On second thought, Alejandra Matos of the Strib, tells us, “A dispute has erupted over the results of a new study that shows that Minneapolis had the lowest high school graduation rate among 50 major cities. The study, released by a Washington-based education group, showed less than 50 percent of Minneapolis students graduate within four years, and just 4 percent of all high school students in the city took the ACT or SAT college entrance exams. Minnesota education officials are raising questions about the methodology and the data used by the Center for Reinventing Public Education, which advocates for charter schools and opposes teacher tenure rules. State officials say the participation on college entrance exams, for instance, is much higher than the group is reporting.”
Frankly, I thought it would be a lot more. Curtis Gilbert at MPR says, “A court-sanctioned investigation has found State Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, and his wife Theresa received at least $3,486 in improper reimbursements from a now-defunct non-profit organization. A report filed in Ramsey County District Court Thursday alleges Community Action of Minneapolis paid for plane tickets, hotel stays, travel expenses and spa services for the Haydens. The document says with the exception of the $96 spa visit, the Haydens have refused to pay the money back.”
“It’s working” so well in Wisconsin there has been concern over academic types leaving to move to TaxHellistan, i.e. Minnesota. Now the UW system is re-thinking its out-of-state student population. The AP story says, “A University of Wisconsin System committee approved a plan to lift UW-Madison’s cap on out-of-state students Thursday after the campus’ chancellor and system president insisted they need more freedom to attract fresh talent for Wisconsin employers. Chancellor Rebecca Blank and system President Ray Cross told the Board of Regents’ education committee that the number of Wisconsin high school graduates has been declining since 2009, resulting in decreasing college enrollment and exacerbating the state’s shortage of skilled workers. Lifting UW-Madison’s cap would allow the university to attract more top students from out of state who, they hope, would remain in Wisconsin after graduation.” Because they do have Spotted Cow, you know.
Lt. Governor Tina Smith was up north yesterday talking Greater Minnesota issues. Zach Kayser of the Brainerd Dispatch writes, “Smith’s remarks to the gathering were later mirrored in her comments at a press conference afterward: to beef up the state’s manufacturing power and overall economy, there’s a need for increased broadband infrastructure as well as workforce training to fill demand for workers. … Smith said [Trans-Pacific Partnership] was ‘largely a federal issue’ although it had the potential to both positively and negatively affect Minnesota. ‘For agricultural products and manufactured products it can be very helpful, but for other parts of Minnesota’s economy, it can be a real challenge,’ she said. ‘I think it cuts both ways.’”
At Rolling Stone, Steve McPherson looks at the Timberwolves and says, “‘I was under the impression that Flip wanted to win,’ says David Thorpe, an ESPN analyst and coach who has worked with NBA players for years. ‘It didn’t make sense to bring in longer term guys who were a little bit younger who would suck up all the minutes from their very, very talented group of extremely young players. What made some sense is to bring in guys who know how to play and have had success.’ In his experience, Thorpe says you’re only going to be able to truly assess a player’s potential when you put him alongside experienced players who can open up the game and make it easier. ‘The game is played by younger players – it’s read by older players,’ he says. ‘Their brains are a big part of their talent.’”
Now where will I go to watch the playoffs? In the Strib, Rick Nelson says, “La Belle Vie chef/owner Tim McKee announced that he is closing his much-lauded, highly polished culinary playground later this month, citing changing consumer tastes, rising costs and increased competition. A lengthy road construction project on Hennepin Avenue outside the restaurant only compounded the problem. ‘It’s hard to reconcile,’ said McKee. ‘How can we be so appreciated, yet we have to close our doors? There are hundreds of reasons why, and they all add up to make this decision a necessity. Everything I say seems kind of trite, but the fact of the matter is, this is a hard business.’”
Click it or ticket. The Forum News Service reminders us all — and that includes you — that the cops are cracking down again. “More than 300 law enforcement agencies in Minnesota will start extra seat belt law enforcement starting this weekend and continuing until the end of the month. The increased enforcement starts today (Friday) and will run until Oct. 25. While a state survey shows that seat belt compliance for front seat occupants is above 90 percent, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said men still lead in disobeying the law.” That’s because each one of us is the world’s greatest driver.
Too much booze and cheesy TV. Carolyn Lange of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “Three men have been sentenced after pleaded guilty to a felony charge of damaging a historic rural Litchfield church that they believed was haunted. … The men told police they had been drinking in Willmar before they went to find Ness Church, which they believed was haunted. [Kyle] Huber told police they had videotaped the break-in in case they saw a ghost.”
On the University of St. Thomas site, Dan McLaughlin talks health care premiums and says: “The publicity surrounding these increases leaves the impression that health insurance is very expensive for everyone in Minnesota compared to the rest of the country and this is inaccurate. Data from the same study on the absolute rates – how much the insurance actually costs – shows a quite different picture. … Minneapolis has the third-lowest rate in the county even after the rate increase. If you were buying health insurance in New York City you would pay $1,668 more per year compared to Minneapolis.” Tell that to The Freedom Caucus!
Speaking of … maybe there’s a way to apply this sort of thing to Congress. The AP also says, “A Minnesota school district is seeking nearly $3 million from a farmer who sued to try to invalidate a successful $43 million bond referendum. Sibley East Public Schools in Gaylord says in a court motion that Nathan Kranz’ litigation cost it nearly $3 million and that he failed to put up a $300,000 surety bond as ordered by the judge in the case. The motion says Kranz should be held in contempt and fined to cover the costs to the district and taxpayers arising from the delays in the bond sale.”