In the first mayoral debate focused on schools in modern Minneapolis mayoral politicking, candidates Cam Winton and Don Samuels hewed closest to the reform agenda advocated by debate organizers.
The debate was all the more remarkable because the mayor has no formal responsibility over Minneapolis Public Schools, but with a Star Tribune poll earlier this month finding that public education tops the list of Minneapolis residents polled, the six participating candidates were quick to fill that void with advocacy. The debate at Mill City Museum was sponsored by 10 groups that style themselves reformers of public schools.
There was general agreement on many issues, such as a preference for testing that assesses what students are getting as they’re taught it, which many teachers already do, over high-stakes testing. All questions came from event organizers, without audience participation.