This week I reflect on going to St. Paul’s Longfellow Elementary School in the 1970s. Drawing on research from a 2017 Law & Inequality article by Bojan Manojlovic and a 2005 report by the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor I discuss the efforts to desegregate Minnesota schools in the 1970s. A 2014 report by the UCLA Civil Rights project found school segregation is as high today as in the 1960s, before school desegregation efforts began.
I also describe the rise and fall of open school design at Longfellow Elementary in St. Paul and the bomb threats that were part of a bizarre trend Francis Wheen describes in his book Strange Days Indeed. The Longfellow Elementary building was taken over by Four Seasons Elementary in 2011. Finally, I highlight the recent initiative by Mayor Melvin Carter to eliminate fines at St. Paul public libraries.