Another big enrollment drop in, & "black flight" from district schools are related
to racial gaps in educational inputs and outcomes. The school board is engaged in intentional racial discrimination as defined
in Minnesota's Desegregation Rule. We need a new course for the board, not just new faces on the board.
at a school board candidates forum sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, the board's director, Joe Erickson
reported that from 2004 to 2005 student enrollment dropped by 2,500, and that most of the fall in student enrollment (all
but 400 out of 2,500) was due to declining birthrates. That would translate to a drop in the birthrate on the order of something
like 90% from 1999 to 2000 (and perhaps the retroactive unbirth of some students born prior to 1999).
decline of about 100 students in Kindergarten might be due entirely to a reduced birth rate. The rest of the K-12 enrollment
decline is mostly due to a net loss of Minneapolis residents with school age children, and a net loss of students residing
in Minneapolis who attend suburban, charter and private schools (or are home-schooled).
While the quality of education
in programs accessible to a majority of students is behind much of the drop in student enrollment, some migration of parents
of school age children out of the district probably has more to do with changes in the housing market, e.g., rents and housing
prices going sky high in much of the city, and the opening of parts of the suburban housing market to African Americans and
other people of color.
The district has done a better job retaining white students than students of color, a better
job retaining higher than lower income students, and a better job of retaining SW area students than Northside students. And
there are substantial differences in the quality of education accessible to students on the basis of race, as measured by
differences in teacher turnover rates and concentrations of high and low seniority teachers. Clearly, the district is far
more successful holding on to students who have access to the district's higher quality programs than preventing the loss
students who cannot choose to be in the district's better programs.
The existence of huge differences in critical educational
inputs between "racially identifiable" school programs (students of color over-represented) and school programs that are not
racially identifiable is evidence of intentional racial discrimination by the board of directors, per Minnesota's Desegregation
Rule. The Minnesota Desegregation Rule allows the district to have "racially identifiable" schools so long as the educational
inputs in those schools is comparable to schools that are not racially identifiable.
The board of directors has failed
to keep its promise that the Minneapolis Public Schools would provide accommodations to students of color comparable to what
is provided a majority of white students. The board has been paying lip service to closing racial gaps in educational outcomes,
but has done nothing to close racial gaps in educational inputs. In fact, over many years now, the board's policies have had
the effect of widening the racial gaps in educational inputs and outcomes.