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Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)   |   Can voters spank the Minneapolis school board & DFL in November?   |   2004 Primary election, Minneapolis school board   |   Voting patterns / 12 reasons to NOT vote for Doug Mann

Voting patterns / 12 reasons to NOT vote for Doug Mann
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

by Doug Mann 18 Sept 2004

The distribution of votes for Mann and Dayhoff in the 2004 Minneapolis school board primary resembles the distribution of votes in Minneapolis for Nader and Bush in the 2000 presidential election in the following ways:

Where Nader was getting between 15 to 30% of the vote and outpolled Bush in 2000, I generally received my highest share of the vote and lost the least ground compared to the 2002 primary. I had as many or more votes than Dayhoff in 32 of 131 precincts, mostly in low-to-moderate income, working class residential districts where Nader had a strong showing and generally outpolled George Bush in 2000.

I lost the most ground in the 5th, 13th, 7th and 11th wards between 2002 and 2004. Nader received only about 5% of the vote in those wards. Like Nader in 2000, I ran a little ahead or behind the Republican endorsed candidate in what is now the 5th ward and some precincts in the old eight ward. In both elections, the Republican candidates had their strongest showing in SW Minneapolis, especially in Ward 13 and 7.

The Strib's editorial urging a vote against Doug Mann in 2002 may have backfired. I recieved enough votes to get into the general election in 2002.  Perhaps I still have a chance of getting on the board if the Strib runs an editorial urging people to NOT cast a write-in vote for Doug Mann.

12) I say there are conditions in the schools that create a huge learning gap between students, and that most of that gap can be closed by changing conditions in the schools.

11) I advocate "untracking" the schools, which would make small K-8 schools cost-effective, hold down transportation costs, and end the stampede of low track students out of the district schools. In order to phase out the low tracks without watering down the high-track curriculum, the district must also raise the average level of teacher expertise, especially in schools that serve low income neighborhoods.

10) I propose that the district raise and equalize the level of teacher expertise by laying off only teachers who need to be laid off, and by distributing probationary teacher positions evenly throughout the district. That will help to eliminate the overexposure of students to inexperienced teachers and help to create a better environment for new teachers to learn their craft.

9) I opposed the reorganization plan presented by David Jennings, which included the proposal to close small schools and the vision of replacing district run school with charter schools.

8) I have called "No Child Left Behind" a fraud, that it doesn't give many students in poor performing public schools access to high performing public schools.

7) I say that NCLB school-closing mechanisms won't be used to close many poor performing schools because poor performing schools are being shut down due to students opting out. And, for the most part, the alternatives are charter schools and private schools that have more limited sources of funding than the public schools and will have to make do with a lot less money than is spent on the better performing public schools.  

6) I oppose "reform" of the Teacher Tenure Act: The teacher's contract is not the problem, in my opinion.  

5) I criticized the process used to hire Carol Johnson and David Jennings, and was one of the individuals who called on the board to sack Jennings.

4) I objected to the process used to hire Thandiwe Peebles. There were reportedly over 100 qualified applicants, but all three finalists are associated with the Broad Foundation, which is pushing the same urban school transformation agenda as George W. Bush and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. The DFL and national Democratic party has accepted and is helping to implement that same agenda while complaining about the Republicans not giving them enough money to make it work.

3) I advocate rolling back pay raises received in recent years by highly compensated, mostly administrative / managerial employees, and cutting some of those positions. I won't be seeing any checks from them in my PO box.

2) I accuse the board of crimes and cover-ups related to its teacher layoff and realignment policy. Yes, serious violations of the law.

1) I have not apologized for supporting Nader in 2000, and I am supporting Nader again in 2004.