IN THESE DAYS OF RACIAL STRIFE it may surprise you to learn that one influential philanthropy based in Minneapolis is paying for arguments in court to allow segregated public schools. Another foundation is leading the charge to remove language from the state's constitution that courts have used to bar segregation in schools. What's going on here? Are the Twin Cities not the 'liberal' bastion people make it out to be?
In the Fall of 2022 Minnesotans may be voting on a constitutional amendment that will fundamentally change state law around public education. How will this change public education? Surprisingly, even the authors profess not to know the answer to this question. The only thing certain about the proposed amendment is that it will empower courts and throw districts, parents and others into constant legal battles.
Ten years later there are actually fewer students in college, 'achievement gaps' are the same or worse, and its hyped $2 million VAM evaluation tool is up in flames - but the foundation is undaunted — proud of its failure
Though specifics vary, across the nation charter schools are draining the students and finances of public school districts, creating distress in many. In Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Foundation is trying this very strategy with its created entity, Minnesota Comeback, whose goal is 30,000 new charter seats in the city.
At one time Hiawatha had passable test scores, but this story, like so many education reform stories, was not what it seemed. In recent years Hiawatha's test scores have dropped steadily back down to earth, so that now they're about half of the state averages. For some reason national, and especially local media aren't interested in that now.
This is a big year for charter school aficionados in Minnesota, as 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the the nation’s first charter school in St. Paul. The legislation that authorized charter schools, enacted a year earlier, though limited in scope, promised a thorough consideration of the experimental education model, which has since sprouted up in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
Since that time rules have been loosened, spending has multiplied many times over, and hundreds of charter schools have opened in the state. Many others have been closed. Have charters lived up to the grand boasts of supporters? Have the effects been more negative than positive? Do charters represent a threat to local, democratic control of public education? On the silver anniversary of the landmark school opening the local discourse is heating up.
“School choice " is all the rage in Minnesota these days. The kind of school choice most in vogue are charter schools, where, according to promoters, less affluent parents can experience the same kind of education “marketplace " that rich people enjoy with their private schools.
Ok — that's an argument. But just what kind of choices are there for, say, low-income parents of color in the core Twin Cities?
Questions about segregation, integration, and academic performance have been intrinsically linked in American education policy since at least 1954, when Brown v. Board held that segregated educational facilities are inherently unequal. The research leading to that decision,and the overwhelming social science consensus ever since, has suggested that segregated schools produce a host of harms for their students, and integrated schools generate a host of benefits.
“Odds-beating charter school. " Those words are like an impenetrable shield for those who operate such places. They are also the holy grail of the education reform movement, which is constantly seeking shortcuts to radically increase measures of educational achievement, which these days is pretty much defined by increased math and language test scores.
|Great MN Schools||$ 21,670,756|
|Teach for America||$ 11,465,950|
|Hiawatha Academies||$ 10,270,569|
|Minnesota Comeback||$ 9,889,019|
|KIPP Minnesota||$ 6,420,924|
|Charter School Partners||$ 4,871,464|
|Policy Innovators in Education Network Inc. (PIE Network)||$ 4,772,289|
|Educators 4 Excellence, Inc.||$ 3,969,413|
|Ed Allies||$ 3,791,500|
|Harvest Preparatory Charter School||$ 3,099,438|
|Our Turn, Inc., nee Students for Education Reform (SFER)||$ 2,397,750|
|Charlemagne Institute - nee Intellectual Takeout||$ 2,092,000|
|Education Evolving||$ 2,003,250|
|Harvest Network of Schools||$ 1,564,256|
|The New Teacher Project||$ 746,206|
Find out where the grant data comes from, and what years and funders are included.
Grants – search for grants by various criteria
Recipients – search all grants to a particular recipient
Funders – search for organizations or individuals that are funding grants
People – search for people who benefit from grant funds or who play a role at a Recipient or Funder
|September 28, 2023|
|Cary charter school illegally retaliated against math teacher, federal ALJ rules|
|The teacher had complained about the lack of special education services at Cardinal Charter Academy|
|September 27, 2023||Minnesota accountant allegedly stole $42K from Hmong charter school|
|The Anton Group, a St. Paul–based accounting firm, provided services to one in five Minnesota charter schools in 2022, but dissolved in wake of the alleged fraud. Neal Thao, the CEO of Noble Academy, said charter schools should “look at their accounts very carefully.”|
|September 25, 2023|
|This westside Indianapolis charter school is closing on Oct. 6.|
|The charter school on the west side of Indianapolis opened in 2018 but struggled with enrollment. |
|More charter school scandals of the day...|
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Sorted by size of largest school demographic
This year ONE non-White majority charter school supported by funders in this database exceeded the state average in test score proficiency. But that one school is suspect because of wildly fluctuating test scores. Overall these schools are highly segregated and many have had very low test scores for many years.
Loose laws let scores of charters create policies that favor white students
According to Joe Nathan, this isn't segregation because parents are "choosing" to segregate.
Public schools need a continuum of services for children experiencing emotional/behavioral problems. They also need a whole curriculum that includes classes that are therapeutic, like art, music, and drama. These classes can help students find their niche and keep them from academically falling behind.
This paper critically examines the relationship between these entities through the lens of TFA corps members placed in charter schools, and explores two types of schools described by interviewees, namely, shit shows,’ and like-minded schools.’
When it comes to declining student enrollment for the Minneapolis Public Schools, it looks like the fox may be guarding the hen house.
It turns out that Bryan Fleming, who has served as Director of Enrollment Management for the Minneapolis schools since 2016, runs a side consulting business that offers “School-placement Advising for families and family law practitioners. "
Education is not the best anti-poverty program, argues historian Harvey Kantor, and it’s long past time we acknowledged that "¦
One of the consequences of making education so central to social policy has been that we’ve ended up taking the pressure off of the state for the kinds of policies that would be more effective at addressing poverty and economic inequality. Instead we’re asking education to do things it can’t possibly do. The result has been increasing support for the kinds of market-oriented policies that make inequality worse.
Students in the nation’s only federally funded school voucher initiative performed worse on standardized tests within a year after entering D.C. private schools than peers who did not participate, according to a new federal analysis that comes as President Trump is seeking to pour billions of dollars into expanding the private school scholarships nationwide.
The study, released Thursday by the Education Department’s research division, follows several other recent studies of state-funded vouchers in Louisiana, Indiana and Ohio that suggested negative effects on student achievement. Critics are seizing on this data as they try to counter Trump’s push to direct public dollars to private schools.
Nearly 80,000 public school students in 100 districts across Long Island refused Tuesday to take the state mathematics exam given in grades three through eight, in a fifth straight year of boycotts driven by opposition to the Common Core tests, according to a Newsday survey.
On the first full-fledged day of math testing in Nassau and Suffolk counties, 79,780 students in the districts that responded opted out "” 53.1 percent of the pupils eligible in those systems to take the exam. There are 124 districts on the Island.
A trio of academics compare the tactics to Wall Street's raiders.
As the Trump administration plans to redirect taxpayer billions to privatize K-12 education, a scholarly article by some of the nation’s leading investigators of charter school rip-offs has highlighted how their business model is prone to fiscal self-dealing.