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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

Education Rights Resolution














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Education Rights Resolution 
 
I urge everyone who attends a Minnesota party caucus meeting on March 7 to introduce the following resolution, making the necessary changes in the following paragraph if you are not attending a Green Party caucus meeting:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Green Party of MN will advocate that all necessary means be employed to see that all public school students in Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota have access to high quality education programs on an equal basis, such as the following interventions:"
















Resolution affirming the right of all public school students to a high quality public education on an equal basis:
 
Whereas the Minnesota constitution requires that school districts maintain a system of education that adequately educates all students, and
 
Whereas the right of public school students to receive an education without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation and disability has been recognized by the US Supreme Court as an application of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the US constitution, and 
 
Whereas the MN Desegregation rule allows school districts to have "racially identifiable" schools, defined as schools where enrollment of students of color is more than 20% above the district average for grade levels served, so long as educational inputs for racially identifiable schools are comparable to schools that
are not racially identifiable, and
 
Whereas teacher turnover rates and teacher qualifications, such as years of experience, are measurable educational inputs that have been found to correlate strongly with student achievement levels in the Minneapolis Public Schools, and
 
Whereas federal legislation known as "No Child Left Behind" requires that school districts make progress toward closing gaps in education-related outcomes between racial groups, and
 
Whereas the Minneapolis School District has failed to ensure that "racially identifiable" schools have educational inputs comparable to schools that are not racially identifiable,
 
Therefore be it resolved that the Green Party of MN will
advocate that all necessary means be employed to see that all public school students in Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota have access to high quality education programs on an equal basis, such as the following interventions:
 
End the practice of sending layoff notices to a substantially greater number of teachers than needed to match a reduction in the number of teaching positions imposed on the district by declining student enrollment and financial constraints. For example, the Minneapolis school district sent layoff notices to 575 teachers in 2005 even though the board planned to cut the equivalent of about 125 full-time teacher positions, and some positions were being vacated due to resignations, retirements, firings, and requested long-term leaves of absence. The Minneapolis School Board's current layoff practices drive up teacher turnover rates and have the greatest negative impact on non-white and low income
students.
 
Modify the teacher assignment system to more equally
distribute teachers with less than 5 years current experience, without disturbing teacher seniority and tenure rights more than necessary in order to set aside positions for less experienced teachers in schools with the lowest teacher turnover rates.
 
The Board should see that all schools have a coherent
curriculum that is aligned with standardized tests that are used to evaluate school and student performance, and that the tests have some utility as diagnostic instruments for school programs and students.
 
The Minneapolis Public Schools should also phase out
non-college bound curriculum tracks for the general student population, and end the practice of ability-grouping / tracking students into separate classrooms for basically slow, medium and fast learners on at least a part-time basis in the early elementary grades, which is commonly done for reading instruction. The Arts for Academic Achievement program has been recommended by the Education Trust as a vehicle for untracking.
 
The district should establish bilingual programs for English Language Learners who enter the district without having acquired basic proficiency reading and writing in their native language.
 
Students who need special education services are entitled to be educated in the least restrictive environment possible, and appropriate services should not be withheld until a student's academic achievement level falls more than 2 years behind their assigned grade level or assessed cognitive ability.
















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