The Democratic strongholds of St. Paul and Minneapolis are home to half of the state’s lowest performing schools, according to the Minnesota Report Card.
The Pioneer Press recently reported that the Twin Cities contain 24 of the 47 lowest-performing schools in the state, which are set to receive support from the Department of Education. Even worse, 29 of the 47 schools had already been identified in 2015 as needing state and federal support.
Minnesota’s report card reveals that only 31 percent of students in the St. Paul Public School District are performing at grade level in mathematics, 25 percentage points below the state average. In reading, just 37 percent of students are on track compared to the 59 percent of students who are performing at grade level statewide.
The Minneapolis Public School District is performing at similarly low levels. In math, just 38 percent of students are testing at grade level, with 42 percent on track in reading. Both districts have been “prioritized for support,” according to the Minnesota Report Card.
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius pointed out that many of the lowest-performing schools are also recording dismal attendance rates, saying “you can’t learn if you’re not in school.” Cassellius also said that the state plans to include school behavior and suspension rates in its report card in the future, the Pioneer Press reports.
In an effort to bring stable housing to low-performing students, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced in May that he would be launching a partnership between the city government, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. His hope is that the alliance will bring housing to as many as 320 families and 648 students.
Others have proposed different solutions, such as the Center of the American Experiment, which looked at the success of New Orleans’ “all-charter school system” in its summer issue of Thinking Minnesota.
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