Staff Columns

There are hundreds of beautiful towns in the United States. And each of them has a claim to fame. Whether it’s the Fire Hydrant Capital of the world in Albertville, Ala., the giant statue of Paul Bunyan welcoming visitors to Brainerd, Minn., or the giant ice cream sundae statue in LeMars, Iowa, every city has [...]

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Double testing of our high school students is costing Minnesotans millions of dollars. That’s money that could be better spent. What about spending some of those millions on, for example, high-quality early childhood programs? Or on extra-curricular programs? The ACT found many years ago that participation in debate, drama, speech, music and journalism programs was [...]

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Money was not mentioned by any of the more than 30 educators who responded to a question I asked about the first month of school. Each of them described the most important things that families can do in September. Everything they suggested is free: helping students set goals, establishing routines, learning something yourself, talking positively [...]

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Here’s a suggestion for the summer. If you care about learning, teaching, schools or parenting, get a copy of “Teaching with Heart,” edited by educator Sam M. Intrator and writer Megan Scribner. The book has 90 brief, one-page essays by educators, explaining and describing a poem that has inspired them. The book contains some of [...]

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What a great way to end a high school career! Recently I had a chance to participate in portfolio presentations at St Paul’s Harding High School. For 20-25 minutes, each graduating senior presented information about what she or he had done in high school, covering grades, extra-curricular activities, community service, honors and awards, reference letters, [...]

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Remarkably, as Minnesota families rightly are concerned about college costs, Minnesota legislators are debating whether to allow colleges and universities to inform families that they can save dollars by having high school students take courses on postsecondary campuses.  The Minnesota House and Senate have taken different approaches, which they now need to reconcile. Some Minnesota [...]

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