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 […]

Health Care: Is it a right or is health care all wrong?

Most agree, health care is the most critical issue we face and yet few folks want to talk about. As Mike “Barry Casper” says in his book, ‘Lost in Washington‘ (2000), recollections of his time as policy advisor to Senator Wellstone. In all discussions of health care reform, there is general agreement about the major […]

Valley Grove

Sunday before last, I took a break from the pressures of a new school year to attend the Valley Grove annual quilt sale and jello contest. Yes, a jello contest. It honors that “Norwegian” church tradition, the jello that is an essential element of all church gatherings. You’ve all seen the “recipes” in the church […]

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 […]

More for a Few and Less for You!! #8

The people know what’s really harsh: Minnesota Poll: Economy takes its toll on Bush Daniel Schorr: Deregulation is not the Promised LandLegislators see people feel pain of no new tax increases. (Anoka/editorial): Taxes on the rise: Cities look for new revenue as state cuts aid. (White Bear Lake) Blazer-Mn Chamber: City balances higher rates and […]

More for a Few, and Less for you — #7 What’s Really Harsh

The people know what’s really harsh: From the St. Cloud Times – 8 September, 2003Letter: Unfair trade bills hurt AmericaRichard Steffes, President, Central Minnesota Trades and Labor Association, St. Cloud In the past 30 months, 50,000 Minnesotans lost their jobs manufacturing tools, tapes, toys, cookware, paper, plastic containers, refrigerators, school computer stands, book trucks and […]

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 […]
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