Monday, October 18, 2010

Congressman Keith Ellison on North High School

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, image from the Keith Ellison Wikipedia page.

Over 250 people gathered at the North High School auditorium tonight to voice their support for keeping the high school open.  Minneapolis superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and six school board members were on hand to (hopefully) listen.  More posts are sure to follow, but here are Congressman Ellison's words regarding North High:

October 18, 2010

Dear Students, Community Members and Supporters of North High School,

As a long time resident of North Minneapolis, and someone deply concerned about the viability and growth of this neighborhood and all neighborhoods that make up North Minneapolis, my position is that North High School should remain open until we have had a true community wide dialogue regarding education, housing and public investment with a clear commitment to the near north section of Minneapolis.

When I reflect over the last half decade, I do not recall forthright conversations about the future of North High School.  What has taken place though is...
...a slow grind out of existence for North High.

There are over 260 students currently enrolled and attending North High School.  These children and their families are the most directly affected by the proposed high school closure.  Several questions and concerns come to mind regarding the proposed closure:

What is Minneapolis Public School's (MPS) overall plan to provide a quality high school education for children in near north Minneapolis?  Closing a high school is not a plan, but one strategy to accomplish the goals of a plan.

What course of action has taken place to include these families of the currently enrolled and attending students in the decision making process to close their school?

Is MPS planning to introduce a high quality, safe and convenient educational alternative to the remaining high school aged students in Near North Minneapolis?

Finally, North High School, similar to other high schools in Minneapolis, is a central component of a viable neighborhood.  High schools provide a sense of belonging, cohesion, and pride.  Removing the neighborhood high school will produce an anemic commercial climate, raise doubts about public safety, and the effet is the mixing together of ingredients to create a slum.  May there never be such a place in Minnesota.

Let us recognize the threat in front of us for what it is.  The loss of North High School cannot be another step in a downward spiral towards making an isolated, neglected, impoverished section of town.  Rather, let this be a moment where we reach out and reverse the trend.  Let us use the North High crisis to make a commitment to our wonderful neighborhood.  Let us keep North High open while we have a community discussion about our future, together.  Let us not talk about divesting in North High School, but turn the discussion to one of how we can re-invest in the entire North side of which North High School is an important part.

Sincerely,
Keith Ellison
Member of Congress

5 comments:

  1. I don't mean to minimize many of the thoughtful points in Mr. Ellisons release but some of the comments are a bit puzzling.

    "Finally, North High School, similar to other high schools in Minneapolis, is a central component of a viable neighborhood. High schools provide a sense of belonging, cohesion, and pride. Removing the neighborhood high school will produce an anemic commercial climate, raise doubts about public safety, and the effect is the mixing together of ingredients to create a slum. May there never be such a place in Minnesota."

    Keith are we living in the same town?

    Definition of SLUM from the Meriam Webster Dictionary : a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization.

    Please explain how the location of a high school has any impact on the areas commercial climate? (Other than kids buying snacks and lunches off campus) What commercial assets do we have to loose?

    I would imagine that doubts about public safety are already a huge factor that have lead 1000's of students to vote with their feet and seek out a different educational environments.

    I am not sure that the location of a high school could be seen as a root cause for development of a slum, but the lack of oversight in housing and the skewed proportion of rental properties certainly is. Maybe North High is unstable because there are so many transient tenants coming in and out of the system that it is hard to maintain cohesion.

    If Mr. Ellison were willing to use his political clout to initiate "a true community wide dialogue regarding education, housing and public investment with a clear commitment to the near north section of Minneapolis." that included such things as a moratorium on additional rental properties, annual inspections of current subsidized rentals, and more public commitment towards enforcing social welfare issues then a local High School might be viable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "What commercial assets do we have to loose?

    LOOSE?? LOOSE????

    Oh no!!! Not the loosers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It surprises me that the community supports spending $4,000 per student at North compared to $1,500 per student at other schools, like Patrick Henry.

    And how about the millions to build a new admin center, too, while cuts are being made in all areas of education for our young people. Where are our priorities?!? Why aren't more people outraged about that?!?

    What did the school board expect would happen at North when they closed all the nearby "feeder" schools in the past several years?

    I heard a story tonight at another community gathering that a retired North High teacher was called to work at Hopkins high school with all the former North High students. How did all these inner-city kids end up in a suburban school anyway? How much does that transportation cost?

    Wasn't it just a few years ago that North was known for their outstanding programming? What the hell happened up there?!?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will tell you what happened there and i will tell you what is going on in my own words.You are building a brand fucking new facility for fucking show.All of you assholes,including Miss Johnson, don't give a Goddamn about North Minneapolis but put up the front that you do care.FUCK YOU.Fuck all of you two bit whores who have ignored our children and sent them where it was politically expedient for your own selfish asses.They methodically closed school after school while knowing in the front of their puke infested fucking brains that the ultimate plan was to shut down North High at any expense.They did this while smiling in our faces....the O'Jays penned a song called Backstabbers that was playing in the backround while thy plotted how to fuckover North Minneapolis without kissing us first.Lou Christie has a song called"Two Faces Have I" that is their secret theme when it comes to dealing with North Minneapolis.They are building a brand new palace for themselves and are saying the children can go to hell...cut and dry no matter what their reasoning is.SHOUT THE FUCK OUT TO THE "POWERS THAT BE" DO NOT BUILD YOUR PALACE WHEN YOU HAVE ADEQUATE FACILITIES IN ALL THE KNOWN PLACES. I dare you to do what is right for the children and PUT THE MONEY TO USE HELPING THEM NOT YOUR FUCKING SELVES!I believe,wholeheartedly that if the money does not go to the children there should be a CLASS ACTION lawsuit to make these shitheads fess up and admit their conspiritorial actions have systematically brought about the demise of a neighborhood and has destroyed the fabric of which i cannot begin to orate long enough on. Do what is right or admit that the children don"t matter, but you assholes cannot have it both ways...... and go to hell anyhow for lying to us and treating us like we don"t matter.Good day to all except the liars.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well boathead....I wouldn't put it that way, but your thoughts are pretty spot on.

    ReplyDelete