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Why I am running for a seat on the school board
In my opinion, a majority of students in the Minneapolis Public Schools are being victimized by reforms inspired by a misinformation campaign launched in April 1983 with a report commissioned by the Reagan-Bush administration entitled "A Nation at Risk," a declaration of war on "a rising tide of mediocrity that is threatening the very foundations of our educational system." However, it was really progress toward the goal of making a quality public education accessible to all on an equal basis that alarmed the authors of "A Nation at Risk."
The education achievement gap, as measured by reading and math exams administered through a federal testing program (the National Assessment of Educational Progress) was being closed in the 1970s and early 1980s. Other data which the federal government required schools to collect also indicated a narrowing of the difference in outcomes between whites and students of color, and poor and non-poor students in the public schools. The ideology of white supremacy cannot hold sway in society at large for long without a big racial learning gap in the schools.
The dominant school reform movement of the past generation is based on the false premise that the academic achievement gap was being closed at the expense of the high achievers during the 1970s and 1980s. The solutions to that nonexistent problem have reversed much of the progress that was made toward making a quality education accessible to all on an equal basis.
As a board member I want to continue to work with members of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP, the old Special Education Advisory Committee (which was disbanded and replaced by a SEAC that was hand-picked by the district administration), the Minneapolis Parents Union, plaintiffs and supporters of the NAACP educational adequacy lawsuit, and many of the community members I have encountered during the course of my run for a seat on the board in 2001 and 2002.
Education is Right, Not a Privilege! We will win.