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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Blacks leave Minneapolis district schools

Black families are “fleeing” Minneapolis Public Schools, reports the Star-Tribune. Thousands of students have left district schools for charters and schools in other districts, write Beena Raghavendran and MaryJo Webster. Some 9,000 black students have left, more than half of the districtwide total.

Parents cite “safety concerns” and “a belief that academics elsewhere are better,” they write. MPS “has struggled for years to close the more than 50-percentage-point gap between white and black student achievement.”

By contrast, Asian students — predominantly from Cambodian and Burmese immigrant families — are the most likely to leave St. Paul schools.

I’m not “fleeing” district schools, writes Marguerite Mingus. She’s choosing better options. Mingus tried MPS schools, but eventually found that “charter schools have turned out to be the best fit for my kids.”

Because they’re smaller, they provide much greater access to administration and staff members. Instead of getting invitations to huge parent-teacher conferences spread out over three floors, and weekly calls with nothing but bad news, I now attend family nights where the entire school community fits in one room. I’ve also found that charter schools often have higher concentrations of teachers who look like my kids as well as specific academic focus areas and approaches that engage my children in their learning.

If MPS wants “to bring families like mine back, the solution is simple,” concludes Mingus. “Do better.”

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