsdale Cooper H.S. many of my fellow students came from the north minneapolis school district and some of my friends who lived close to the border, were forced to attend north due to the percentages between white and black students. this after years of going to school in robbinsdale schools where all their friends were. i don't understand why the perception that if the racial population is more balanced, then the education will be better. make the school the child lives close to better, so they don't have to be bused or driven (by parents if possible) to a school further away. it would also eliminate the need for someone to figure out who goes to this district and who goes to that one. wouldn't that save school districts money that could be used more in a more responsible manner? i'm not against open enrolement, if a parent feels their child can get a better education at a differant school, that should be their decision. but it should be up to the families, not the school districts.

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SpanishNickMar. 10, 09 3:38 PM

You really hit the nail right on the head. I worked at the district for three years and the way teachers bid and select schools is appalling. Experienced teachers tend to go for what they consider the cushy jobs--in the middle income/upper middle income neighborhoods with students that have little disruption in their personal lives and are perceived to be easier to teach. While probationary teachers (those with less than 3 full school years teaching in MPS) receive the left-overs. MANY of the probationary teachers are EXCELLENT and parents love them. The problem is that probationary teachers are the first ones to be released every year. This causes high turnover at their schools--then the process starts over again. What I recommend is that teacher that accepts a position with a particular school (meeting certain criteria--x% free/reduce lunch, x test scores, whatever) must stay in their position for 4 school years and in return, the district will protect them from layoff (they could only be terminated or transferred for cause)--they would not be permitted to bid to another school. This would result in stability for the school and its students. It's the only way MPS is going to have successful schools throughout all neighborhoods.

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mnbrnnraisdMar. 10, 09 3:43 PM

it seem we all have come to a concensus that integration is not the problem. it seems that Sup. Green sees that and is trying to address the situation by getting all parties involved. i don't have any children yet, but from a 26 year old's perspective, i'd like to think that by the time i do have children, no matter where we live, i shouldn't have to worry about the quality of education that they might receive. obviously, for me, not all those spelling and grammar lessons stuck. but to me, point of our public educational system is to produce knowledgable, productive members of society. they way its set up now for minneapolis and surrounding school districts, doesn't seem to be working as well as it could.

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