joe nathan

It’s not surprising that some Minnesota educators are angry about how high-stakes MCA testing operated during the past year and how some newspapers reported results. The rules changed, there were statewide computer “freezes” caused by problems with the testing company’s technology, and one of the state’s tests was much harder. Whether from suburbs like Hopkins, [...]

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Fortunately, a second medical opinion this week showed I did not need a painful “spinal tap.” Instead, the second doctor who examined me (after I expressed concerns about the first, dramatic diagnosis), prescribed ice on my back and anti-pain pills every four to six hours My morning’s very sore neck felt much better by the [...]

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Judy Galbraith, formerly Farmington and west suburban public school teacher, has been a remarkable resource for families and students for 30 years. As the summer starts, I don’t know of a better family activity than checking out the hundreds of books her company, Free Spirit, has published and selecting several to read. Her books have [...]

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A provocative email from a recently elected Central Minnesota school board member included the following: “The world is much different (than) when my parents made their decisions (about schools). I am struggling with how much tax money should be spent to retain and attract students.” Below is my response. Hope to hear what you think. [...]

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Praise and perspective – that’s what more than 30 Minnesota education leaders offered last week when asked about the 2013 Minnesota Legislature’s decisions on K-12 education. They included superintendents Deb Henton of North Branch, Linda Madsen of Forest Lake and Bruce Novak of Cambridge, as well as Cam Gordon, director of Lakes International Charter, and [...]

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What are some key questions arising from the 211-page k-12 education bill that the Minnesota legislature has just produced? Give the 2013 Minnesota Legislature considerable credit. It expanded long-needed opportunities for many young people and families. But several things deserve additional attention in 2014. Why did the legislature allocate almost three times as much money [...]

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