What the Civil War wrought in Minnesota

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 30, 2013 - 6:31 PM

One notable vet dreamed of education for all kids. Does that goal endure?

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pumiceMar. 30, 13 6:35 PM

From the article: "War [between the States] ]veterans came home convinced that the Minnesota they were building could rank among the nation’s leaders in opportunity, prosperity and justice." Quality pre-school can help with all three: Prepare pre-school-age children for the opportunity to learn literacy and numeracy skills which will increase their chances of success and prosperity and lead to greater economic justice and prosperity for the nation!

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pumiceMar. 30, 13 7:45 PM

By the way, Ms. Sturdevant, where does Frances Clayton come into the picture?

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owatonnabillMar. 30, 13 8:48 PM

Quite a jump, Lori. Good story about the Civil War stuff though.

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elmore1Mar. 31, 13 6:42 AM

The program might have merit and the state should redirect some of the existing education spending to really test it out.

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foneboothMar. 31, 13 7:42 AM

I agree with others here, looks like editing took out some connecting links. But interesting Civil War info; couldn't agree more on education, but they seem like two separate stories pieced together.

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monkeyplanetMar. 31, 13 8:10 AM

Ms. Sturdevant has quite an axe to grind. The Civil War was a cataclysmic event with profound consequences both good and bad. Using it to plug something like early childhood education cheapens both the legacy of the war and the bill that she's advocating for. To be clear, I have no problem with the state spending more money on things like that, but once in a while I'd like for there to be a recognition that part of the reason certain minority kids tend to perform poorly in school is because they come from very dysfunctional homes where education simply isn't valued. In fact, it's often ridiculed as "acting white." The blunt truth is that no government program is going to change that. Let's not even mention the lack of discipline and accountability in schools that would have been severely punished by our 19th-century ancestors. You can't do that these days. It might damage a kid's self-esteem!

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alansonMar. 31, 13 9:59 AM

Lori proposes something that is essentially contrary to the American concept of a free public education for all children: means tested scholarships for children. It ought to be a non-starter.

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owatonnabillMar. 31, 1310:10 AM

"To be clear, I have no problem with the state spending more money on things like that, but once in a while I'd like for there to be a recognition that part of the reason certain minority kids tend to perform poorly in school is because they come from very dysfunctional homes where education simply isn't valued. In fact, it's often ridiculed as "acting white." The blunt truth is that no government program is going to change that." ............... Owatonnabill heartily agrees that, despite what our more leftward-leaning brethren tend to believe, this is the underlying problem. And not with just certain minority kids but a sizeable chunk of caucasian kids as well. That said, what IS the solution? More and more legislation and programs where the State acts in loco parentis is nothing more than a band-aid: at worst it actually enables familial dysfunctionality, at least from an educational standpoint, because it provides no impetus for change. But can we really do more than that, and if so--what? As a former Social Worker owatonnabill knows the difficulty attendant to getting any family to accept parenting assistance or guidance: much if not most of the time it has to be court-ordered and then the worker gets to deal with hostile parents who go along with the program only because they must. So what needs to change, and how do we change it?

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roar04Mar. 31, 1310:20 AM

The state has the responsibility to provide access to a quality education for it's citizens. The citizens are responsible for accessing the system and maximizing the opportunity. Period.

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longmemoryMar. 31, 1310:43 AM

Education isn't given, it's taken. The world is awash in information, all of it nearly free at the library. More and more children simply aren't interested in it. Pop culture (via the media) pays too much attention to other things like athletics and looks.

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