Focus on education programs that deliver results

  • Article by: ALICE SEAGREN
  • Updated: December 11, 2012 - 8:30 PM

Alice Seagren says Minnesota's elected officials need to pay more attention to costs vs. the benefits.

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jdlellis1Dec. 11, 12 8:41 PM

The issue is accountability and it is simple. Hold the parents (plural) accountable for a child/students education. It is costly and defies logic to look to teachers, administrators and the broader taxpayer accountable. In other words, let's not over complicate the simple!

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probsolverDec. 11, 12 9:51 PM

Metrics and accountability. Define it, determine the bar, rase expectations, hold parents and children accountable. Defund programs showing no dicernable improvement.

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dakmarknetDec. 12, 12 8:04 AM

Sorry Alice. It was your programs that created the decline in Minnesota's educational system. Under Pawlenty and the republican legislators, the once great MN school educational system fell to the bottom of the class. MN once had what was called "The Minnesota Miracle", then along came Pawlenty and his administration (which includes you) and Minnesota will now be remembered for "The Minnesota Educdational Debacle." Thanks for nothing.

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beebee82Dec. 12, 12 8:59 AM

The problem with Reading Corps is that it relies on AmeriCorps members who are paid stipends that never cover the costs of living. How many people can afford to join the corps in this economy? How many of these tutors are available currently? Do projections show we will have enough to meet the demands of every HeadStart program, or are they randomly scattered across school districts? I'd rather the state focus its funding, time and energy on developing sustainable HeadStart programs that aren't continually relying on the availability of volunteers.

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scoobrsDec. 12, 12 9:41 AM

I appreciate the fact that Alice focused on student achievement and that some of her programs worked. However, I find that other programs which were clearly not performing were created under her tenure. Q-Comp and the entire concept of teacher "pay for performance" that was the heart of her policy program was eviscerated in peer-reviewed studies. That's not to mention the legislative auditor study. It never worked where it has been tried. Teachers need our support. Schools are not factories. Teachers make good citizens, not widgets. Daniel Pink's book "Drive" describes why teachers need freedom to innovate, not carrots and sticks. I hope that we can continue listening to Mrs. Seagren, but take her words with a grain of salt. She has become a subject matter expert, but her more partisan solutions failed.

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growthdaneDec. 12, 1210:28 AM

Good stuff, Commissioner Seagren, and if I had more space in my piece that prompted this response, I would have made some of these same points. Our Smart Investments in Minnesota's Students report actually put a premium on early childhood education and proven, evidence-tested, cost-effective interventions. And I certainly did not mean to imply that the commissioner ever argued for more money as the only solution. I just wanted to emphasize that sufficiency matters, and that schools are getting less and asked to do more and we eventually need to recognize that with increased funding, PLUS redesign and accountability. And I'm not sure we can wait until we're perfectly satisfied that the schools are doing everything just right.

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