Minneapolis is one of America’s prettiest cities in one of its most beautiful states. But it has an ugly secret.
It has a charter sector that has resurrected segregation. Myron Orfield of the University of Minnesota Law School regularly tracks segregation in the Minneapolis-St. Paul schools. He says that seeing the charters–one white, one black–in the same neighborhood, feels like the Jim Crow era in the Deep South. Orfield estimates that three-quarters of the charters are segregated schools. Orfield’s 2012 study found that charter schools in the Twin Cities are more segregated and get worse results than public schools.
As NPR put it, summarizing Orfield’s study, said: “Nearly 20 years after Minnesota passed the nation’s first charter school law, charters in the Twin Cities continue to perform worse, are more segregated than traditional public schools and are forcing those traditional public schools to become more segregated.”
John Hechinger, a crack reporter for Bloomberg News, visited the Twin Cities and came away with the same reaction. He too saw the revival of the era preceding the Supreme Court’s Brown decision against “separate but equal” practices.
Sad that an idea that began with liberal impulses turned into a force for resegregation.