Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS)

According to Minnesota's Constitution, "it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools." By the time the state Constitution officially established public education in 1857 local public schools were already thriving, particularly in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The latter eventually became Special School District No. 1, the largest and most visible school district in Minnesota.

In the years following the district's founding, the area formed a school board, expanded its student population, and adopted the national trend of progressive education. Minneapolis also followed the national trend of school desegregation in the 1970s through the means of busing and magnet schools. The district's recent history, however, shows an unfortunate trend of wide achievement gaps, poor No Child Left Behind (NCLB) performance, and high costs.

In 2011, Minneapolis public school enrollment was a little over 32,000 students. Approximately 70% of those students were non-Whites, a drastic change from 30 years before when approximately two-thirds of the Minneapolis student body was Caucasian. During that same period, the district's rate of free and reduced lunch usage also soared, a strong indication that Minneapolis students face difficult life challenges.

The high academic achievement gap in Minneapolis public schools is a result of the challenges these students face. According to Minnesota standardized tests (MCA-II tests), the 2008-2010 reading achievement gap between White and African American students was over 50%, while the gap between White and Hispanic students was slightly less

These large achievement gaps naturally produce poor Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) numbers in the No Child Left Behind program. Indeed, the 2011 AYP reading achievement gap between White and African American students was approximately 35%, while the AYP math achievement gap was nearly 50%. This lack of success leads to low graduation rates, and between 2007 and 2011 Minneapolis graduated less than half of its students. In 2012, Minneapolis schools received a waiver from the federal government because they were unable to meet NCLB's AYP standards. The NCLB waiver allows the district to "shed the 'failing' label" until the Spring of 2014.

Poor academic success is often blamed on a lack of revenue and expenditures. Minneapolis, however, is not lacking monetarily. According to school board director Jill Davis, the district has "close to a 685 million dollar budget" and "a little over 34,000 students." Minneapolis Public Schools' fact sheet on the district does contradict those numbers slightly. It claims that the district has a total budget of $656,503,252 (General Operations - $513,209,000) and a total student body of 32,263. Although this budget covers more than academic instruction, these numbers suggest that the district spends more than $20,000 per child.

There is widespread agreement that Minneapolis schools need fixing. However, the solution remains a huge subject of debate. One of these debates concerns funding, and whether or not schools need more or less of it. Compared to other districts in the state, Minneapolis spends much more money to educate its students. Yet, many feel that recent budget cuts adversely and unfairly affect the disadvantaged children in Minneapolis. Some suggest that more school integration is needed to level the playing field for disadvantaged children. But there are studies that show disadvantaged children do worse academically when they are bused away from their neighborhoods and placed in suburban schools.

One solution that both sides of the debate agree on, however, concerns the need for more challenging instruction and discipline. According to one former school board member, the progressive education idea of "open schools" simply does not work. Given the high academic success of students in one Minneapolis charter school which stresses diligence, respect, and the traditional education tactics of memorization and repetition, some suggest that Minneapolis public schools should implement the same methods.

Exploring history, costs, demographics, and academic achievement, this topic gives readers an overview of the Minneapolis public school district.

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"Citing a study that concluded some Minneapolis school administrators were underpaid, district Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson approved more than $270,000 in pay raises this summer for 35 central office administrators.

Johnson's announcement Friday surprised some school board members who said they weren't aware that their approval of a consultants' compensation study in May meant...

"Here’s a little data behind Tom Weber’s MPR story on the improvement in state scores on the ACT standardized college entrance exam.

Below is a chart showing that Minnesota tops the states where the majority of students take the test. (Seven out of 10 students took it in Minnesota.)

Other states scored higher — topped by Massachusetts with 24.0 — but those were usually ones where...

"The Department of Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota was established in 1910. D. D. Mayne was the first principal and he provided advice to high school agriculture teachers in the state. Mayne was the only staff member from 1910-1912. The program became part of the College of Education in 1912."

"Bernadeia Johnson is waxing enthusiastic about the first day of school. It marks the start of her sophomore year on the job and she has a theme for what she wants the academic year that begins this morning to be about.

'We have to create a culture of yes,' she said. 'I’m asking people to figure out, how do you get to yes?'

The superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, that...

"A north Minneapolis school at Olson Memorial Hwy. and Humboldt Avenue has demographics that seem a sure predictor of our state's most intractable education problem. The student population there is 99 percent black and 91 percent poor, and about 70 percent of the children come from single-parent families.

Such 'racial isolation' is widely considered a formula for defeat—a hallmark of...

"These schools showed the highest percentage of students scoring at grade level or better, despite having a high number of children living in poverty. Poverty has a high correlation to low student achievement."

"Black students are far more likely than their peers to be suspended or expelled from school. A U.S. Department of Education report released last week includes new data from the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) showing that Black students in Minneapolis face harsher discipline than their White, Latino, Asian and Native American counterparts."

"For years, a number of reformers have been urging that parents be permitted to choose their children's schools and that the budget of each school depend on the parents' choices. Advocates of educational choice argue that injecting competition into a moribund public school monopoly will compel schools to respond to parents' demands and improve the quality of education. Some examples of choice...

"Continuous Progress is an alternative program available at Countryside Elementary and Highlands Elementary. It is a blend of innovative new ideas, and the best of tried and true traditional practices in elementary schools. The Continuous Progress Program is primarily defined by four features:

  • Continuity over a five-year period
  • Multiaged classrooms and 'families'
  • ...

"On Thursday, Sept. 23, Minnesota Meeting invited the major parties' gubernatorial candidates to share and debate their visions and policy ideas on Minnesota's Preschool-12th Grade education system. The event was co-sponsored by the Itasca Project and the Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi Foundation for Children."

"So there I was, in late February, a lifelong, die-hard progressive DFL mom from Minneapolis, sitting in the governor's office with Rep. Branden Petersen, a die-hard conservative Republican dad from Coon Rapids.

We were there to see if Gov. Mark Dayton would consider signing Petersen's bill to get rid of 'last in, first out' (LIFO), a law that forces school districts to make teacher...

"During the 2008-09 school year, Minnesota schools will receive an average of $9,063 per student in general education revenue from state and local sources. But every teacher, student and parent knows that no district is average. That's certainly true when it comes to state and local funding.

- State funding alone ranges from roughly $7,000 to $11,000 per student.
- Locally...

This brief article reports on the relatively unheard of education philosophy of "Direct Instruction." Cheney highlights its academic success in urban schools especially, a fact attributed to the devotion the "Direct Instruction" method pays to the teacher-centered philosophy of education. Although disliked and ignored by those who hold to the student-centered philosophy of education, Cheney...

"One hundred fifty years ago Harriet E. Bishop traveled by steamer up the Mississippi River to what was to become the Territory of Minnesota. A doer and mover, this single woman arrived in July 1847 to start a school and stayed to begin many early social, religious, and educational endeavors. She is buried in St. Paul's Oakland Cemetery, final resting place of contemporaries such as Governors...

"Many have asked how Minnesota got so many educational initiatives under way often prior to actions in other parts of the country. This brief paper takes a look at some of the developments that shaped our current systems of education in Minnesota.

A report prepared by the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Education, 1967 had a startling and somewhat embarrassing sentence in its summary...

"The mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis could take control of their city's school districts under a bill approved by the House Education Reform Committee on Thursday night.

Supporters say mayoral control of schools has worked in other large cities across the nation, giving urban districts stable leadership from mayors who usually have longer tenure than superintendents, greater...

"This article describes our use of a summer reading program with elementary-school students reading below grade level in North Minneapolis, and reports on the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve reading fluency in these students. The research on which this article is based was funded by CURA’s Northside Seed Grant program."

"The achievement gap didn't happen overnight. But it has to be closed sooner, not later. It will cost money. It will take commitment. It will take the work of many diverse groups from the state Legislature to community groups to teachers and their unions to school districts to families and individuals. We owe it to our children and to the future of the state to make the effort."

"Sarah Johnson's work begins long before the school bell rings.

First up is a meeting with a fellow teacher to talk about how a lesson was paced. Did you finish before the class was over? Did students have a chance to ask questions? Did they seem interested?

As one of nine teachers trained to evaluate first-year educators in St. Paul Public Schools, it's her job to identify the...

"Much was made of the 2010 MCA II math test results for 11th graders, the first such standardized testing for the Eastern Carver County School District (District 112) since the opening of Chanhassen High School. The test results showed an alarming 27-point gap between the two schools that caused significant community reaction and action by the district to improve math performance at Chaska...

"The tentative contract agreement between the Minneapolis Public Schools and the local teachers union adds four school days to the calendar, a union official said on Monday.

Other highlights include a minimum of two days for teacher preparation before school starts and class size targets at 16 struggling schools."

"Almost half of Minnesota's schools will shed the 'failing' label under a new plan that state leaders say will cut the achievement gap while giving struggling schools the flexibility they need.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education approved waiver requests from Minnesota and nine other states, freeing their schools from the 'No Child Left Behind' mandate that requires 100...

"How does Minnesota rank among the states for its performance on public schools?

Here's information about how Minnesota ranks on the 16th annual Report Card on Education, published by the American Legislative Exchange Council."

"Minnesota puts more of its education funding per student into the classroom and spends more on district administration when compared with most other states.

But the state spends less on principals and student support services."

"Minnesota's public school students are among the most successful in the nation. Take a look at the measures below.

ACT scores are among the highest

  • Minnesota's average composite score of 22.9 was the highest in the nation among the 27 states in which more than half the college-bound students took the test in 2010.
  • Minnesota students’ average score of 22.6 remains...

"The United States Congress passed an enabling act on February 26, 1857, that permitted the voters of Minnesota Territory to decide if they wanted to become a state. Among other provisions, this act called for a constitutional convention to draft a constitution that would be the foundation for state government. At an election on June 1, 1857, Minnesota voters elected delegates to this...

"The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments – Series II (MCA-IIs) are the standardized tests in reading, math, and science that public schools in Minnesota give to students. The state uses the tests to see how well schools are teaching the state academic standards and grade-level benchmarks for the standards.

But what do these test results mean to your child and how can you use the...

"Minneapolis teachers have ratified a new two-year contract that raises their pay in exchange for working a longer school year and that clears away some of the impediments their union says hamper teaching."

"Tracking students — the process by which students are put into a curriculum track based on their achievement level — used to be the mode of operation for many schools. Tracking can occur in many forms, including gifted and talented programs, honors programs, magnets, and any other euphemism for putting the 'smart' kids all together. One problem, of course, is that often it's the kids who come...

"The PSEO Program allows high school juniors and seniors to take classes on a college campus or online for both high school and college credit. The costs for tuition and required textbooks are subsidized by the State of Minnesota, and the program offers high school students the opportunity to experience life on a college campus."

"It might be easier for everyone concerned if Minnesota employed Sherlock Holmes to decipher the clues contained in the federal Race to the Top funding rubric. He'd sift through the Department of Education's guidelines and tell everyone how 'elementary' the criterion of 'Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals' was.

As is, the amateur detectives at the state...

"It is generally agreed that urban public schools and school systems need to radically change how they are governed. Proponents of school choice believe that empowering families with educational options will promote such a change, because it presupposes that schools will reform to increase their attractiveness.

In fact, choice has been widely adopted.

Hardly a state in the United...

"Eric Mahmoud has proven he can produce high test scores with low-income black elementary students on the North Side. He's done it at a private school. He's done it at charter schools.

Now in his most ambitious undertaking to date, the founder of Harvest Prep is seeking the chance to clone his success under a performance-based contract with Minneapolis Public Schools.

The school...

"Once upon a time we had public schools and private schools. Now there are site-governed schools, contract alternative schools, charter schools, and the list goes on. Charter schools are public but they’re not part of a district. Site-governed schools are part of a district, but they don’t follow all the district’s rules. Private schools are an alternative to public schools, but they’re not...

"In the new information economy, children in pursuit of their dreams need education like never before. Yet the high school drop-out rate among poor American children is twice that of middle-class kids, and ten times that of wealthy children. In Minneapolis, the majority of public school students are poor, and most are failing standardized tests. A lawsuit over the adequacy of the Minneapolis...

"In recently released rankings of how states' primary education systems are preparing students for careers in engineering, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey top the list. Mississippi trails as the worst in the country, following West Virginia and Louisiana.

The Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI) measures how high school students are performing in physics and calculus...

"Elementary and middle schools across Minnesota saw a sharp dip in scores on the statewide math tests this year, a drop that educators chalk up to a tougher exam that students took for the first time.

Schools got better news from the reading tests, where student performance improved slightly."

"Among the many accountability reforms enacted to Minnesota's charter school law in 2009 were two specific provisions that addressed the cost of authorizing.

The first provision established a new fee structure and significantly increased potential oversight fees paid by schools to authorizers. The increase phases in over a four year period and will result in over $3 million dollars per...

Summary of remarks by Wayne Jennings regarding the history of Minnesota education.

"The first educational institution in Minneapolis was started by Rev. J.D. Stevens on the shores of Lake Harriet in 1834. It was for children, including those from Cloud Man's band of Mdewakanton Dakota and from Fort Snelling. By 1849, in St. Anthony, the first private or subscription schools opened. Then in 1851-52, a school was opened on the west side of the river by Mary Schofield."

"The Minnesota Miracle of 1971 resulted from a ten-year effort to restructure Minnesota's fiscal policy. Major contributors to the effort were Paul Gilje, then research director of the Citizens League; Representative Charles R. Weaver of Anoka; the Metropolitan Council; the 1967-1971 Republican legislatures; and state Senator Wendell Anderson, the 1970 Democratic gubernatorial candidate,...

"Back in 2001, when the federally mandated No Child Left Behind initiative became law, most educators knew it would only be a matter of time.

Whether it was two years down the line or 10 years down the line, their school would almost certainly be impacted by sanctions stemming from the lofty initiative, which calls for all students to be 100 percent proficient in reading and math by...

"Elina Wennerlund likes her new high school just fine. The Washburn High School freshman has gone out for soccer, cross-country skiing and jazz choir.

It's classes that bother her. Too many of them are too easy. Elina often finishes her work early. 'Sometimes, we're just sitting there,' she said.

As the Minneapolis School District reaches the second year of driving for increased...

"Although it may imply so, a normal school is actually not for average students. A normal school, also known as a teachers' college, is a school that trains teacher, generally for the primary, or elementary, grades. The name was developed from French to indicate that a normal school was intended to be a model. Most likely it developed from a lesser known definition of the word normal:...

Chart or Graph

"The District made Adequate Yearly Progress on attendance (93.24%) in 2011 based on the 2009-10 attendance rate for the All Students group."

This chart details the graduation rate at Minneapolis' seven high schools. Taken together, the entire district was not able to achieve a 50% graduation rate.

"In the 2008-09 school year, African American students in Minneapolis failed to achieve high reading growth."

In the 2008-09 school year, white students in Minneapolis achieved high reading growth. The same year shows a different result for their African American counterparts.

This chart demonstrates the MCA-II reading proficiency gap between White and Hispanic students in various Minnesota school districts.

This chart demonstrates the MCA-II/MTELL math proficiency gap between White and Hispanic students in various Minnesota school districts. For Minneapolis, the proficiency gap is nearly 50%.

This chart demonstrates the MCA-II reading proficiency gap between White and African American students in various Minnesota school districts. For Minneapolis, the proficiency gap is over 50%.

This chart describes the average statistics of a Minneapolis kindergarten classroom. In 2010, the average class size was 23.7 children.

This chart shows how many schools in the Minneapolis Public School district made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in the 2007-2011 time period.

Minneapolis is far behind districts in the Western Suburbs.

"Since 1987, when alternative programs were formally recognized in Minnesota law, enrollment (including elementary, middle, and secondary students) has climbed from 4,050 to an estimated 180,000 students today."

This chart shows the dramatic achievement gap between the various ethnicities in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

In 2011, Caucasian students achieved an 89.8 proficiency rate on reading, while African American students achieved a 54 proficiency rate.

"These schools showed the highest percentage of students scoring at grade level or better, despite having a high number of children living in poverty."

"The District's government-wide total revenues were approximately $638 million for the year ended June 30, 2011."

Geographic and population density characteristics of Minnesota school districts.

Pupil membership and cost per pupil for Minnesota charter schools.

Pupil membership and cost per pupil for Minnesota independent school districts.

This chart provides membership and other details for Minnesota's independent school districts.

"As of July 31, 2011, there were 147 charter schools operating in Minnesota serving an estimated 41,470 students."

"Schools are highly resource dependent, but they are not dependent on a single source. The distribution of revenue-raising responsibility over federal, state, and local governments contributes to education revenue stability (see Figure 4)."

This chart compares Minnesota education spending with that of the U.S. average.

Enrollment in Minnesota schools by type 1989-2001.

"The dollar amount per pupil unit used to calculate each district's basic general education revenue - the 'front end' of the formula. The formula allowance for fiscal year 2011 is $5,124."

"Percentage of 3rd grade students that meet or exceed proficiency on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) reading exam..., given in the spring."

"Figure 1 above demonstrates that busing for racial balance in Minneapolis did not reduce the achievement gap in the 14 years between 1982 and 1996."

This chart gives the total enrollment numbers and racial breakdowns for Minneapolis Public Schools from 1981-2011.

"Total cost of all programs and services was $602.1 million in fiscal 2011."

"Total General Fund expenditures increased $8.4 million or 1.7% from the previous year."

"The General Fund includes the primary operations of the District in providing educational services to students from kindergarten through grade 12 including pupil transportation activities and capital outlay projects."

"A school district may levy for a fixed amount of money. This amount is spread across the real estate in the city."

"Over the last nine years, the District has experienced a decrease in average daily membership after peaking at 50,211 in 2001. However, it is anticipated that this trend is stabilizing."

In 2011, every demographic category in the Minneapolis school district except for White students failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in math and reading.

This chart demonstrates how the percentage of free and reduced lunch recipients in the Minneapolis Public Schools has grown from 39% in 1985 to 66% in 2010.

This chart shows the demographics in Minneapolis Public Schools from 1981-2011.

This chart lists Minneapolis public school buildings, their locations, and the years of their construction.

This chart lists each school in the Minneapolis Public School district and breaks down each school's enrollment by race and ethnicity.

Between the 2006-07 and the 2008-09 school year, Minneapolis Asian and White student math progress decreased.

"[Minnesota schools'] total enrollment history and projections for the period from 1959-60 to 2014-15."

This chart lists the percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch at each school in the Minneapolis Public School district.

"Table 1 shows the exit classification codes assigned to both dropouts and non-dropouts through the end of the academic year."

"The MPS dropout challenge becomes more apparent when considered by ethnic groups and other demographic characteristics."

This chart divides Minneapolis kindergarteners by race in order to depict their total literacy after their first year of school.

According to this chart, the achievement gap in terms of reading proficiency between white and minority students in Minneapolis public schools is at least 30 percentage points.

"MPS MCAII (State Test) Reading proficiency increased 4% compared to 2010 and increased 5% over the past two years."

Rank and scores of the states for the Federal Department of Education Race to the Top program phase 1.

"[Minnesota schools'] total enrollment history and projections for the period from 1959-60 to 2014-15."

"For 2011, Florida received the highest overall teacher policy grade with a B, and three other states – Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee – earned B minuses."

"Figure 2.4 shows the demographic characteristics for three student subgroups: traditional students (students not enrolled in alternative education), students enrolled in any amount or type of alternative education, and students enrolled full time in a single alternative education program."

The AAL represents the present value of projected future benefits earned by employees to date.

This chart compares the ACT scores of Minnesotans with the rest of the nation.

This chart breaks down Minnesota's budget forecast for the 2012-13 biennium. At 40%, education services receive the largest portion of the budget.

Analysis Report White Paper

This fifth annual edition of the Yearbook documents more changes in state teacher policy than NCTQ has seen in any of its previous top-to-bottom reviews of the laws and regulations governing the teaching profession in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For almost two decades, Minnesota has experienced significant growth in a number of new and different educational choices, new schools and new educational programs—both inside and outside the traditional district setting. These trends are documented in the bar graph below.

The following account of the Educational Land Policy of the United States, and of the disposition of the Congressional land grants in Minnesota are printed in advance of the report, not only to diffuse information, but to indicate the nature of the statistics that the Department desires to receive.

"In compliance to the No Child Left Behind Act, low-income students who attend schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for three years or more are eligible to receive Supplemental Educational Services (SES). SES may include academic assistance in math and reading, such as tutoring, remediation and other educational interventions. The U.S. Department of Education requires that SES...

"The State Board of Education of Minnesota is preparing to adopt a metro-wide desegregation plan of a scope unique in the United States. The plan will require every school district in the seven-county metro area to desegregate the schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and it may require every school district in the state to reduce or close the racial learning gap for academic performance,...

EXACTLY A CENTURY has passed since Harriet Bishop left the comforts of her home in Vermont to enter the rough wilderness of the Northwest and inaugurate the earliest program of organized education in Minnesota. In the spring of 1847 she was one of a small group of New England women who had attended high school and received preparation for teaching.

"This historic context study spans more than a hundred years and the approximately 140 buildings constructed, acquired, maintained, expanded, and sometimes removed by the Minneapolis Board of Education between 1849 and 1962. The timeframe extends from the first public schools constructed in Minneapolis to the expansion of elementary and junior high schools for the post-World War II baby-boom...

Southeast Alternatives (SEA) consisted of five schools in the West Area, Southeast Cluster, of the Minneapolis Public Schools. The project was administered by Minneapolis Public Schools under a grant from the United States Office of Education.

This report contains a large variety of charts and data on reading and math proficiency in Minneapolis public schools.

Provides information based on multiple data sources, including: a review of charter school documents from the Minnesota Department of Education; survey data collected in 1994 from superintendents, school board members, and parents; and site visits to those charter schools that were operating in early 1994.

This piece offers a collection of graphs which show the 2008-2010 achievement gaps for various districts around the state of Minnesota. The Minneapolis school district often stands out from the rest of the districts, unfortunately for undesirable reasons.

"The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive data-driven understanding of MPS' dropout rates, trends and an analysis of the indicators and 'early warning signs' that most accurately identify the population of students most at-risk for dropout. By providing both on-going and summative information on dropouts and at-risk students, this report hopes to inform MPS' strategic planning...

"This baseline data report is designed to be used by The Minneapolis Foundation staff as well as board members, community leaders, and policy makers to learn more about the areas of education, economic vitality, and social capital for the city of Minneapolis, based upon key indicators. Presenting the most current data for the chosen indicators provides a common starting point for those...

"Minnesota’s continued democratic vitality and economic health will depend in large measure on our ability to put in place education reforms that will help poor, minority children boost their performance in school.

Misguided plans that rely on racial balance to achieve this vital goal are doomed to fail, will make a bad situation worse, and threaten to bankrupt the State of Minnesota....

Although economists have officially declared the 'Great Recession' to be over, the nation and states continue to struggle back from the most severe economic downturn in generations and face new challenges in delivering a high-quality education to all students, according to Education Week’s annual education report card.

ALEC’s 17th edition of the Report Card on American Education contains a comprehensive overview of educational achievement levels (performance and gains for low-income students) for the 50 states and the District of Columbia (see full report for complete methodology).

"Over time, reporting requirements for school districts have expanded. School districts in Minnesota are required to identify and track homeless students in each school, and report their school attendance and academic assessment results to the Minnesota Department of Education. Tracking homeless children in schools has proven to be a formidable task. There are many challenging issues,...

"Minneapolis Schools have been named by a variety of means: by the governing few on the school board; by individual, neighborhood or PTA petitions; and finally by public referendum. The majority did not always rule!"

The result of a five year project on alternative schools within the public school system of Minneapolis, Minnesota, this report provides a complete description of the project from the pre-planning and proposal stage through the final evaluation.

"This report reveals the disturbing extent of school segregation in the Twin Cities region, and describes segregation's harms to children and the region. It is a wake-up call to all of us.

Most importantly, this report envisions a brighter future for the region, its children, and its families. The Institute on Race and Poverty describes how expanding an already successful school choice...

The Nation’s Report Card informs the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States. Report cards communicate the findings of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time.

The Nation’s Report Card informs the public about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States. Report cards communicate the findings of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time.

This piece gives readers a brief history lesson on public school funding/spending, specifically focusing on the rising involvement of state and federal governments as compared to local. Peng and Guthrie also study past funding levels and then project an estimated spending amount per student in the next decade.

Video/Podcast/Media

"June's Stone Arch discussion was an important and reflective conversation with Pam Costain and Chris Stewart.  First reflecting on Minneapolis District's condition upon being elected, then moving on to other challenges.  Specifically, the challenge of being an effective School Board Director.  Perhaps the most provocative item early on was former Director Costain's...

"Arts Integration is a proven teaching strategy critical to the success of Minneapolis Public Schools students. By using arts-based techniques to engage the whole child in learning a variety of subjects, Arts Integration helps to propel students to greater academic achievement and to develop well-rounded global citizens."

"District staff explain why Lyndale Elementary School is perhaps the highest achieving school within the MPS district." According to the speakers, Lyndale's students are almost reaching a 50% academic achievement level.

In a visit to Minneapolis' South High School, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan discussed achievement gap and other education related issues, including college attendance and the FAFSA process.

"Increased enrollment in Minneapolis public schools will require some schools that have closed in the past five years to reopen in order to maintain capacity. Some parents are advocating a 'big picture' approach and focusing on what is best for students and the district as a whole."

"For a decade, 'No Child Left Behind' has been a staple of American education reform. But on Thursday, Minnesota became one of ten states that will soon be allowed to enact its own policies.

After President Obama announced the exemptions, many educators welcomed the news. But they're wondering what comes next."

"The Minnesota Taxpayers Association recently completed a study of Minnesota's largest public pension funds and found that many are drastically under-funded to the tune of billions of dollars.

The worst case scenario is the Minneapolis Teacher's Fund - facing bankruptcy in a few years without a bailout from taxpayers."

"Minnesota 2020's Joe Sheeran visits a Minneapolis school board meeting."

Produced for the Minneapolis Public School system, this video demonstrates the type of teaching that goes on in an English and Language Arts classroom.

"Minneapolis School Board Directors Jill Davis & Jenny Arneson talk about challenges and strengths of the Minneapolis Public Schools and respond to questions from an interested audience."

This video documents the opinions of parents and students on the benefits of the Minneapolis Public School system.

In a testimony before the Minnesota House Education Finance committee, Minneapolis school board member Alberto Monserrate declares that charter schools and vouchers generally do not solve the education problems that Minnesota faces.

Produced by the Minneapolis Public School system, this short video briefly explains and extols the teachers, students, curricula, and mission of the MPS school system.

Primary Document

"Underlying every educational problem is the financial one, that of school support. Adequate buildings, better trained teachers, a more vital curriculum can be provided only as sufficient revenues are, first, furnished and, second, distributed in a manner to secure results commensurate with expenditure. Indeed, there is little doubt that a large proportion of the educational difficulties...

"The biennial Legislature of Minnesota in April, 1913, created a Public Education Commission 'to make careful study and investigation of conditions in this state with respect to public education, including the public school system and public educational institutions, and the relation of the educational institutions one to another and to the public school system; to recommend a general plan for...

This piece offers a variety of graphs which chart the racial achievement gaps between students in Minneapolis public schools.

"In 2009, approximately 150,000 Minnesota public school students enrolled in alternative education programs. These programs ranged from area learning centers that served high school students full time in stand-alone facilities, to 'targeted services' that served elementary school students in before- or after-school programs. Most students enrolled in alternative education programs—75 percent—...

"We have audited the accompanying financial statements of the governmental activities, each major fund and the aggregate remaining fund information of Special School District No. 1, Minneapolis, Minnesota as of and for the year ended June 30, 2011, which collectively comprise the District’s basic financial statements as listed in the table of contents. These financial statements are the...

"This is an appeal by public school authorities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, ... from an order entered on May 22, 1978 by District (now Senior) Judge Earl R. Larson of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota in a school integration suit commenced in 1971 by and on behalf of Negro students residing in the District. Plaintiffs were permitted to maintain the action as a class...

This document contains the Minnesota Department of Education's records on its various funding sources and expenditures for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

This document contains the Minnesota Department of Education's records on its various funding sources and expenditures for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years.

This document contains the Minnesota Department of Education's records on its various funding sources and expenditures for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years.

This document contains the Minnesota Department of Education's records on its various funding sources and expenditures for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years.

This document contains the Minnesota Department of Education's records on its various funding sources and expenditures for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

"The public school system of Minnesota has from the first been unified in the department of public instruction.

The first Territorial legislature (1849) enacted a school code, in which provision was made for the appointment of a 'superintendent of common schools' by the governor, to serve for a term of two years.

Upon the adoption of the State constitution the second State...

"In a major step toward real reform for Minnesota students, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius joined President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Washington today for the announcement that Minnesota will receive a waiver from the requirements of the federal education law commonly known as 'No Child Left Behind.' The waiver will allow the state to begin implementing a more...

"The financing of elementary and secondary education in Minnesota comes through a combination of state-collected taxes (primarily income and sales) and locally collected property taxes. Revenue to school districts is received in three major categories, all of which are described in greater detail in this booklet."

Specifically focusing on education, this document explains the allocation of Minnesota's monetary resources for the 2010-11 school year.

Specifically focusing on education, this document explains the allocation of Minnesota's monetary resources. At 40%, education receives the largest portion of the state's budget.

"This compilation contains the general laws of Minnesota of practical use and application relating to the public schools. The General Statutes of 1913 are taken as the basis, and to them have been added all subsequent laws and amendments.

The laws have been arranged by subjects, and the sections numbered consecutively. At the foot of each section is given the number of the section of...

"I was pleased to learn on February 9 that Minnesota is among the 10 states selected to receive Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility. We applaud President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius for their advocacy and leadership in moving toward a meaningful system of school improvement accountability."

This report documents the Minneapolis Public School district's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

"The goal of school discipline is to teach students to behave in ways that contribute to academic achievement and school success and to support a school environment where students and staff are responsible and respectful. Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) expects all students to be active learners and responsible members of their learning community."

"Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) was awarded a 5‐year grant by the U.S. Department of Education for a Small Learning Communities (SLC) project that was implemented in its seven comprehensive high schools. The funding period began in July 2005 and ended in July 2010. Two main goals were established for the project. Goal 1 was to close the achievement gap between students of color and White...

"The state tests administered each spring measure student progress on Minnesota’s Academic Standards and English Language Proficiency Standards. We have developed this Minnesota Assessment Interpretive Guide to help educators better understand the results from these tests.

The guide contains information on how to read the reports and interpret the data from these tests. Once you have...

Beginning with the creation of the Minnesota public school system, this document covers the financial history of Minnesota education from 1849 to 2011.

"The Minnesota school finance system is the method by which funds are provided to operate public elementary and secondary schools. The bulk of state support for elementary and secondary education is distributed to school districts through the general education revenue program, which provides money for the current operating expenditures of the districts. The remaining portion of the state’s...

"We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

This report provides a variety of statistics from schools on the north side of Minneapolis including attendance, math and reading scores, and suspension rates.

This book includes records of itemized expenditures for public schools in Minneapolis from 1896. Among other things, the report also includes school enrollment information.

"This Manual for High Schools is published as a help to both teachers and scholars. It presents, in a clear and methodical way, good methods of teaching three leading branches of knowledge, — language, science, and mathematics. It contains also, for teachers and for pupils, special articles prepared by experienced instructors and containing much wholesome advice in the highest degree...

"The desegregation of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, schools (Special School District No. 1) was initiated in 1972, although the process leading to desegregation actually began in 1967 when the board of education adopted its first human relations guidelines and announced a voluntary urban transfer program. ... In 1970 the State of Minnesota issued desegregation guidelines which set a 30 percent...

"The purpose of this report is to provide updated information on actuarial accrued liabilities as they relate to Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB) for school districts in Minnesota."

This report compares the MCA-II and MCA-III math and reading scores in the Minneapolis School District with those of the rest of Minnesota.

"An attempt is made in this paper to set forth the attitude of the several states as regards the encouragement of secondary education through the granting of special subsidies to the middle schools. As this inquiry covers the period from the establishment of the earliest secondary schools in this country down to the present tune, it is made to deal more particularly with systems of state aid...

"Summaries are prepared by the Minnesota Department of Education of the state session laws passed each year. Each year’s summaries include a detailed review of the 'education omnibus act' as well as a more abbreviated summary of other education-related laws passed during the year."

"It is my honor to be invited to testify here today on what remains the most pressing issue confronting our nation’s schools: racial segregation and the poverty concentration that inevitably follows it.

As to this pressing issue, the state of Minnesota and its local school districts confront three distinct legal questions and a single significant policy question. The legal issues are: 1...

This book includes records of itemized expenditures for public schools in Minneapolis from 1908. Among other things, the report also includes school enrollment information.

This book includes records of itemized expenditures for public schools in Minneapolis from 1911. Among other things, the report also includes school enrollment information.

"Property taxes include taxes to support the school district, the city and the county. Property tax levies are one source of funding for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

There are two kinds of levies:
1. A referendum, or voter-approved levy
2. A levy set by the Board of Education within limits established by the state

School levies are based on a number of factors that...

Books

FAQs

This FAQ provides some background on education in Minnesota, which in turn will help one to understand today's state of education.

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