Community rallies to save Urban League Academy

Urban League Academy graduate Albert Bratton tells the Minneapolis Public Schools board that he might have dropped out of school if not for the academy.

Despite the pleas of several current and former students of the Urban League Academy – a Minneapolis contract alternative school – a divided school board voted to give the school a one-year provisional contract, placing the school's future in jeopardy.

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Collateral costs: Racial disparities and injustice in Minnesota's marijuana laws

Blacks in Minnesota are 6.4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, one of the nation’s highest disparities, according to FBI statistics. Our latest report finds these disproportionate arrest rates further exacerbate equity gaps for individuals and neighborhoods in communities of color.

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E-DEMOCRACY | Minneapolis Public schools, attendance boundaries, and civil rights

Editor's note: Seward Montessori School is located at 2309 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis. According to its website, it became a K-8 school back in the 1990s. This E-Democracy discussion thread has two concerns: 1) What's a Montessori school for grades 6-8? and 2) Where should Minneapolis invest money in order to provide good schools for all students? 

From: Sue Kolstad Date: 7:26pm, Apr 19

An interesting illustration of what happens when you convert elementary and middle schools to K-8: Seward Montessori School. It was changed from K-6 to K-8. I have yet to see literature that explains how the Montessori Method is adapted to grades above approximately 3rd grade. The building capacity is 700 and the enrollment is 900. Two things at work. One is the popularity of the program and the other is the addition of 2 grades. Now the district plans to build a 3 story addition to hold the extra 200 students. What about using that money to improve programs at the under attended schools?

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New NAACP Labor Chair Tee McClenty is ready to fight for jobs

Labor activist Tee McClenty, originally from Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of service and of representing labor interests. As she tells it, “I’ve been a labor activist for a very long time. I worked at a long-term care facility, where I was a union steward. My last 17 years I spent at a hospital in Maplewood, where I was a union steward representing members.

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More segregation, higher discipline rates for black students in Minneapolis charter schools

According to data released by the Office of Civil Rights, all 44 Minneapolis charter schools have a student body that consists of over 40% students of a single race or ethnicity. Of these schools, two are completely racially segregated, meaning there are only students of one race enrolled in the schools, and 13 others have over 90% students of one race or ethnicity. A total of 10,949 students were enrolled in Minneapolis charter schools during the 2011-2012 school year.

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BEHIND THE STORY | Ensuring legacy funds serve all communities

More than five years after Minnesotans voted to pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, I think we can look back and say the sales tax revenue generated has been a boon to our arts economy

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OPINION | I remember when the community supported those of us in prison

On February 7 and 8 there was an African American history celebration held at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes. During the two days there were several prolific and amazing speakers and performers, such as Pastor Arthur Agnew; Portia McClain, professor of African language at the U of M; Tracey Williams-Dillard of the Spokesman Recorder; Barbara Epps, Bush Fellowship ACES; Angela Stewart, gospel singer; Michelle Horovitz of Appetite for Change; and storytellers Mr. and Mrs. Zulu.

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At the intersection of race, poverty, and language

Growing up with the toxic stress and other harmful effects of poverty is tough. So is growing up when the language at home is different from the language at school. Both at once is obviously even tougher, although students who can hold onto their home language while becoming fluent in English will have a leg up as adults. That’s the main thrust of a recent Pioneer Press piece investigating the need for, and development of, more teaching aimed at bilingual students and those still learning English.

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Minneapolis Public Schools aims for new level of Black student achievement in 2014-15, mentors, new programs part of plan to 'normalize success'

Approximately 80 local Black men met with Black male students on Friday, April 11 at Patrick Henry High school as part of the 100 Strong Who Care mentoring program. (Photos by Charles Hallman)

An estimated 80 local Black men met with Black male students last Friday morning as part of the 100 Strong Who Care mentoring program that Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Equity Director James Burroughs started about five years ago. He told the students before they met with the men in small groups, “We want to let the world and Minneapolis know that Black men do care about our young Black men.”

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Redlining: Twin Cities banks still restricting home loans in "non-white" areas

Members of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), ISAIAH, and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy stood together outside Minneapolis City Hall to accuse banks of continuing to “red-line” communities of color and refusing to refinance sub-prime mortgages from 2009-2012. Accompanying the activists and researchers were three Minneapolis City Council members — Blong Yang, Elizabeth Glidden and Cam Gordon, all of whom called for something to be done.

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