Discussions open for Minneapolis Public Schools comprehensive design plans

By Our Turn

How Minneapolis educates its students is at the forefront of some very big potential changes. It's called the comprehensive district design. "It’s important to remember the comprehensive district design is about more than just a model, it’s about academics, equity and sustainability," said Dirk Tedmon with Minneapolis Public Schools.

The district states the design will be focused on a well-rounded education regardless of ZIP code or race. It added that the current structure deprives a significant number of students, especially students of color and low-income students.

"Reducing transportation complexities, stabilizing enrollment, increasing sustainability and more are all part of this design," Tedmon said. "It wouldn’t be a comprehensive district design if it only looked at one part of the system or it looked at a single change."

Kenneth Eban is with Students for Education Reform. 

"We do need to see something bold, and that is going to require disruption," he said. "This is going to require sacrifice from people."

Boundaries could be affected, and large numbers of students may be moved around. 

How that plays out is still unknown.

"The challenge is, we don't know what we are getting for that disruption," said Eban.

That's because no plans or models have come out. That should happen later this month.

Eban hopes for three things:

"To make sure there's an investment in North Minneapolis and Northeast Minneapolis, alongside students of color across the district; to make sure there is an equitable distribution of quality instruction and quality teachers in our district; and to make sure all these plans are fiscally sustainable," Eban said. 

Community discussions about the proposed changes start this month.

Details of the design will be presented in two weeks, and the board will vote on any potential changes in April. Any approved changes would go into effect in the 2021-22 school year.

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