Readers write (Sept. 21): Pope Francis, Congress, teachers, cancer care, Nicollet Mall, probabation officers, obesity

  • Updated: September 21, 2013 - 8:38 AM
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POPE FRANCIS

Let’s follow his lead and be tolerant of others

Pope Francis said, “The Catholic Church shouldn’t interfere spiritually with the lives of gays and lesbians.” So can we end the debate? Remember, the pope said this.

JACK PARKER, Eden Prairie

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Congress, let’s not play this game again

So Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, thinks “We’ve got to play the game” (“House GOP raises the odds of a shutdown,” Sept. 18). I have news for you and for Rep. Tom Graves, R-Georgia, who sees blocking funding legislation as “a win for the American people.”

This game you play affects the lives of millions of Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s the well-being of our people and the reputation of our country at stake. I hope all Republicans contact their representatives and tell them to quit playing games.

VICKI A. BERG, Edina

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TEACH FOR AMERICA

University of Minnesota made a bad decision

The University of Minnesota’s decisions to partner with Teach for America (TFA) and offer five weeks of training for these teaching candidates should cause concern (“U training adds to the Teach for America debate,” Sept. 18).

Sending undertrained young adults into difficult teaching environments is perhaps providing more opportunity to the TFA participants than it is for the students. Alternative licensure is great for expediting training of potential teachers in hard to fill posts like, say, Arabic, or for supporting licensure of teacher candidates of minority communities to build a workforce that better reflects the student body.

However, more than 60 percent of TFA participants, according to their website, are white and at least middle class. They will enter classrooms as teachers of record with limited support. Who wins? Who loses? National service programs like AmeriCorps are a better idea for young idealists.

JEN VANEK, Minneapolis

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