Let's Get Blogging. Sorry about the short absence. The State Fair has started, school is literally around the corner, so we're having some kind of fun how. Things are picking up in the policy development corridor as well, with meetings starting to fill up the schedule.
August served out its usual dose of consternation, as test scores were released. As per usual, the scores were "disappointing" (I think if everyone got 100%, someone would still be disappointed) and more schools have found their way onto the list of schools on some type of double-secret probation.
Here is the link to the test scores and report card data: cards.http://education.state.mn.us/ReportCard2005/index.do
Lawsuit Update. Not here. In South Dakota. Dr. John Sweet from Delano is providing me with updates from the South Dakota adequacy lawsuit.
Fall 2007, Sioux City Journal: http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/articles/2007/04/09/news/south_dakota/bed1680fa5f31716862572b80002c33d.txt
July 2008, Argus Leader: http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807270313
August 2008, Madison Daily Leader (I guess all the leaders are in South Dakota): http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SD_SCHOOL_FUNDING_SDOL-?SITE=SDMAD&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
The problem with lawsuits as a remedy are many and varied and a big hurdle has already been thrown in front of the South Dakota suit, as the South Dakota State Supreme Court has ruled that school districts cannot finance the lawsuit. I'd have to have Dick Berge outline the manner in which this was avoided when SEE (then ASGSD) filed the Skeen lawsuit.
It just goes to show how lawsuits in and of themselves are not just on a slippery slope; they are the slippery slope. It's like if all the planets line up and then the Cylons, Klingons, or Romulans (how come alien races always end with an "n"?) came and blew everything up.
This post isn't implying that there will be a lawsuit in Minnesota. Nor is it implying that sometime in the near future, there won't be one. It's just an observation about something happening in a neighboring state that provides us with a perspective--which we already knew--regarding school litigation.
John and I will keep you posted on any developments that happen in the Coyote State (South Dakota has two state nicknames, the other one being, The Mount Rushmore State. Coyote just sounds cooler.).
Not-so-Sweet District 16. Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, will be choosing his running-mate in the week ahead and if he comes to Minnesota for that choice, I'm relatively certain (make that completely certain) that in the wake of all the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, he won't be picking Representative Mark Olson to stand on the dais with him at the Xcel Energy Center in the first week of September.
Representative Olson was denied party endorsement by the District 16B Republicans earlier this year as the opted to endorse former Minnesota Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer instead. Some of you may recall that Representative Olson stood trial in 2007 (and was booted out of the House Republican caucus) for domestic abuse and was convicted on a lesser charge. It appeared that Olson was ready to hang up his microphone (those of you who are legislative watchers will get that comment), Senator Betsey Wergin was appointed to the Public Utilities Commission, creating a vacancy in Senate District 16.
In the first week of August, Olson was endorsed over Alison Krueger by the Senate District 16 Republicans in a move that was swiftly rebuked the the Senate Republican Caucus and Michael Brodkorb at his "Minnesota Democrats Exposed" website. For anyone familiar with Brodkorb, he usually saves up his fastballs to go high-and-tight on the Democrats, but he went medieval on one of his own here.
So, what is next. Alison Krueger has stayed in the race, so the primary on September 9, will determine the Republican candidate and the winner there will go on to face Princeton School Board Chair Lisa Fobbe in the general election.
Links on this saga:
Olson Endorsed from StarTribune: http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/26423509.html
Brodkorb Piece: http://www.minnesotademocratsexposed.com/2008/08/13/on-representative-mark-olsons-endorsement-by-the-republican-party/