Page Amendment

The Education Achievement Gap: Minnesota’s Embarrassment — MPRNEWS, Oct 11 2004

Report Ranks Minnesota Among Worst Achievement Gap States — MPRNEWS, Oct 14, 2019

There is a 15 YEAR GAP between the two headlines above. Both are articles about Minnesota’s notorious, shameful distinction of having one of the worst achievement gaps in the country. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis calls Minnesota’s education achievement gap a STATEWIDE CRISIS.

We have had enough!!

Our Children MN is a passionate and diverse grassroots campaign to bring quality education to all our children through the Page Amendment, which will amend the Minnesota constitution to give every child the right to a high-quality education. We believe this will serve as a much-needed catalyst to improve education in our state.

Many in Minnesota receive a great education, but for far too long, our leaders have turned a blind eye to the persistent achievement gap that plagues our great state. In fact, Minnesota has the undesirable distinction of having some of the largest achievement disparities in the country when it comes to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The problem exists across the state and it is not limited to the Twin Cities.

It’s stunning to think the state of Minnesota, a former pioneer and leader for public education throughout the United States, has cratered to unimaginable depths despite continued increases in public education funding. It’s an unfortunate reality across all of Minnesota that we must confront, and that’s exactly what Our Children is here to do.

A recent report from the Federal Reserve Report called the Minnesota education disparity a crisis.

Despite continued increases in public education funding, Minnesota has one of the largest achievement gaps in the country

  • Minnesota spends more than $13 billion a year on public schools with 95% coming from local and state taxpayers;
  • Despite these increases in public education funding, Minnesota still has some of the largest achievement disparities in the country when it comes to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

The achievement gap is a problem across Minnesota due to race, ethnicity and socioeconomic disparities

  • In 2019 in Minnesota white students met proficiency standards for reading and math about double of that for Black, Hispanic, and students who qualified for free or reduced price lunch.
  • On average, Minnesota does relatively well in preparing students for college and career but there are large disparities in outcomes across racial and ethnic groups;
  • The achievement gap is not only racial; low-income white students significantly trail higher-income white students across the state. Schools with a higher proportion of low-income students have lower test scores across both charter and district public schools;
  • Students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch have similar gaps to those by race in graduation rates and math and reading scores;
  • Many urban school districts in southern Minnesota have a majority of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch;
  • Rural school districts in northern Minnesota have some of the highest proportions of free or reduced price lunch-eligible students.

Explaining the Page Amendment:

 

The Page Amendment, would amend the Minnesota constitution to give every child the right to a high-quality education. We believe this will serve as a much-needed catalyst to improve education in our state.

The current system comes from constitutional language developed in 1857 that was designed to implement “adequate” education standards.

The Page Amendment would guarantee a civil right for all children to receive a “quality” education instead of “adequate” to fully prepare them for college, career, and societal responsibilities as measured against uniform achievement standards set forth by the state.

The Page Amendment will act as a catalyst for the legislature to fulfill their obligation and create meaningful reforms for a 21st Century public education system.