Leadership, restoration, key
issues for School Board candidates
above article, in current issue of Insight News, offers condensed versions of opening statements and answers to questions
posed to the candidates about educational quality and inequality, hiring and retention of teachers of color, etc.
Editorial: Minneapolis school board choices
Star-Tribune endorsed the DFL slate of school board candidates: Costain, Madden, Stewart, and Williams.
One of the
Strib's favorites, "Stewart, a self-described conservative, offers a different and possibly independent voice to the board...
"Stewart wants to tone down the "oppositional and identity" racial politics that has plagued the district. Instead,
he would focus on building orderly, well-staffed and well-run schools."
Speaking of the 2 candidates it did not endorse, the Strib editorial asserted that "Neither are as well prepared
for leadership as the other candidates."
Among the current crop of school board candidates, I have a unique point of
view that clashes with that of the Star-Tribune and most of the DFL political establishment.
In my opinion,
the district's "racial learning gap" is mainly the reflection of an educational access gap: Differences in average test scores
and graduation rates are mainly a reflection of the quality of education to which students have access. There are deeply
entrenched inequalities built into the system, such as the high concentrations of low-seniority teachers and high teacher
turnover rates in schools where black students are over-represented, and ability-grouping practices that put a majority of
students into watered-down curriculum tracks.