Staff Columns

Riches and rogues. The more I look, the more I find some of each, and a lot between, on the Internet. Families and educators have a huge task helping young people learn how to gather information on the Internet. Here are five guidelines to consider. But first, a brief story. Students in schools today have [...]

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More people are raising vegetables and growing flowers than ever, but the number of once-popular traditional garden clubs is fading, says Rene Lynch, president of the Federated Garden Clubs of Minnesota. She hopes a new variety of club using social media will continue to grow interest in what garden clubs used to do. Take the [...]

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Money was not mentioned by any of the more than 30 educators who responded to a question I asked about the first month of school. Each of them described the most important things that families can do in September. Everything they suggested is free: helping students set goals, establishing routines, learning something yourself, talking positively [...]

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A five-point plan to close the high school graduation gap between white and and non-white high school students was unveiled Monday, Aug. 18, by Generation Next, a coalition of influential education, nonprofit, governmental and business leaders. This plan, which includes a surprising screening of 3-year-olds for health and emotional issues in selected Minneapolis and St. [...]

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Americans have complicated, conflicted feelings about how much to rely on statewide standardized tests, such as those whose scores were recently released. I think this year’s results suggest three changes. Minnesota should: • Make much more use of highly successful schools. • Share results sooner with teachers. • Use a broader array of assessments. Results [...]

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More people in our communities are living longer. What are we going to do about them? This will be a central issue for community leaders as the baby boomers retire. We’re told they want to volunteer and get involved in the community where they’ve lived for many years. You can segregate them, put them in [...]

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