In terms of race and ethnicity, the Twin Cities region is one of the most rapidly diversifying metro areas in the nation. For 15 years, Hispanic, black and Asian residents — now almost a quarter of the population — have been flooding into the suburbs.
We hear from all sides that America is becoming “two nations.” The upper class of highly educated professionals is flourishing — rich and getting richer. But many in the working class are struggling — dropping out of the workforce and leading increasingly dysfunctional lives. The middle class is shrinking and beginning to show similar signs of dysfunction.
As the school year kicks off, Gov. Mark Dayton and his DFL allies are congratulating themselves on pumping hundreds of millions of new dollars into Minnesota schools during the last legislative session. Thanks to their enlightened leadership, they assure us, our schools are now on track to produce the “world’s best workforce” — and to achieve the ever-elusive goals of closing our yawning racial achievement gap and attaining a 100 percent graduation rate.
The Twin Cities of 2040 will likely be starkly different from the place you live now. People will increasingly live in dense, urban concentrations, even if they’d prefer a house with a yard outside the 494 beltway.
Today, we take cohabitation for granted. We think of living together before marriage as an equal-opportunity chance for a couple to test if they’re right for each other long-term. It’s becoming clear, however, that for many women cohabitation is the real ball and chain.
Recent events at the Capitol make clear that we Minnesotans are on track for one of the biggest tax increases in recent state history.
But suppose you could wave a magic wand and erase our budget deficit, pay off the $801 million left from the school shift, actually have a surplus — and do it all without raising taxes. There’d be dancing in the streets, right?
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. The latest cause célèbre for prominent lawyers and judges in Minneapolis is the rights of a new, disenfranchised class of victims who, we’re told, can’t vote, serve on juries, or — in some cases — live in public housing.
Is a bigger K-12 budget a key to improving academic achievement in Minnesota schools, especially for poor, minority students? Lots of folks at the State Capitol say the answer is yes.
The latest proof that they’re wrong comes from Camden, New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie just announced the State will be taking control of Camden’s public schools. Christie says the step is necessary because the district is “at the breaking point,” with “chronic and severe problems.”
Testimony of Katherine Kersten on S.F. 783—“The Safe and Supportive Schools Act”—before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee
March 15, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly made clear that the Constitution protects freedom of speech for students in public schools. As the Court declared in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District in 1969, it “has been the unmistakeable holding of this court for almost 50 years” that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”
The marriage amendment may have fallen short at the polls in November, but a majority of Minnesotans continue to support marriage as the union of one man and one woman, according to recent polls by KSTP/SurveyUSA and the Star Tribune. In the Star Tribune poll, only 38 percent said they favored legalization of same-sex marriage.