Testing shows achievement gaps in Minneapolis Public Schools

The Racial Justice Network hosted a virtual forum Monday to address achievement gaps in Minneapolis Public Schools.

Moderated by local racial justice advocate Nekima Levy-Armstrong, Black school board members were invited to discuss recent state testing results that showed gaps in educational outcomes.

The test results released in October reported 74 percent of white students reading at grade level or above, compared to only 19 percent of Black students. Math and science had similar gaps, with 62 percent of white students proficient in math, compared to nine percent of Black students.

"If we are going to continue doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll get the same results," said the newest board member Sharon El-Amin.

El-Amin was critical of the board’s response to the achievement gap so far. This is her first year on the school board.

"Our families and our children are still not benefitting," she said. "We can’t continue saying we don’t want to do the work that needs to be done for them to get the education that they should automatically be receiving."

Black students represent one-third of the Minneapolis public school population. In 2021, every demographic was down in proficiency.