When offering high school students college-level courses, state should add extra advisers.
Thanks for “High schoolers tackle tuition before turning in their tassels” (May 26). Readers would likely also be interested in the drama that unfolded as the recent legislative session wound down, in which the highest-ranking leaders in the Senate first tried to block entirely and then settled for prohibiting Minnesota colleges from informing some high school students and parents of the enormous savings they might enjoy from taking college courses. Amazingly, the final wording blocks kids in school districts with fewer than 700 students from “seeing” this information. Since the main medium for sharing this kind of information is on college websites, how will lawmakers keep these families from “seeing” this information? Will colleges be prohibited from posting information about postsecondary options available to high schoolers?
Curtis Johnson, Edina
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More advisers needed to help high schoolers
As the number of Minnesota students who seek to reduce the cost of higher education by taking college-level courses in high school continues to grow, so will the need for high-quality advising from high school counselors and staff in the admissions offices of our state’s two- and four-year colleges.
A study that I conducted when I was director of the U’s College Readiness Consortium in 2012 found that while students in Twin Cities high schools cited reducing the cost of higher education as the best reason for taking a college-level course, many did not understand which types of college-level courses would actually help them achieve that objective. Students often did not know, for example, that many colleges only award credit for courses in which the student achieves a certain score on an exam at the end of the course. They also did not know that even if they perform well in a college-level course, the postsecondary institution they decide to attend may not award credit for certain high school courses or may limit the total number of credits an entering student can count toward a postsecondary degree.
Increasing the capacity of both counselors and admissions officers to help students navigate the foggy terrain between high school and higher education will cost some money, but given the fact that Minnesota spent approximately $30 million in 2012 to help students take college-level classes in high school, it would be a prudent investment in their future and ours.
Kent Pekel, St. Paul
In Minnesota, we are thrilled to have Modi
Robin Phillips, in her editorial counterpoint of May 26 (“Rather than embrace, be wary of India’s new leader”), essentially says that India has elected a monstrous prime minister. This is an insult and mockery of the largest democracy on earth. The Indian electorate of 850 million people knows better than Phillips, who wrote the article sitting in her Minneapolis office.
The Indian-American diaspora of Minnesota is a microcosm of India, and it is as euphoric over Modi’s election victory as its countrymen in India. Phillips is wrong in saying that the diaspora is concerned about Modi’s rise to power. Conversely, Indians all over the world welcome the change and feel liberated from a corrupt government controlled by a dynastic family. Phillips is critical of not only Modi but everything Indian — be it the investigation done by the Indian government or the ruling of the Indian Supreme Court. She believes Modi manipulated the entire Indian system to absolve himself of the charges.
Modi is the most scrutinized and harassed politician in India today. It seems Modi’s detractors like Phillips would like to bring him to trial in a court of their choice and convict him.
Har N Shukla, Anoka
Political? No, Jeff Anderson’s a hero
Katherine Kersten’s attempt to politicize the work of attorney Jeff Anderson in cleaning out the Catholic Church of pedophile priests minimizes the effect of sexual abuse on children by someone in whom they have entrusted their soul (“Clergy sex abuse is serious, but the church is also a target,” May 27). Jeff Anderson is a hero to children who have been abused and especially for those who will never be abused because of his courage in taking on the Catholic hierarchy.
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