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mpls issues list: more Commentaries by Doug Mann

mpls issues list: more Commentaries by Doug Mann

Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication on 28 October 2004

Minneapolis Public Schools: Roots of the crisis & a way out of it
by Doug Mann,  23 October 2004

Minneapolis School board candidates & the achievement gap
30 September 2004 Re: [mpls] school board candidates

Ability grouping students & teachers,
Minnesota's separate but equal doctrine doctrine
1 October 2004 Re: [mpls] school board candidates

Ability grouping & the achievement gap
1 October 2004 Re: [mpls] school board candidates

What is ability grouping?
28 September 2004

Title VI* requires evaluation of ability grouping practices
*Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
28 September 2004

Why is "culling" so bad?
23 September 2004

Is ability-grouping widely practiced in the Minneapolis Public Schools?
24 September 2004

Re: Excuses to not take steps to 'close the gap'
25 September 2004

No herd of probationary teachers?
26 September 2004

Re: Back to school night/Rules of the world
August 29, 2002  Who's to blame for poor student performance? Other issues addressed: The new attendance policy, teacher tenure, seniority, & merit pay.

Re: [Mpls] Strib school board endorsements
August 31, 2002  Comment on the Stribs anti-endorsements.

[mpls] "Forced Bussing"
August 31, 2002  Was "forced bussing" a noble but failed experiment? Mann argues that white flight from urban centers was mostly an effect of discrimination in the housing market, not "forced bussing;" and that large-scale integration of black students into white schools generally accompanied a narrowing of the test score gap between blacks & whites.

Re: [Mpls] MPS teacher study
September 5, 2002  According to Linda Darling-Hammond, "In an analysis of 900 Texas school districts, Ronald Ferguson found that teachers’ expertise as measured by scores on a licensing examination, master's degrees,
and experience—accounted for about 40% of the measured variance in students’ reading and mathematics achievement at grades 1 through 11, more than any other single factor..."  Citing unspecified longer-term studies, Minneapolis School Board director Dennis Schapiro writes that there are unspecified  "...long-term studies that indicate about 90 percent of longer-term achievement outcomes can be predicted by family and neighborhood variables."

Unequal inputs cause unequal outcomes
September 13, 2002  Larger class sizes and less experienced teachers produce inferior results at high poverty schools.  The state's voluntary desegregation rule does not require equal outcomes, but does require more or less equal inputs.  Although the District may spend more money on high-poverty schools in some areas, it has generally been spending much less money on high-poverty schools where it counts.  Low-poverty schools would benefit from desegregating inexperienced teachers, though not as much as the high-poverty schools whose students are now heavily overexposed to inexperienced teachers.

Why I oppose the Separate But Equal Doctrine
September 14, 2002

Re: [Mpls] Why I oppose the Separate but Equal doctrine #1
September 15, 2002

 Re: [Mpls] Why I oppose the Separate but Equal doctrine #2
September 15, 2002

Re: [Mpls] Why I oppose the Separate but Equal doctrine #3
September 16,2002  Students have an "Equal Opportunity" to compete for college preparatory classes, but the district's white middle class minority has privileged access to the better schools and to college-bound curriculum tracks in grades K-8.  Why make kids compete for a good education? Why not make college preparatory classes accessible to everyone?
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[Extract from] Oppression Minnesota-style:
How Minnesotans maintain white supremacy and segregation by keeping the 'right' Blacks in charge -- News analysis by Karl B. Johnson, Spokesman-Recorder Jan 9-15, 2003. -- Quoting passages from Ron Edward's book, The Minneapolis story (Click for more information), Karl B. Johnson writes...
Minneapolis NAACP branch installs a new president
Shalia Lindsey, President-elect of the Minneapolis NAACP branch resigned before taking office.  An outgoing member of the Minneapolis School Board who was never an active member of the NAACP branch, Rev Al Gallmon was sworn in as the new president. Gallmon was a declared candidate for the Mpls NAACP branch presidency, but withdrew in favor of Lindsey at the last minute (in October 2002). Lindsey was elected in November 2002.  Lindsey's resignation was prompted by a job offer by the NAACP national office in December 2002.
-- Minneapolis NAACP branch president-elect [not] installed
--'Turmoil' in Minneapolis NAACP Branch
--Settlement of the NAACP 's educational adequacy lawsuit

Special Education Alert #2
Text of letter (dated 8-30-02) to parents of special Ed students announcing the district's plan to restructure the Special Education Advisory Council. [Posted September 13, 2002]

Five Reasons to Oppose the District's Plan to Restructure SEAC
Sept 13, 2002 statement by Doug Mann

Special Education Watch
The MN department of Children, Families & Learning (CFL) has withdrawn its Proposed expedited permanent State Special Education Rules related to variances.  CFL received 100 letters requesting a public hearing by the deadline, 4:30 PM, July 24, 2002. Minnesota administrative law, chapter 14.386 requires a full public hearing when CFL receives 100 letters requesting a public hearing during a 30 day comment period, which in this case ended July 24, 2002.  However, CFL has registered its new proposed rules related to special education, which means they can un-withdraw the proposed rules they just withdrew.   

Click Special Education Watch to see a sample letter requesting a hearing and citations from [and links to the full text of] relevant statutes

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Recent Commentaries
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Recent Commentaries
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DFL K-12 Education Agenda

The 2002  School Board Campaign Begins

Fall 2001 Postings to the Mpls Issues List


 Bill Green (and DM) on the NAACP lawsuit

8 January 2002  Bill Green's term as a member of the Minneapolis School Board is over. In an interview published in City Pages, Green noted that the state had agreed to earmark $5 million for metro-area desegregation as part of the settlement of the NAACP lawsuit, but the legislature took that money out of the budget during the 2001 session, and the NAACP had nothing to say about that.  The settlement agreement also stipulated that the NAACP may never sue the state and local school boards which are parties to the agreement, but there is an escape clause: If the state violates the agreement, the NAACP could take steps to recover its right to sue.