Which Students do Experienced Teachers Choose to Teach in Minneapolis Public Schools?

Please don’t read this if teaching CRT has been banned in your jurisdiction.

One of my hobbies is reporting racist trolls that harass Rep. Ilhan Omar and other female politicians of color. Through this, I’ve read more replies to Rep Omar’s tweets than most people and have picked up a few themes.

One of those themes is that Rep Omar is, somehow, unAmerican if she criticizes anything about America. However, a more mature view would be to understand that people can criticize something out of love. They can love it not just for what it is but for what it can be.

In that spirit, let’s talk about the Minneapolis Public Schools.

As I understand teacher compensation, teachers are paid based on a combination of educational attainment and years of experience. Here’s the salary chart from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers’ website.

In a nutshell, teachers with more experience and/or more advanced degrees (and/or credits) earn more.

Racial Disparities

Minneapolis and Minnesota public schools are known for two things: great schools (for white kids) and large racial disparities. To create great schools for ALL kids we need to close the gap.

Granted, the educational challenges faced by public schools go far beyond what schools should be asked to address. There are major disparities in income, housing stability, mental health issues, lead poisoning, air & noise pollution, etc. that all contribute to disparities.

But, what can we control? Whether we’re ethically deploying our resources.

That brings me to this:

That is a chart comparing how much the average teacher in each elementary school in Minneapolis makes plotted against how many white kids attend each school. Here’s that data by quartile.

We’re paying teachers more (due to their experience and education) to teach our school district’s white students.

My kids attend a school with the 5th highest teacher salaries in the district. The teachers are awesome. They are paid, on average, $18,670 more per teacher per year at the 5th lowest paid school in the district.

We hear that it’s unfair that schools in SW Minneapolis have so many additional resources due to the wealth in that part of town allowing for large PTO budgets. But, it’s not the PTO that’s paying the highest-paid teachers in the city to teach in that quadrant.

This is our system working as designed.

How does that compare to schools that have few of the resources outside the classroom that are found in SW Minneapolis?

This is our system working as designed.

Yes, the district needs more money. Unfunded or underfunded mandates are wreaking havoc on public school budgets across the state. But, we also need to take a serious look at how and where we’re deploying our most highly educated, experienced, and paid teachers.

The system is working as designed when highly paid teachers gravitate towards schools with more resources from outside their classrooms.

Here’s the full list to (hopefully) fuel your outrage:

One thought on “Which Students do Experienced Teachers Choose to Teach in Minneapolis Public Schools?”

  1. Ilhan Omar is an American who should have First Amendment rights like everyone else. She does her job well, to represent us while telling the truth. I agree that the system is working as designed. Schools are funded by area referendums and the wealthier areas are will have better funded schools. But why is it designed this way? It seems to be a sneaky way of segregating services. Thanks for your post.

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