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Star Tribune writers tracking education issue

Minneapolis has lowest graduation rate compared to 50 other major cities

Minneapolis had the lowest graduation rates compared to 50 other major cities, according to a study released by a Washington-based education group. 

The city's four-year graduation rate was below 50 percent, while the national average is approximately 75 percent.

The rates are for the entire city student population in the city of Minneapolis, not just the Minneapolis school district. The study, conducted by the Center for Reinventing Public Education, evaluated the graduation rates for students in public and charter schools.

“I hope this will serve as a catalyst for city leaders to take a look at where they might be falling short and identify other cities they might learn from,” says CRPE Senior Research Analyst Michael DeArmond, the report’s lead author. 

The group also found that only 4 percent of all Minneapolis high school students took the ACT or SAT, and students of color and low-income households were less likely to attend a top performing school.

The inequities in Minneapolis were also typical in the other cities CRPE studied, including Milwaukee, Washington D.C., New Orleans and New York City.

To read the entire study click here.

Prior Lake High considers buying sports uniforms from one vendor

Prior Lake High School may soon purchase all its athletic uniforms from a single vendor, a move officials said  will not only save time and money, but strengthen the school’s identity by giving teams a consistent image.

Currently, there are multiple uniform vendors and at least 18 different "Lakers" logos used for sports at Prior Lake, said Activities Director Russ Reetz at the Sept. 28 school board work session. The basketball logo, for instance, is shaped like a backboard and has a net at the bottom, while others feature the name of the sport written in various shades of blue and gold.

The school and its athletic programs have grown quickly, Reetz said.

“Part of [having one vendor] is to try to bring us all back in,” Reetz said.

Buying uniforms from one supplier will give the school a discount on uniforms plus some free items up front. The ordering process will also be easier, Reetz said.

If approved at the Oct. 12 school board meeting, the vendor contract would probably start this spring. Teams would get new uniforms every four years, Reetz said.

Minneapolis Public Schools already contracts with one uniform provider, and other nearby districts are considering doing so, he said.

The updated uniforms would be charcoal gray with accents in light blue.

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