That if you moved out there, you wouldn’t have to be bothered by brown people. What is this world coming to? I mean, if you’re willing to drive an hour each way to and from work in downtown Minneapolis, live in a place whose town square is a shopping mall, and there are more square feet of concrete dedicated to helping people get out of town than anywhere else in Minnesota I know, shouldn’t there be some compensation? (just gentle teasing, my Eden Prairie friends, just teasing)
Well, maybe not. You see, the Eden Prairie school board is considering a plan to redraw school boundaries to reduce the growing school segregation in the district. Here’s the lede from the linked Strib article in the paper this morning:
When Eden Prairie's seven school board members convene Tuesday night, the controversial decision they are set to make about redrawing school boundary lines will be of keen interest throughout the metro area.
Will they back a plan that will move 1,100 elementary students next fall to new schools, largely to reduce segregation in schools? Or will they scale back in response to a huge parental outcry and make fewer changes or nix the plan altogether?
At parent meetings on the plan, Myron Orfield, whom I have cited often for the proposition that the “achievement gap” is mostly about segregation and poverty, spoke in favor of the plan and was greeted with the famous Eden Prairie Raspberry:
Myron Orfield, a University of Minnesota law professor, has advocated for integration efforts at many Twin Cities schools. He has spoken in favor of Eden Prairie's plan and was booed by some parents at meetings.
No, that’s Hopkins; sorry.
Here’s what Orfield says about the plan and how parents respond:
"This is a big decision for the school board and for the region -- whether we're going to have racially integrated school districts," Orfield said. ''The implications [if the proposed plan fails] will be that there are a group of white racist parents who can stop integration in schools."
Many Eden Prairie parents who disagree with the boundary change plan are adamant that their stand isn't about race. They say they don't oppose integration, but they disagree with a plan that moves students away from neighborhood schools.
Of course! It’s never about race.
One thing that needs to be kept in perspective is that we’re talking about moving kids around in Eden Prairie, not busing them to North Oakes, although some parents would probably find that preferable to the present plan.
It is interesting to me that in my own home town, parents from all over town send (and bus) their kids to Normandale French Immersion School, and then to the middle school where the continuation of that program takes place, Valley View Middle School. Other districts do similar things, and I’ll bet you they do it in Eden Prairie, too. All without the hue and cry that has arisen over the current Eden Prairie proposal. It is disingenuous to call what Eden Prairie wants to do “destruction of neighborhood schools.”
At some point, we are going to have to understand as a state that if we are truly serious – as opposed frowning and merely saying “serious” things – about eliminating the racial achievement gap, we’re going to have to address segregation and poverty. That is an inescapable and unalterable truth.
I personally really doubt that we are serious as a state about eliminating that gap, but it is a convenient way for conservatives to beat up on the public teachers’ unions.
Maintaining segregation and beating up the teachers: it’s a two-fer!
Finally, I urge you to watch what happens if the Eden Prairie plan is adopted. There will be parents who will send their kids to white charter schools, even though they have to be bused farther that they would under the Eden Prairie plan.