Questions raised over Minneapolis schools’ superintendent search process

Sergio Paez
Courtesy of Minneapolis Public Schools
Sergio Paez

Well, at least they hadn’t hired him yet. At MPR, Bob Collins asks questions about Minneapolis Public Schools’ process for its next superintendent: “The biggest question in Minneapolis politics these days is, ‘What didn’t the Minneapolis School Board know and when didn’t it know it?’ … It’s hard to imagine a more disastrous outcome to the search for a school superintendent than the one that was — or wasn’t — conducted before the board selected Sergio Paez as the new school chief, bypassing the interim superintendent Michael Goar. … The search took 10 months, and in that time nobody, apparently, learned anything about allegations that special needs students in Holyoke, Mass. — Paez’s old district — had been illegally restrained and thrown into walls and onto floors.”

Just think: this guy could soon be in charge of the NSA. The New York Times’ Matt Flegenheimer’s reports on the Cruz campaign’s version of holiday cheer: “ As attendees packed a reception hall in Minnesota on the first night of Senator Ted Cruz’s seven-day, 12-city tour, they were greeted by an uncommon supporter: a costumed Santa Claus, posing with children and more than a few adults beside a fireplace. … But the campaign’s aim was not exclusively festive. To retrieve photos taken with the Santa, visitors were handed cards directing them to Mr. Cruz’s website, where they were asked to provide their names, email addresses and ZIP codes.  ‘The Santa’s optically good anyway. It’s a Christmas tour, it makes total sense,’ said Jeff Roe, Mr. Cruz’s campaign manager. ‘But you still have to run a campaign when these are over. You can’t just come out and do rallies and have nothing left when you leave except for a bunch of uneaten cookies. Now we’re going to have living data of people. They’ll have an experience they’ll remember forever.’”

Speaking of people we definitely trust with our data, REUTERS’ Nandita Bose reports: “Target Corp is in early stages of developing its own mobile wallet, three people familiar with the matter said, signaling a potential threat to new entrants like Apple Pay a week after Wal-Mart Stores Inc announced its own plans. … The fourth-largest U.S. retailer has not committed to launch the product, which would allow customers to pay for goods using an app on their mobile phones. The mobile wallet could launch as early as next year, but it is too early to predict, two of the sources said. … Target’s team has taken some important decisions such as partnering with credit card companies and they are in favor of processing transactions using scanning technology to communicate with payment terminals, the two sources said.”

You wonder if these are the same parents complaining about bans on prayer in public schools? WCCO’s John Lauritsen reports on the Arabic scholars up in Anoka-Hennepin: “Some parents in the Anoka-Hennepin School District are questioning a choir teacher’s decision to use a song about Ramadan performed in Arabic at a holiday concert. …  At Thursday night’s concert at Blaine High School, one of the songs students will be singing includes Arabic words, including the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar,’ which means ‘God is great.’ … During that time, a Jewish song and Christian songs, such as ‘Away in the Manger’ and ‘Silent Night,’ will be sung as well. A hallelujah chorus will also be sung near the end of the program.”

In other news…

Life’s pretty good for the Muslim community of Willmar. [West Central Tribune]

Hennepin County Medical Examiner: Former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland died of a mix of “cocaine, ethanol and the amphetamine MDA” [AP]

DJ Brian Oake leaving Cities 97. [KARE]

More than her recommended daily amount of iron: “Rusty screw found in Fargo woman’s Grand Junction sandwich” [Inforum]

Duluth is losing its police chief to Wichita, Kansas. [Duluth News Tribune]

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