Minneapolis Public Schools trolled by billboard right outside its headquarters [PHOTO]

Categories: Education
MPSbillboard.jpg
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The above billboard towers above the Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters at 1250 West Broadway Avenue.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A FEW MONTHS MAKE: MPS takes a couple heat days: Top 10 tweets

Indeed, in 2012, 50.1 percent of MPS students graduated from high school in four years, compared to 77.6 percent statewide. That number, however, is up from recent years -- for instance, in 2009, just 42.3 percent of MPS students graduated on time.

The nonprofit organization paying for the billboard, Better Ed, describes its mission as "to engage the public by challenging assumptions and opening minds to fresh ideas for transforming education in Minnesota."

"For decades, many have assumed that Minnesota has a strong education system and that any problems that may exist can be fixed with more spending, a position that continues to be relentlessly advanced by some of the state's most powerful interest groups," the group writes on its website. "However, there is an urgent need to alert Minnesotans to the truth of the high costs and poor outcomes of education in various parts of the state, particularly Minneapolis."

Minneapolis's four-year graduation rate is roughly comparable to other large American cities. One study, using information pertaining to the class of 2005, found that the graduation rate in the country's 50 largest cities was 53 percent, according to a Washington Post report from last year.

Reached for comment yesterday, an MPS media contact declined to comment on the billboard. As this is written, Better Ed hasn't responded to our attempts to contact organization officials.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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41 comments
kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Democrats and their Union members need a permanent uneducated underclass to keep getting elected.   They will not do anything about it.   They own it.   Why do you think they hate home schooling and vouchers so much?    

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

You can't really blame the school system when the kids don't care to learn anything. It's cooler to aspire to be a reality TV star, a musician, a pro athlete, or a dope slanger. This is America where we can grow up to be anything we want right? Nobody wants to grow up to be a boring office worker or somebody that builds things.

garthsommer
garthsommer

Blame the culture of baby mama. Do not support more liberal idiotic solutions. 

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

Lazy parents who blame the system get NO sympathy from me.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

Stefanie Megan Brown Lazy? So it's okay for the parents to be lazy and blame the system instead?? How moronic and lazy is that attitude!

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

Jesse Jamison How clueless are you? How you turn out as an individual has EVERYTHING to do with your parents..Morals, right versus wrong, manners, etc...all of it is influenced by your parents.

Scott Borhauer
Scott Borhauer

The internet has served as the global highway of information transfer and has been the most effective way of airing out your views to the world (even this billboard reached me via social media). But there are times when the modern way evolves so fast and spreads like wildfire that when one person chooses to do the opposite and take it in a traditional way (like this all-out billboard), then you can achieve something profoundly engaging. Of course it can't work all the time – this one, however, did.

Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

Bottom line is, statistically speaking Minneapolis schools leave a lot to be desired. We can shift blame to the parents of COURSE but ain't that just a million times easier than improving a system? How lazy.

Jesse Jamison
Jesse Jamison

Bullshit. Success or failure depends on the individual, not their parents.

Susan Montgomery
Susan Montgomery

Well in Minneapolis case it is. The bad teachers and bad parents over power the few good teachers spread thin and the struggling parents trying to provide the students of a decent education.

Charlie Seto
Charlie Seto

And of the people who graduate, their outcomes are also...problematic, at best.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

This "Better Ed" group is an offshoot of "Intellectual Takeout," and part of a whole cluster (yes, I do mean "cluster") of tax-exempt groups formed by Republican-connected right-wing ideologues.  The CEO of "Intellectual Takeout" is the former treasurer of the MnGOP.  The groups' websites push radical corporatization of schools and transfer of public education money into corporate coffers.  They oppose the Clean Air Act (?!), the bulk of modern climate science, and the gutting of teacher training standards, more standardized test (which are hugely profitable to corporate interests; ask Neil Bush), and all the usual Michelle Rhee crapola. 

My 5 minutes of internet research didn't reveal the link to Rhee, but you know what they say about birds of a feather.  And let us not forget that everywhere Michelle Rhee has been, she pulled up stakes and blew out of town quick, and then later it turned out all the improvements in test scores she touted so highly were due to cheating if not openly directed by her and her cohorts, then certainly they were willing to bask in the glory of the fraudulent "success."  And after the Rhee circus leaves towns, school district budgets are in shambles, the teaching corps is in utter chaos and bad morale, facilities are crumbling, and the kids everybody loves to yammer on about are a couple years older and none the better educated for the rote-learning of how to take a corporate-designed achievement test.


I have 2 kids in the Minneapolis Public schools.  The older one is a sophomore, so we're 12 years into the schools, starting with High-5.  He's had almost unanimously great teachers, and a curriculum very similar to what I had at a high school out East comparable to Blake.  Sure, if you have to take every kid who comes through the door a lot of them will fail.  Same would be true if Blake, or name your parochial school, couldn't turn any kid away.


These groups are great at snot-nosed sniping, but they don't offer anything everyone doesn't already try to do, and most of their Amazing Wonder Tricks for education are nothing but the usual class-war corporate bullshit, stuffing their pockets with what's left of public investment in our country.

Sharon L Keefe Borseth
Sharon L Keefe Borseth

The Army should run the school system. Then see what the percentage of graduating is.

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

And it's spelled correctly, too. Thank a teacher.

marevitals
marevitals

With "higher standards" being implemented, naturally the # will not increase for some time, until curriculum and program effectiveness are measured. 

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Idiocracy isn’t a movie, it is a documentary on what is happening now, has been happening for decades.

Strange how back before public education was mandated, our population was more literate, more knowledgeable and more fiercely protective of our constitutional rights.

This isn’t an accident, it was a plan. Look around, it was a plan that has succeeded beyond their wildest, evil, imaginations.

The system is set up to reward the connected, marginalize the other-skilled, and create dutiful, quiet, citizens for the rest.

We take brilliant children and turn them into adults that walk around thinking themselves failures because they could not “get with the program.”

This country places no values on skills – like the natural ability to fix things – and we over value the bullshit that means nothing, earns nothing and has ZERO return on investment.

Unless we really think that learning the state’s capitals is important to the future success of America.

Matthew J. Kaeder
Matthew J. Kaeder

Will not be happy until the bar is high and the minimum is 90%. To be the best you must have the best. Everything.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

If you aren't going to put the effort into raising your kids right, don't blame the system for turning it's back on you.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

Jesse Jamison True, but your chances of success increase greatly if your raised right versus if your not. That's a fact that stats and individual stories prove time and time again.

Jesse Jamison
Jesse Jamison

I disagree. Many wildly successful people grew up with horrible parents.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Government schools are a joke.   Nothing more than PC crap, brain washing, authoritarian gulag, where children are segregated by age, with assembly line teaching.

They have been using the same methods for over 100 years - with an ever increasing lack of effectiveness.   Their plea is:  If we do better, we need more money.   If we do poorer, we need more money.   They will never have enough money.

Government schools mainly exist for teacher unions, school boards.

Minneapolis spends over $23,000 per pupil - and half don't graduate, and how many that do need remedial reading and/or math.

These kids that drop out are smarter than you think:  They see the bullshit for what it is, and the alleged education they are receiving is not relevant to their lives.

Google John Holt & John Taylor Gatto.

“We destroy the love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards, gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A's on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean's lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys, in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.”
John Holt

“Why do people take or keep their children out of school? Mostly for three reasons: they think that raising their children is their business not the government’s; they enjoy being with their children and watching and helping them learn, and don’t want to give that up to others; they want to keep them from being hurt, mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
John Holt

urbanite
urbanite

If it's the schools' fault then how did I graduate? oh yeah, because I actually cared about school at least a little bit. Most of the kids I saw in high school didn't. they came to school less than 50% of the time and even then they might not go to class.

John Manitou
John Manitou

Instead of 'parenting failure', let's call it public understanding failure -- unless someone here can prove they actually care about kids that are not their own as much as teachers do.

Woody McBride
Woody McBride

same people that want to cut funds for education and parent support programs. same people that drag down the world view into the dumpster.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

With the right parents, anyone can succeed. This has been proven over and over again.

Danielle Copeland Bethke
Danielle Copeland Bethke

It's a parenting failure combined with a system/administrative failure. It's become big business. The teachers can't do their jobs effectively because of it, and who suffers? The kids.

Michael J. Kraemer
Michael J. Kraemer

The Minneapolis Public School system is horrible. They never hold kids back when they are behind so they only get further behind in the next grade.

Tim Bullock
Tim Bullock

Not system failure....more like parenting failure

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 Yeah if only people would listen to stupid lunatics like you.  You posted twice and typed out a lot of insults.   Know what you didn't type out?   Solutions to the actual problem.   I guess you suggested children shouldn't be taught geography but other than that it was just lots of insulting nonsense.  

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

So, home schooling is your answer to parents not being involved enough? Is that like just be rich as a solution to poverty? Are you advocating for more localized control of education? Do you believe that will increase learning? Do you understand that the department of education was created to ensure that hillbillies weren't teaching kids whatever made up shit they wanted. Do you understand that those that advocate the most for these localized education requirements are the ones that have the thinnest grasp on facts out there?

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@WhiteMatt What the F*ck are you talking about?  I have kids in the schools.  I volunteer in the schools.  I actually know what is going on inside Minneapolis Schools.  And like most things in this world, what is really going on has absolutely nothing to do with partisan electoral sound bites, and a lot to do with people working hard every day in less-than ideal circumstances.


The Michelle Rhee bullshit is fraud.  Fake.  Cheating on tests.  Is that what you want to defend?  Republicans who want to roll up their sleeves and do some work are very welcome in the Minneapolis Public Schools.  News Flash--they're there every day, sending their kids, working hard along with all the rest of us.


You seem to have swallowed a lot of the Right-Wing class war crap.  It's not the way they say it is.  Believe it or not, not all Republicans are wealthy enough to send their kids to Blake.   In fact, a number of the Republicans I know who send their kids to Minneapolis Public Schools do so because their kids are disabled and the private schools won't take them.  Ain't that a kick in the balls?  Won't take their kids.  But MPS will.  And it can cost well over $30,000 a year per Special Ed kid, easy.  A kid with behaviors severe enough has to have a trained, experience one-on-one Special Education Assistant at all times so the kid doesn't run out into the street and get crushed, or run into the janitor's closet and drink bleach.  That S.E.A. doesn't get paid shit; maybe $20,000 a year tops, but that's money out of a budget, and that's by far not the only cost for that one, single, solitary kid who's parents are Republicans but can't afford to pay elite college tuition prices for a kindergartener


I'm talking about 3 specific kids I personally know, not spouting bullshit talking points like some people on this thread.

This "Better Ed" group is part of an umbrella of shady "non-profit" organizations set up to "astroturf" the public perception of the issue.  They are not grassroots organizations.  They are shell companies controlled by a very small group of people closely connected to a political party and a corporate agenda.  That's not "brainwashing," or "liberal," or "Progressive."  That's just plain true.  Go to their website.  Look up their leadership.  They aren't trying very hard to hide their agenda.


Go back to FreeRepublic or the PiPress website with your uninformed snotty nonsense.


Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

The solutions are obvious: 

Get rid of the failing, 150 year old, Government school system. 

Allow vouchers.   Allow more people to teach - not just people who have worthless teaching degrees.

Give children a real liberal arts education - with real books - not McMillian PC crap turned out for Schools Boards.   

Stop drugging children - over 2,800,000 children are on Ritalin or something similar. 

Make school relevant in higher grades.  More vocational classes. 

That would be a good start!

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Do I understand, do I understand... You must have gone to government school - your reading comprehension not good.

I would say 99% of the people leave thier childrens' education to the schools.  How many of them are involved at all?  How many of them have actually read some of the text books?

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1You are correct.  But democrats and Unions don't like the kind of freedom vouchers allow.  

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 I cant tell if you failed to excel in public school or if you are a product of the type of education you are now advocating,  but you most certainly don't understand.   With your made up numbers and conspiracy theories and absolute certainty that your gibberish is fact, you are definitely one that facts are a constant stuggle for.  So just keep "truth telling" if it calms the voices and the smart people will make sure you're taken care of.

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