Monday, October 11, 2010

OUTRAGE!! Minneapolis School District letter to North High parents makes the school closure look like a done deal when the school board hasn't even voted on it

This is a SCANDAL! Below is the letter the District Superintendent sent out to parents Friday telling them North High was closing BEFORE the Board of Education has even voted yet! The letter says: "This year's ninth-grade students will be the final class to graduate from North." This shows how much of a sham this process has been. If Board members took the democratic process seriously, they would publicly reprimand Sup. Johnson and send a new letter explaining that the vote hasn't happened, the community hearings have not happened, that parents still have a voice in the process up to then. But in reality its already been decided behind the scenes, at least as far as they are concerned. The vote and public hearing Thursday is just for show. 

Will North be "phased out" or closed down outright?

Another deceptive scandal in the fine-print...

All the official reports say they plan to phase North out over four years, that all existing students will be allowed to graduate, etc. HOWEVER, this appears unlikely to actually happen.  If you read the fine print at the bottom of the info post on the Minneapolis Public Schools website from today, the District leave themselves an escape clause to shut North High down much sooner:

"The plan to phase out North is dependent on enrolling the minimum number of students necessary to sustain an academic program. If the district does not receive sufficient requests for North, the phase out would not be feasible and outright closure would occur."

There are only 43 freshmen in North this year, due to an intentional policy of pushing down enrollment, including: widespread reports of the District officials actively discouraging parents of 8th graders from enrolling their kids in North; because they took away North's "home-zone"; and because the widespread rumors that the school would be closed down have not been met with any re-assurances by the District for years now. 
Does the District seriously believe these 43 9th graders, or the 10th and 11th graders for that matter, will stick around to spend their final years of high school wondering empty halls, without enough students to fill up the sports programs, with their best teachers jumping ship, etc? 

Of course the District doesn't actually believe this - they are just throwing out deceptive spin to make their poison pill taste a little better, to insert confusion and blunt the protests until the decision is made. We need to call them out and expose the lies and manipulations that underlie this entire decision, their entire policy, which is a pro-privatization agenda.

The fact that they are being so clumsy, so hasty, means they are not as confident as they want to front. They are likely scared of the hell they are stirring up in the community which is why they are trying to rush this process along, make it look like a done deal, etc. That should encourage not discourage us and make us recognize we do have power to challenge this.
See post below this one for details on 4:30pm rally to save North High as well as next meeting of the Save North High committee. 
Come to the rally! Let em know we're not a bunch of cockroaches to be stepped on!

Letter to Parents on North Closing

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