(Originally published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, 2/18/09)
Faced with a growing – and seemingly permanent – gap between revenues and finances, Minneapolis Public Schools is organizing meetings where parents and teachers are invited to give input into the district’s future. It’s not news that school politics and policy in the Twin Cities are less transparent than a brick wall, with precious few people trying to shed light on the goings-on in either district. But not everyone at one of Thursday night’s three community meetings was convinced MPS is trying to shed its old, top-down, bureaucratic ways as it looks to reorganize and shrink the number of elementary, middle, and high schools, and the complicated and expensive busing system.
“Community engagement is just an obligation for the district to fulfill,” said community activist and Ramsey Fine Arts Center parent Ralph Crowder, who was disappointed that the Northside meeting did not include a broader discussion of why poor students and students of color were not succeeding in the school system.
“People have a lot of suspicion that the community opinion might not sway what happens,” said David Allen, a contractor who works with the district’s Student Placement Center. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Minneapolis, Achievement Gap, Budget Crisis, Education, Education Funding, Kate Towle, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Schools, Public Schools, Restructuring, Shameless Self-Promotion