Readers Write: (June 3): Education blame, Justice Paul Anderson, Mini-Wheats, Sara Jane Olson, noise, 'talking points'

  • Updated: June 2, 2013 - 5:23 PM

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All talk of reform and no real action

Scott Kielkucki’s recent commentary about the need for students to be more culpable was similar to every other education reform observation trending in social and mainstream media (“You can lead students to school, but … ,” May 30). Please pardon the metaphor, but everyone is seeking the silver bullet, which is obviously never aimed back toward those making the observation du jour.

Herein lies the problem. For numerous reasons, and many unknown motivations, everyone is pointing fingers at one group or another, or at multiple groups. Mirroring our current political discourse, this chaos known as the education reform debate is ignoring a critical component to success: Partnership. Cooperation. Between educators, students and parents.

Parents carry a heavy burden in insuring a child’s success, but parental power and influence does not have to be combative, manifesting itself through trigger laws and other tools.

In a climate of cooperative partnership, no one is let off the hook. Parents, educators and students all have responsibilities and expectations, all of which are driving toward the same goal: the successful education of today’s youths.

R.J. LAVALLEE, Shorewood

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I agree with Kielkucki’s comments; however, he didn’t suggest any solution to the problem.

In many other countries, there are two or more pathways of education. Going to high school is only for those who can pass the required tests and are willing to learn.

When I was 13, I was bored in school in Germany, and all the lectures my parents gave me didn’t help. I ended up working as a laborer for three years, which taught me that an education was a good thing. I am glad I learned that lesson early enough to make corrections. It would be good if there was a system of similar nature here in the United States.

Carl Fritsch, Edina

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Retiring justice leaves an admirable legacy

There are two aspects of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson’s career that hopefully other judges can emulate (“A judicial career to savor,” May 31). Anderson grew as a judge, and he was enthusiastic about his job until the very last day. He came to the Court of Appeals with no judicial experience and was thrust into a leadership role.

Courts are complex institutions to lead. An external source picks the “partners,” and there is far less authority for chief judges than most can imagine. Your ability to lead is determined by your ability to create a vision and to get other judges to buy into that vision. Paul had a unique skill at doing that in part because of his intellect, in part because he is very savvy politically, but in very large part because he has an infectious energy and passion about the Minnesota judiciary.

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