The issue of too much student testing has recently come under a spotlight, both in Minnesota and across the country. We know that testing is important, but there are several issues under fire in the current discussion. First, how much time should be dedicated to preparing for and taking tests. Secondly, what kind of learning is being assessed. This column lays out the issues under consideration in Minnesota, and how decisions being made on the federal level have a direct impact on our students here at home.
“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” – Tia Walker, from “The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love”
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and the theme this year is “Respite: Care for Caregivers.” A new study by the National Alliance for Caregiving takes a look at who is caregiving in the United States, and the results were dramatic. Nearly 44 million adults in the US are providing personal assistance for family members with disabilities or other care needs. That’s more than one out of every six adults.
“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude” – Congressman Jeff Miller
This quote from Congressman Miller gets at the heart of why showing our respect and gratitude to veterans is so important. America was built on the concept of freedom and that spirit continues to inspire all of us, and is one of the few things that brings us together. Veterans Day and the days surrounding it present a good opportunity to think about what it means to be an American, and to thank the millions of men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country.
“We can all take responsibility for helping to bring about change, and keeping our friends and colleagues safe from domestic violence.” – Charles Clarke
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and an important reminder of the too-often hidden violence in our communities. An estimated 70 percent of domestic violence cases go unreported, and the consequences for victims and their families can be devastating.
“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark Van Doren
This month, we are celebrating the incredible power and value of teachers. Oct. 5 is World Teachers’ Day, where countries across the globe honor teachers and their countless contributions to society. Teachers have had a profound effect on me personally. It was my trust in the relationships I had with teachers that encouraged and inspired me to enter public service. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to have at least one solid relationship with a teacher, because it’s such an invaluable connection.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -- Nelson Mandela
As kids head off to school with backpacks tucked full of notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils, most families are still getting back into the swing of things for the school year. Amidst the first few weeks of excitement, people may not be aware of new changes being implemented for the first time during the 2015-2016 school year.
The start of the Minnesota State Fair is just around the corner. You can almost smell the sizzle of bratwursts, the corndogs, mini doughnuts, french fry stands and who could forget Martha’s Cookies! I have always loved the excitement of the State Fair – which begins Thursday, Aug. 27 and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 7. The Minnesota State Fair is the largest fair in the country by attendance, a few years ago holds the record with 1.8 million visitors – equivalent to about 34 percent of the state’s population. And one more little piece of trivia – did you know that if all the hot dogs sold during the 12 days of the state fair were lined from end to end, it would measure 35 miles?
“Acknowledging the physical realities of our planet does not mean a dismal future of endless sacrifice. In fact, acknowledging these realities is the first step in dealing with them. We can meet the resource problems of the world -- water, food, minerals, farmlands, forests, overpopulation, pollution -- if we tackle them with courage and foresight,” – Jimmy Carter