If we need more teachers of color, stop saying we need diversity

The state of public education in Minnesota is not looking good. According to data provided by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), in 2014 and 2015 more than half of 11th graders were not at grade level in math or reading. For those same years, the Minneapolis Public School District (MPS) showed no more than a third of 11th graders performed at grade level for either subject. For students of color, the numbers are even worse, giving Minnesota one of the largest achievement gaps nationally between students of color and their white peers.

There are many factors affecting why Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native American kids don’t perform well here. But one key contributor is a belief gap that follows them into their classrooms, where they are viewed by predominantly white teachers as having less academic potential than their white peers. Continue Reading

OUR STORIES | Martín: A hidden voice

I first met Martín while tending my garden in the summer of 2012.  He is perhaps the single most humble recipient of fresh produce from my small garden, and has been for at least two summers.  My earliest recollection noticing him takes place sometime in the spring.  I was looking out my window and he was walking by my house to the park.  It was cold and rainy, and he and his three sons were going to the park to play soccer. Continue Reading