Twin Cities School Studies

Pathways to Prosperity and Roads to Nowhere (2024)

This study examines college attendance patterns among graduates of Twin Cities high schools. It identifies huge disparities between the number of college-bound students in top and bottom college placement schools in Minnesota. 

Minnesota’s Education Workforce: Demographic and Compensation Trends (2023)

The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity has conducted a study of demographics and salaries among K-12 licensed public educators in Minnesota. As in many other states, Minnesota K-12 schools report significant teacher shortages, despite nearly 38% of those licensed to teach in the state working outside of a licensure position. The Institute’s analysis explores factors likely contributing to the teacher shortage, and concludes with recommendations for improving it.

Cruz-Guzman Amicus Brief (2018)

Although the Court has only been asked to decide constitutional questions related to justiciability, those questions will determine whether and how Minnesota schoolchildren are able to vindicate their right to a desegregated education. This brief seeks to provide historical and factual context for the decision before the Court.

The Minnesota School Choice Project: Part I: Segregation and Performance (2017)

For over two and a half decades, Minnesota has been ground zero for an ongoing national experiment in public school charterization. Part I of the project updates the Institute’s previous work on Twin Cities’ charter schools, which focused on their high degree of racial and economic segregation and mediocre academic performance. This latest report shows that both trends continue unabated. 

Charters, Choice, and the Constitution (2014)

This Article highlights the evolution of school choice policies and their consequences, much of which has been negative in terms of increasing racial segregation.

Charter Schools in the Twin Cities: 2013 Update (2013)

This report uses 2012-13 data and shows that charters are still much more likely to be segregated than their traditional counterparts.

Open Enrollment and Racial Segregation (2013)

This study provides evidence that Minnesota's open enrollment program increases racial segregation in area schools.

School and Housing Demographics in the Twin Cities (2012)

This presentation documents change in Twin Cities schools and neighborhoods.

St. Paul Demographics and Schools (2012)

Update of IRP's 2008 Report on Charter Schools in the Twin Cities (2012)

This report updates the data underlying the 2008 report entitled Failed Promises: Assessing Charter Schools in the Twin Cities.

Housing and Schools on the University LRT Corridor (2011)

This Powerpoint presentation shows socio-economic characteristics of the University Avenue light-rail corridor in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Maps and charts of Eden Prairie school characteristics (2011)

Socio-economic trends in Eden Prairie elementary schools are shown in these documents.

Regional Strategies to Integrate Twin Cities Schools and Neighborhoods (2009)

This combination policy brief and research paper shows a close relationship between segregation in schools and neighborhoods and argues that policy reform for schools and housing must be closely related and regionally coordinated.

Expanding Educational Opportunity Through School and Housing Choice (2008)

This research paper details the prevalence of segregation in many Twin Cities schools.

Failed Promises: Assessing Charter Schools in the Twin Cities (2008)

This report documents that charter schools lag behind traditional public schools and intensify racial and economic segregation in the Twin Cities.

Achievement Gap Committee Hearing (2007)

IRP Executive Director Myron Orfield provided testimony at the September 24, 2007, Achievement Gap Committee hearing, sponsored by Senator Patricia Ray Torres.

The Choice is Ours: Expanding Educational Opportunity for all Twin Cities Children (2007)

This IRP report reveals the disturbing extent of school segregation in the Twin Cities region. However, the authors envision a brighter future if an already successful school choice program is expanded. The report describes how economic and racial segregation harm children and the region.

The Region and Taxation: School Finance, Cities and the Hope for Regional Reform (2007)

This article, from the Buffalo Law Review, examines two states where significant changes in school equity occurred in the 1990s.

Twin Cities Opportunity Index (2007)

This analysis of municipalities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area shows variations in access to opportunity. The index combines 24 local characteristics measuring fiscal health, jobs/transportation, quality of life and education.

Choice, Equal Protection and Metropolitan Integration (2006)

This article, published in the Fordham Urban Law Journal, recommends that land use and housing policies be marshaled to reduce residential racial segregation and concentrated poverty. Such policies should be statewide, or at least regional, in scope. Isolated policies encourage leap-frog development that in turn promotes both sprawl and racial segregation.