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Doug Mann LPN, LNC

Re: Star-Tribune Editorial: US needs to improve black teens' schooling

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Comment regarding Star-Tribune Editorial: US needs to improve black teens' schooling

A recent Star-Tribune editorial, "US needs to improve black teens' schooling," states that,

"America now has more black, male college graduates, professionals and other success stories than ever, yet the numbers at the other end of the spectrum are growing too. Check out just about any index, and African-American males are at or near the top of the "worst" lists: unemployment, poverty, arrests, incarceration, health problems -- all tend to hit them harder.

"Some of the problems have been exacerbated by racism and discrimination. But many of them stem from missing out on a good education. Nationally, an estimated 45 percent of black males graduate from high school, compared with 70 percent of white males." - [end quote]

The fact that many black teens are missing out on a good education isn't just a byproduct of racial discrimination and differences in the quality of life that students experience outside of the schools. A majority of black teens simply do not have access to a good quality education. Since 1996 the Minneapolis School Board has implemented a community school plan that has made the schools more racially segregated. The Board also created a situation where low seniority teachers are heavily concentrated in schools where African American students are over-represented, and has been driving up turnover rates for low seniority teachers by sending layoff notices to many teachers who do not need to be laid off. About two-thirds of the teachers laid off in 2005 where offered and accepted continuing employment with the district.

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