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Are Student Ratings Important?
by Silence Dogood

I can’t say that I recommend the RATE MY PROFESSORS website. A lot of the time, I think it is just an outlet for frustrated students to vent their frustration. Truthfully, until last Wednesday, I had never looked at the website. But I was curious and just for fun decided to take a look to see what I might find. I looked first at St. Cloud State University.

Not really understanding what a 3.4 might mean, for comparison I looked at Minnesota State University—Mankato rankings, the university most similar to SCSU in the Minnesota State System.

Based on these overall rankings, which are not scientifically valid, SCSU comes out ahead of only Metropolitan State University in the overall quality rating!

For each and every measure, SCSU trails MSU—Mankato. Most significantly, in the safety ranking 3.0 vs. 3.8. But for the reputation measure, I was a bit miffed at SCSU’s reputation ranking of 3.1 vs. MSU—Mankato’s 3.4.

Next, I decided to look at the rest of the universities in the Minnesota State System.

However, what is clearly unsettling is that SCSU trails ALL of the universities in the Minnesota State System in the ranking for reputation:

These rankings may be anecdotal and have some validity issues. However, students use them. And they use them a lot!

For many years, administrators have said that SCSU hasn’t done a good job ‘telling its story.’ And in the past that may have been true. However, many of these same administrators and their replacements have been saying this for so long that it is hard to believe that they haven’t been held accountable for not doing a better job of telling SCSU’s story. Unless of course you believe that just saying that ‘they’ haven’t done a good job telling the story is explanation enough. It almost seems this explanation is good enough for the titanic enrollment drop since FY10. With no end in sight for the enrollment drop, it might be reasonable to ask is anyone ever held accountable at SCSU?

The thieves in the DFL got embarrassed this week when Rob Undersander testified in front of a House committee. Specifically, he testified that “he received food stamps for 19 months to prove a point: Not everyone who gets the aid needs it.” The DFL, meanwhile, was livid. Here’s what happened.

During his testimony, the “Waite Park resident did it to call attention to a bill from Rep. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, that would require personal assets to be included in the government’s formula for food stamp recipients. Undersander legally collected food stamps during a period in which he had little income, the key criteria for receiving the benefit.” The article states that Undersander is a millionaire.

That made DFL heads explode. “Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, joined others in her party to criticize Undersander. ‘I am finding it incredibly offensive that $6,000 in benefits were taken,’ Halvorson said. Added Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth: ‘I think it is inappropriate to apply for these benefits.'” Meanwhile, “Rep. John Considine, DFL-Mankato, said ‘You knew this was wrong and you did it anyway. I find it pretty despicable. … I am just sorry there is no way we can prosecute you.'”

Undersander isn’t the thief in this instance. As far as we know, he didn’t lie on his application. If he had, they’d prosecute him.

Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, praised the Waite Park man. “I am really sorry about the line of questioning that has been put forth, and the accusations,” she said. “You should be able to come to a committee without being accused of being a thief.”

If the legislature is going to write sloppy bills, people will take advantage of the loopholes. If the DFL wants to complain, they’re best off complaining to the person in the mirror. They wrote the bill, then voted for it, too.

The DFL owns this problem. As usual, Republicans have submitted a bill to clean up the DFL’s mess.

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Oh, to be a government employee. Imagine a job that gives good benefits. Then imagine that job plus no accountability. Welcome to the life of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Try as we might to force the media to hold Sheriff Israel accountable, it hasn’t happened. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that the Agenda Media is intent on making David Hogg the poster child in their latest push for gun control. This fits into the category of ‘the best defense is a great offense’. Specifically, the gun grabbers don’t have to defend their policies because they’re never questioned.

I hope that changes when people read Glenn Reynolds’ latest column. It deals with how government employees aren’t held accountable for their mistakes. It starts by saying “Law enforcement keeps failing, and people keep dying. Where are the consequences? Where is the accountability? Despite receiving a warning directly from the Russian government, the FBI failed to stop the Tsarnaev brothers from staging the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite having plenty of resources, the Charlottesville police failed to stop a car attack that left a woman dead. The FBI interviewed Omar Mateen, the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter, and considered criminally investigating him. They didn’t, possibly because his father was an FBI informant.”

These reporting omissions aren’t mistakes. They’re part of a pattern:

The FBI also missed numerous “red flags” before the San Bernardino shooting. And despite having lots of warning, the FBI, the Broward County schools and the Broward Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Scott Israel all failed to stop Nikolas Cruz from shooting up a high school.

But I digress. Glenn Reynolds has a partner in demolishing the Democrats’ narrative. His name is Ben Shapiro:

Reynolds continued, saying:

And yet these repeated failures, among others, keep getting swept under the rug as we look for “solutions” to the problem of violence. No doubt Israel and the others whose incompetence made it possible for Cruz to kill his classmates were relieved to see our national discourse veer into questions of whether Laura Ingraham should lose sponsors for mocking David Hogg’s college-admissions failures, instead of their own failures to do their jobs. But now comes a hero to remind us what it’s really all about. Parkland student Anthony Borges, who used his body to shield 20 fellow students from the gunman, emerged from the hospital over the weekend to remind us that the shooting resulted from the failures of the sheriff and school superintendent to protect students.

Anthony Borges used his body to shield 20 students during Nikolas Cruz’s murder rampage. Borges did what Deputy Scot Peterson was paid to do. It isn’t lost that Peterson is a government worker who never will be held accountable.

It’s time for the US to realize that Ronald Reagan was right when he said this:

Ditch Common Core
By Rambling Rose

“Follow the money” is frequently sage advice if politicians are involved. That certainly is true for the Gates Foundation that since 2009 has spent more than $400 million itself and influenced $4 trillion in U.S. taxpayer funds towards the goal of a national curriculum and tests. This occurred under the previous Obama administration although a federal curriculum is prohibited by law, specifically by the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the General Education Provisions Act of 1970 and creation of the Department of Education in 1979.

In 2002, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was passed with bipartisan support as a way to close the gap in academic achievement in schools. All 50 states adopted or revised their standards to annually assess students in grades 3-8 and again in high school. Schools were to achieve 100 percent passing rates on the state tests.

The results were disastrous. Over half the nation’s schools were designated “failing,” and the rest were close behind. Forty states were granted conditional waivers from the NCLB standards if they concentrated efforts on the schools with the greatest needs AND used the test results to evaluate all teachers.

At that point, President Obama and Secretary Duncan initiated the Race to the Top program with a promise of $250 million to each participating state, plus a waiver from NCLB. While the federal government did not require states to accept Common Core, the Obama administration coerced and bribed.

Enter Common Core (Common Core States Standards—CCSS). While the rhetoric lauds the implementation of a system of standards for students to achieve, the reality was greatly different. The work of writing the standards was not done by educators as some would like to claim. It was the work of the National Governors Association, the Council for State School Officers (professional organizations; not elected representatives) and the nonprofit Achieve Inc. The group (25 persons who worked behind closed doors) was principally comprised of academics and assessment experts—six test makers from the College Board, five test publishers for ACT and four with Achieve. No teachers were included in the work groups. All work was funded with more than $200 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

At the outset, the two national teacher unions were the leading proponents of the efforts. They anticipated greater funding. However, when they realized that their students were failing in even greater numbers than with NCLB and that their own evaluations were tied to the students’ results, they withdrew their support.

Yet one would have expected the teachers to remain advocates of the program since a paramount principle of Common Core is to teach to the lowest common denominator, leading to the assumption that all students would achieve the standards. Enthusiastic students could not advance beyond where the lowest achieving students were; they lost interest. Struggling students were overwhelmed, stressed, ill and missed school. Students were required to use multiple steps to achieve answers in math and to explain the process; the right answer was NOT important. In language arts, assessments did not include sentence or paragraph development, nor spelling and punctuation. The regurgitation of the leftist ideology was required and rewarded. Individual opinion was penalized.

Since all was driven by the standardized tests, textbooks, teacher training and evaluations were also aligned with the tests. That meant that private, charter and home-school programs also had to follow the standards. Parents, school districts and states lost control of the curriculum to the federal government.

In December, 2015, Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This did not replace Common Core; it just moved it to the states. It is alive and well in the state departments of education, especially in the states with a Democrat governor who appointed a like-minded commissioner of education. Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah decided not to use the CCSS tests. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia never adopted the Standards.

Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education in President Trump’s cabinet has challenged parents and other stakeholders to answer some questions in order to reshape the educational system so that it works for the learners. “It’s past time to ask some of the questions that often get labeled as ‘non-negotiable’ or just don’t get asked at all,” she said. “Why do we group students by age? Why do schools close for the summer? Why must the school day start with the rise of the sun? Why are schools assigned by your address? Why do students have to go to a school building in the first place? Why is choice only available to those who can buy their way out? Or buy their way in? Why can’t a student learn at his or her own pace? Why isn’t technology more widely embraced in schools? Why do we limit what a student can learn based upon the faculty and facilities available? Why? We must answer these questions. We must acknowledge what is and what is not working for students.”

Peter Greene, contributor in the Huffington Post (what? where? surprise!—personal comment) wrote some scathing truths about Common Core on January 14, 2018:

When the Common Core wave passed, it had swept away the notion that actual teachers and administrators are experts in education. Teaching, it turns out, is somehow too hard for mere teachers. Instead, the standards-based school district now assumes that nobody in the school system actually knows what should be taught, and that the most they can be trusted with is to “unpack” the standards and create a checklist-certified list of education activities that will meet the standards’ demands. That’s the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, the district doesn’t believe that trained education professionals can be trusted with even that much, and should just be handed materials that dictate the teacher’s every move, throwing aside their professional judgment and replacing it with the judgment of some bureaucrat or textbook publisher.

Worst of all for the long run, this approach has infected schools of education who prepare their few remaining future teachers to accept this, to envision for themselves a diminished role as content delivery specialists or instructional facilitators or classroom coaches.

Common Core was pitched against a definite enemy? the teachers who insisted in teaching things in their own classroom just because they thought those things were worth teaching, the teacher who insisted on using her own professional judgment, the teacher who wanted to function as an autonomous individual. Ironically, even though the Common Core did not conquer the nation’s school districts as it had hoped, it did manage to deliver a serious defeat to its chosen enemy. We now understand in (too many) districts that we must adhere to the Standards, which have descended manna-like from some mysterious, magical higher power. They are not to be argued with or contradicted, nor will there be any discussion of the educational wisdom (or lack thereof) behind them. They are to be treated as our compass, our grail, our North Star. Teachers should sit down, shut up, and start aligning.

And that defeat of professional educators, that clampdown on teacher autonomy? that’s the one victory that Common Core State (sic) Standards can claim. There is hope, if…

Schools need to abandon Common Core and return to proven methods of teaching. That is what Mason Classical Academy in Naples, Florida did. They went back to teaching phonics and abandoned whole word memorization demanded in Kindergarten by Common Core. (Phonics is introduced later in CCSS and confuses learners since they already learned only whole word recognition.) The test scores revealed that the third-graders were 90% proficient in language arts while the rest of the schools in the county were only 58% proficient. The third-graders were in the top 2% in the state, and the fifth-graders were in the top 1% in Florida.

Social media has examples of students’ math problems earning no credit, even though the answers were correct, because the students had not included all the CCSS mandated steps and explanations. In the video “Common Core: 3 * 4 = 11 is okay,” Amanda August explains that the process is more important than the answer.

All stakeholders should view it and learn from a CCSS advocate what is really expected and demanded by this curriculum that is not a curriculum.

One of the goals for CCSS is to prepare students to be competitive in a global society. Let’s look at the 2015 test results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Looks like students in the USA are not as competitive as some politicians and even teachers would have us believe.

Yes, Minnesota has received approval from the US Department of Education for its implementation of ESSA, that is, Common Core 2.0. This statement from the MN Department of Education website is troublesome:

“Please note it is important that all [emphasis added] students be taught and satisfactorily complete all [emphasis added] academic standards.”

Does that mean that MN continues to embrace the CCSS ideology and standards? No, that is not a rhetorical question; it needs to be answered and addressed by stakeholders…all of us.

Follow the money. Politicians frequently approve more expenditures for education with hopes for better learning. But do they or parents really understand what is taught and tested in our MN schools? Are Minnesota test scores still high or are they following the national trends?

Local teachers have shared information that the textbooks now include the scripts that they are to use to teach so that all students in all classrooms in the country will be on the same page on the same day. Is that local control or is that the Gates/Obama/Duncan federal curriculum alive and strong in central MN?

Does St. Cloud State University Have A CFO?
by Silence Dogood

If you wanted to inquire about the financial health of St. Cloud State University, you might expect to go to the website for the Office of Finance and Administration and mine the site for current information. On February 18, 2018, I performed this search.

The Vision Statement clearly states: “The Office of Finance and Administration at St. Cloud State University will be a recognized leader in providing services to the university community.” I’ll come back to this Vision Statement later.

Click on the link “Contact Us/Feedback” and you are taken to the webpage:

If you search SCSU’s website for McGee, you get the following:

So if you wanted to try to contact the Vice President for Finance and Administration, you’re out of luck. But this is really not new news. Tammy L. H. McGee WAS the Vice President for Finance and Administration until she quit/retired as of November 13, 2017. Apparently, the website simply has not been updated in almost five months to reflect her departure.

If you click on the link for “Financial Reports” you are taken to the webpage:

If you wanted to see an annual report from FY 2002 to FY 2014, just click on the link and voila! Unfortunately, this is FY2018, which you might not expect to find, but the annual reports for FY 2015, FY 2016 and FY 2017 are missing. While it is true that you can find SCSU’s annual reports on the Minnesota State website, they should be available here. If nothing else, simply put in a link to the Minnesota State website.

If you click on the link for “Budget Advisory Group” you are taken to the webpage:

There is no information listed for FY18. The last information in the FY17 folder is for the April 27, 2017 meeting. The Budget Advisory Group was a committee with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and a faculty member from the Faculty Budget Committee serving as co-Chairs. It seems that the university is no longer willing to share financial data, especially because much of the data shows SCSU’s precarious financial situation.

If you explore the link for campus presentations you find:

This is April of 2018, it’s hard to believe that no new media has become available for two years and any new documents have become available for almost three years! If you were aspiring to being “open and transparent” organization, this would hardly be the path that any organization would take.

After looking at their website, if you were to rate the fulfillment of the Office of Finance and Administration Vision Statement to be: “a recognized leader in providing services to the university community,” you would probably have to give the university an F.

It is interesting to note that since my email is being read by the administration (and this article was originally written back in February but not published until now), they have since removed Tammy McGee from being listed as the Vice President for Finance and Administration and now list the position as “vacant.” It’s nice to see that things change, albeit slowly. Unfortunately, the underlying issues and the lack of openness have created a level of distrust on campus that is almost palpable.

Is There Difference in Strategic Planning at MSU—Mankato and SCSU?
by Silence Dogood

On March 28th, the academic deans at St. Cloud State announced to their department chairs that they had until April 20th to finish a complete program review process that would be used to make budget reductions for FY’19, which begins on July 1st. Since SCSU has had declining enrollments since FY’10 and multimillion dollar deficits year after year, it is hard to understand the urgency of this process. That may sound crazy but at President Vaidya’s open forum on February 28th, he spent more time talking about SCSU’s successful athletic teams and initiatives than the budget situation. It’s hard to believe but true, as evidenced by listening to the presentation!

This past Friday, April 6th—two weeks before the department reviews were even to be completed—key academic deans met with the provost to review their own draft decisions about programs that should be “built,” “maintained,” or “phased out.” This was done without consideration to the rushed review process, which had not even been completed, which makes the program review process appear meaningless.

Having these reviews due the Friday before the last week of classes will certainly not allow for any appeal of the decisions that are made because the review by the administration will not be complete until the students and faculty have departed campus for the summer. True leaders are willing to explain and justify their decisions. Interim SCSU President Ashish Vaidya will be departing campus on June 30th to assume the presidency at Northern Kentucky. It’s hard to believe that he will ever have to explain or justify to the faculty, staff and students the decisions he has made.

Compare this with the process MSU—Mankato is using to perform the same task.

Not only did MSU—Mankato start earlier (last August, not in the last month of the semester), their process is actually open and transparent. This fact is glaringly obvious simply by looking at MSU—Mankato’s Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment website.

No similar information about the process being used for evaluation is available for SCSU. And what information that is available seems to be only available on private (closed) servers. So much for being open and transparent.

Many universities in the Minnesota State system have recently seen significant enrollment declines and concomitant declines in revenue. However, the enrollment declines at SCSU began earlier (FY’11) and have been significantly larger than any of the other Minnesota State universities. At first, the administrative response at SCSU was that we were “right sizing.” This was then followed by its due to “demographics.” Followed by “everyone is declining.” Followed by there are “not enough resources from the state.”

A historian might look back at this and simply see a series of excuses that try to say “it’s not my fault.” However, if you dig deeper, it is very clear that SCSU has been embarrassingly slow to respond to the decline and has been completely reactive rather than proactive.

It is important to recognize that neither President Potter, President Vaidya, or Provost Malhotra were willing to establish an enrollment target for the university. Thus, “right sizing” the university was just a fantasy or delusion. Secondly, they never established priorities of academic programs or student services. This has resulted in every unit merely fighting to live no matter what the cost is to neighboring programs. Without such guidance, it appears more like gladiator combat or dog fighting, with the ‘best’ gladiator (or dog) surviving to live to fight another day.

While there are certainly many issues that have led SCSU to the place it finds itself in, one of the more significant is that the senior administration at SCSU is almost entirely made up of ‘interim’ appointments. Although some of these individuals may be quality people, the pressure of being an interim, that perhaps wants to be appointed permanently, almost certainly means that significant decisions are put off for the permanent person to make.

At SCSU, the President is an interim, the Provost is an interim, two academic deans are interims, one associate dean is an interim, the Associate Provost for Research and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies is an interim, the Dean of the University College is an interim, the Director of the Center for Excellence and Teaching and Learning is an interim, and the Associate Vice President for International Studies is an interim. Such a large number of interims at a university is a clear sign that there is something wrong. The following figure shows the organizational structure from the website for the Academic Affairs Office.

Perhaps even worse than having a large number of interims is that since June of 2012 there have been five Chief Financial Officers (Steve Ludwig, Len Sippel, Doug Vinzant, Rick Duffet, and Tammy McGee). Tammy McGee resigned in November of 2017. It may be hard to believe for an organization with an annual budget over $200,000,000 but an interim has yet to be named! Also, last spring the Chief Information Officer was ‘promoted’ (some said President Trump’s favorite phase on his reality TV show) to a position in the Minnesota State central office. Since that time, Information Technology Services, which has a staff of forty-six, does not have an interim CIO although it appears that the Deputy Chief Information Officer is carrying out those duties.

It’s hard to believe that whatever results come out of the current program analysis that they are going to solve the enrollment decline and resulting budget issues any time soon. So, expect the enrollment decline to continue at SCSU and retrenchment and closings of programs to follow. There are simply too many balls up in the air and the crash is inevitable.

If people don’t care about civil rights, this article likely won’t bother you. If you’re big into government accountability, though, it’s a big deal. Here’s what happened.

Gary Gileno is an anti-illegal immigration activist and prolific YouTuber. Gileno “tried to bring a video camera into a meeting of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission last year. California law specifically allows the public to use recording devices at such meetings, but the commission’s meeting in August was held at a federal appellate court building where filming is prohibited.”

When Gileno tried taping the meeting, “deputy U.S. marshals told him he had to leave his camera in his car. Gileno insisted he had a right to record the meeting under the First Amendment and the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, and began filming the officers.”

First, I’d love hearing what statute was broken. Next, I’d love hearing the Commission’s explanation for why they moved the meeting to a building that doesn’t allow the videotaping of the meeting. If civilians are to provide oversight into this program, shouldn’t that information be available to everyone in video form? If that information isn’t available in video form, isn’t that effectively hiding the information from citizens? In this video, Gileno explains the events leading up to his arrest:

According to this video’s description, “The CA Brown Act guarantees that citizens at public meetings do not have to present ID, can record and display signs.” Despite that, a “citizen You Tuber was arrested for recording” the meeting.

I’m not a legal expert so I won’t speculate whether a civil suit should be filed against this ‘Civilian Commission’ that held its meeting at a location where videotaping isn’t allowed. I won’t hesitate in opining on whether the Commission acted improperly in silencing this journalist. Shame on their silencing this citizen journalist.

CNN just announced that they’ll air a townhall meeting featuring Jim Comey, the former FBI Director. According to CNN’s press release, “The one-hour primetime Town Hall, moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, will be live from Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall at Comey’s alma mater, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and will be co-hosted by the Student Assembly at William & Mary. Following the release of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership, Cooper will moderate a conversation between Comey and a live audience as they discuss his FBI career, his public firing and the high profile cases he oversaw including the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Director Comey isn’t being shy with his feelings about President Trump, saying “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.” Realistically speaking, there won’t be much middle ground in public opinion. Comey’s apologists will defend his questionable half-hearted investigation of Hillary. President Trump’s supporters won’t flinch in their support of President Trump.

Though public opinion isn’t likely to sway much during his book tour, the best chance for a significant shift will happen when Bret Baier interviews Comey. Jake Tapper, Baier and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will be the highest profile anchors to interview Comey. Of that trio, only Baier has a reputation of consistently asking difficult questions.

The potential for ruining Comey’s book tour is high because IG Michael Horowitz’s report will likely be published after the initial wave of book tour interviews. Saying that Horowitz’s report likely won’t flatter Comey is understatement.

Alan Dershowitz highlights the importance of being able to trust major institutions in this interview:

Dershowitz reminds us that either Comey is lying or that McCabe is lying about leaking. When the Horowitz report comes out, it’s possible that there’s evidence that both have lied. That’s why the Horowitz report is a potential powder keg.

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Contained in Brenda Cassellius’ counterpoint is a bigotry that’s frightening. Contained in Cassellius’ counterpoint is a startling set of admissions:

American Indian students are 10 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than are their white peers.
African-American students are eight times more likely to be suspended or expelled than are their white peers.

By themselves, these statistics are meaningless. From Cassellius standpoint, though, they’re proof of racism. Then Cassellius makes this statement:

Contrary to Kersten’s claims, no one wants to take away a principal’s ability to suspend or expel a student for violent offenses or criminal activity, which we all agree will never be acceptable.

That isn’t accurate. The Promise Program was implemented by the Obama administration. According to Paul Sperry’s reporting, its stated goal was to “slow the ‘school-to-prison pipeline.'” The end result: “[Nikolas Cruz] had a clean record, so alarm bells didn’t go off when they looked him up in the system,” veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello told RCI. ‘He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement.'”

It’s obvious that the goal of the PROMISE Program was to not report bad behavior. Then there’s this:

Broward school Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, a Chicagoan and Harvard graduate with close ties to President Obama and his Education Department, signed an agreement with the county sheriff and other local jurisdictions to trade cops for counseling. Students charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, would now be disciplined through participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.

Thanks to the PROMISE Program, Nikolas Cruz had an unblemished record, which allowed him to get the gun that killed 14 students and 3 teachers. Cassellius said that “violent offenses or criminal activity … will never be acceptable.” It’s not only acceptable. It’s policy. It isn’t just policy. It’s that ignoring the PROMISE Program’s policies will get federal funding cut and get the school investigated by the US Department of Justice.

Minnesota needs an educated, skilled population to ensure shared social and economic success. An education system that works for all students must be our highest priority, and the truth is that currently, school discipline practices are hindering too many of our children’s chances at academic and social success.

This is BS. In the 1940s through the 1970s, we were told that disciplining students was stifling these students’ abilities. The leader of that movement was Dr. Benjamin Spock:

When Dr. Spock’s book Baby and Child Care was published in 1946, its simple core message was revolutionary: “Don’t be afraid to trust your own common sense.” Between that and his insistence that parents should show love and affection to their children rather than constant strict discipline, Dr. Spock challenged the conventional wisdom of early 20th-century childrearing like no one else.

Actually, Dr. Spock didn’t challenge conventional wisdom as much as he disagreed with the principles of the Bible. It’s worth noting that once he became a parent, Dr. Spock started rejecting the principles he espoused as an author and child-rearing expert.

Finally, it’s worth rejecting Commissioner Cassellius’ insinuations that teachers are racist. She leveled the same accusation against Kathy Kersten. It isn’t that she thinks this. It’s that progressives utilize that tactic to stifle dissenting opinions.

Gov. Dayton promised to veto the House MNLARS bill if it reaches his desk, saying “There’s no justification whatsoever for taking that money from other state agencies. I will veto that measure if it’s in the bill. I will veto the bill, and then we’ll be done.”

What Gov. Dayton didn’t say is that he’s fine with having taxpayers paying extra for his incompetence. It’s his administration that failed to successfully implement the MNLARS upgrade. Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for his administration’s incompetence and virtually nonexistent oversight. In his usually bombastic style, Gov. Dayton accused Republicans of extending the problem for political gain, calling it a “contrivance.” Here’s a hint for Gov. Dayton: people have seen his administration’s incompetence. The people understand that he’s at fault for not implementing MNLARS.

Further, the people understand that this isn’t the first time the Dayton administration failed in its implementation of a major software upgrade. Before MNLARS, there was MNsure. I’m thankful that we’re almost to the end of Gov. Dayton’s reign of incompetence.

Dayton said a veto would end the MNLARS discussion this session. “We’ll just have to put MNLARS improvement on hold, and the next administration can take it over,” he said.

House Republicans say they want Dayton to take financial responsibility for the MNLARS mess.

It’d be nice if Gov. Dayton actually admitted he’d failed in implementing MNLARS but I’m not holding my breath on that. I’d be happy letting the next governor, who likely will be a Republican, fix Gov. Dayton’s mess. We’ve seen Gov. Dayton’s incompetence too often. Jim Knoblach put Gov. Dayton in his place with this statement:

Governor Mark Dayton wants the state to charge a two-dollar “technology fee” beginning in fiscal 2019 for transactions on the state’s vehicle registration system to “support fixes of the MNLARS system and provide ongoing maintenance.” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jim Knoblach from Saint Cloud says that’s dead on arrival. “To me, it just adds insult to injury. He’s now going to try to charge everyone who uses the system to pay for this disaster. We’re not gonna do that,” Knoblach says.

There’s nothing fair about raising people’s taxes and fees to pay for a politician’s incompetence.

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