The land of the rotting pipe, an annoying tax, a man and his dog, depending on the dump, and when you're confronted by the unexpected.
Three years ago was the deadline a former governor set for wiping out homelessness in Minnesota. He -- we -- missed. Nobody's been able to wipe out homelessness. There simply isn't enough interest in doing so, apparently.
Maybe it's time to take a marketing page from Sweden, where a campaign has launched to allow people to "book" rooms where the homeless sleep.
Unfortunately, the website is all in Swedish, but the blog AdFreak translates one entry:
"Feel the city's pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass," begins the description of a claustrophobic concrete slab-shelf near a busy roadway. "This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer's Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike."
Where did Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx go after the WNBA season ended here? Turkey, where her team won the Turkish Cup this week. That's her with the assist on the game-winning basket.
Despite the coverage of his on-field performance, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings may still be one of the best-kept secrets in Minnesota sports in one area: pure decency.
Blake Cognata of Fairport, NY (near Rochester) is a very ill high school senior. The cancer he thought he had licked has spread through the rest of his body. He's in the hospital and it doesn't look good.
Peterson is Cognata's favorite player, and one of his friends took to Twitter with the hashtag #APCallBlake, to try to get word to Peterson about young Blake.
It took only 90 minutes before Peterson was on the phone.
"It was on his heart and he just felt he had to do it," Chris Brown, Peterson's assistant, said in an interview with a local newspaper. "If a conversation can bring a little bit of joy, it's the least Adrian can do."
Thank you @adrianpeterson. You are a truly a great man, and everyone in my community appreciates what you did. And I know Blake did as well— Dylan George (@D_George4) January 8, 2013
"He was awestruck," his mother said. "We couldn't get him to sleep until 1 a.m. He just kept saying, 'I can't believe it.'"(2 Comments)
There are a fair number of "education" groups issuing "report cards" on the state of education, but where do they come from and who's behind them?
It's a question that comes up today following the release of a StudentFirst report card showing Minnesota education policies getting a "D."
On today's show, former Minnesota senator Kathy Saltzman, the Minnesota director of the group, explained why the state got the mark it got and what the state should do. She said, among many other things, under performing schools should be closed and local districts should get more flexibility.
But these are not impartial grades. They're a grade of a political philosophy. Just because the state got a "D," doesn't mean it deserved a "D." It also doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a "D." It means a group, with a particular point of view on how to educate children, graded a state on how well it adheres to what is, basically, a policy, about which there is apparent disagreement.
StudentFirst is the work of Michelle Rhee, would got credit for turning around a class in Baltimore and a school system in Washington.
Coincidentally -- we think -- she is the focus of a PBS Frontline documentary tonight.
In an article yesterday, Esquire warned of following Rhee's advice:
The current model for education "reform" in this country -- a corporate model with transparency problems and severely decreased political accountability -- is broken. Handing over "our" schools to hedge-fund managers, and to the people like Michelle Rhee who volunteer as well-remunerated middle managers, privatizes public education without having the basic cojones to admit that it's happening. This is not the way it's supposed to work.
And the Washington Post suggests the grades of states have been cooked by virtue of the fact standardized test scores weren't included. That penalizes states -- guess who? -- who do well in the test results.
One of the measures that was not used was standardized test scores -- which is ironic given that she is a big supporter of test-driven accountability for students, teachers and principals. This allowed StudentsFirst to give bad grades to states with high standardized test scores, such as Massachusetts. The reason? StudentsFirst says that while the state is consistently ranked first in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for 4th grade and 8th grade reading and math, there was a large gap in scores in 2011 between white and Hispanic students.
Louisiana consistently ranks at or near the bottom of states for NAEP scores, and the achievement gap in Louisiana is huge: State tests show a 22.1 point gap for black and white students in English Language Arts in spring 2011 and a 26.7 point gap in math. But the state is implementing reforms that Rhee likes.
California got an F, and Richard Zeiger, California's chief deputy superintendent, called it a "badge of honor," given (he said to the New York Times) that StudentsFirst "makes its living by asserting that schools are failing." Rhee actually responded in a statement taking him to task for saying it.
"If you like her style of reform, then you will think that's a good thing. If you don't, be very worried," the Post said.
TPT will broadcast Frontline tonight at 9 p.m. (CT)(9 Comments)
The first day of the Legislature, the horror of Aurora, the future of Afghanistan troops, an anniversary in Tucson, an evacuation in Chaska, two months for killing a woman in Apple Valley, and why people who dismiss social media expose themselves as ignorant fools.
Here it is, the best 6 minutes you'll have until the 6 minutes that comes after it.(4 Comments)