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
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.
“…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.”
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.]
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.
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.