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Erickson's re-election bid & "youth agenda"

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Erickson's re-election bid & "youth agenda" 

 Minneapolis school board chief girds for a tough reelection campaign
by Steve Brandt, Star Tribune, February 15, 2006

[Excerpt] He'll campaign on the work he did to get other agencies
involved in the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board to focus on
a formal youth agenda. "The solutions to what happens in schools
lie outside school walls," Erickson said.

Full text at

The "formal youth agenda" is a diversion. Erickson
doesn't want to talk about fixing the schools. He wants
to talk about fixing parents and communities of color.

At the last board meeting in January 2006, Director
Sharon Henry Blythe brought up the issue of institutionalized
racism. African American students are over-represented,
and whites are under-represented in school programs with
high teacher turnover rates and high concentrations of
inexperienced teachers.

Erickson responded to comments on the subject of institutional
racism by Sharon Henry-Blythe and myself with a remark
about how schools are really not very important in determining
life outcomes. He noted that a person spends about 80% of
their waking hours outside of school during their K-12 school
How can anyone expect African Americans to have access
to jobs on the same basis as whites in the community when
African Americans do not have access to a quality education
on the same basis as whites in the Minneapolis Public Schools?

Will Erickson's buddies in city hall agree to seriously enforce
fair employment and housing laws? I have recommended that
the City of Minneapolis set up programs to detect illegal
discrimination and to prosecute the discriminators. That idea
hasn't caught on.

Erickson and the good old boys (and girls) network that supports
him do not advocate taking the necessary steps to end
institutional racism inside and outside of the schools.
Instead, they blame the victimized for their own victimization,
or dismiss the victimization as being unimportant.
And they call that a "youth agenda."

Minneapolis Public Schools hit the fan