Minnesota students losing ground to peers in other states

  • Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA and EMMA CAREW GROVUM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 3, 2011 - 9:41 AM

Minnesota's fourth- and eighth-graders didn't match other states' gains in reading and math.

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inrealityNov. 1, 1111:09 PM

I can already hear the cries for more spending. Spending is not the answer. I have the answer and I will continue to repeat it. We need to get government out of the education business. Our nation survived & prospered for nearly 200 years before we had this massive government run education complex so we know we can live without it. We spend too much on education, especially when we see what the return on our money is. The answer is freedom & choice. Parents need to shop for a K-12 education as they do any other product or service. The best thing for the children is to have a thriving private school system where parents are in control. A thriving private system would lower overall costs, provide a multitude of choices for parents, increase overall quality, reward good teachers while eliminating poor teachers and reduce costs to the taxpayer. The government system is run by politicians and decisions are based on political reasons and not based on sound business decisions, economic decisions or quality of the product. Once we migrate to a consumer based education system we could still allow our government to subsidize some lower income families. This would be similar to what we allow our government to do now with food subsidies. The government gives the subsidy and the citizen purchases groceries at a private grocery store. This would be identical for educational purposes. It is passed time to scrap the failed government model. In this great free nation we should be embracing a free market system where people are free to make choices for themselves and their families. No one should be against allowing parents to have great freedom & flexibility in providing an education for their children, right? Time for choice, competition and freedom. God Bless America.

unionsrockNov. 1, 1111:24 PM

We are not keeping up with others states' spending and are falling behind. Our education policy is the result of too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone thinks they are an education expert just because they were or are a student. Let's start trusting the real experts, the boots on the ground, our teachers. It's time to stop vilifying them and their union, time to pay them like other professionals, and time to stop changing our policies so often.

unionsrockNov. 1, 1111:26 PM

Inreality- the only problem with your suppositions are that our constitution requires public education.

Coony127Nov. 1, 1111:49 PM

The per pupil expenditure in MN and elsewhere has more than doubled in the last 30 years, with absolutely no rise in academic achievement. The cause of the achievment gap is that the black illegitimacy rate is approaching 70%, with Hispanics ans not that far behind. Black and Hispanic leaders need to deal with this problem within their communities honestly. Until this problem is dealt with, nothing will ever change. More hardworking taxpayers will be coerced into throwing more money down the education rathole. The country can no longer afford to spend trillions of dollars on social welfare programs. LBJ's mid-sixties War On Povery has been a dismal failure. New approaches emphasizing personal responsibility are needed.

jeebers76Nov. 2, 1112:54 AM

Personally, I would FAR rather have kids better educated than fork up the dough for a new stadium, even if it means losing the Vikings. Better to have a future for all of us than have more expensive entertainment!

mnsnomanNov. 2, 11 3:22 AM

It's high time to shed the public unions that foster nothing more than union mediocrity. A union is nothing more than an organization that serves itself and not those recieving nor paying the services that are supposed to be rendered. Take into consideration thet your average teacher works 8 months a year or less thay are paid plenty. It also seems that these so called educators and the political system is always coming up with more advanced methodss that are just smokescreens to keep from using methods that actuall work. It's time to kick tom dooher off of the gravy train.

comment229Nov. 2, 11 5:34 AM

Ask any veteran teacher how many political programs have been thrown at our schools in Minnesota in the last 30 years. All of them, have failed and yet we continue to insist on letting the government experts give us such brilliance as NCLB. The only good thing about that program, is the name; the rest is headed for a cliff. We DO need a total overhaul of the education system in America and I doubt if you will get an argument from any/many teachers on that one. But, they will also tell you that no matter what you do, you need to start with the societal problems first.

comment229Nov. 2, 11 5:37 AM

Interesting point. Stop all public school education and go with private schools and let parents choose. Hmmmm. How about this? Close all private schools; have these bright kids enroll in public schools, and watch the test scores go up! It makes about as much sense as the "close the public schools" argument.

mjphelpsNov. 2, 11 5:50 AM

Coony--and those new approaches are...? Name one approach to fix the achievement gap based on illegitimacy. That complaint is simply a way to dodge responsibility for doing anything about the gap. It's not easy or cheap, but many schools are making progress, contrary to your claim, on reducing the gap. The schools that haven't made as much progress are trying to emulate those that are successful.

simpleton12Nov. 2, 11 6:16 AM

This article does not bring up the most importamt point about testing and state ranking--each state is allowed to make up their own test, so the rigor in the tested areas may be vastly different from state to state. As far as I know, there is no federal agency set up to review each state's tests to make sure they meet a minimum standard of difficulty. An example could be that D. C. lessened the rigor of their tests so much that the students basically had to improve.


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