Minnesota State Standards – Where are we headed?

The new standards in Science and Social studies were recently released by the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Department is starting to receive reactions from all quarters. The Profile of Learning, though described as “state mandated curriculum,” had nowhere near the specificity of these standards. Even though these standards are telling all teachers what […]

Tying things up

Well, it’s been a long week. I am happy to say that after several months the Northfield School District and teachers’ association in Northfield appear to have reached an agreement. Both sides worked hard to do right by their interests yet bend enough toward the other to make it a good agreement. It was not […]

Education – What matters (fourth in a series)

In a recent Harper’s article, award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto, addresses his concerns about the negative effects of schools on children. He paints a picture of a strategy planned by the rich and powerful to produce a mass of consumers who will be obedient and content workers. Although the notion of an intentional conspiracy […]

Education – What matters (third in a series)

Here comes the school year, and here come the students from poor families, and there stand too many teachers insisting the students cannot be taught, that so high a mountain cannot be climbed. Given that attitude, the students are virtually done for. Their prospects for learning are dim. It’s unfair to say the teachers who […]

Education – What matters (second in a series)

Democratic Presidential candidate, Howard Dean says, “Today the President used his weekly radio address to praise his education bill, No Child Left Behind. Behind his glowing rhetoric is an unfortunate reality: Another broken promise by this President, who has broken his pledge to fund the statute’s new demands, creating crushing burdens for local school boards […]

Education – What matters (first in a series)

It’s been a hectic week. School is starting up again and there is that mix of excitement and stressful aversion about what schools demand. I remember clearly that sense of butterflies my stomach and wanting to see friends I hadn’t seen over the summer. I loathed and liked what school would demand and allow me […]

Preserving a bit of Yesterday for today.

Last Sunday I drove down to Nerstrand to join in the All Church outdoor worship service, where the Methodist, Congregational and Lutheran churches of Nerstrand come together for a community service in the park. After the wonderful service filled with some of my favorite hymns, we were treated to a fine Minnesota church salad and […]

What about education reform?

“A distinguishing characteristic of our nation – and a great strength – is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been – and are – a […]
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