Mpls. NAACP urging parents to pull students from district

North High School
North High School is slated to close, under a plan presented on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. Current students would be allowed to stay there and graduate, but no new freshmen would be accepted after this year.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

The Minneapolis branch of the NAACP is calling on parents to consider moving their children out of Minneapolis city schools because of the district's recommendation to close North High School.

NAACP president Booker Hodges said in a statement that the recommendation is an indication the district is not committed to educating children in north Minneapolis, and he calls on parents to consider other options.

Hodges calls North High an anchor for the community, and said the low enrollment cited as a reason to close North is the result of closing all the elementary and middle schools that fed into North.

North High has just 265 students -- a 75 percent drop in six years. Many departed students have enrolled in neighboring districts or charter schools, largely the result of a lawsuit the NAACP won that led to a program called 'Choice is Yours.'

Hodges said the goal in winning that lawsuit was that the Minneapolis district would step up its fight to keep students or win them back --something Hodges said hasn't happened.

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson responded with her own statement, defending the move as one aimed at improving education. She said the district can't provide the resources at North High that all of the students need.

The school board is slated to vote on the North High closing next month, though three board members have asked for a delay.

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