MPS Board of Education 2020 Candidates:
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Committee on Political Education (COPE) sent out questions to all MPS Board of Education candidates to answer around issues in public education. Below are the questions we asked the candidates. We asked candidates to provide a video as a response to the questions. Please take your time to get to know the candidates. These are not screening questions.
#1 Culturally Responsive Curriculum and Culturally Competent Instruction:
MPS has a diverse student population, where over 65% of students are people of color. Parents and educators agree that in order for students to be successful, we must have culturally competent instruction and curricula that reflect the diversity of our city.
What concrete changes will you make to assure every student has a culturally reflective curriculum and culturally competent instruction?
#2 Predictable Staffing and Budgeting:
Every school has unique strengths and areas to improve. The current budgeting process has created a system of schools where some students have access to art, music, language, and media centers while others schools cut those programs to fund other initiatives within the school.
Additionally, some schools have even greater needs for resources and funding to meet the basic needs of students and are forced to make even bigger trade offs between basic needs and programming that makes our schools special.
This has led to vastly different experiences depending on the school you attend, its geography and demographics. How will you work to ensure every school has equal access to programming like art, music, world language, and other offerings and equitable funding to meet the safety and wellness needs of all of our students?
#3 Economic Justice:
MFT believes that one job should be enough for all of our employees. During this extraordinary time we are seeing how our hourly employees are critical to our students’ education, physical and emotional well being. If elected, how will you work to increase the wages of hourly workers to a living wage?
#4 Comprehensive District Design:
Over the past year and a half Minneapolis Public Schools has worked to create a comprehensive plan for the district that involves changing pathways, programming, transportation, placement practices, and more. The intent of this plan is to close academic disparities through school integration, expand access to quality programming options in historically underserved communities, and make operational adjustments to ensure the financial viability of the school district.
There has been widespread criticism about the process in which the district made decisions, specifically that it left out key stakeholders from the decision making process (staff, students and families) as well as concerns about whether it will meet its stated goals.
Whether it passes or not, there will be many more big changes and important decisions to be made about the organization and future of MPS. As a board member how will you ensure that decision making processes like this one are inclusive, impactful and representative of all of our school communities?