The Mysterious Partisan Squabble Over Early Education

Categories: Education

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Photo by William Creswell

With state Republicans taking control of the House again, the early childhood education committee is no more.

Instead, Republicans have restructured committees with an emphasis on higher education finance, leaving early education proponents on the other side of the aisle grasping at efforts to maintain focus on closing the state's achievement gap.

Apparently, the realignment of education priorities along party lines comes up with every power shift in the House. The early childhood committee emerged in 2007 while Democrats reigned, then Republicans did away with it the first time when they captured the majority in 2010. Democrats resurrected the committee in 2012, and so it goes.

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St. Cloud Cathedral Kills Snow Days

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David Wiley via Creative Commons
Is new technology going to eliminate snow days?

Scores of kids around the state had school cancelled due to Monday's snowstorm, leaving them free to sleep in, sit back, and enjoy a free extended weekend courtesy of Mother Nature.

Lazy students got an extra day to procrastinate writing that paper they put off all weekend, while others had a chance to go sledding, build a snow fort, or, more likely, sit inside while live-tweeting a Netflix binge.

Unfortunately for students at St. Cloud's Cathedral High School, that wasn't the case.

See Also: 11 Dumb Things Minnesotans Do When It Snows

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Reporter Sarah Lahm on Critical Don Samuels Piece: "This Is Bigger Than Don Samuels"

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Lahm (right): "The outside money flowing to the Samuels campaign follows a relatively recent national pattern... where local school board races have been heavily influenced by the political and financial heft of outside groups."
As we detailed earlier this week, school board candidate (and former City Council member) Don Samuels isn't happy with a report recently published in the Investigative Fund that takes a tough, unflattering look at the copious national money pouring into his campaign.

But the journalist who reported the piece, Minneapolis-based freelancer Sarah Lahm, stands by what she wrote and tells us Samuels shouldn't take it personally.

See also:
"Controversial" MSHSL Draft Transgender Policy Really Shouldn't Be


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Don Samuels on Hot Dog Gate, Media Beefs, and His Priorities

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Facebook
Samuels has the support of R.T.
:::: UPDATE :::: Reporter Sarah Lahm on Critical Don Samuels Piece: "This is Bigger Than Don Samuels"

Over the weekend we had the chance to talk at length with Don Samuels, the former Minneapolis City Council member and mayoral candidate who's now running for school board.

The immediate reason we called Samuels was to talk about the controversy generated by Samuels's decision to call 911 last Thursday on a north Minneapolis hot dog giveaway organized by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change that he thought was an illegally operating business. But we also took the opportunity to get his thoughts on a recent investigative report that portrayed his campaign in a not-positive light, and more generally, we asked what his priorities would be if he's elected next month.

See also:
Mpls Public Schools trolled by new anti-MPS billboard right outside its HQ [PHOTO]


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Minnesota State High School League Delays Vote on Transgender Athlete Policy

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Jana Shortal on Twitter

Yesterday morning, the Minnesota State High School League was on the brink of history, ready to vote on the first rules for transgender athletes in the state's history. It's a policy that, as we explained yesterday, shouldn't be controversial. But it's still historic.

And yet the MSSHL decided to keep teasing out the decision. In its meeting yesterday, the group voted to table their vote on the proposal until December so they could learn a little more in the interim. Despite hearing the stories from transgender students and activists over the course of a few days, the board said it needed time to "get this right."

See also:
"Controversial" MSHSL Draft Transgender Policy Really Shouldn't Be


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"Controversial" MSHSL Draft Transgender Policy Really Shouldn't Be

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Jana Shortal on Twitter
An overflow crowd attended yesterday's hearing.
Yesterday, the Minnesota State High School League held a hearing on the draft "Participation of Transgender Students" policy board members are set to vote on as soon as today.

As we wrote about in the context of an anti-transgender ad the Star Tribune ran last Sunday, the draft policy is controversial. It really shouldn't be, however, if you accept that being transgender is a fact of life that shouldn't result in a person being treated as a second-class citizen.

See also:
Paula Overby, first transgender congressional candidate, leaves DFL in protest


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Cambridge School Principal Chris Grote Allegedly Stalked Ex-Girlfriend

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Clockwise from top, Grote's Facebook profile photo, his mugshot, and a picture from his school district.
If you think working your way up the ladder to become a public school principal reflects strength of character, consider the allegations facing Chris Grote.

Grote, the 47-year-old principal at Cambridge Primary School, faces a host of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend outside her home in rural Isanti County for the second time in just over two months early Sunday morning.

See also:
Minnetonka principal says yoga pants expose too much "leg and backside," requests crackdown


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St. Thomas's mascot accused of wiping ass with College Republicans literature

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UST Aquinas Yearbook on Facebook
Tommie allegedly has a liberal bias.
Four months after Camelgate, the University of St. Thomas has been rocked by another scandal.

The school's mascot, a cat-like animal of some sort named Tommie, allegedly wiped his ass yesterday with literature he grabbed from a College Republicans booth.

See also:
Lamborghini towed at University of St. Thomas [PHOTO]


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Mpls native Tim Torkildson fired from Utah school for blogging about homophones

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Tim Torkildson photo via Facebook
Tim Torkildson was born in Minneapolis and lived here through his mid-20s, save for a stint working as a circus clown in Florida. (Seriously.) In fact, he even spent three semesters at the University of Minnesota.

After that, Torkildson bounced around, including stints in Thailand working both as a missionary and an English teacher. Back in the U.S., he got his teaching English as a foreign language certification, and earlier this year, that led to a job as a social media specialist and blogger with Nomen Global, a school in Provo, Utah that bills itself as "America's English Language School."

See also:
Jeff Dubay, Sean Barnard wage social media war after Dubay's abrupt termination


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St. Thomas adjunct professors reject union

Categories: Education
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The arched entryway to St. Thomas's St. Paul campus.
Weeks after Hamline University adjuncts became the first in the state to form their own union, St. Thomas adjuncts voted against following suit.

In the days following Hamline's vote, adjuncts at the school expressed confidence that St. Thomas would head down the same path. But in voting tallied Monday, St. Thomas adjuncts voted against unionizing by a 136-84 margin.

See also:
St. Thomas cancels "Hump Day" event, starring a camel, after students threaten protest


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