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Community news: education, health, light rail

09 Mar

The big news in the past weeks:

  • Alternative Teacher License bill passed and signed
  • New Social Studies standards being drafted
  • HMOs under attack in the legislature, bipartisan support for HMO reform builds
  • Community response to Lightrail continues

Education

Dayton Signs Minnesota Alternative Teacher License Bill Into Law

The change is aimed at helping to close a wide racial achievement gap in Minnesota and fill projected teacher shortages. It is expected to bring in new, mostly young teachers who didn’t attend traditional teaching colleges and ease the way for programs such as Teach for America, a national initiative that places recent college graduates in struggling schools.

Commentary from Vallay Varro/MinnCan: The next step in producing great teachers

“…adding quality teachers into the classroom is just the beginning. Now we must turn our attention to building a trusted system that measures the impact of teachers on their students’ achievement.”

Leaner look for social studies standards

Social studies standards for schools is being redrafted and the Education Department has been taking public comment on the draft standards since last week. Three town meetings on the subject are scheduled around the state this week, including one in Roseville on Friday. The first town meeting, held last Wednesday in Fergus Falls, drew only one person. [Author’s comments: If you would like to view the first draft and submit your comments, visit MDE’s site.]

Health

Minn. Senator Wants To Kick HMOs Out of Public Health Plans

Sen. Marty says HMOs spend three billion dollars of your tax dollars every year on public health care plans and do not open their books to state auditors. According to HMOs, they made a 109-million dollar profit on those programs in 2009 alone. Marty says, if HMOs are unwilling to submit to state audits, then he wants them removed from the process entirely.

Light Rail
Study says Central Corridor will increase housing costs along route

Kate Hess Pace, a spokeswoman for ISAIAH, one of the groups sponsoring the study, said housing costs for some poorer residents along University Avenue take half or more of their income.

300 rally in St. Paul to demand that light-rail project benefit low-income residents

Frogtown Square takes first steps ‘into the future’

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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Community news, Legislative

 

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