Minnesota Schools Still Separate, Still Unequal

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Since that ruling, school segregation has been considered inherently unequal and unlawful. Yet now Minnesota, as well as many other states, is reaching levels of segregation in schools that some say reflects the pre - Brown v. Board era, and research suggests that our current education and housing policies aren’t doing anything to help.

Minnesota was the first state in the nation to allow charter schools in 1991. While still technically public schools, charter schools are only subject to a selection of the rules and regulations that apply to most public schools.

The academic success of charter schools is debatable at best. A study at the University of Minnesota found that Twin Cities charter schools scored on average 7.5 percent lower on math and 4.5 percent lower on reading. This study reflects the findings of many other national studies. This is not to say that all charter schools are bad. In fact, many significantly exceed public school performance, and the Minnesota waiver for No Child Left Behind allows the state Department of Education to intervene more successfully when they underperform. Overall though, charter schools are not showing favorable results.

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