wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Will the last student leaving MPS please turn out the lights?

I'd been meaning to comment on Katherine Kersten's essay on black flight from the Minneapolis public schools, but Mitch Berg finally roused me from my apathy, painting the situation as an opportunity for the Minnesota GOP to make some inroads among inner-city blacks.

I don't think that's going to happen. Open enrollment works as a political safety valve, removing the parents most likely to cause trouble from the pool of voters most likely to strike back at the DFL-dominated School Board and the state legislators who act as its enablers. The schools have been a problem for years, have been an issue raised by Republican and other candidates for years, and have been dismissed by the majority of voters in Minneapolis for just as long. The problem, you see, is that most of the voters in the Minneapolis electorate are either happy with their schools (e.g. the parents in Linden Hills and similar neighborhoods) or don't care about the schools but are loyal supporters of the DFL (e.g. the GLBT caucus) so unless things reach the point at which the schools are going up in flames and the Board is being lynched by angry parents, nothing is going to change.

Of course I'm a pessimist. I lived in Minneapolis for twenty years and my kids spent ten years in the MPS system. I got a right to sing the cynical blues.
Tags: culture & politics, teaching
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