Mann for School Board
Education "reforms" have been widening the gap
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.
The neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party, in association with the Heritage foundation, the Pioneer Fund, and other white supremacist outfits have been promoting school "reforms" that brought an end to progress that was made during the 1970s and 80s toward "closing the gap" in academic performance between white and blacks, poor and middle class students, urban and suburban school districts, etc. Since the late 1980s the difference in average reading and math scores (the gap) between defined racial and income groups on National Assessment of Educational Progress exams has been increasing.
The existence of large differences in academic performance between racial groups helps to perpetuate racial stereotyping, the idea that one "race" is superior to another, and discrimination based on racial stereotyping and notions about racial supremacy. In referring to the propaganda in the schools during the 1930s, Carter Woodson wrote "..It is strange then that the friends of truth and the promoters of freedom have not risen up against the present propaganda in the schools and crushed it. This crusade is much more important than the anti-lynching movement, because there would be no lynching if it did not start in the classroom. Why not exploit, enslave, or exterminate a class that everybody is taught to regard as inferior?" -- Mis-education of the Negro, by Carter Woodson, page 3, African World Press.
Today institutional racism is perpetuated in the schools more through covert and "colorblind" methods than in the 1930s. Lip service is paid to the goal of "closing the gap," but effective measures are not taken to close the gap. And very little is being done in this town to combat racial discrimination in the job and housing markets.
I believe it is in the interests of most of us who have to work for a living to demand action to bring about equal access to education, jobs and housing.
Education is a right, not a privilege!