Recent content from MaryJo Webster
Officers with convictions – which might have cost them their careers in other states – can exploit weaknesses in Minnesota's licensing rules to keep their jobs.
In Oregon, police officers can be disciplined for infractions that wouldn't even trigger a state review here. The northwestern state has become a national model for rigorous licensing, with lessons for Minnesota in police accountability and improving public confidence.
Over the past two decades, hundreds of Minnesota law enforcement officers have been convicted of criminal offenses. Most were never disciplined by the state. More than 140 are still on the job.
The state rarely sanctions police officers in domestic violence cases, a glaring weakness that police chiefs and victim advocates say needs to change.
Parents are going the distance to enroll their children in schools that offer the programs and services they want, effectively redrawing the map of district boundaries in the process.
Reasons for leaving the district range from safety concerns to a belief that academics elsewhere are better than in Minneapolis, which has struggled for years to close the achievement gap between white and black students.
Black, Hispanic and American Indian households in Minnesota made modest economic gains last year, but remain far behind whites and Asians, according to new census data.
In Minneapolis and St. Paul, a third of the students are now leaving for other districts. The student flight is magnifying budget pressures and transforming the racial diversity of metro-area schools.
The trend seems to reflect more restrictive licensing laws and changes in teen interests and behavior.
"It's frustrating to see test scores slowly increasing over time, but there's more to providing a student with a well-rounded education than can be seen in a test," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement.