Community News & Voices

Do they want us to Win?

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The Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education is a body of people that includes many affluent Minneapolis citizens. They are well educated, knowledgeable on the issues, etc. And yet, the education some children receive from Minneapolis public schools doesn’t reflect its true capabilities. If—and it’s a big if—the school board, new Superintendent Ed Graff, and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (the local teachers union) worked together to be innovative in reconfiguring the problems that currently exist, Minneapolis could be the blueprint the rest of the country, especially with producing high achieving Male students of color.

I have more research to do on my own, but so far this experience has been about getting to learn how the game of education is really played.

Some of the policies we are using today within the Minneapolis educational system come from a handbook that was drafted in 1967, according to current board member Josh Reimnitz, who is hoping to be re-elected to the district 4 seat. At our second Animate the Race forum, Josh was the only one candidate to show up, which makes Josh the most consistent candidate far as attendance is concerned. [Editor’s note: All eight candidates for the MPS school board were invited via email and phone to all of the Animate the Race forums].

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But that only gets you so many points. More importantly, Josh remembered my name from the first forum. In small talk, Josh even brought up the parody rap songs he and his homies used to make while in college. All in all, he voted in favor of having School Resource Officers (SROs) in schools, which he later admitted may have been a mistake after speaking with students. He shared that he may have overlooked the student perspective. Overall Josh is a politician. I need to learn more to know for sure if Josh’s dedication to policy making is what’s in the best interest of our kid’s future.

Second on the attendance list would be Tracine Asberry, who is looking to continue serving as the district 6 representative on the school board. She notified parties ahead of time about a prior engagement, meaning she would be late to our event Swedish Institute—which played host for the second Animate the Race public forum.

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Tracine has come across as extremely confident in her abilities, adding value to the Board of Education. Tracine is engrained in the community that she passionately represents. I believe Miles, the five year old with her at the Swedish Institute, was her son. Having kids and being a parent may be be an undervalued skill or requisite to have as a school board member. It gives you multiple perspectives to call on, which I’m sure comes in handy when making decisions from a board seat.

I’m not sure, but I almost think Tracine’s skill set would be best served in district 2 (North Minneapolis). The district which, in my opinion, has the most immediate needs and concerns. It almost seems as if the board operates where each district is only concerned about their problems, and not the most concerning problems or issues across the entire city.

I have more research to do on my own, but so far this experience has been about getting to learn how the game of education is really played. It has shed light on where I need to focus my immediate attention, skills, ideas, and resources. My focus is to help as many young black scholars become successful in life–especially black Males.

I have a recipe to save lives, but the way the system is set up currently, Men like this aren’t allowed in the classroom: http://www.insightnews.com/2016/10/07/profiles-in-excellence-north-minneapolis-big-brother-jamil-jackson/   Help me understand why?

I hope you’ll watch this video, and leave a comment on the post!: https://vimeo.com/90072324

-George.

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