Because we'll show up, retailers extend hours
So Target and Best Buy are opening earlier than last year on Thanksgiving Day ("Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving dinnertime," Nov. 12). Why don't we just cancel Thanksgiving altogether? That would guarantee consumers a dependable extra Christmas shopping day not subject to the whims of the calendar. Instead of a big spread with family and friends, just make yourself a turkey sandwich of mystery meat from the deli to eat in line waiting for the store to open.
Everyone who whines about the disappearance of Thanksgiving Day, ask yourself this question: Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, et al., are in business to make a profit, correct? If customers didn't show up to snare bargains on Thanksgiving, they wouldn't open. If a policy isn't profitable, a smart business does not continue to do it.
CATHY BULLARD, Apple Valley
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Modern-day Thanksgiving scenario: "And dear Lord, thank you on this special day that our family can all get together in this fine department store, where all men's winter jackets are 60 percent off, today only, and select 50-inch TVs are on sale for the incredibly low price of just $399, subject to availability …"
Willis Woyke, Columbia Heights
Doubling up teachers won't solve the problem
So the Minneapolis schools think that providing two teachers in failing classrooms will be the solution to raising the achievement of students ("Mpls. to double down on grade gap," Nov. 12)? The problem is, they apparently don't know the research relevant to educational achievement.
If student achievement is subpar, the key is changing the teaching methodology, not providing more of the same failed education. If the current teachers are capable of increasing student achievement, they should be provided the support to do so. If the support is there and the teachers are still failing, they should be replaced by teachers who utilize effective methodology.
Good teaching is not a secret process. It is, however, hard work that requires proper support. Doubling the number of teachers will only double the cost of failure.
SID RICHISON, Chanhassen
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Let me get this right: The Minneapolis School District may assign a second teacher to do essentially the same things one has been doing and expect different results? Might the system itself be the problem, not the teachers or the students? Why not look to the handful of schools that beat the odds on this gap and do more of what they are doing?
CURT JOHNSON, Edina
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Instead of placing two teachers in a classroom in struggling schools, how about a mom and dad in every home? Parents who will value education and encourage their children in succeeding in that education would go a long way in raising test scores. It doesn't take much to read to your children and talk to them so they come into school with a vocabulary that will lead to being a successful reader. I suppose my comments will be viewed as politically incorrect because it might make someone feel bad.
LYNETTE MITTENESS, Alexandria, Minn.
CHURCH SEX ABUSE
With partial release, key questions remain
It is amazing how Archbishop John Nienstedt and the Catholic Church in general continue to try and get by doing the minimum to resolve the sexual abuse scandal rather than taking a huge leap forward and actually resolving all of the issues by releasing all relevant documents, settling with all of those who were abused, issuing a true apology, and putting in place hard and fast rules that put the safety of children above the reputation of the institution ("Church to name abusing priests," Nov. 12).
Had they acted with honor when the scandal first broke, it would be behind us now. In the end, they have caused the church far more harm than complete honesty could ever have done. Small wonder that the "faithful" are becoming less so every day. One wonders if even the good-hearted Pope Francis can turn the tide.
ROBERT VEITCH, Minneapolis
Let's figure out how we got in this lousy place
As a longtime married person, I suspect the question to ask Minnesota Orchestra members is not, "What do you want?" My experience with marital conflict tells me that, instead, what should be asked is, "Who was hurt? How? What can be done to mend that tear?" In other words, draw out what is behind what seems to be going on.
MARY JEAN PORT, Minneapolis