Eden Prairie School Superintendent Won’t Renew Contract – Controversial School Boundary Plan not to Blame

I must admit, I saw this news story a couple of weeks ago and meant to publish it, but completely forgot about it.  Those who live in the Twin Cities, and certainly those who live in Eden Prairie, recall the battle and controversy surrounding what is now the new school boundaries in Eden Prairie.  Is it just me who finds it ironic that the Eden Prairie School Superintendent, Melissa Krull, will not be renewing her contract which is slated to end upon the completion of the 2011-2012 school year.

According to this KSTP story about Krull’s scheduled departure:

“I just think it’s the perfect time to make a shift, a transition,” she told kstp.com. She points to good test scores and the district’s success in reducing the achievement gap.

“It’s all about timing, readiness, and a passion for continuing this kind of work,” Krull says–referring to her efforts to promote integration for all students.

During the redistricting talks, many parents were so upset, they demanded she be removed from her post.

But Krull told kstp.com that has nothing to do with her decision to leave her position in June 2012. “Not at all,” she said.

In a letter to the school board, she wrote, “While this decision has not been an easy one, I know my leadership interests and passions are anchored in facilitating, promoting and furthering the equity work that has become central to our mission in Eden Prairie Schools.  I also know that as this important work is set in motion and becomes firmly embedded in the life of the organization–as I believe it has in our school district–our system is well positioned to move to its next level with new leadership.”

If the KSTP story is to be taken at it’s word and if they are correctly quoting Superintendent Krull, then indeed her work is done if fostering equity is one of the central missions of Eden Prairie Schools.  I did not realize equity was an attribute or core competency of public schools, but apparently it is in Eden Prairie.  (Apparently this is a pretty big movement in public education…here’s a link to a Google search on school equity).

Eden Prairie is arguably THE premier suburb in the Twin Cities given it’s beautiful topography, nature, lovely neighborhoods, freeway and airport access as well as being a major job center and retail hub.  It also appears to be striving to be one of the area leaders on fostering equity in the schools at the expense of neighborhood schools.  Some will like that and some won’t.  Do your homework.

Click to find the  new Eden Prairie School Boundaries Map as well as the latest Eden Prairie home sales data through July 2011.

Eden Prairie School Boundaries Controversy – Lawsuit Coming? Star Tribune

The issue with the changing of the Eden Prairie school district boundaries continues to cause issues amongst some parents.  According to the StarTribune, there is an anonymous group of parents that appears to be threatening a lawsuit to challenge the upcoming Eden Prairie school boundary changes.

If you recall, this was a highly charged decision by the Eden Prairie school board.  The goal is to allow for better mixing amongst income classes.  The issue many parents have is it is breaking up neighborhood schools by causing kids to be bussed across town to different schools in the district.

The issue clearly remains heated.  Check out the comments on the StarTribune about the Eden Prairie School Boundaries story linked above.

Eden Prairie Schools – New Boundary Map Released

The controversial decision by the Eden Prairie school board recently to approve a restructuring of the district to do a better job of mixing the economic classes has been completed.   The Star Tribune has an article on the release of the new boundary map which will affect over 1,000 Eden Prairie students in the 2011-2012 school year.  Many of these kids will no longer be able to attend their neighborhood schools.  They will face a bus ride to school now.  I’ve not seen any data how long they expect kids to be on the bus, but I would imagine the average ride is about 30 minutes.

If my kids were within walking distance or a short car ride to school each day, I would not be happy about the idea that they might have to spend an hour to an hour and a half each day on a school bus.  Most school buses are public cesspools when it comes to what kids say on the bus.  For the parents who care about what their kids are exposed to, this will an additional aspect of the change.

Here’s the new Eden Prairie School District Map.

Follow the comments on the Star Tribune story.

Social Engineers Strike Again – Eden Prairie School Board Votes for Desegregation Plan

The Eden Prairie school board voted last night to redraw school boundaries that will affect 1100 students apparently due to high concentrations of poverty and certain races in particular areas.  Since the schools have tended to be neighborhood schools, some of those neighborhood schools apparently have high concentrations of children in poverty.

I remember living through this in the 1970s when my family had moved to Charlotte, NC.   It was a little different back then in the 1970s south.  Blacks and whites did not mix.  So, they bussed us for 45 minutes each way from the suburbs to the heart of the inner city in Charlotte.  I remember those areas in inner city Charlotte being poorer than anything we see here in the Twin Cities.

Eden Prairie appears to be trying to make everything level or equal rather than striving for the exceptional.   It will be interesting to see the fall out from this decision.

BTW, if anyone has the numbers for what this is going to cost on an annual basis to bus these 1100 children, please let me know.  I would imagine the transportation budget will have to increase quite a bit with this new plan.