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Study: NW Metro Schools Are 'Losing White Students' to Nearby Districts

The University of Minnesota Law School study says open enrollment causes more segregation in Osseo, Robbinsdale and Anoka-Hennepin school districts.

When it comes to open enrollment, more white students seem to be leaving Osseo schools and moving to other districts, leading to greater segregation between white and minority students, according to a University of Minnesota Law School study published recently.

The study found that open enrollment increased segregation in the metro region overall between 2000 and 2010, with 36 percent of open enrollment classified as segregative in the 2009-10 school year.

By contrast, just 24 percent were integrative. The rest were race neutral.

“Open enrollment allows parents a wider choice in matching a school’s programs to a child’s needs and creates clearer competition between schools that could encourage innovation or improvement,” the study reported. “Yet, open enrollment also enables moves based on less noble motivations that can accelerate racial or economic transition in a racially diverse school district.”

In 2009-10, the study shows that 1,122 non-white students open enrolled out of the Minneapolis school district and went to Osseo, Brooklyn Center and Robbinsdale districts. However, in that same year, Osseo lost 397 students due to open enrollment to Wayzata. The study shows that 71 percent of those Osseo students were white.

Click on the PDF to the right of this article to read the full report. Use the widget above to see the racial makeup of each district in Minnesota.

"Large, diverse districts Northwest of Minneapolis are losing white students to other white districts with no compensating flows in the opposite direction," the study reports. "The pattern of losses...is troubling because it contributes to (and enables) relatively rapid racial transitions."

From 2000 to 2009, the "non-white shares" of enrollments in the Osseo school district went from 25 percent to 45 percent. In Osseo, Robbinsdale and Anoka-Hennepin districts, the study says that during those nine years, school poverty doubled in each district.

In December, District 279 school board members reviewed general enrollment information, which showed a projected decline over the next five years.

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Barbara January 22, 2013 at 05:07 PM
I am not surprised by the U of Mn Law School findings. As long as the school district focuses on lowering the grade gap instead of supporting instructional innovations, the families with the means will defect to schools that offer quality education. Example: Wayzata offers more AP and advanced course work in their High School than MG, Osseo, And Park Center High Schools. Private schools such as Providence and Heritage give value-based aggressive coursework education AND succeed in promoting their students to attend Tier I Colleges and Universities. Currently, one of three Natioanal Merit Scholar Finalists at MGSH can not earn straight A's because of the Standard Based Grading. Intelligent parents with the financial means will find ways to educate their children. The point being, we want good foundational education for our children. Not Politically Correct curriculum that creates academic gaps in our children's learning.

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