Fired Mpls. teacher says district doctors data, ‘investigates’ anyone who speaks out

"It investigates anyone who tries to speak out and removes anyone, hello, who does so repeatedly," Becka Thompson told the board.

"It investigates anyone who tries to speak out and removes anyone, hello, who does so repeatedly," Becka Thompson told the board. (Minneapolis Public Schools)

In an impassioned Tuesday night speech, a public school teacher fired from her Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) job said that schools within the district are doctoring data.

Becka Thompson addressed the MPS school board at a regularly scheduled board meeting on April 16. Stating that she was not there to defend her job, Thompson discussed problems at MPS, saying, “I’m here to ask you to believe me when I tell you that there is a cancerous rot running right down the middle of this organization.”

Thompson, who also happens to be a commissioner with the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board, described the rot as an “old and grafted chauvinism that deals in harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion, gaslight, and compelled speech, with which it continues to exist in certain corners. It investigates anyone who tries to speak out and removes anyone, hello, who does so repeatedly.” 

A math teacher, Thompson said she was being let go because her presence and relationship with the school board “threaten that status quo.”

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the MPS school board did include a document which contained “all employment separations that require board action since the previous board meeting.” In that document, several position titles are listed, but no names are included.

“My name is on your list to be removed tonight from employment completely with MPS,” Thompson told the board.

Referencing MPS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Sayles-Adams’s desire to make data-driven decisions, Thompson said, “I don’t know how you can [make data-driven decisions] when so much of the data out of certain schools is being doctored.”

“I have watched as management refuses to report aspects of our schools which desperately need to be addressed. For example, an horrific assault that happened in front of me, but involved two students who don’t speak English,” added Thompson.

Thompson concluded her comments by making recommendations to the school board, discussed how grateful she is for her time as a teacher with the district, expressed admiration for her fellow school teachers, and said she believes in the school board’s ability to lead.

“I do not say any of this to discourage anybody, but to shine a light in dark places,” said the parks commissioner and former math teacher.

Earlier this month, Alpha News reported that MPS is facing an over $100 million budget shortfall. As a matter of fact, MPS is just one of many school districts across the state that are facing significant budget concerns. New unfunded mandates enacted by state government have been blamed as a partial cause for these historic budget shortfalls.

With over 30,000 students across 97 different schools, MPS is one of the largest school districts in the state. However, data from the Minnesota Department of Education shows that only 35% of students are proficient in math, while just 41% are meeting grade-level standards in reading.

Minneapolis Public Schools did not respond to a request for comment.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.