In Focus: Equity in Education, an MPR News community event

Minnesota has some of the largest racial disparities in education in the U.S., and efforts to solve the decades-long problem have so far been unsuccessful.

Gaps in graduation rates and test scores have long been used to measure these disparities. But, in recent years, there’s been more focus on inequalities in access to resources that can influence how well kids do in school. And then, there’s racism — biased teachers and staff, and systems within schools that put up barriers for Black and Indigenous students and students of color.

In Focus: Equity in Education, a virtual event, will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7, to explore these disparities and what’s behind them.

MPR News host Angela Davis will lead a discussion, built around community participation, and talk with people who have been working to level the playing field for all students. We’ll talk about what’s getting in the way of progress on equity in education in Minnesota and discuss which solutions are showing promise.

Among the voices you’ll hear from at the event: Racial equity coach and former Minnesota Teacher of the Year Jess Davis, Minneapolis Black Student Achievement Director Michael Walker and Anusha Nath, a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

In Focus is a series of convenings MPR is committed to leading over the next year to bring awareness, dialogue and potential solutions to Minnesota’s persistent racial disparities — in education, health, economic opportunities and many other areas.

Through conversations with community leaders that are shaped by our curious, engaged audience, MPR hopes to encourage new connections and relationships that will help Minnesota communities make progress toward equity and inclusion.

If you have thoughts or questions about the event or the topic of education equity, check out the MPR News Ground Level project page for different ways to share your experience. Come back to this page for updates on the event’s lineup and other details.

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