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Commentaries

Jan 23, 2013
Governor Dayton admitted that a lot of people won’t like this budget and predicted we’ll hear people calling this budget a disaster. How prescient. After reading a few news reports on the governor’s position on comprehensive tax reform, it seemed the governor might propose a budget that included at least a handful of positives to counter the negatives. Regrettably, that does not appear to be the case.
Jan 18, 2013
Nearly a decade ago, the Minnesota Department of Education thoroughly revised the social-studies standards for K-12 public schools. Largely a response to the much-reviled Profiles of Learning, these new standards sought to beef up content and drastically reduce the busywork that was so prominent under the Profiles -- and so frustrating to both teachers and students.
Jan 14, 2013
Here are a few myths new legislators should keep in mind as they learn the ropes at the Capitol: Myth No. 1: Legislators are paid too much (or too little). This comes up early in nearly every session. It’s not even a partisan issue. Both parties have had members support cutting legislators’ pay and both parties, when they’ve held the majority, have seen to it that bills of this nature have never seen the light of day.
Jan 13, 2013
Who -- in the sensitive, civilized Minnesota of 2013 -- could possibly be in favor of bullying? If you were short or fat in sixth grade, you may have cringed from bullies yourself. If your kids have endured bullying, you've suffered through it with them. No child should have to put up with bullying. So how could a decent person oppose a campaign at our State Capitol to prevent it?
Dec 20, 2012
“In simplest and starkest terms, the United States has one of the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates in the world. We also have one of the highest divorce rates in the world. These stubborn patterns and trends are the opposite of good news for any group, but they’re particularly bad news for boys and girls, as they diminish their well-being now and undercut their future.
Dec 20, 2012
I had to pause and reflect this week as the Legislature in my home state of Michigan passed into law a form of “right to work” that had been promoted by Gov. Rick Snyder. The law made union dues voluntary for private-sector unions and most public sector unions.
Dec 17, 2012
The federal government's very generous wind-power subsidy is set to expire at year's end. It's no surprise that the special interests feeding at this subsidy trough are putting pressure on Congress to extend it.
Dec 16, 2012
On just about every front today, Europe offers Americans a peek around the corner at our future. We seem to be taking Greece as our model on government debt, France on entrenched unemployment, and Italy and Spain on the bloated welfare state.
Dec 7, 2012
In "A promising focus on achievement gap" (Dec. 4) the Star Tribune Editorial Board was prudent in expressing both hope and caution regarding "Generation Next," the Twin Cities' newest and most encompassing attempt to narrow achievement gaps between white and nonwhite K-12 students. Led by a remarkable collection of business, foundation, educational and political leaders, Generation Next has been inspired by a similarly comprehensive approach in Cincinnati known as "Strive."
Dec 6, 2012
Thanks to Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, Abraham Lincoln is with us once again. Actually, in a very real sense our sixteenth president has never really left us. He is always hovering over us and preaching to us, forever prodding us and haunting us.