How Can Minneapolis Public Schools Help the Worst Teachers in the Poorest Schools?

In a recent article, Minneapolis Public Schools data shows that the worst teachers are in the poorest schools, indicates that students who attend the most affluent neighborhoods are more likely to have the most experienced teachers. This new data has surfaced in the mist of a federal investigation regarding the achievement gap between White and minority students.

The Minneapolis Public Schools is one of the first districts in the state to evaluate teacher performance based on classroom observation, a student survey, and student achievement data. District and union officials believe that the evaluation system in need of improvement.

For example, the believe that Burroughs Elementary Minneapolis Public School has not benefited from the evaluation because they ranked above average in the teacher observation category, but scored below average on the student survey.

The demographics for the Burroughs Elementary Minneapolis Public School is 81% White, 9% Hispanic, 6% Black, 4% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1% American Indian/Alaska Native. The Minneapolis Public Schools administrators and union officials are implying that the evaluation instrument is flawed because it does not reflect the assumed alignment of relationships between White teachers and White students. However, it indicates a bigger problem in the school district that exist between teachers and students that the Minneapolis School Districts seems unwilling to provide an effective response.

In order to respond to this challenge, the Minneapolis Public School District has responded by firing numerous teachers last year. They have created programs to encourage effective teachers to teach at the poorest schools as well as mentoring for the newly hired teachers. If a teacher is deemed as deficient, they are provided with immediate training.

An affective response would include looking at the teacher assessment from a complete perspective. One-third of the assessment involves an administrator response to the teacher interaction with the students – classroom observation. One third of the response involves student responses to the teachers instruction – state assessment. The final response involves the students response to the teacher – student survey. The student is involved in each section of the evaluation. It imperative that the Minneapolis Public School District implement an initiative that involves improving teacher students classroom relationships instead of looking at their challenge from an economical perspective.

Classroom observations continue to contribute to already dysfunctional schools. Since a better part of the classroom observation is centered on duties other than the direct instruction between teachers and students it minimizes teacher classroom effectiveness. For a tenured teacher, there is an opportunity to rebuke any observation rating that is less than satisfactory which can include representation with a union representative. It is much different for a non-tenured teacher. A non-tenured has an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments until they become tenured.

The second part of the Minneapolis Public School teacher evaluation system includes students achievement. The district has assumed that there is link between student achievement and poverty. For decades educational reform efforts designed to increase minority student achievement have focused on economical differences instead of racial differences. Some educators believe stereo-type threat causes academic performance challenges among poor minority students. Stereotype threat results in inadequate academic performance among students who know about the historical performance of their group.

Past experiments indicate that when Black and White students were told that they were being tested on their academic abilities, White students outperformed Black students. However, when the control group was told that the tests were irrelevant the results indicated that the difference in achievement was nonexistent. While stereo-type threat has provided education with insightful information, the performance differences among minority and White students results from the racial differences that educators and minority students bring to the classroom.

The final part of the Minneapolis Public School evaluation system includes student feedback. As previously indicated, it is troubling for a school district where White students believe that White teachers underperform. If the White students believe that White teachers underperform, then that belief will be elevated by Black students due to the racial differences between White teachers and Black students.

Instead of continuing to fire teachers, which can become costly for the Minneapolis Public Schools, develop a process that bridges the racial gap between teachers and students. Since students are involved in teacher observations, it will greatly enhance the evaluator perception of the teacher. Since students are involved in students achievement, bridging the racial gap can only enhance instruction in the classroom which will ultimately impact student achievement. Finally, since students are involved in the survey process of teacher it will only enhance the overall student perception of teacher.

This type of process will ultimately save the Minneapolis Public School District millions of dollars because it will reduce teacher turnover. For each teacher that is fired from the school district it cost one and one half times the cost of that teachers salary. In the previous year the Minneapolis School District fired 200 teachers. According to NEA, the average starting salary for a teacher in Minnesota was $34,025. To rehire 200 additional teachers it cost the Minneapolis Public School District $10,207,500. Ten million dollars that could be better spent for instructional supplies for teachers and students.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
www.positiveracialrelationships.com
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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One Response to How Can Minneapolis Public Schools Help the Worst Teachers in the Poorest Schools?

  1. Pingback: Will Pittsburgh Pubic School math teachers continue perpetual tradition of classroom racism (Pertcrism)? | Classroom Racism Exterminator

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