It is an open secret in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities that black and brown children are being left behind within the public school system. The dominant narrative places the blame on poor children of color and their parents, as well as their communities. When racial stereotypes are used as the default to explain away systemic failures, everyone loses; but especially children of color who lag behind their white peers in reading, math and high school graduation rates. They are relegated to the margins of society and the criminal justice system.
We recently celebrated the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his work toward a more equitable society. But it seems as if, in the area of education, our city and other cities across the country have gone backward.
Thankfully, some cities are doing a significantly better job than others at closing the opportunity gaps in education — as is made clear in a newly published report by brightbeam, a nonprofit education advocacy organization.
One might expect that politically progressive cities would be leading the way in closing the opportunity gap in education, given the history of racial segregation and oppression in this country, and the rhetoric of progressives about overcoming that history and creating a more just and inclusive society.