Tell MPS: No to Racist and Scripted Curriculum! End Reading Horizons Contract and Test Based Model of Education

*Please sign at the end of the letter to add your name supporting these demands*

To Whom it May Concern in the Minneapolis Public School District,

We are writing to express our deep concern and fundamental opposition to the curriculum that was provided to Minneapolis Public School District for K-2 teachers (and grade 3 of high priority schools and grade 4 as well in immersion sites) by the company Reading Horizons for the 2015-2016 school year and beyond. We believe that there are a number of concerning issues related to this curriculum inclusive of but not restricted to its significant absences and stereotypical presences of communities of color and Indigenous peoples’ communities and its portrayal of sexual identity, gender and family.

While we are aware that some of this curriculum has been recalled by the Minneapolis Public School District because of teacher resistance, we also understand that the District is contracting the same company that proved itself demonstratively incompetent to redesign it. We find this unacceptable. In order to address these inequities in Minneapolis Public School Districts’ curriculum, we are writing to demand the following:

1. That Minneapolis Public School District discontinue their relationship with Reading Horizons. Reading Horizons has shown that they do not possess necessary cultural competencies and that having them redesign this curriculum would only produce similar results.

2. That there should be a public and outside review entity for the selection of all District partners, the evaluation of existing curriculum and resources, and the adoption of new curriculum. This should include all aspects of Focused Instruction and the book selection of school libraries. The goal of this process and the assessment body should be inclusive of parents, staff, and community members especially from working class, working poor, immigrant communities, people of color communities and Indigenous peoples' communities. These communities have historically, and systemically been left out of decision making processes. No one on this assessment body should have money or their job tied to their findings/decisions, nor should they be paid staff of existing education reform organizations.

3. That the District put an end to the purchasing of expensive scripted curriculum based on test scores along with the paradigm of replaceable educators and students as numbers. Instead, they should invest in the sustainable development of MPS staff through training, leadership development, workload reductions, more compensated time to plan effective instruction and the authentic incorporation of school communities to identify the needs, means, and ends for nourishing our children and communities. Training and ongoing support must be local.

4. District staff should be trained (with a tool the assessment body from above creates/adopts), compensated, and empowered to review their own lessons and classroom libraries and be given the resources to replace whatever does not match criteria with district funds.

Racial equity is on the tip of every District’s tongue, so when teachers had to assert themselves against a Minneapolis Public School’s decision until the District agreed to recall significant portions of a 1.2 million dollar curriculum* for being racist, sexist, heteronormative, and more, we find ourselves asking what went wrong (*Not including the figures of how much the district is paying teachers for training and paying substitutes for teaching during school year trainings).

The question is more perplexing upon learning that the Multilingual Department, Indian Education, and the Office of Black Male Achievement were involved in the program’s selection, and that the racist images in the curriculum were a result of requests for more representative images in the curriculum. As such, it is apparent that the company, Reading Horizons, is insufficiently invested in communities of color and Indigenous communities to make quality curriculum and provide culturally responsive training for MPS teachers. The decision makers in MPS had many foundational skills programs to choose from, the incompetency of choosing Reading Horizons proves that either the wrong choice was made or all of the curriculums should have been disregarded for lack of quality options. We believe it is essential to end any contract with R.H. because of the District’s claimed stance on equity. MPS must refuse to work with any entity that proves itself not aligned, and in fact creating materials directly in opposition to the District’s stated values and promise (http://www.mpls.k12.mn.us/mission_and_vision_2). The decision that was made also speaks to another problem: teaching to the test and scripted curriculum.

The pressure to choose from curriculums with “researched” connections to “improving test scores” limits districts to corporate education campaigns. This seems to be why the District, including various multicultural departments, chose a racist, patriarchal curriculum. Such an approach also eliminates the idea of developing skilled reading teachers and learning conditions where students and staff can flourish. A curriculum that “anyone can teach” by reading the script is unlikely to be successful, nor do we want to create a situation where we see teachers and students as nothing but talking and listening empty vessels* (* http://www.brightlightsmallcity.com/reading-horizons-a-curriculum-even-a-janitor-could-teach/).

Instead of purchasing million-plus-dollar outside curriculum that deeply compromises any commitment to equity we should collaborate with our local and school communities’ rich knowledge to create powerful, local, and culturally relevant curriculum. Consider the Network for the Development of Children of African Descent (an archive of culturally appropriate books for children of African descent), Birchbark Books (an extensive collection of indigenous children’s literature), Ancestry Books (a collection of literature written by authors of color and Indigenous authors to reflect their communities and children with respect), and many more.

For the sake of our students, community, and future we must refuse a Reading Horizons “redesign” altogether. Furthermore we find it to be poor logic that investment in short-term out-of-state corporate solutions is better than continual investments in our staff, and the collective empowerment of students, families, educators, and communities. Teaching phonics can be integrated into the teaching of compelling and empowering literature that reflects the diversity of our scholars, and the world. Training and investment in such literature is what an equity-centered district should do. Minneapolis Public Schools should be making financial decisions that nourish connections between the district and local communities. Developing critical consciousness and responding to oppression and injustice should be at the center rather than perpetuating the messages seen in Reading Horizon’s curriculum. See some examples of the curriculum we do not want in the Appendix to follow.

To Recap:
1. End MPS’s contract with Reading Horizons
2. Form a diverse, community based assessment entity to review current and future curriculum and partners
3. End scripted curriculum and expensive, short term, test-score centered purchasing
4. Provide funds for teachers, schools, and communities to review and replace marginalizing curriculum and texts in their current libraries with richly diverse and culturally relevant curriculum and literature

Authored by,

Chaun Webster, Co-Founder of Ancestry Books
Shana Dickson, Minneapolis Public School Teacher
David Boehnke, Teacher, Minneapolis; Member of Social Justice Education Movement (SJEM)


Demands Supported By:
904 total signatures

Verna Wong, Teacher, Co-Founder of Ancestry Books
Ms Kenna-Camara Cottman, Black American Griot and Northside Arts Educator
Naomi Ward, LISW MPS Social Worker
Brian Lozenski, Associate Professor of Educational Studies, Macalester College
Kimberly Caprini, Northside School Advocate
Helen Medhanie, Community and SJEM Member, Minneapolis
Sadie Cox, Behavior Intervention SPPS and concerned MPS community member
Lucas DeGracia, School Secretary, Minneapolis Public Schools; SJEM Member
Me'lea Conneley, Parent and Community Member, Minneapolis Public Schools
Erin Dyke, PhD student, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of MN; SJEM Member
Shaun Kelley Walsh, Minneapolis resident, parent, youth worker
Sasha Ryškus Knutson, Student, Minneapolis Public Schools
Brenda Petry, Minneapolis resident and parent of second grader in MPS
James Towns, Parent of MPS second grader, clinical social worker
Max Hoiland, Minneapolis After-School Instructor
Gabrielle Morris, Minneapolis Public School teacher
Andrea Jeong Wood, Teacher, Minneapolis
Jane Swatosh, MPS Teacher and Parent
Phil Waugh, MPS Parent
Lisa Ray Parent/Guardian
Amy McNally Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Brie Monahan MPS Teacher Staff
Jonathan Shia Yang Non-profit partner organization
Julie Landsman Self employed consultant MPS teacher, retired
Corinth Matera Teacher Staff
Elizabeth Campbell Parent/Guardian
Russ Walsh Interested and concerned party
Julie Smith Healey Community Member
Barbara Hackett Cox Professional Development Design and Implementation
Julia Birdsall Parent/Guardian
Dylan Flunker Community Member, parent of future MPS students
elyse pennica Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Allison Woerpel Community Member
Molly Blake Community Member
Rachel Austin Bernstein Community Member
Elizabeth A Polter Community Member
Maria Asp Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Sheri Beck MPS parent Parent/Guardian
Marco Tapia Community Member
Shanai Matteson Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Anna Isis-Brown Friend of former MPS teacher.
Susan Phillips South Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Angela Mazur Community Member
Sarah Amado Community Member
Marya Morstad "Host of ""Art Matters"" on KFAI and MPS Parent" Parent/Guardian
Kristin Swanson Northrop School Parent/Guardian
Dinah Bullock Community Member, Aunt
Erin Bogle Hennepin County Libraries Community Member
Susan Svatek Parent/Guardian
Joanne Jongsma Northrop Urban Environmental School Parent/Guardian
Sophia Benson Community Member
Karen Knapp Parent/Guardian, Community Member
James Wheeler Community Member
Elise Robinson Parent, Lyndale Community School Parent/Guardian
Lucie Skjefte Fair School Downtown Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Neala Schleuning, Ph.D. Educator
Miranda Posthumus Community Member
Sonja Kuftinec, Professor University of Minnesota and parent university of minnesota Parent/Guardian
Stephanie Gasca, North Minneapolis Resident and Parent of a 2nd grader in MPS Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Ira Jourdain Parent/Guardian
Ruth Berger Community Member
Tana Hargest Givens Foundation for African American Literature Community Member, Provider of arts education programs to MPS
Iwalani Kaai Community Member
Beth Brezenoff Parent/Guardian
Ariah Fine Northside public school parent Parent/Guardian
Ariah Fine Northside public school parent Parent/Guardian
Sally Lewis Previous student
caty royce Parent/Guardian
Alayna Pine Community Member
Margaret T Burke Clara Barton Open Retired Staff
Elissa Vinnik Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, Forest Hills NY Former Community Member and Macalester Alum
Alana Hawley Community Member, UMN M. Ed graduate
Valerie Olsen-Rittler
Cari Tan MFT59 Community Member
Valerie Olsen-Rittler Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Michelle Deziel licensed 1-6 grade teacher community member of Twin Cities metro area
Max Gries Community Member, Volunteer at Whittier International MPS
Marcia Hart
Zach Ewald
Patricia Wycoff Community Member
LONDEL FRENCH South Staff
Calista Adeboye Community Member
D.A. Bullock Community Member
Nana Boakye Parent/Guardian
Leslie Spring Community Member
Kristin Sonquist Clara Barton Open School Parent/Guardian, Staff
Rebecca Barth Staff, future parent
Laurie Skelley
Betsy Altheimer Northrop Parent/Guardian
Judy Bjorke Staff, Community Member
Conor Ramón Rasmusen Bethel University Community Member
Marc Trius Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Pam Clemens Clara Barton Open Parent/Guardian
Alex Hoselton Southwest High School Staff
Scott Charlesworth-Seiler Staff
Bria Fast Former MPS substitute teacher
Judy L Ostrowski Community Member
Eva Song Margolis Minneapolis public school parent Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Pia Shannon Grandparent
Marjorie Fish Professor Emerita, St Cloud State University
Brendan Kelly Parent/Guardian
Stephane Clermont
Lynn Coleman Community Member
Shannon Gibney MCTC Parent/Guardian
Maggie Knoke Business leader and parent of MPS student Parent/Guardian
Rosanne Bane Teaching Artist at Loft Literary Center (independent contractor, not Loft employee) Community Member
Lucia Pawlowski University of St. Thomas Community Member
Sarah Joy Scheller Staff
Protea Toles Elizabeth Hall Parent/Guardian
Jessie Hendel Community social worker Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Anita Thies Barton Parent/Guardian
Ruth Lindh Community Member
Julie Ellingson Parent/Guardian
Sheila Resseger aunt of a community member
Nora Lahm South High School Student
Karin Mills Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Brock Dubbels McMaster University Parent/Guardian
Karlyn D'averill Allina Health Community Member, parent of current and future MPLS students
Delwin Derksen Jeremiah Program, Housing and Advocay Parent/Guardian, Community Member
MaryLee Hicks OTR, parent Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Talia Webster Community Member
Candida Gonzalez Parent/Guardian, Staff
Sheila Frankfurt Community Member
Rachel Schmitt Community Member
Danielle Jastrow MPS & employee of non-profit supporting MPS Parent/Guardian, Community Member, employee of non-profit working with MPS
Mindy Fine Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Meredith Webb Community Member
Alison Fox
Nina hernandez Beithon Community Member
Florence Taitel Kenwood Parent/Guardian
Joline Gitis Community Member
Marian Jacobson Staff, Community Member
Semya Hakim Community Member, Teacher Educator
Janelle Wegner Clara Barton Open School Parent/Guardian
Dee Brust ISD 832 Community Member
A J Sonquist Barton and South Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Marie Michael Educator and Community Member
Liz Kesler MPS teacher Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Simon Smedberg Andersen Staff, Community Member
Ted Sonquist Parent/Guardian
Antoine Duke TruArtSpeaks Community Member, Teaching Artist
Erica Lee Community Member
Christin Lindberg Community Member, Former MPS Parent
Leah Steiner Suter Twin Cities German Immersion School Community Member
Rachael-Rebecca Hoffman-Dachelet Teacher, Edina Public Schools, Parent, 3 Mpls. public school students. Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Ah-li Monahan Retired staff
Muneer Karcher-Ramos Community Member
Fartun Abdi Community Member, Former MPS student
Mary K. Sesser Community Member
Sam Gould Parent/Guardian
Holly Garnell
Rebecca Gross Parent/Guardian
Emma Stout Community Member
Jill Jacobson MPS Teacher Staff, Tax payer
K. Johnston-Goodstar Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Sheila eldred Barton Parent/Guardian
Jennie Kim Former staff
Elisa Lee Community Member
Alejandra (Tobar Alatriz) People's Movement Center and Pangea World Theater Community Member, Artist
Joseph Burke grandparent
Amber Brockton Million Artist Movement Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Early Childhood Educator
Julie Tilsen,MA, LP,PhD UofM Youth Studies Community Member
Patrick Currier Community Member
Baolue Vang Community Member
KD Parker MPS Staff
Galen Smith Community Member
Anne Parrett Parent/Guardian
Jennie Lawless Community Member
Nyambura Njenga Student, Community Member
Kathleen DeVore South High parent Parent/Guardian
Marcia Howard Roosevelt High School Staff
Terri Dleaney Bancroft Parent/Guardian
Qianna Jones North Community High School Parent/Guardian
Amber Gay Regional Coordinator, Save the Kids - Twin Cities Community Member
Danielle Mkali Parent/Guardian
Margaret Nelon Roosevelt High School Staff
Amal Abdalla Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Lakeisha Lige Elizabeth hall Parent/Guardian
Nasra Hassan Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Annie Mason University of MN Parent/Guardian, Coordinator of Elementary Education
Katherine Parent Redeemer Lutheran Church Community Member
Julianna Carlson MPS Staff
Hannah lenz
Aisha Gomez Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Michaela Day
David Lewis-Alvarez
Suzanne Mears Staff, Community Member
David Lewis-Alvarez Parent/Guardian
Betty Tisel King Park Legacy Council, children's literature consultant Alum parent
Leah Streeter Loring Community School Parent/Guardian, Staff
Palma Cady Minneapolis Community Member Community Member
Kim Christoffel, Minneapolis social worker Community Member
Skyler Dickson
Monica Erling Elizabeth Hall Parent/Guardian
Ronald K Stoffel Community Member
"Paul ""Matt"" Chonka" Legislative Chair, Marysville Education Association Executive Board
Sarah Penman Grandparent
Shalini Gupta Parent/Guardian
Taylor Shevey Community Member
Lisa Sinclair Community Member
Oanh Vu Community Member
Melissa Pohlman Parent/Guardian
testing
Judith Jaworowski MAT Educator
Karen Brown Seward/ Waite Park Parent/Guardian, afterschool teacher
Teanna moye Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Andrea Gregory Parent/Guardian
Joanne Engelking past parent
Maggie Struck University of Minnesota Literacy PhD Candidate
Joanne Engelking past parent
Elena Gaarder Community Member
Bobbi Jones Staff
Joe Praska Staff
Mary Kay Koenig Community Member
Erin Stutelberg PhD Candidate in Literacy Education, University of Minnesota Community Member
Jeff Mason Northrop Urban Environmental Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Dawn Nguyen Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Gaosong V. Heu Student, Community Member
Norma Roberts-Hakizimana Community Member
Linda Chapple Community Member
chamindika wanduragala Parent/Guardian
Stephen M Anderson YWCA Minneapolis Community Member
Parker Deen Educator- SE MN
Alissa Case, Community Member, PhD student Culture and Teaching University of Minnesota Community Member
Sun Yung Shin Parent/Guardian
Amy DiGennaro, MFA, MA, AT, LAMFT, MPS Parent and Psychotherapist Parent/Guardian
Emma Colón Community Member
KerryJo Felder Northside Activist Parent/Guardian, Community Member
gloria hutchinson retired Barton teacher retired staff
Erin Stutelberg College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota Community Member
Alissa Case, Community Member, PhD student Culture and Teaching University of Minnesota Community Member
Kirstan Ketter Collaborative Urban Education Graduate Student & Parent Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Megan Larson Parent/Guardian
Tami Lee IS 625 Neighbors
Tori Hong Shades of Yellow Community Member
Yonci Jameson Student
Jonathan Stegall Parent of future (current 4 year old) MPS student
Katherine Harter Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Ruth Krider Community Member
Monica Delaney Elsner Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Elisabeth Geschiere Check & Connect Staff
Tenochlti n/a concerned
Hye-Kyung Kang, Ph D. Educator
Olivia Levins Holden Community Member
Brian Kao Former AmeriCorps VISTA
Brittany Lynch Soul Tools/Visions Merging Community Member
marjaan sirdar Staff
Kirstan Ketter Collaborative Urban Education Graduate Student, MSP Parent Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Rachael Bergan Community Member
Misty Rowan Community Member
Simone Menier North Community High School Class of '92 Community Member
Emily Krumberger Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) Community Member, former student
Mary Ludington Community Member
Sarah Scott Community Member
Bailey Roberts Community Member
Kimberly Nightingale Publisher, Saint Paul Almanac
Erick Diaz
Sara Diedrich MMTA, MTNA Friend of MPS staff
David Melendez PhD student, UMN Theatre and Dance Community Member
Laurie Ganser Whittier (Parent) and Osseo Area Schools (Reading Specialist) Parent/Guardian, Reading Specialist
Cynthia Gomez PYC Arts and Tech CAP staff
Kathryn Kaatz MPS Parent/Guardian
Spencer Neitzel Community Member
Lynne Moriarty Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Ben Karls Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Former Teacher
Kris Davis Burroughs Parent/Guardian
Kimberly Campbell-Groen Hennepin county Social worker for kids that go to school in mnpls
Tyrus Johnson Community Member
Abaki Beck Community Member
Sara Logan Community Member
Alex Iantaffi Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Jennifer Pedersen Seward Montessori Parent/Guardian
Takawi Peters Minneapolis Community Education Staff, Community Member
Martin Grider Parent/Guardian
Kerri Javorka Community Member
Diane Forest Parent/Guardian
Paul Schulz Parent/Guardian
Jamie Schwesnedl Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Melody Johnson None Community Member, Former MPS Staff
Amy Young NYU Community Member
Anne Crampton Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Jungyeol Park University of Minnesota Twin-Cities Student
Alaina Szostkowski Community Member
Stephanie Owen-Lyons Second Language Education PhD Student, Mps. resident Second Language Education PhD Student U of MN, resident Community Member, Supervisor of Teacher Candidates
Katie Severt Kenwood Parent/Guardian
Annie Ittner PhD Student Curriculum and Instruction, University of MN
Kelly Gast University of Minnesota Community Member
Krista Pearson Marcy Open Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Kevin Dyke University of Minnesota Community Member, Future parent of MPS student
Maria Schwedhelm UMN Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Jaime Gearhart Community Member
dawn bove Community Member
Julie Boada Community Member, Arts educator
Daria Kieffer Community Member
Paul Harding Parent/Guardian
Christy Pettis Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Angelica Pazurek University of Minnesota Learning Technologies Community Member
Tami Butters former teacher
Landi Sones-Tessman Osseo School District Community Member
Rosalind Bloodworth Community Member
Lynette Reini-Grandell English Professor, Normandale Community College, former President of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English Community Member
Andrea Everson Community Member
Jenny F Warner Anwatin Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Graduate
Kevin Vollmers Gazillion Strong Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Brenda Bell Brown Community Member
Richard Lee University of Minnesota Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Professor of Psychology
Danushka Wanduragala Community Member
Vaughn Larry older patent
Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe Pangea World Theater Parent/Guardian
Angela Coffee University of Minnesota Community Member
Leo M Whitebird Private Music Educator Community Member
Alexis Pauline Gumbs Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind Founder Educator outside of Minneapolis
Tyler Cessor University of Minnesota Community Member
Shawn McBurnie Parent/Guardian
Sarah Greenfield Graduate and Parent of future MPS student
Nathaniel Olsen Parent/Guardian, Staff
Madeleine Pinkerton Bryn Mawr Elementary Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Jen Vanek Parent/Guardian
Maureen Springer La Oportunidad After School Teacher
Lisa Marier MPS Parent/Guardian
Lindsay Walz courageous heARTS Community Member
Martha Bigelow University of Minnesota Educator
Gwyneth Olson Parent/Guardian
Danette Allrich childcare provider childcare provider
Geri Katz Parent/Guardian, MPS Alumna
Tracey Marcelino Marcy Open Parent/Guardian
Jolie Kennedy University of Minnesota, CEHD, Curriculum & Instruction
Lori Stee Community Member, Anti racism activist
Arianna Nason Community Member
Adrienne W. Zimiga Community Member
Kathryn Allen University of Minnesota Community Member
Abigail Rombalski PhD student, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of MN Staff, Community Member
Kathryn Supko Community Member
Rogier Gregoire Ed.D. Duluth Human Rights Commission Community Member
Kelly Barnhill Parent/Guardian
Amoke Kubat YO MAMA Community Member, retired teacher
Jacquelynn C Goessling Ms. Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Katie Land Hiawatha/Howe Parent/Guardian
Megan Vossler Macalester College Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Ashley Fairbanks Community Member
Melissa Oliveri Parent/Guardian
Rahma Mohamed Community Member
R M Ervst CEO Overture Foundation Parent/Guardian
Courtney O University of Minnesota Community Member
Carly Wicks Staff
Owen Duckworth Community Member
Rachel Louise Mann Community Member
Claire Urbanski UC Santa Cruz Community Member
David Pegg Parent/Guardian
Jennifer Byers Community Member
KayeAnn Mason Psychotherapist Community Member
Sharon Goens-Bradley Parent/Guardian
Mackenzie Owens Community Member
jay l hatlen linnell Parent/Guardian, Graduate and former student teacher
kris brogan Community Member
Sarah France Ullmer Non-profit
Beth Kowski Community Member
Maggie Struck University of Minnesota Community Member
Jessica Hanson Parent/Guardian
Michael A Nelson Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Beth Vos aunt/grandmother
Caleb Zilmer resident, teacher educator
Caitlin Boyd Patterson Parent/Guardian
Lucy Vilankulu Community Member
Emily Terrell Staff, Community Member, MPS alumni
Lisa Channer University of Minnesota Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Kim Club Community Member
Stephanie Volante Retired Former MPS Staff
Cindy Garcia, University of Minnesota and Kindergarten Parent Community Member
Susan Gaspar CPS friend of students
Ellen Sandbeck MInnesota resident
cindy zegers Community Member
Ayaan Natala Community Member
Simone Carpenter Community Member
Barbra Berlovitz Community Member
Nou Vang Community Member
Gustaf Ekstrand Minneapolis Community and Technical College Community Member
Tracy Pham Macalester College Student
Jeremy Scheller Community Member
Amanda L Thiesse MPS KIDS former staff
Charles Campbell Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Renae Jensen Ekstrand Former teacher educator at Augsburg College
Timothy Babulski PhD student, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UMN Community Member
Sarah Cooper-Evans Parent/Guardian, Staff
Sarah Cooper-Evans Parent/Guardian, Staff
Rebecca St. Martin Community Member
Rick P MPS Staff Staff
Jane Burnett Staff
Alex Lange MPS Teacher Staff
Simone LeClaire Community Member
Maria Perrotta Community Member
Briana Melom Begansky, MA, BSW Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Brionna Harder Staff
Jessica Jones Community Member
Micah Thompson Ph.D. Candidate University of Minnesota Culture and Teaching Community Member
Andy Ulseth Future parent
Steven Brezenoff Parent/Guardian
Mallory Olsen Community Member
Fayise Abrahim Youth and Community Action Research Manager, Youthprise Community Member
Mary Roffers Minneapolis Public Schools Special Education Teacher
Lynelle Shire Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Retired Teacher
Ilene D. Alexander University of Monnesota Colleague to MPS teacher
Nithya Rajan Community Member
Rev. Laurie Bushbaum Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Clergy Member
Amy Addy Armatage parent Parent/Guardian
Jeanette Hahn Whittier Grandparent
Jaden Hansen, Minneapolis Parent/Guardian
Krista Eduarte Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Eva Chavarria Hunter Progressive Educator Concern Citizen
Carrie Un Parent/Guardian
Teresa Eberhardt Community Member
Jessica Dockter Tierney University of Minnesota
Paula Williamson Staff
jency collopy marcy open school Parent/Guardian
Sybil Lang Community Member, Former Staff
Jazmin Danielson
Jessica and Ricardo Khan Parent/Guardian
Jerri Clark Wagner Barton Open School Parent Parent/Guardian
Molly Henderson Washburn High School parent Parent/Guardian
Bree Picower Ph.D
Erin Ungerman Barton Open School Parent/Guardian
Katie Fogel Community Member
Amanda Corbett Parent/Guardian, Community Member, public health professional
Alana Strickler Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Founding member of PHPIG, Booster Club VP
Alana Strickler Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Founding member of PHPIG, Booster Club VP
Lana Barkawi Mizna Director Parent/Guardian
Cathy Camper Children's author
Jasmine Lane former student
crystal black Community Member
Danielle McPherson Community Member
Jennifer Pennington Community Member
Camille Holthaus Field Middle School, Washburn High School, Bisexual Organizing Project Parent/Guardian
Jill Ashley-Grochowski Public school educator
Molly Budke Community Member
Kristina Medina St Olaf College Community Member, Professor of Spanish, Raad Ethnic Studies, and Latiin am. Studies
Kate Seager Northrop Parent/Guardian
Karen Gehrke MPS Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Louis Alemayehu Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs Community Member, Form teacher and consultant to MPS
Dylan Bradford-Kesti Community Member
Kelley Meister Teaching artist Community Member
Alexei Moon Casselle Parent/Guardian
Jett Sophia Community Member, retired teacher
Stephanie Gil Community Member, Future MPS parent
Jason Garcia Parent/Guardian
Yvette Murrell Community Member
Anthony Carchedi Parent and human Parent/Guardian
Emily Lauer Seward Montessori Parent/Guardian
Claire Molepske MSP Community Member, Future Parent
Melea connelly Parent/Guardian
Hye-Kyong Kim Parent/Guardian
Megan Longtin Parent/Guardian
Deanna Lackaff Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Lisa Quinlan wenonah Parent/Guardian
Elizabeth Aram Staff
Alec Dosland Community Member, Past student
Mimi Wallace, Ph.D. McNeese State University Teacher educator
Korina Barry CASCW Community Member
Adrienne Yancy Community Member
Kelly Moe-Rossetto Community Member, former staff
Anna Mahan-Miller Pratt Community School Parent/Guardian
Sandy Vue Community Member Community Member
Lita Beach University of Minnesota Community Member
Joy Deborah Robison parent of children in MN public schools parent in a district outside Minneapolis
Georgette Curtis Parent/Guardian
Heather Zenzen Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Leah Bartizal Parent/Guardian
David L. Burklund Parent/Guardian
Barbara Drew Parent/Guardian
Joel Oliver retired concerned citiaen
Emily Sowell Armatage Parent/Guardian
Elle Thoni Community Member
Julia M. Brown Community Member
Sonia Even Future Parent
Faustina Cuevas Community Member
Sarah Cooper-Evans Parent/Guardian, Staff, Community Member
Korla Masters Community Member, MPS alum
Ebony Adedayo ebanna22 Parent/Guardian
Ebony Adedayo ebanna22 Parent/Guardian
Robert Panning-Miller South High teacher, Barton and South Parent, REACH member Parent/Guardian, Staff
Marie Page Community Member
David Kim Youthprise // People's Movement Center Community Member
Shannon Waterman Faegre Baker Daniels Community Member
Lindsey Samples Community Member
Marie Rainey Dowling/DIW Parent/Guardian
Sara Hanson New City Charter School Parent/Guardian
Vanessa White
Sarah Parker Community Member, alumni
Olivia St. Martin Community Member
Amber Shannon, Parent of a MPS 2nd Grader Parent/Guardian
Elizabeth Makarewicz Community Member
Joseph Damman Community Member
Birdie Freitag Community Member
Judy Spencer-Reichwald retired Kgn.teacher MPS
Erika Rae, MA, BA Community Member, Aunt, Caregiver
Tom Kanthak Retired Founding Teacher, Perpich Center for Arts Education
Vichet Chhuon Univ of Minn Community Member
Vichet Chhuon Univ of Minn Community Member
Marcia Kading Community Member, Grandparent
Chris Getowicz Staff
Libby Rahn Lake Harriet Parent/Guardian
Lee Fisher Community Member
Sarah Gioia Parent/Guardian
Sara Hurley Parent of a future MPS student
Janet Etten Community Member
Beth Daniels Community Member, former staff, former parent, education consultant
Jamie Schumann U of M Community Member
Ellen Sunshine Community Member
Jennifer Nielse. Community Member
Ann C Manning Community member - citizen of Minneapolis Community Member
Martha Hardy Community Member
Jo Young Northrop Elementary Parent/Guardian
Julie Hill Future Parent/Educator
Vanessa McDuffie Graduate Student (K-6 license)
Jill Lestina-Warnest Community Member
Teresa Kiedrowski MPS Staff
Maxwell Colletti Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Saralyn Romanishan Community Member
Tammy Nara Minnesota resident
Ethan Johnson Community Member
Tamara Valme Minneapolis Public Schools Staff
Jenise Doty Staff, Community Member
Kate Towle Project s.t.a.r.t. Leadership Community Educator, 20-year MPS parent, concerned citizen
Lauren Oholendt Community Member
Robin Ganser Whittier Elementary Parent/Guardian
Dave Logsdon Veterans for Peace Community Member
Pamela Ngunjiri Community Member
Delilah Langer MPS ECFE Parent/Guardian
Lyn Mitchell Community Member
Tracie Anderson, LICSW Community Member
Nativida Osland Parent/Guardian
Kimberly Wolking Staff, Community Member, Tax payer
Jaym Fitzgerald Student
Monica Saralampi Parent/Guardian
Kirsten Taylor Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Daniel Schulz-Jackson
Wolfram Ruhmann Reserve teacher Staff
Shannon Dahmes University of Minnesota Parent/Guardian
Dana Bennis IDEA Future parent
Angela Paar Teacher
Mankwe Ndosi Community Member
Donald Riley Community Member
Stefanie Yorek Community Member
Alicia Ranney Future Green Central Parent Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Kevin Whelan Clara Barton Open Magnet School Parent/Guardian
Cacje Henderson Community Member
Emily Smith Children's Theatre Company Community Member
Elizabeth Parks Community Member
Mary Dooley ECFE-retired Grandparent
Kaley Brown Children's Theatre Company Community Member
Beverly Ferguson Metropolitan State Universityretired Community Member
Deborah Girdwood Children's Theatre Company Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Eli Grobel Students for Racial Justice Former Student
Maria Pabon Community Member
Meena Iyer Community Member
Timothy Lensmire University of Minnesota Parent/Guardian
Maurine Stenwick Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Brittany Bullock Hennepin County Student, Community Member
Cecily Spano Staff
Beverly Cottman Salon1016 Parent/Guardian, Staff, Retired
Danny Frank University of Minnesota Duluth MN resident, parent, university faculty
David Winkler-Morey Franklin middle school Staff
jim kojola Community Member
Jon Stark Olsen Loring School, Anwatin School Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Malia Markquart
Brenda Delaney Dowling Parent/Guardian
Sue Backus Minneapolis Public Schools Staff
Jamez L Smith Minneapolis Public Schools Staff
Donald Thomas Lionsgate Academy Community Member
Cynthia Lewis University of Minnesota Community Member
Mai Yang Community Member
Roberta Hernandez Rasmussen Community Member
Thomas Swiss University of Minnesota Community Member
Katie Cook Community Member
Arella Vargas ECSE Staff
Paul Spies MPLS Homeowner, Former MPS Parent, Professor of Urban Education (Metro State) Community Member
Tracey Pyscher Metro State University Community Member
Dan Gordon Hamline University Community Member
Lynne Crockett Northside Schools Collective Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Dove Scott Parent/Guardian
Rachael Goins Boneshaker Books and Americorps Alumnus Americorps Promise Fellow Alumnus
Shomari oconnor Community Member
Adam Bloodworth University of Minnesota Community Member
Rene Antrop-Gonzalez Metropolitan State University Dean,School of Urban Education
Kevin Stewart Zion Baptist church Community Member
Carla Ballard Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Community Member
Joline Gitis Community Member
Natasha C. Vaubel Former Assoc. Editor, Black Camera: An International Journal graduate
Kassie Carlstrom Student
Caroline Scott Parent/Guardian
natasha olubajo Student, former student
Loren J Towle Minneapolis South High School Parent/Guardian
Elise sommers Tufts University Alum
Cyarra Swanson Community Member, Youth worker
Jocelyn Lovick Henry High School Parent/Guardian, Staff
Noah Branch Patrick Henry Student, Board Member
Ruth B. Usem Teacher / community leader Community Member, proponent of Public Education
Ruth B. Usem Teacher / community leader Community Member, proponent of Public Education
Heidi Begin Staff
Ben Kressel Parent/Guardian
Jasmine Harbin Parent/Guardian
Nara coldwater South high school Student
Dova Moore South High School Student
BONNIE VANG HIA
Rev. Tanden Brekke Bethel University Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Sarah Hays Community Member
Emily Goldberg Wenonah (LNCS) Parent Parent/Guardian
Bryan Barnes Parent/Guardian
Kathy Polk Community Member
Matthew Lang Head Basketball Coach, MPS Graduate,
Matt Sowell Armatage Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Marion Gomez Community Member
Alice Ruppert Community Member
Cherolyn Fischer Parent, Early Childhood Educator Community Member, Former parent/ former student
Jodi Versaw Parent/Guardian
Laura Holland Community Member
Makeda Zulu-Gillespie Community Member
Amanda Norell Community Member
Heidi wolbersen Mpls public schools Parent/Guardian
James Burnett III School of Urban Education at Metroploitan State University Parent/Guardian, Community Member
James Schmit Minneapolis Public Schools Staff
Jennifer gilles Parent/Guardian
Joe Alfano former MPS science curriculum specialist Community Member, parent of 3 graduated MPS students
Lauren Muscoplat Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Shannon McManimon Community Member, Educator
Amanda Schroder Community Member
Malcolm Wells Staff
Erika Groos Community Member, Teacher Candidate, former student
Elisabeth Perez Staff Ramsey Middle (SPPS), St Thomas Graduate Student Community Member
Mary Moeller Ms. Community Member
Susan Curnow Breedlove Community Member
Andrea Saenz Community Member
Amy Perna
Kirsten morcomb Community Member, Former MPS teacher
Liam McLaughlin Student, Alumni
Samantha Weiman University of Minnesota- Twin Cities Community Member
Sarah L. Sage Community Member, Educator and ELL Instructor
Nicole Foster MSP South High graduate1992
Jennifer Gilreath Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Azucena Ortega Community Member
Christina Dzieweczynski Staff, Community Member
Grayson Carr Minnesota Alliance With Youth/Minnesota Department of Education Community Member
Rebeka Ndosi Lyndale Community School Parent/Guardian
Mary Harding Parent/Guardian
Abby Dohm Community Member
Adara Bryan Alumni
Emily Gastineau Community Member
Miriam Must Community Member, teaching artist
Paul Xiong Community Member
Syniva Whitney Community Member
William Cottman Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Lisa Clemons A Mother's Love Initiative Community Member
Tauniceum Stewart Parent/Guardian
Angel Adams Community Member Community Member
Mary Everest University of MN Community Member
Anat Shinar Parent/Guardian, Community Member
S. Salin
Linda Her Asian American Organizing Project - Midwest Solidarity Movement Community Member
Justin Lapka University of Minnesota Reserve Teacher
Roxxanne O'Brien Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Oragnizer
Gina Kundan Parent/Guardian
Richard Terrell Parent/Guardian, Community Member
LaKeashia Robinson Harvest Network schools Parent/Guardian
PaviElle French
Yonci Jameson Student, Community Member
DeVon Nolen Parent of 2nd and 4th grader, MPS alumni, activist, DPAC, site council Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Mary Steiner Community Member
Mary Steiner Community Member
Dr. Karen Palmen Saint Paul Public School ELA/Dance Teacher, Saint Paul Federation of Teachers Executive Board Member Former MPS Teacher
Shannah Anderson Community Member
Irene Duong Community Member, Former staff
Nadine McNiff Great River School Community Member
Chris Lindgren University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Parent/Guardian, Community Member, Literacy researcher
Maimouna Mohammed MCTC Student, Community Member
Signe Harriday St.Catherine University Community Member
Sandy Agustin Community Community Member
Pam Plagge-Isaac Quiala Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Abbey Karich Mpls Public Schools School Psychologist
Syneva Barrett Community Member
Mae Kindler Community Member
Regina Gray n/a concerned citizen
karen Bowman 1973 Parent/Guardian
Gregory Clayton Kimbrough Wilder, Putnam and Standish elementary schools Proud Former student who is currently shaking his head in disgust.
Jayanthi Kyle Parent/Million Artist Movement Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Dana Neuhauser Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Kelly Casey Former teacher
bessie pierce hall Parent/Guardian
John Bull Parent/Guardian
Marianne Bull Parent/Guardian
Cecily Marcus Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Rich Bothe Alumni
Christine Marran Community Member
Laura Yost Manthey South High School Staff
Laura Yost Manthey South High School Staff
Alissa Vick-Pritchard Parent/Guardian
Melissa Faveeo MPS Staff
Yvette Boafo Tax Payer
Ashley Perez Richfield High Student
Gilbert Valencia Community Member Community Member
Amy Marsicano Community Member
Jennifer Racho Community Member
Owen Marciano Community Member
LJ Steele,MA Not Affiliated but still care
Abbigail Feola Macalester College Community Member
LaKeashia Robinson Ms. Parent/Guardian
Stephanie D. Johnson, LGSW MPS Social Worker Parent/Guardian, Student, Staff, Community Member
Karen gehrke MPS Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Mai Chue Lor Student
Me'Lea Connelly armatage and anthony Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Kendrick Wronski Mpls teacher, retired Community Member, Mpls. teacher, retired
Susanna Patterson MetroState future Grandparent
Valentine Cadieux Community Member, Local Teacher
David Sundeen
Lisa Pillow Parent/Guardian
Jill Anderson Seward Montessori Parent/Guardian
Ian McLoone Seward Montessori Parent/Guardian
Sheila Crabbe MFT59 Staff, Community Member
Lex Horan Community Member
alizarin menninga Million Artist Movement Community Member
Nicole Kingbird CAPRW Parent/Guardian, Community Member
christine rigert washburn parent Parent/Guardian
Becky McConnell South High Parent/Guardian
Mel Caesar Parent/Guardian
Esther Callahan Community Member
Megan Duncan Minneapolis Community and Technical College alumni of MPS Public Schools
Carol Dallman Minneapolis Public Schools Staff
Susan B Johnson U of M
Jennifer Johnson
Shawny Sena Community Member
Reanne Reed Viken Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission Community Member
Eva Shellabarger South High Student
Anna Kleven South High School Student
Erin L. Harley Armatage Montessori Parent/Guardian
Kou Lee Augsburg College Community Member
Lillian Jane Steele,MA Educator
Robin Lewis Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Carol Mejia Macalester College Community Member
Lamia Abukhadra Alumni
Maggie Rozycki Community Member
Nicque Mabrey St. Paul Federation of Teachers Community Member
Karen Lucas Physician Community Member
Brittney Wirth-Petrik the sexual violence center Community Member
Claudio Rivera Alumni/Future Parent
Bao Phi The Loft Community Member
Kerri Rivers Parent/Guardian
Clare Roney Parent/Guardian
Sharra Frank Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Eleanor Savage Community Member
Stephen Glover
Terrianna Davis
Hallie Matuza Parent/Guardian
Darshelle Turner
Matthew Harris Community Member
Wilay Mentor
Jenny Bolling Parent/Guardian
Joe Gonzalez
Henry Carlson
Asale Sol Young ED Sankofa Underground North Academy
Aaron Thomas
Melanie Sarol
Sydney Plunkett Community Member
BriAnna M Daniels Community Member
Karen Feit
Linda Vlosby Community Member
Fred Sutherlans Community Member
Valerie Rose Community Member
Kathy Anderson Community Member
kohn N Haris Community Member
Stephen Wulff
David Luce
Sally Murphy Community Member
Soua Pha Youth Worker
Audrey Park Community Member
Lila Sarene Community Member
AKudo Omeoga Community Member
Michael Lee Community member / north high Community Member, Former staff
Emily Hurd Community Member
Aiyana Machado Community Member
Mariam omari Community Member, Nephews in MPS. I 50% of my childhood was brought up in the MPS system
Jeralyn Mohr full nest Inc Community Member
David Branch Former MPS Principal Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Gloria Portillo
Jamil Payton Educator
A. McCann South high grad former student
A. McCann South high grad former student
Art Serotoff AARP Sabathani, MLK Park Legacy Council Community Member
David Sundeen OST Worker,Hopkins Schools
Ann Burns Retired Community Member, Graduate
MK Nguyen vietnamese American organizers Community Member
Marlene Freeman Community Member
Julie Graves Future Parent
Kyle Tran Myhre Community Member
Jordon Daley Parent/Guardian
Haddayr Copley-Woods Sanford Middle School/Southside Family School Parent/Guardian
Romeny Chan Barton Open Parent/Guardian
Marlaine Cox Parent/Guardian
Sara Bolnick Parent/Guardian, Community Member
Tiffany Community Member
Sarah King Teach For All Community Member
Vanessa Young ANEW BAM Community Member, Future Educator
Brettina Davis Community Member
Elizabeth Johnson Community Member
Jen Wang Community Member, Teaching Artist

+123 Protected Signatures


Appendix: Oppressive Ideologies within the “little books”

--There are three “African” fables (Lazy Lucy, An African Fable, and Penny’s Lesson): hollow, racist, and wrought with stereotypes. These have no specific location in Africa nor time period, one uses the word “crazy”, another “lazy”, and “man” is equated with all genders.
--Another continues the lie of Christopher Columbus “discovering” America and puts a positive spin on his “discovery”.
--There is only one Asian character in the series of books, and is possibly adopted as her brother is a white, blonde hair, blue eyed boy. Zero representation of an Asian family.
--In the book on Lagos, the (hollow in actual meaning but rich in racist undertones) word “ethnic” is used to describe the type of music “they” like. The city is “hectic”. “They dance to hip-hop” is an actual sentence in the book. Students “can” attend school there.
--The book “Kenya” educates kids on stereotypes of how “People in Kenya are very active in sports. They play rugby and soccer. They also like boxing. Most people are aware that Kenyans are able to run very fast. They can run for a long time. Kenyans have won many races. Some Kenyans run with bare feet! As you can tell, Kenya is a pretty great place.” Also, it tells us the jobs are cotton and coffee and making cement or making clothes for people in the United States.
“Nieko, the Hunting Girl” perpetuates the stereotypical image of Native Americans with bows and arrows hunting and living in caves.
--The only image of a god in the books is of Thor, pictured as a white man.
--There are 11 books about pirates. Continuation of a hollow and irrelevant narrative
--14 books depict heterosexual couples in various ways. 0 representation of GLBT*Q people or families.
--0 representations of anyone outside of the gender binary of male/female.
--In “The Raccoon in Mushroom Forest” it endorses stereotypical gender roles: “Gilda would cook Bruce’s morning meal. Then she packed his lunch….Then Gilda cleaned each room in the cottage. She was always in a good mood. Each day Gilda made a pot of mushroom chowder for dinner….She would say with a sigh ‘Bruce works so hard. I wish I could cook him a better meal’...[she] stitched up Bruce’s pants”
--Another book continues these: “Josh came in from the chill. Beth had the hot fish dish for him.”
--In “A Trip To Egypt” the tour guide’s head covering appears to be the same material that a caricature of a mummy is mummified with throughout the book.
--The only teacher depicted, Miss Moss, is a white woman.
--In the book on Medieval Games the pronoun “he” and “his” is used to represent all genders.
--There are 3 kings represented, all are white men, while the only representation of royalty that is not White is a Black prince and princess (lower in the hierarchy).


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