What Makes a Good School?

New report says white students' test scores drawing white family back to Mpls schools.

According to a new report in the Star-Tribune, Southwest Minneapolis' schools are doing a better job educating white students than its suburban counterparts, as measured by state standardized test results.

"We're sensitive in this district, we're an urban district with many challenges, and we have a large achievement gap, and we are focusing whatever we can on lowering the gap," district spokesman Stan Alleyne told the Strib.

Reporter Steve Brandt posits that these same higher test scores could also be helping to drive the surge in enrollment in Southwest and South Minneapolis schools, by attracting families who ordinarily would look to suburban or private schools. As Patch reported last year, Brandt's argument is buttressed by trends in home values. District officials said last year that they blamed the housing market, which made it difficult for Minneapolis families to follow the traditional path of moving out to the suburbs one their children reached school age. The new families have helped stabilize district finances, as state education dollars largely follow the numbers of children a school enrolls.

Whatever the cause, it's clear that Southwest Minneapolis families are returning to the district in droves. Do you think Brandt is right? Why did you pick your child's school, no matter if it's private, public, or suburban?

PSam November 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I share in the criticism (found in comments to the article) of the way Brandt framed his article as somehow supporting the notion that families are enrolling white children in MPS schools because "white kids" in Minneapolis score higher than "white kids" in non-Minneapolis schools. Read with even cursory care, there was no support whatsoever cited in the article - other than Brandt's own speculation - that the difference between white kids test scores inside and outside Minneapolis has anything to do with increased white enrollment. The substance of the article, the accompanying charts, etc. - none of it documented any link between increased white enrollment and the white test score differential between Mpls and non-Minneapolis schools. Brandt's race-based test framing now has this website subtitling this article with "New report says white students' test scores drawing white families back to Minneapolis schools." Actually, and importantly, there is not any such "new report." There is only Brandt's speculation about a link, speculation amplified by the Strib's own misleading headline and subheader touting the same undocumented, reporter-speculated causal connection. The race-based testing lede for the article was irresponsible in what was supposed to be a fact-based piece, not a forum for Brandt's speculative opinion tossed out in the article about enrollment gains being explained by parents of white students researching interdistrict white test score comparisons.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »