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What's Wrong with the Minneapolis Public Schools?
About 75% of all students in the Minneapolis Public Schools are excluded from college preparatory curriculum programs. For the class of 1998, the High school drop-out/push out rate was 50%. About 90% of African-American students are excluded from college preparatory programs, and only 1/3 finish high school on time (Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning).
Working class students in the Minneapolis Public Schools generally accept the idea that they deserve the inferior education they get. This self-esteem lowering process causes extreme psychological distress, as evidenced by the fact that nearly 1/4 of all African-American students in the Minneapolis Public Schools are diagnosed with Emotional-Behavioral Disorders and are enrolled in special education programs (MPS data).
The Minneapolis School Board claims to be doing everything it can to see that all students get an adequate education, and blames poverty and a culture of poverty for its failure. No account is taken of institutional factors, such as the negative effects of ability-grouping, incoherent curricula, and a high concentration of inexperienced teachers at schools that serve poor neighborhoods.
The Minneapolis Public Schools criminalize children with zero-tolerance disciplinary policies, misdiagnose children as having Emotional-Behavioral Disorders and force their parents to drug them, and unnecessarily create antagonisms between children and parents by asking parents to solve behavioral problems at home that originate in the classroom.
The current administration of the Minneapolis Public Schools refuses to address and correct institutional causes of poor student performance, disparities in educational outcomes between students, and violence in the schools. Their propaganda is designed to whitewash the schools, to shift the blame to parents, and to pacify the communities that are harmed by their policies.