Readers Write: (March 12): Gifted-student flight, teardown moratorium, winter's work, Legacy council, same-sex relationships

  • Updated: March 11, 2014 - 6:55 PM

Education should be seen as a societal effort, not an economically obtained privilege.

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GIFTED-STUDENT FLIGHT

What’s to escape? A slice of a diverse city

Those fleeing Minneapolis schools (“Parents of gifted driven to suburban schools,” March 9) can’t see what they are actually missing: reality.

The southwest corner of Minneapolis, which the article features, does not accurately represent the full city’s residents. Lake Harriet Lower School, which gifted students are apparently “fleeing” from, boasts a student population that is 88 percent white, compared with 34 percent districtwide. Eight percent of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 2 percent are English-language learners (compared with 26 percent districtwide).

Now consider my K-8 alma mater, Anne Sullivan Communication Center. Currently, 7 percent of Sullivan students are white; 59 percent are English-language learners and 91 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch. My English-learning peers had to work much harder than did I, a native English speaker. Other peers struggled academically because they lacked familial support or resources. And still others were extremely bright, but the English barrier or unsupportive family hid their talent — yes, their giftedness.

There are two incorrect responses to this reality. One is to hang our communal head in defeat, to give up on those who need extra help. The other is to “flee” to the gifted suburban programs. Instead, I encourage the families of gifted children to stay and invest in Minneapolis schools. (Idea: Your gifted children can also help!) Education is a societal effort, not an economically obtained privilege.

Elise Riveness, Minneapolis

 

TEARDOWN MORATORIUM

It’s a bad idea to say no to revitalization

A one-year moratorium on residential demolition in Minneapolis (“Teardown moratorium OK’d in Minneapolis,” March 8) is bad policy in so many obvious ways I can’t even begin to cover them all.

Why would you want to stop investment in our community? And what kind of message is being sent to people who might be considering future investments in revitalizing our antiquated housing stock? Most towns would beg for this type of problem, but only in the loony world of Minneapolis government would they want to send these dollars away. It hurts people who want to sell their homes and discourages others from living here.

Put good residential building policies in place and enforce those policies. Period.

Dan Barker, Hopkins

 

WINTER’S WORK

Praise welcome; good pay would be better

While I think it’s lovely that snowplow drivers are receiving appreciation in the form of news articles and letters to the editor, it’s time our cities and municipalities reconsidered how they compensate these tireless, invisible and invaluable workers.

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