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An increasingly diverse Minnesota student body

If current patterns persist, more Minnesota students will be left behind
PDF Version

March 23, 2021

Authors

Vanessa Palmer Data Scientist, Community Development and Engagement
Alene Tchourumoff Senior Vice President, Community Development and Engagement
An increasingly diverse Minnesota student body

Access to an adequate system of education is the only promise the state constitution makes to Minnesota children. Research continues to show that not all children are thriving in that system. As Minnesota’s student population grows and becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, a greater number of students will be left behind if current disparities persist. This trend underscores the need for bold action.

Fact 1: Minnesota’s population is growing and becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

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The number of school-aged young people in Minnesota is projected to increase by more than 100,000 over the next three decades. By 2050, fully one-third of Minnesotans will be Black, Indigenous, or people of color—an increase of 16 percentage points.

Fact 2: Public schools in Minnesota do not currently provide all students with even an adequate education.

If current patterns continue, most Minnesota public school students are predicted to fall short of basic academic benchmarks by the time they graduate from high school. Students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, Black, and Indigenous students will fall even further behind their peers. The following illustrates how the status quo—if it persists—might affect students over time.

If our system continues to deliver academic outcomes at current levels, the 64,300 kindergarteners who enrolled in Minnesota public schools in 2019 can be expected to achieve the following outcomes:

All students

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Students from low-income backgrounds

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Students identifying as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC)

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Source: Authors’ calculations using 2019 enrollment counts, demographic counts, and Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) achievement from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and 2019 college readiness benchmarking from ACT.

Vanessa Palmer
Data Scientist, Community Development and Engagement

Vanessa Palmer is a data scientist in the Minneapolis Fed’s Community Development and Engagement Division. She uses data visualization to help the Bank and its stakeholders better understand issues affecting low- and moderate-income communities.

Alene Tchourumoff
Senior Vice President, Community Development and Engagement
Alene Tchourumoff, senior vice president of Community Development and Engagement and the Center for Indian Country Development, leads the Bank’s efforts to promote economic opportunity and access to credit for low- and moderate-income people throughout the Ninth District and for residents of Indian Country.