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Minneapolis NAACP branch installs a new president

Re: [Mpls] New Mpls Branch NAACP president [not] installed
1/9/2003 8:26:32 AM Central Standard Time

Minneapolis NAACP branch president-elect [not] installed

Rev. Gallmon has not been officially installed as president of the
Minneapolis NAACP branch. The swearing in ceremony was done outside of the
by-laws, and will have to be done over.  The NAACP by-laws require that the
swearing in of the president-elect and other officers take place at a branch
membership meeting, ordinarily the first regularly scheduled branch meeting
after the election results are certified (and any formal challenges have been
resolved).  Ricky Campbell had two unofficial swearing in ceremonies before
he was officially sworn in as President of the Minneapolis NAACP branch for
the first time in February 1999.

-Doug Mann, King Field, the new 8th ward.

Re: [Mpls] Doug Grow: New leader of NAACP branch faces an uphill battle
1/5/2003 5:16:21 PM Central Standard Time

I think that Reverend Gallmon did not stand a good chance of winning a
three-way contest for the presidency of the Minneapolis NAACP because
he was seen as an outsider.  I never saw Mr. Gallmon at an NAACP branch
meeting prior to October 2002. Gallmon ran for the post of first vice-president

I think that Edwards had the support of most longtime NAACP members who
supported Leola Seals (the elected branch president from 1996 to 1999).
Many Seals supporters were kept off of committees and otherwise marginalized
after the DFL helped to remove Seals and her supporters from the leadership
of the Minneapolis NAACP branch. Most of Seals supporters eventually left the
NAACP due to local leadership's cozy relationship with the School Board and
the DFL establishment, and deals done by the post-Seals leadership in
relation to the Hollman Consent Decree and the settlement of the NAACP's
educational adequacy lawsuit.  

Ron Edwards' poor showing in the NAACP election, as reported in the press,
[111 to 21] was due in part to the fact that many of his supporters cast "challenged"
ballots or were not allowed to vote at all. Some of the "turmoil" in the NAACP
branch to which Doug Grow refers is related to allegations by many of
Edwards' supporters that they were improperly disenfranchised by Edwards'
opponents [who conducted the election].

In an article published in the March 10-16, 1999 issue of the Pulse of the
Twin Cities, I described the DFL's hostile takeover of the Minneapolis NAACP
branch, which was then in progress. See:

-Doug Mann, King Field, the new 8th ward

 Re: [Mpls] Doug Grow: New leader of NAACP branch faces an uphill battle
1/6/2003 11:13:33 AM Central Standard Time

Settlement of the NAACP 's educational adequacy lawsuit

The 'Choice is Yours' program did not resolve the problem of black students
receiving an inferior education in the Minneapolis Public Schools, as the
settlement of the NAACP educational adequacy lawsuit stipulates.  The Choice
is Yours program is the type limited, one-way, city-to-suburb busing plan
that the NAACP lawyers were bargaining for when they made their first
settlement offer to the State in 1999.  A large majority of the active
membership and executive committee of the Minneapolis NAACP branch rejected
that first settlement offer.  Evelyn Eubanks and I were the first branch
members to oppose the settlement offer and outline reasons why the branch
should reject it.

John Schulman, the NAACP's lawyer argued that predominantly poor, black
schools are inherently inferior to white, middle class schools due to the
effects of concentrated poverty. Isolation from and a lack of contact with
the white middle class and overexposure to a "culture of poverty" outside of
the schools are the main cause of poor academic performance, or so the
argument goes.  The solution: send black kids from Minneapolis to
predominantly white, middle class schools in the suburbs.

However, the identification of high-performing, high-poverty and / or
minority public schools by the Education Trust is pretty good evidence that
poor academic performance is not primarily an effect of concentrated poverty
and that the 'culture of poverty' theory is fatally flawed. This culture of
poverty theory is not only inconsistent with the evidence but also
inconsistent with the analysis put forward by the NAACP during the early
1950s. [See: Evidence that School Policies Matter ]

Prior to 1954, the NAACP found that, without exception, black and
predominantly black schools received less funding where it counts than white
schools in the same locale. The black schools generally had less qualified
teachers, larger class sizes, less challenging curriculum, textbooks that are
outdated and / or in short supply, buildings in disrepair, etc.  Not all of
the black schools were uniformly bad. However, the best of the black schools
were never on par with the best white schools.  

During the 1960s some states in the Deep South came up with voluntary
integration plans to head off "forced integration" of the schools, while at
the same time promoting, even mandating "gifted and talented" programs in
elementary schools, which were almost invariably reserved for white students.
Blacks were assigned to 'low-ability-learner' tracks. Few blacks were willing
to enroll their children in white schools that engaged in this kind of
in-school racial segregation and tracking. Most black students probably
received a better education in all-black schools and didn't have to deal with
the sort of hostile environment they encountered in the white schools.   

Desegregating the schools by large scale integration of blacks into white
schools was proposed as the most effective way to ensure that black students
receive a quality public education on the same basis as whites. If you can't
obtain separate but equal schools, the logical solution is to send black and
white students to the same schools.   

I think the controlled-choice desegregation plan used in Minneapolis became
increasingly unpopular over time, especially in the black community, for two
reasons. One: It required an awful lot of students to take long bus rides to
get to school, and most of the burden of bussing was put on black students.
Students from predominantly black neighborhoods were scattered about much of
the city, while most students in white middle class neighborhoods could
attend their traditional 'neighborhood' schools. White middle class
neighborhoods had (and still have) a high concentration of schools, and the
school board adopted a "go slow" approach to racially integrating the schools
in the wealthiest and whitest part of town: SW Minneapolis.

Support for the Minneapolis desegregation plan in the black community also
declined for the same reason that 'voluntary desegregation' plans didn't
catch on with blacks in the South during the 1960s: Enrollment in white
schools did not result in better educational outcomes for many black students
in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis school board approved, promoted, and
eventually mandated gifted and talented programs in most of the elementary
schools. And of course whites were greatly over-represented in gifted and
talented classrooms, and blacks were greatly over-represented in 'low-ability
learners' classrooms. Test score data broken down by race and school lunch
eligibility indicates that that is still very much the case in the
Minneapolis Public Schools today.

The Minneapolis Public Schools administration says that its practice of
assigning students to separate classrooms for reading instruction on the
basis of perceived ability is not the same as "tracking" and does no harm to
students assigned to the 'low ability' learners classrooms. However, I think
that even the limited data that is available to the public shows an effect
one would expect from a district that "tracks" their students (using the
district's narrow definition of 'tracking'). And some research has been done
that shows that in-between class grouping by ability in only a single subject
has a negative effect similar to full time tracking:  

"In between-class ability grouping or ability grouped class assignment,
several classes cover the same or similar academic content (e.g.,
mathematics) at a pace and depth that matches the ability of students in each
class. Unlike traditional, full-time tracking, a student can be placed, for
example, in a low-ability mathematics class but a middle-ability social
studies class. Secada (1992) finds that these grouping practices have
negative results similar to those of traditional tracking practices." -- From
the North Central Regional Educational Library, subject: "grouping practices"

-Doug Mann, King Field, the new 8th ward