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Legislative Auditor calls Minnesota teacher licensing ‘confusing’ and ‘broken’

MinnPost file photo by Daniel Corrigan
Legislative Auditor James Nobles

‘Broken,’ like, in a bad way? MPR’s Solvejg Wastvedt has an update on Minnesota’s teacher licensure system: “Teacher licensing in Minnesota is ‘confusing,’ ‘broken’ and in need of an overhaul, the Office of Legislative Auditor said Friday. … The system’s problems are partly to blame for the state’s teacher shortage, and the fact that the work is split between the Minnesota Board of Teaching and Minnesota Department of Education makes it difficult to hold anyone accountable for decisions, according to the auditor’s report. … The Education Department also doesn’t do enough to explain why it denies license applications and the teaching board’s appeal process ‘is not consistent with the law,’ the report said.”

Uptown finally getting a place to stay. The Star Tribune’s Eric Roper reports: “A boutique hotel in the Uptown area received approval Thursday from a key Minneapolis City Council panel, setting it on a path for possible mid-2017 opening. … The 120-room hotel would be built on the corner of W. Lake Street and Emerson Avenue S., now the site of surface parking lots and a shuttered restaurant. It is being developed by Graves Hospitality under Marriott’s new ‘Moxy’ brand.”

Can Columbia Heights become the next Northeast? They’re giving it a shot, writes Governing’s Alan Ehrenhalt: “ Perhaps most important, the suburb’s southern border sits right alongside Northeast Minneapolis, a once-dilapidated neighborhood that has come alive in recent years as an arts district. Modest homes in Northeast Minneapolis have soared in value, and many locals believe it is only a matter of time before the phenomenon spreads farther north into Columbia Heights. It’s easy to look at Central Avenue and see a future built around art galleries, fashionable boutiques, and high-end bars and cafés. ‘It sure would be nice,’ says Mayor Gary Peterson. ‘It’s very possible. We’d love to have more of that stuff.’ ”

Pitchfork has a mini-review and interview with Bob Mehrauthor of the new “Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements”: “But over the last decade, the Replacements have reissued their albums, reunited to headline stadium shows and music festivals, even played ‘Fallon.’ Their niche as an influential band has led to a real wave of interest — a wave that drives Bob Mehr’s new biography, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, the most comprehensive book about the band to date. It’s the first to involve founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, who join hundreds of subjects related to the band to color a timeline stretching more than 50 years. (Drummer Chris Mars, who has since become a successful painter, declined to participate.)”

In other news…

Well done, Minnesota: Rail Crossing Fatalities Dropped in 2015, State Says” [KSTP]

A steak for less than two bits: “O’Gara’s rings in 75 years with 1941 menu prices” [Pioneer Press]

“Well-known high school theater director killed in Dakota County car crash” [Pioneer Press]

Congrats to Augsburg professor William D. Green: “‘Degrees of Freedom’ wins Hognander Minnesota History Award” [Pioneer Press]

What does it all mean? “Bison bones found at lake bottom tell few tales” [Star Tribune]

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