Minneapolis: Black Parents Flee to Charter Schools

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

The Minneapolis public school system is experiencing a massive student exodus and guess where they’re going.

“About 70 percent of the kids leaving the district are headed to charter schools,” Beena Raghavendran and Mary Jo Webster report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Many of these independent public schools have established themselves in north Minneapolis, catering to black parents concerned about academic achievement, discipline and safety in the district schools.”

“Harvest Network has three schools and plans to grow. It aims to educate 3,800 of the kids on the North Side by 2025. That would cut MPS’ North Side enrollment by 40 percent.

“In south Minneapolis, Hiawatha Academies, a network of schools that attracts most of the Minneapolis defectors — about 1,200, who are mostly Latino — is planning to break ground on a new high school this fall.

“On average, math scores for black students are 10 percentage points higher in the schools that Minneapolis black students are leaving for, than for black students staying in the district.

“But test scores vary wildly. About a dozen of the 70 charter schools and school districts competing with Minneapolis have math proficiency rates for black students that are well above 50 percent, while about 20 are at or below the Minneapolis proficiency rate of 18 percent.”