Beyond the six debates Mark Dayton has proposed, Jeff Johnson's campaign would like two more gubernatorial debates.
Did you take band, theater, phy-ed, or business class when you were in school? Then you may have been able to do something most kids can’t do or don’t have time to do these days because of changes in Minnesota school budgets — take an “enrichment” course.
A new study of Minnesota school district spending over the last ten years found that schools are spending their dollars to boost test scores on subjects students are tested on, but it comes at the expense of a broader education.
“We have students taking what we call double scoops of math and reading to try and get their test scores up”, said LeMoyne Corgard, President of Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota. “But of course that limits the other options they have. It limits them access to the course work that they would like that really motivate them, inspire them and keep them engaged in our schools.”
It’s that engagement and motivation for learning that can make or break kids’ success once they finish school. Minnesota 2020, which did the study, calls that caring for the “whole child”, not just the simple test score. The report says parents should be worried that their kids are losing out on the courses that can actually help them learn better in life and increase their IQ.
“Standardized testing has been elevated so high that it’s really come at the cost of arts, music, all these programs that really draw kids to school and keep them in school”, says Sarah Lahm of ACT for Education. The middle school where Lahm’s kids go has band and music programs, but only because parents have fundraised to pay for it. “Most schools do not have a parent body that can afford that, so they do not have a band program for their children. So I feel that access is not equally available across the district.” Lahm says at least her school has 30 minutes of recess a day. She says a school that is a mile away dumped recess with the goal of boosting test scores. “I think that’s a huge problem.”
How much and where the cuts are in education
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton turned down Republican Jeff Johnson's latest request to debate twice at the state fair and 11 times after that. Dayton's campaign has proposed a schedule of six debates starting October 1.
Senator Al Franken's campaign announced today that there will be three more debates between Democrat Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden before the November election, bringing the total number of debates the two will have to four. McFadden had asked for six debates.