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Mann for School Board
Education is a Right, Not a Privilege!
Demand a quality education for all on an equal basis!

Don't Settle for phony "No Child Left Behind" School Reforms
All of the district-run schools can be good schools
Make a college-bound education accessible to all

Pro-working class policies for the Minneapolis Public Schools
2004 US Presidential election & Iraq war    International news &  opinion  
2002 Mpls school board election     K-12 Education policy & Urban Education  
2004 Teacher layoffs & realignment    Teacher Tenure Act & the Strand Decision
Top 30 web pages    Contact Us    Links    Minneapolis News Mpls Issues List

We must address the education access gap
by Doug Mann, 11 Feb 2005  (Letter to the Minneapolis NAACP branch)

Minneapolis school desegregation plan should be amended
by Doug Mann, 11 Feb 2005

Open Letter to Julian Bond re: Minnneapolis NAACP branch
By Doug Mann, 9 March 2005
NAACP life member,
Executive Committee member-at-large, Minneapolis NAACP branch

Whistle-blowers "removed" from Executive Committee, Mpls NAACP Branch
by Doug Mann (one of the whistle-blowers), 26 March 2003

MN Dept. of Ed Project Director questioned about NAACP Parent Info Centers
at March 25, 2005 informational meeting ***Includes text of letter dated
June 30, 2003 from Evelyn Eubanks, Resigned chair of The Parent Information
Centers Commission, to Barbara Zohn, MN Department of Education, PIC project
manager.*** And: Two letters to from Morgan Brown to Commissioner Yecke & others
dated July 10 & 31, 2003
by Doug Mann, 28 March 2005 (also posted at mpls issues list)

Did the Minneapolis NAACP "loan" $85,000 for investment in grocery stores
without a written agreement to repay?
by Doug Mann, 01 April 2005

Ron Edwards comments on Mpls issues forum discussion
re: Did the Minneapolis NAACP loan $85,000 for investment in grocery stores
without a written agreement to repay?
by Ron Edwards, 04 April 2005,
Re: [Mpls] Did Mpls NAACP branch "loan" $85,000 for investment
in grocery stores without a written agreement to repay?
by Doug Mann, 6 April 2005

Minneapolis NAACP branch audit & hidden records
Part One     Part Two
by Doug Mann, 05 April 2005

Minneapolis NAACP branch treasurer promised "no secrets"
Post to Minneapolis Issues list by Doug Mann, 19  February 2005

Minneapolis NAACP branch president promised to "open the books"
Post to Minneapolis Issues list by Doug Mann, 19  February 2005

Breeding, Overton and Reed must go
Report prepared for (and approved by) the March 17, 2005 Special Meeting
of the Minneapolis NAACP Branch Executive Committee
by Doug Mann, 16 March 2005

Minneapolis NAACP branch officers obstruct EC investigation
by Doug Mann, 5 March 2005

The Smoking Gun: 2004 year end NAACP PIC report
By Doug Mann, 9 March 2005

NAACP Parent Information Center 2004 year end report
Letter from PIC Board Chair Beverly Propes to project manager
Marceline Dubose (MN department of Education), dated January 31, 2005.

Minneapolis NAACP officers cut a deal, bypass Executive Committee
Text of letter dated 5 March 2005 from Duane Reed, Minneapolis NAACP branch
president to Ms. Marceline Dubose, Department of Education, project manager
for the Parent Information Centers.  [Posted 12 March 2005]

Ron Edwards: NAACP branch "misplaced" $86,000 in 2001-2002
Edwards is the host of "Black Focus," a cable TV show aired on Sundays,
5:00 to 6:00PM on channel 17 (available in Minneapolis)
by Doug Mann, 24 March 2005

The $86,000 Question (Minneapolis NAACP branch)
by Doug Mann, 17 March 2005

The $86,000 Question, Part 2
The beginning of public agitation for a financial audit,
regime change in the Minneapolis NAACP branch
by Doug Mann, 18 March 2005

Minneapolis NAACP hits the fan
Investigative reports, February 15-March 26, 2005
A faked Minneapolis NAACP branch membership meeting, conflicts of interests,
another rigged election of Minneapolis NAACP branch officers, and
a quid pro quo. It appears that the newly installed branch officers
struck a bargain through a power-broker, and were not fully informed
about the terms of the bargain at the outset.
Includes: Anatomy of a Cover-up and
Minneapolis NAACP Parents Information Centers hit the fan

Report to the Executive Committee, Minneapolis NAACP Branch
& Was the Special EC meeting of 25 February 2005 legal?
by Doug Mann, 6 March 2005

Minneapolis NAACP under martial law
NAACP Branch President, Treasurer refuse to comply with demand of Branch
Executive Committee to open the books of the NAACP Parent Information
Centers, support claim of absolute power by branch administrator.
by Doug Mann, 5 March 2005

Special Minneapolis NAACP Exective Committee Meeting
Content: Notice of 25 Feb. 2005 meeting; Agenda proposal; response to position
of Administrator Carl Breeding that the meeting was improperly called; Summons
to the Minneapolis  NAACP branch president and treasurer; NAACP administrator
attempts to call off meeting; Eight Branch EC members met, took action.

NAACP jumps on the "school choice" bandwagon
Archives - The Minneapolis NAACP branch officers illegally opened two parent
information centers August 16, 2003. By a two-thirds majority the branch
membership voted to kill the project on June 28, 2003, before the national
office gave conditional approval for the parent information centers project.
One of the conditions was ratification of a hiring policy by the branch membership
(which didn't happen). The Parent information center are currently being run by
"consultants," including a lawyer. (October 11, 2003)

Hollman Achives Hollman Consent Decree Hits the Fan
The City, Legal Aid, and the NAACP stuck to their game plan: Support motions in court that could save the City millions at Hollman plaintiff's expense.  A special NAACP branch membership meeting on October 8, 2003 unanimously passed a motion to not support any motions by the city's attorneys. The NAACP also withdrew from the Hollman, housing discrimination lawsuit on October 15, 2003.  

Mpls NAACP branch faces Hostile Takeover Bid  
By Doug Mann, Pulse of the Twin Cities   10-16 March 1999
Demand a quality education for all on an equal basis!

Don't Settle for phony "No Child Left Behind" School Reforms
All of the district-run schools can be good schools
Make a college-bound education accessible to all

Five policy changes needed to improve and equalize the quality of
instruction in district-run schools:
*Stop excessive layoffs, which contribute to high teacher turnover
*Distribute probationary teachers evenly throughout the district
*Eliminate tracking / phase out "low-ability" tracks
*Monitor effectiveness of teachers & teaching practices
*Repeal the current attendance policy (revert to pre-1999 policy)
Click here to read more about need for above listed changes  
Updated 28 August 2004 (more about attendance policy)

Two reasons to eliminate tracking:
1) Small schools would generally be cost effective
if tracking (by ability) were eliminated.

2) MPS data suggests that parents are likely to withdraw their children
from the Minneapolis Public Schools if any of their children are assigned
to a 'low-ability' track in the early elementary grades.

"Are you experienced? Teachers with less than three years of experience
are twice as likely to work in schools with high proportions of minority and
low income students, yet students learn better under teachers with five or
more years of experience." [two sources cited] September 2004
Minnesota Public Radio, idea generator: Closing the gap, teachers

In a 1997 report, "Doing What Matters Most: Investing in quality teaching,"
Linda Darlington Hammond cited an analysis of data from 900 Texas school
districts by Ronald Ferguson and others, which concluded that about 40%
of the variance in measured achievement in math and English in grades 1 to 11
can be attributed to teacher expertise, as measured by scores on licensing
exams, master's degrees, and years of experience.

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

The Coleman Report (Link to University of Washington web site)
By Doug Mann -(Edited by UW Sociology Department). A Selection of comments
from an on-line dialogue taking place prior to school board elections in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Assigned reading for Sociology 401 / Service learning program
(teacher training in association with the Seattle Public Schools), University of
Washington, Spring 2004. The unabridged version can be found here in three parts:
1) School funding and the Coleman Report,
2) The 1966 Coleman Report in its historical context,
3) "A Nation at Risk").
In The Coleman Report, Doug Mann argues that schools (and school policies)
have a big effect on learning independent of class, race, culture, and other student
background characteristics. Backup copy of The Coleman Report (by Doug Mann)
on the Mann for School Board web site.

Flight from Equality: School reform in the US since 1983
by Doug Mann, a 40 page pamphlet, also published on-line

The Reagan - Bush administration justified a C change in educational
policy during the 1980s with an unproven claim about a
"rising tide of mediocrity" in much the same way that the Bush
administration justified the 2003 invasion and occupation
of Iraq with an unproven claim about Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    Public K-12 schools in the US were closing the racial learning gap in
the 1970s and early 1980s. However,  A Nation at Risk, the report of
an advisory committee selected by the Reagan-Bush administration,
recommended a major shift in educational policy.  
    Released in April 1983, A Nation at Risk warned of "a rising tide of
mediocrity" that threatened the foundations of our educational system,
i.e., class and racial learning gaps were being closed at the expense of
the high achievers. However, the existence of "a rising tide of mediocrity"
in the 1970s and 80s is not supported by the evidence, such as math
and reading scores on National Assessment of Educational
Progress exams.

Why Ability-Grouping Widens the Academic Achievement Gap
Extracted from the pamphlet, Perfuming the Minneapolis Schools, by Doug Mann

National Association of School Psychologists
Statement on Ability-Grouping
Adopted by the NASP Delegate Assembly, April 17, 1993
Reapproved by the NASP Delegate Assembly, July 25, 1998

Hot Topic: Does Ability Grouping Help or Hurt?
A Talk with Anne Wheelock
First Q & A: "Does ability grouping — or tracking — enhance
academic achievement? No, and research tells us that it is not
a neutral or benign practice, either. Although it is widespread and
widely accepted, ability grouping generally depresses student
achievement and is harmful to kids."

Ability grouping students & teachers,
Minnesota's separate but equal doctrine doctrine
1 October 2004, from Mpls issues list

Doug Mann: What is ability grouping? &
Title VI* requires evaluation of ability grouping practices
*Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
28 September 2004, from Mpls issues list

Falling enrollment // Firing bad teachers
-from Minneapolis Issues List discussion-
by Doug Mann, 8 August 2004

Minneapolis Public Schools & the new anti-Civil Rights movement
by Doug Mann, 6 July 2004

Is the new superintendent overpaid?
Supt. Peebles is getting paid big money to carry out a plan to semi-privatize and
de-unionize the school system that David Jennings proposed early this year.
by Doug Mann, 3 August 2004

Superintendents, Inc. (Link to City Pages)
The new Minneapolis Schools super, groomed the corporate way by a
conservative foundation, by Beth Hawkins, City pages, 30 June 2004

The phony superintendent hunt & sleeping with the enemy
by Doug Mann, 17 June 2004

The Minneapolis School Board had over 100 candidates to choose from, yet all 3 finalists
are closely tied to the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems / Broad
Foundation, which supports the same school transformation agenda as G.W. Bush,
MN Governor Tim Pawlenty, and former Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent
Dave Jennings. (hit link above for full text of the story)

Reasons to Keep Pratt School Open as a District- Run School
Pratt School demonstrates how small elementary schools can cost
less to run than the big ones, especially if 'untracked.'  If schools must
be closed, close some of the big, prison-like schools.  
by Doug Mann, 27 July 2004

Re: [mpls] Who made the decision to close schools and why?
by Doug Mann, 24 July 2004

The 2004-2005 Budget: teacher layoffs & realignments
The Board cuts 210.8 teaching positions, 608.0 teachers get layoff notices.
The district has not followed the law and the teachers' contract in carrying
out a reduction of the teacher workforce. As many as 196 of the
highest seniority elementary teacher with multiple teaching licenses were
forced to bid for positions in areas for which they are not necessarily qualified.
The realignment process will make appropriate, effective , and safe special
education services inaccessible to many MPS students who need, and would
otherwise recieve appropriate, effective, and safe special education services.  

Teacher Layoffs & Realignments
News analysis and opinion by Doug Mann, 23 July 2004
Methods used by the district administration and approved by the board
were designed to maximize the number of high-seniority elementary school
teachers who would be realigned out of their positions. Both the number of
teachers laid off (placed on unrequested leaves of absence) and the number
of high-seniority elementary teachers reassigned are excessive and illegal,
in my opinion.

Posts to the Minneapolis Issues List by Doug Mann
Scores of writings generated as part of the debate over  K-12 Education Policy on the
Minneapolis Issues list  

Eight proposals to 'close the gap'
2 June 2004.   Doug Mann outlines concrete demands that can be made on the Minneapolis
school board to close the gap in average academic performance of students, especially of
groups identified by race, ethnicity, and eligibility for free and reduced-priced lunches.

Questionnaire, Service Employees International Union

2004 Green Party Questionnaire

Questions for another candidate seeking GP endorsement

DFL Convention & gap-closing proposals

"Unlearning racism" but not closing the racial learning gap?
by Doug Mann, 27 May 2004 - How can one explain the huge racial learning gap in a
town where just about all the whites say they are not racists or that they are racists
but are trying to unlearn racism?

Re: "Unlearning racism," but not closing the racial learning gap?
by Doug Mann, 28, May 2004 - Can we know the nature of school
reforms by the results they produce?

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

DFL spanks opponents with school board
by Britt Robson, 22 Sept. 2004 , [link to] City Pages  

Can Voters spank the MPS board & DFL in November?
Why I am running as a write- in candidate
by Doug Mann, 22 Sept. 2004

Minneapolis School board candidates & the achievement gap
30 September 2004, from Mpls issues list

Minneapolis to regulate rental application fees
Councilman Schiff's proposed ordinance to regulate rental application
fees can lay the ground work for effective and low-cost enforcement
of fair housing laws [hearings in Oct. 2004 to precede a vote].  
by Doug Mann, 22 Sept. 2004

Re: Minneapolis to regulate rental application fees
Comments, Text of proposed ordinance, & state law
by Gregory Luce, 22 Sept 2004 (from mpls issues list)

Affordable Housing and the Hollman v. Cisneros Settlement
Draft Statement by Doug Mann, 18 August 2001

Endorsements & Resume      2004 Brochure / 4 pages

Resume & Questions for 2004 school Board candidates
For screening by Local 59, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers

Star-Tribune 2004 primary election voters' guide essay
 & editorial board questionnaire
by Doug Mann,  25 August 2005 (message to Mpls. issues list)

2004 Star-Tribune voters guide (Link to
background, endorsements, essay - published 28 August 2004
Caution: The Star-Tribune web site has pop-up ads
Scroll down for:
Minneapolis News
from 'Health Care Workers Advocate'
and more

Minneapolis News

Education reforms have been widening the gap
Doug Mann, 24 April 2004, text of message to mpls issues list

In my opinion the local Democratic Party has been making a mess of the
Minneapolis Public Schools because the Democratic party, locally and nationally,
has been making concessions to, enabling, and increasingly identifying with a
right-wing school reform movement supported by the Republican Party at the
national level since the early 1980s.
click on link above for full text

Minneapolis school vision still in the distance
By Steve Brandt, 21 April 2004, Star-Tribune

Hey Minneapolis, remember that invitation from the school board to join discussions
this month and next on where the city schools ought to be headed? Most of you likely
will have to wait until this summer or fall. That's the recommendation of a team of would-be
consultants to the district. ..
..."Basically, they don't want any public input," said Doug Mann, a past and current school
board candidate who has been critical of board efforts. "I think they're afraid of encountering
opposition to the proposals..."

Consultants Urge MPLS Schools to Delay Public Input
by Dr. Vinny, Founder & Publisher,

Dr Vinney notes: "The consultants want to first assemble a 'targeted'
(aka "politically connected") group of people to [create] by June a rough draft of
what the community thinks the schools ought to be like. That rough draft would be
used to interview Superintendent candidates in late May or June...[and later] would
be used to start a "broader community discussion" of "values" which could be used
to create a "vision" for the Minneapolis Public Schools."

Note by Doug Mann: Meanwhile Superintendent Jennings will be working behind the
scenes to amend and repackage his original reorganization / downsizing plan. The
consultants will help the superintendent and board of directors to design a guided
facilitation process that will: 1) buy them some time,  and 2) validate the course
they have already decided to pursue.  

Minneapolis School Closings (open letter)
Superintentent Jennings and school board members,

In her latest Strib Opinion piece, Ms. Johnson [a school board member]
praises Mr. Jennings' bold leadership, and implicitly supports his reorganization plan,
his proposal to eliminate teacher tenure rights, and the sponsorship of more charter
schools, which will help to draw down enrollment in the district's own schools...

Werewolves & Silver Bullets
Is it possible to turn around the Minnespolis Public Schools?
by Doug Mann, 16 April 2004

Green Party St. Paul vs Yecke confirmation
GPSP Education Committee, 23 April 2004
"...It is our conviction that Commissioner Yecke is motivated by a long-range goal of
dismantling public education * the very institution her agency is supposed to manage *
and replacing it with a privatized system of education in which public funding will be
directed to private schools..."

     For news articles about the Hollman Decree, see Minneapolis News archives

Health workers fight to unionize (link to Spokesman-Recorder)
By: Doug Mann, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 12/11/2003 first of a two part story

NLRB curtails Walker Methodist’s union-busting practices

In May 2003, employees at Walker Methodist Health Center voted 165 to 105 to be
represented by a union, Council 14 of the American Federation of State County and
Municipal Employees (AFSCME). However, if the management gets its way, that vote
won't count, and ballots cast by around 70 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in a separate
election on July 30, 2003, will never be counted.

Walker Methodist workers garner wide support (link to Spokesman-Recorder)
By: Doug Mann, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Originally posted 12/17/2003 Conclusion of a two-part story

Employees at Walker Methodist Health Center have been trying to unionize, on and off,
for at least a dozen years.

It's About the Public Input, Stupid! (Link to
Why Minneapolis School Leaders Need to Listen to Public Input and why
Reverse Racism is NOT the issue!
These articles [are] by Doug Mann, with editing for clarity and length by Dr. Vinny.
PART I -- Reverse Racism is Not the Issue!
The coalition of groups and individuals that came together in opposition to the
appointment of David Jennings is calling for "...a more open process that includes
input from the community..." [Jennings Withdraws, Insight News, October 15, 2003]

Green Party Open Letter to the Minneapolis School Board
5th Congressional District Green Party Steering Committee
Friday, November 21, 2003  
The open letter states, in part "Notwithstanding any closed proceedings required by
laws such as the Data Privacy Act, we ask that you utilize transparent communications
and open meetings -- with opportunities for public comment -- in all matters leading up
to the selection of the next Superintendent. We believe that in so doing, the Board will be
able to regain a great deal of the public trust that many feel was lost after the selection
of Mr. Jennings."

from 'Health Care Workers Advocate'
The Diary of a Nursing Home Agitator (1997) Memoir of a union activist

Support Fairview Nurses Fight for Safe Staffing
from the Health Care Workers Advocate web site, May-June 2001

Lessons of the 2001 Fairview Nurses Strike
9 July 2001 How the strike movement of 9,000 RNs in the Twin Cities was
derailed  (May-June 2001) Headings:  The One-at-a-Time Strategy -
The Scab Nurse Shortage - The Public Relations Front -
The HealthEast Settlement - The Domino Effect -
Ratification of a Rejected Contract - The Formation of RNs for Change -
The Legacy of "Win-Win" Bargaining - No Confidence in Management to
Voluntarily Reduce RN Workloads - Nursing Shortage or Staffing Crisis?

More Pamphlets by Doug Mann

Separate But Equal?  (1998)

The Community School Plan
Minneapolis Public Schools Proceed with Resegregation Plan
1/26/98, revised 12/30/2000

K-12 Education on the Wrong Track
Gifted Education and Ability Grouping in America's Public Schools
 Spring 1994     Revised 12/20/97
The Fight Against Resegregating Minneapolis Public Schools (1998)
Includes speech at Socialist Action Forum - 23 April 1998
White Supremacy and the Politics of Apartheid in Minnesota (1999)


Mpls NAACP branch faces Hostile Takeover Bid  
Pulse of the Twin Cities   10-16 March 1999

NAACP Education Lawsuit Settlement Proposal
Commentary 15 February 1999

The New "Voluntary" Desegregation Rule
Includes: Comment on State's Response to NAACP Settlement Proposal - 30 March 1999

Urban Cleansing in Minneapolis: Are NATO Air Strikes the Answer?
Pulse of the Twin Cities May 19-25, 1999
Perfuming the Minneapolis Public Schools:
Altering perceptions instead of overhauling a failing school system (2000)
The NAACP's Voluntary Desegregation Plan:
Why the NAACP should disown it (2000) Not Online
The Settlement of NAACP v. Minnesota:
A solution for the Democratic Party's Image Problem (2000) Not Online

Other writings by Doug Mann
Middle Class Shrinkage and Pauperization
Two Views of American Capitalism in the Late 20th Century
28 May 1994 A Critique of Robert Reich's Theory of the "New Economy."
Why did the long post World War II boom happen? The disintegration of several
European colonial empires, which accompanied the emergence of the US and USSR as
superpowers after World War II, laid the basis for a long economic boom.  For similar
reasons, robust economic growth in the US was made possible during the latter part of the
1990s by the counterrevolution in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and free
market reforms in China. This essay predicted fairly robust economic growth in the US
during the latter part of the 1990s.

Blaming the Victim
Altering Perceptions Instead of Overhauling a Failing School System
A Collection of writings and speeches by Doug Mann

For a Labor Party Based on the Trade Unions
Statement distributed at the founding convention of the Labor Party; Cleveland Ohio, June 1996

Repeal the U of MN Tuition Hike!
Statement (revised 6 September 2001)

Affordable Housing and the Hollman v. Cisneros Settlement
Draft Statement
Socialist Links
MCTC Socialist Club Page
The Socialist Club at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (last update 2002)

MCTC Socialist Club Web site
The web site is under construction, a link will be added here as soon as possible

2001 School board campaign

2001 Primary Election Returns (September 11)
School Board  //  Mayor & City Council

Biography / Qualifications

AFSME Council 6 Questionnaire
(American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees)

Green Party Questionnaire

Response to Questions from South High Students
4 E-mails to South High Students (3 E-mails added 13 September 2001)

What's wrong with the Minneapolis Public Schools?

Urban Schools: Unequal by Design