Last week’s release of Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) results was disheartening (“Math and reading scores drop,” Aug. 30), particularly in the area of mathematics. Minnesota prides itself on having some of the strongest math standards in the country, but unfortunately many students continue to struggle to meet those standards. The gaps between white students and students of color, low-income students and English learners are not closing, and for some groups, the gap is widening.
Classroom teachers are asked to differentiate lessons for students often when they have 30 or more students in each class. We know they’re doing good work, but they need additional support to meet the individual needs of students.
This past session, we co-authored bipartisan legislation to expand an evidence-based approach to improve students’ foundational math skills. Minnesota Math Corps, an AmeriCorps program serving schools across the state, works with students below grade level in mathematics to build their foundational math skills in such areas as numeracy and proportional thinking. These skills are essential for later success in algebra and statistics.
We will be advocating for additional state support of Math Corps next session and encourage anyone interested in becoming a Math Corps tutor to visit www.minnesotamathcorps.org.
You could be the person who changes the trajectory of a young person’s life.
State Sen. Paul Anderson and State Rep. Ami Wazlawik
Anderson, a Republican, represents the Wayzata/Plymouth area. Wazlawik, a DFLer, represents the White Bear Lake area.
Role-modeling deserves recognition
Our country needs far more people like recent letter writer David Donald Luiken (“Teachers can lead against hatred,” Aug. 28), and far less people like that other Donald — the orange one, with the fake hair, fake tan, fake personality, and fake patriotism, who endlessly defines any opposition as “fake news.”
I hope and pray this letter writer has legions of fellow teachers that feel — and act — in the same manner.
I also hope and pray that none of the writer’s students are victimized by the increasingly Nazi-like policies of our president and his sycophants in our elected government.
The courage to write that letter and follow through with the kids deserves recognition.
Ryan Corman, Fargo, N.D.
Unimpartiality doesn’t help schools
Thank you to the Star Tribune for the correction to its initial online story “Minneapolis School District enrollment continues to decline” concerning our district enrollment (a previous online version had said the drop in enrollment was nearly double the projection, while in reality the drop is roughly in line with it). The corrected version online now accurately outlines our enrollment. But the front-page printed headline the paper used, “More leave Mpls. Public Schools,” incites fear. Our district is front-facing about its enrollment struggles, as well as about our efforts to better serve the educational needs of students of color and indigenous students. We are working to create a district that uses data to make decisions in the best interest of our staff, students and families. Incendiary language can and often is misleading at best. We welcome the Star Tribune’s coverage and ask for its impartiality. Thank you for your service to the Twin Cities.
This letter was submitted by representatives from the Minneapolis School District.
New properties need energy, and yes, that might mean natural gas
It is laughable to many of us who participate in the building, real estate and wholesaling business of natural gas products to see people wailing about increased usage of natural gas from CenterPoint (“Mpls. hopes to trim natural gas use,” Aug. 28).
I can guarantee you that just about every new installation, retrofit boiler and AC unit has the latest efficient equipment installed. Why? It runs better. It costs up to 60% less to run. Most highly energy-efficient products are rebateable.
Building owners are the most cost-conscience investors around — they know their costs, and they have been installing this type of equipment.
Why is there more usage? The answer is so simple, but politicians always jump over it: The city is booming with new construction and retrofitting, and these properties need energy.
City leaders want more density, more jobs, neighborhood upgrades, low-income housing. How are we supposed to keep these folks warm in the winter? Build a campfire outside the building?
Kelly Michel, St. Paul
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I, along with our members, read with interest the recent Star Tribune article regarding energy consumption, including natural gas consumption.
First and foremost, owners and management companies of commercial office and industrial buildings share the concern regarding climate change. They continue to support voluntary efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of our members have completed or are making substantial investments to upgrade their properties to become LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). In recent years, the Building Owners and Managers Association and our members have helped shape and promote Minneapolis’ energy benchmarking and disclosure program and coordinated the Kilowatt Crackdown contest, which involved nearly 100 commercial buildings competing in categories for energy conservation. BOMA has also established an Energy & Environment Committee to engage with local, county and state agencies when issues such as energy efficiencies, funding or rebate programs, recycling programs, etc., are involved.
In the article, an opinion was stated that a growing demand for natural gas is due to the construction of new commercial and industrial buildings (and residential as well). This growth is a clear display of economic vitality for all of Minneapolis and shouldn’t be considered a hindrance. We applaud the city of Minneapolis for creating environmental goals and the many positive strides that have been accomplished. However, questions still exist. How realistic are these goals given our climate? Which sources of energy are the most efficient, acceptable and economical?
The most effective way to counter greenhouse gas emissions and to promote cleaner energy is for government, the utility companies and property owners to work in tandem and not introduce onerous building codes or mandates.
Kevin Lewis, Minneapolis
The writer is president and CEO of BOMA Greater Minneapolis.
Does real death move us more than false reports? We find out now.
At the beginning of Desert Storm, a false story claimed that Saddam Hussein’s troops were dumping babies out of hospital incubators and leaving them to die so the equipment could be taken back to Iraq. Americans, believing the story, were horrified and disgusted by the action.
Today we have the real story of the Trump administration revoking the permission that allows certain noncitizens with seriously ill children to remain in this country for lifesaving treatments not available in their home countries (“Migrants getting care could now be deported,” Aug. 30).
In short, the administration is telling the families to leave within 33 days or be forcefully deported, even if it means their child will die as a result.
I am horrified and disgusted by this action in my own country. Are you?
John Socha, Spring Grove, Minn.
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