Insight obtained a copy of Minneapolis Public Schools responses to questions from a Star Tribune reporter. The transcript is available online at www.insightnews.com/extra/mps_transcript.pdf
The document details why the District did not accept initial proposals from Community Standards Initiative (CSI) which were presented in 2011, and explains why there were no competitive bids for the 2013 contract work. The transcript said lack of documentation on a smaller scale 2011 contract was impacted by “staff turnover” presumably at MPS.
The District made it clear that its contract was not with Al Flowers, as suggested in the StarTribune article, but with the organization, with Clarence Hightower as project manager with oversight of finances. The document said Senator Champion and Hayden “lobbied” the district to support contracting with CSI, but the transcript uses no such language as “strongarmed”, and responded to the reporter’s question with the satement: “both felt strongly that community organizations needed to be a part (of) our work to improve parental engagement and help provide more mental health services to students.”
So the question becomes, do voters and constitutents expect their elected representatives to advocate for resources that allow the community to participate in the solution side of the education equation, particularly in light of ongoing abysmal failure, as reflected in test scores and graduation rates of Black children? Voice your opinion at www.insightnews.com.