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.
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:
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.
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-upand
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.
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
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.
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...
"...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..."
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.
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]
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."