TruthToTell: Community Connections

TruthToTell, Wednesday July 10, TruthToTell: Community Connections- Insert Your Ideas Here- The Twin Cities Youth Empowerment Forum

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VIDEO: YouTube or TTT VIDEO ARCHIVE

AND NOW: The KFAI Community Radio App is now up and running!!

That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for Android (http://bit.ly/KFAIonAndroid), iPhone (http://bit.ly/TTTon_iPhone), and iPad (http://bit.ly/TTT-on-iPad) mobile devices.

 


In the sixth edition of the TruthToTell:Community Connections Series*, we look to the youth.TruthToTell's Michelle Alimoradi and special guest RayLynn Prokasky will host a conversation at St Paul's Avalon Charter School on Wednesday, July 10 about how to help youth help themselves. In this era of rapidly changing technology, widening access to information, an unsure economic future, and drastically changing ethnic and racial demographics, is it time to start radically rethinking our systems for preparing and supporting young people? Do we rely on test scores and statistics to tell us what's wrong? Or should we go straight to the source and ask youth what they want to achieve? Local researchers, including the McKnight foundation’s recent spin-off Youthprise, are saying that perhaps it's a mix of both, but this Wednesday night, we'll talk to members of the community, particularly the younger Twin Cities residents, find out what they think.

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.

Vested community members of all ages are welcome to attend this open forum discussion as we help youth define the terms of their own success, discuss what's working, and what barriers still exist for youth struggling to achieve their goals. TTT has teamed up with St. Paul Parks & Recreation's Youth Job Corps program, Minneapolis Step-Up, Youthprise, St. Paul Sprockets, The Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, Youth Express, and Cookie Cart as well as our production partners St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) and KFAI Fresh Air Radio to bring you this special discussion.

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.

On-air guests: 

 

Caritza Mariani- Caritza directs youth work for the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College.
Jeron Mariani- Jeron Mariani is a 2013 graduate of Saint Paul Academy, a Board Member and Leadership Team member of Youthrive, a youth leadership-based nonprofit organization that focuses on peace-building skills following the vision of Nobel Peace Laureates.
Rhiannon Magee- Rhiannon is an entering sophomore at Avalon High School, an active member of the student congress, and active volunteer in her community serving at the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAM) and the AFS study abroad program.
Invited: Marcus Pope- Director or Strategic Outreach and Initiatives for Youthprise. Marcus has a rich background in nonprofit management, youth development and community outreach. 

 

Caritza Mariani- Caritza directs youth work for the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College.

 

Jeron Mariani- Jeron Mariani is a 2013 graduate of Saint Paul Academy, a Board Member and Leadership Team member of Youthrive, a youth leadership-based nonprofit organization that focuses on peace-building skills following the vision of Nobel Peace Laureates.

 

Rhiannon Magee- Rhiannon is an entering sophomore at Avalon High School, an active member of the student congress, and active volunteer in her community serving at the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAM) and the AFS study abroad program.

Invited: Marcus Pope- Director or Strategic Outreach and Initiatives for Youthprise. Marcus has a rich background in nonprofit management, youth development and community outreach. 

*TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI community radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

CivicMedia-Minnesota is a 501c3 non-profit production company based in St. Paul, Minnesota, created to bring civic and media literacy to the Twin Cities region and Minnesota, informing, educating and empowering residents and students in local, state and regional public affairs and to amplify the voices of concerned  communities on key issues facing them every day. CMM’s main goal is to engage citizens by helping them understand issues of governance and public policy, critique media coverage of critical policy matters, encourage public discourse and help people take collective action to resolve problems and influence public policy. More information and past show archives can be found at www.truthtotell.org.

 

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.Caritza Mariani- Caritza directs youth work for the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College.Jeron Mariani- Jeron Mariani is a 2013 graduate of Saint Paul Academy, a Board Member and Leadership Team member of Youthrive, a youth leadership-based nonprofit organization that focuses on peace-building skills following the vision of Nobel Peace Laureates.Rhiannon Magee- Rhiannon is an entering sophomore at Avalon High School, an active member of the student congress, and active volunteer in her community serving at the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAM) and the AFS study abroad program.Invited: Marcus Pope- Director or Strategic Outreach and Initiatives for Youthprise. Marcus has a rich background in nonprofit management, youth development and community outreach. 

TruthToTell, Wednesday July 10, TruthToTell: Community Connections- Insert Your Ideas Here- The Twin Cities Youth Empowerment Forum

On-air date: 
Wed, 07/10/2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VIDEO: YouTube or TTT VIDEO ARCHIVE

 

 


AND NOW: The KFAI Community Radio App is now up and running!!

That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for Android (http://bit.ly/KFAIonAndroid), iPhone (http://bit.ly/TTTon_iPhone), and iPad (http://bit.ly/TTT-on-iPad) mobile devices.

 


In the sixth edition of the TruthToTell:Community Connections Series*, we look to the youth.TruthToTell's Michelle Alimoradi and special guest RayLynn Prokasky will host a conversation at St Paul's Avalon Charter School on Wednesday, July 10 about how to help youth help themselves. In this era of rapidly changing technology, widening access to information, an unsure economic future, and drastically changing ethnic and racial demographics, is it time to start radically rethinking our systems for preparing and supporting young people? Do we rely on test scores and statistics to tell us what's wrong? Or should we go straight to the source and ask youth what they want to achieve? Local researchers, including the McKnight foundation’s recent spin-off Youthprise, are saying that perhaps it's a mix of both, but this Wednesday night, we'll talk to members of the community, particularly the younger Twin Cities residents, find out what they think.

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.

Vested community members of all ages are welcome to attend this open forum discussion as we help youth define the terms of their own success, discuss what's working, and what barriers still exist for youth struggling to achieve their goals. TTT has teamed up with St. Paul Parks & Recreation's Youth Job Corps program, Minneapolis Step-Up, Youthprise, St. Paul Sprockets, The Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, Youth Express, and Cookie Cart as well as our production partners St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) and KFAI Fresh Air Radio to bring you this special discussion.

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.

Our panelists, speaking from their various experience levels of working with youth, researching youth habits, or being engaged in their communities as a young person.

DATE CORRECTION: TruthToTell, Monday, March 11- 9AM: IGNORANT and ANGRY POLITICS: Two Perspectives on History and the Future; TruthToTell March 4: TESTING TO THE TEACHER: Failing the Grade

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, March 11, 2013

TruthToTell: Community Connections II–Health Insurance Exchanges under“Obamacare” Taping/Airing March 13th at the Wilder Foundation – St. Paul

Producer/Host Andy Driscoll and Associate Producer/Co-host Michelle Alimoradi, in concert with community and media partners, are bringing to live audiences – right in their neighborhoods/communities – conversations on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics.

TruthToTell: Community Connections  and CivicMedia/MN are partnering with KFAI community radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues for radio, television and online distribution. Each program is recorded live before a studio audience the second Wednesday of every month and aired the following Monday – in TruthToTell’s regular slot at 9:00 AM on KFAI, 90.3FM, Minneapolis, 106.7FM, St. Paul, and online at KFAI.org, and at 8:00 PM on television on SPNN St. Paul Cable Channel 19, and MTN Minneapolis Cable Channel 16.

KFAI Radio (FM90.3/106.7 and streamed live at KFAI.org) will occasionally air episodes of Community Connections live on selected Second Wednesday evenings at 7pm (check our websites for which).

The second in our series and first of these live broadcasts will take place on March 13th, originating from the Wilder Foundation Building(map) at 451 Lexington Parkway in Saint Paul near University Ave starting at 6:30PM. This important discussion will cover the key players in the development of the Health Insurance Exchanges mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.Interested Minnesotans are encouraged to join the audience that night. TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TruthToTell, Monday, March 11- 9AM: IGNORANT and ANGRY POLITICS: Two Perspectives on History and the Future - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Streaming @KFAI.org

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 “Civic Design is a practice that focuses on the common good outcomes of our communities by pulling upon all of the institutional tools in our communities, beyond our traditional sole focus on government alone. Regulating our communities into better health and prosperity, writ large, is more than passing laws and warring over angry left vs. right politics. We cannot afford that type of narrow thinking anymore, and that is more than a mere financial commentary. We simply cannot afford to be that uncreative in these historically dynamic times.
— Nate Garvis, Author of Naked Civics: Strip Away the Politics to Build a Better World

There is a pack mentality among legislators who often turn to trendy and untested ideas and the need for quick fixes. The power of money in politics, partisanship, special interest pressures, and sometimes simply ideology or even blindness to the facts all contribute to situations where so-called new ideas are really recycled old ones already proven to have failed." 
— David Schultz, Author of American Politics in the Age of Ignorance: Why Lawmakers Choose Belief over Research (read some)

Nate Garvis and Prof. David Schultz – who might not agree on what each might define as the “common good” or on the role many of our cultural institutions play in our lives (or should) – find themselves, if we’re reading them correctly, not far from each other’s positions on many of the fundamental problems facing American politics today.

Does ignorance of science, the basics of history and the social construct Schultz sees operating in the setting of repeated policy failures in an a nation that purports to be a democracy feed into the increasing anger and increasingly un-civil debate Garvis describes as the very un-creative means by which we govern ourselves in this age?

These two active Minnesota political commentators, one immersed more in the academic sphere than the maelstrom of commerce from which emerges the other (Garvis) are clearly more than a little frustrated by the tenor of the political climate in their two, relatively recent, books on the how citizenship and public policy play out in this 21st Century of rampant informational resources and public platforms where – and this is one question Schulz poses – politicians may or may not be as angry as they come off, depending on whether one is pandering to an electorate already seething over a variety of issues made worse by an unwillingness to accept science and history and fact as the basis for political judgments. Then again, those same political aspirants may well hold those values and beliefs as deeply as their audiences. But, what does that say, then about the politicians’ preparedness for public office?

That said, then, how can Nate Garvis’ own frustration over partisanship be resolved when the anger he decries may be rooted in the necessary polarization to justify the ignorance Schultz has observed?

Listeners get a chance to hear what may well be a heady conversation among us political junkies over the historical and future role of education, emotion and practical politics on voting behavior and public policymaking during this time of unceasing political turmoil, fed by either a complacent or voracious media monster, depending on which head is currently dominant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to dissect these different ideas for civic engagement – which is our mission and that of our parent, CivicMedia/Minnesota – and see where the have a meeting of the minds and where they digress. Should be both serious and fun (see Carrot Design).

GUESTS:

DAVID SCHULTZ, PhD – Professor of Public Administration and government ethics at Hamline University School of Business; Author, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance

NATE GARVIS – Founder, Civic Thought Leader at Naked Civics; Author, Naked Civics

 


AND YOU! 

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, March 4, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Much has been made of the effectiveness of constantly testing students with standardized and  formula tests to measure teacher performance as well as student achievement. The general conclusion: testing does little to raise the quality of either teaching or learning because, inevitably, most educators observe, the testing becomes the tool and not the learning and exposure to real life experiences that many agree result in far more effective education.

Teaching to the test has become the feared mantra for most educators, whether we’re testing teachers or students.

And, yet, just last year, despite the frequent split between teacher supporters like DFL legislators, most often also endorsed by the teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, and Republican teachers union critics, both Republican-led houses mustered large bipartisan majorities to up the ante in teacher licensure requirements by enacting a law to require teachers to pass a series of basic skills tests in reading, writing and math – before receiving certification to teach in public schools. Before that change, teachers would have to take the tests, yes, but, if they failed, could be temporarily certified and allowed in the classroom while they kept trying for up to three years.

No more. Without passing the basic skills tests, certification is withheld; so…no job until they make it.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton signed the revision bill last session.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations –the MTLE – are all part of the overall certification process teachers must undergo, overseen by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT). Teacher licensure has been the subject of much debate over the years: are current standards adequate to measure teacher preparedness or ability to stand before 30 or more students and pass on knowledge some skeptics think the teachers themselves may lack?

And yet…when does testing become punishment rather than a measurement tool or incentive?

Taking those basic skills exams is expensive – each test costing teacher candidates well over $100 including annual testing fees. And those are charges aspiring teachers who fail them must pay over and over again. And, under that law passed last year – those fees are paid every time the test is taken – an expensive proposition.

Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic. If you can’t do it all, you’re out. You can ace two of the three, but…fail one, and…it’s over. What about people who simply don’t test well. Thousands don’t. Who makes up these tests, anyway? The testing company wouldn’t cop to it. What about the test content? Is it completely nonbiased? Could it ever not be, given the multicultural nature of the populations likely taking them, in spite of a desperate need for finding teachers who look like the students under their charge?

And the biggest question of all: are these tests sufficient measures of teacher effectiveness. Stories abound about the many teachers considered whiz-bang conveyors of learning in the classroom, but when told to take a test containing problems or stories completely out of their ken, find themselves on the outside looking in.

Now, add in the elements of race and class and ethnic origin, and the scores become abysmal, given our US penchant for second-class education among our communities of poverty and color.

Now a bill to repeal the whole basic skills burden for graduate teachers just about ready to enter the classroom and support for that proposition is under consideration in both houses.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring several stakeholders into the studio or on the phone to talk about their studies and experiences with all this testing, including the author of the Senate bill to repeal the skills tests altogether.

GUESTS:

STATE SEN. KEVIN DAHLE (DFL, Northfield [Dist. 20]) – Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee; Member, E-12 Division of Senate Finance; Author Senate File 429 (companion House File 171 [Rep. John Ward]

DR. CHRISTOPHER SMITH – Assistant Professor & Assessment Coordinator, Augsburg College; Co-author (with Audrey Lensmire) of an Augsburg study on MTLE and Basic Skills Examinations.

KAYLA VANDENHEUVEL and KRISTEN FILDES – Teaching candidates/Junior year students,Minnesota State University at Moorhead; Co-Founders, MinnesotaVOICE (Voicing Our Important Concerns in Education) - Pre-service Teacher Advocates

SCOTT CROONQUIST – Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan School Districts

 

TruthToTell, Monday, March 4- 9AM: IGNORANT and ANGRY POLITICS: Two Perspectives on History and the Future; TruthToTell March 4: TESTING TO THE TEACHER: Failing the Grade

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, March 11, 2013

TruthToTell: Community Connections II–Health Insurance Exchanges under“Obamacare” Taping/Airing March 13th at the Wilder Foundation – St. Paul

Producer/Host Andy Driscoll and Associate Producer/Co-host Michelle Alimoradi, in concert with community and media partners, are bringing to live audiences – right in their neighborhoods/communities – conversations on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics.

TruthToTell: Community Connections  and CivicMedia/MN are partnering with KFAI community radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues for radio, television and online distribution. Each program is recorded live before a studio audience the second Wednesday of every month and aired the following Monday – in TruthToTell’s regular slot at 9:00 AM on KFAI, 90.3FM, Minneapolis, 106.7FM, St. Paul, and online at KFAI.org, and at 8:00 PM on television on SPNN St. Paul Cable Channel 19, and MTN Minneapolis Cable Channel 16.

KFAI Radio (FM90.3/106.7 and streamed live at KFAI.org) will occasionally air episodes of Community Connections live on selected Second Wednesday evenings at 7pm (check our websites for which).

The second in our series and first of these live broadcasts will take place on March 13th, originating from the Wilder Foundation Building(map) at 451 Lexington Parkway in Saint Paul near University Ave starting at 6:30PM. This important discussion will cover the key players in the development of the Health Insurance Exchanges mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.Interested Minnesotans are encouraged to join the audience that night. TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TruthToTell, Monday, March 4- 9AM: IGNORANT and ANGRY POLITICS: Two Perspectives on History and the Future - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Streaming @KFAI.org

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 “Civic Design is a practice that focuses on the common good outcomes of our communities by pulling upon all of the institutional tools in our communities, beyond our traditional sole focus on government alone. Regulating our communities into better health and prosperity, writ large, is more than passing laws and warring over angry left vs. right politics. We cannot afford that type of narrow thinking anymore, and that is more than a mere financial commentary. We simply cannot afford to be that uncreative in these historically dynamic times.
— Nate Garvis, Author of Naked Civics: Strip Away the Politics to Build a Better World

There is a pack mentality among legislators who often turn to trendy and untested ideas and the need for quick fixes. The power of money in politics, partisanship, special interest pressures, and sometimes simply ideology or even blindness to the facts all contribute to situations where so-called new ideas are really recycled old ones already proven to have failed." 
— David Schultz, Author of American Politics in the Age of Ignorance: Why Lawmakers Choose Belief over Research (read some)

Nate Garvis and Prof. David Schultz – who might not agree on what each might define as the “common good” or on the role many of our cultural institutions play in our lives (or should) – find themselves, if we’re reading them correctly, not far from each other’s positions on many of the fundamental problems facing American politics today.

Does ignorance of science, the basics of history and the social construct Schultz sees operating in the setting of repeated policy failures in an a nation that purports to be a democracy feed into the increasing anger and increasingly un-civil debate Garvis describes as the very un-creative means by which we govern ourselves in this age?

These two active Minnesota political commentators, one immersed more in the academic sphere than the maelstrom of commerce from which emerges the other (Garvis) are clearly more than a little frustrated by the tenor of the political climate in their two, relatively recent, books on the how citizenship and public policy play out in this 21st Century of rampant informational resources and public platforms where – and this is one question Schulz poses – politicians may or may not be as angry as they come off, depending on whether one is pandering to an electorate already seething over a variety of issues made worse by an unwillingness to accept science and history and fact as the basis for political judgments. Then again, those same political aspirants may well hold those values and beliefs as deeply as their audiences. But, what does that say, then about the politicians’ preparedness for public office?

That said, then, how can Nate Garvis’ own frustration over partisanship be resolved when the anger he decries may be rooted in the necessary polarization to justify the ignorance Schultz has observed?

Listeners get a chance to hear what may well be a heady conversation among us political junkies over the historical and future role of education, emotion and practical politics on voting behavior and public policymaking during this time of unceasing political turmoil, fed by either a complacent or voracious media monster, depending on which head is currently dominant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to dissect these different ideas for civic engagement – which is our mission and that of our parent, CivicMedia/Minnesota – and see where the have a meeting of the minds and where they digress. Should be both serious and fun (see Carrot Design).

GUESTS:

DAVID SCHULTZ, PhD – Professor of Public Administration and government ethics at Hamline University School of Business; Author, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance

NATE GARVIS – Founder, Civic Thought Leader at Naked Civics; Author, Naked Civics

 


AND YOU! 

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, March 4, 2013

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Much has been made of the effectiveness of constantly testing students with standardized and  formula tests to measure teacher performance as well as student achievement. The general conclusion: testing does little to raise the quality of either teaching or learning because, inevitably, most educators observe, the testing becomes the tool and not the learning and exposure to real life experiences that many agree result in far more effective education.

Teaching to the test has become the feared mantra for most educators, whether we’re testing teachers or students.

And, yet, just last year, despite the frequent split between teacher supporters like DFL legislators, most often also endorsed by the teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, and Republican teachers union critics, both Republican-led houses mustered large bipartisan majorities to up the ante in teacher licensure requirements by enacting a law to require teachers to pass a series of basic skills tests in reading, writing and math – before receiving certification to teach in public schools. Before that change, teachers would have to take the tests, yes, but, if they failed, could be temporarily certified and allowed in the classroom while they kept trying for up to three years.

No more. Without passing the basic skills tests, certification is withheld; so…no job until they make it.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton signed the revision bill last session.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations –the MTLE – are all part of the overall certification process teachers must undergo, overseen by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT). Teacher licensure has been the subject of much debate over the years: are current standards adequate to measure teacher preparedness or ability to stand before 30 or more students and pass on knowledge some skeptics think the teachers themselves may lack?

And yet…when does testing become punishment rather than a measurement tool or incentive?

Taking those basic skills exams is expensive – each test costing teacher candidates well over $100 including annual testing fees. And those are charges aspiring teachers who fail them must pay over and over again. And, under that law passed last year – those fees are paid every time the test is taken – an expensive proposition.

Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic. If you can’t do it all, you’re out. You can ace two of the three, but…fail one, and…it’s over. What about people who simply don’t test well. Thousands don’t. Who makes up these tests, anyway? The testing company wouldn’t cop to it. What about the test content? Is it completely nonbiased? Could it ever not be, given the multicultural nature of the populations likely taking them, in spite of a desperate need for finding teachers who look like the students under their charge?

And the biggest question of all: are these tests sufficient measures of teacher effectiveness. Stories abound about the many teachers considered whiz-bang conveyors of learning in the classroom, but when told to take a test containing problems or stories completely out of their ken, find themselves on the outside looking in.

Now, add in the elements of race and class and ethnic origin, and the scores become abysmal, given our US penchant for second-class education among our communities of poverty and color.

Now a bill to repeal the whole basic skills burden for graduate teachers just about ready to enter the classroom and support for that proposition is under consideration in both houses.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring several stakeholders into the studio or on the phone to talk about their studies and experiences with all this testing, including the author of the Senate bill to repeal the skills tests altogether.

GUESTS:

STATE SEN. KEVIN DAHLE (DFL, Northfield [Dist. 20]) – Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee; Member, E-12 Division of Senate Finance; Author Senate File 429 (companion House File 171 [Rep. John Ward]

DR. CHRISTOPHER SMITH – Assistant Professor & Assessment Coordinator, Augsburg College; Co-author (with Audrey Lensmire) of an Augsburg study on MTLE and Basic Skills Examinations.

KAYLA VANDENHEUVEL and KRISTEN FILDES – Teaching candidates/Junior year students,Minnesota State University at Moorhead; Co-Founders, MinnesotaVOICE (Voicing Our Important Concerns in Education) - Pre-service Teacher Advocates

SCOTT CROONQUIST – Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan School Districts

 

TruthToTell, March 11: IGNORANT and ANGRY POLITICS: Two Perspectives on History and the Future - AUDIO HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 03/11/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 “Civic Design is a practice that focuses on the common good outcomes of our communities by pulling upon all of the institutional tools in our communities, beyond our traditional sole focus on government alone. Regulating our communities into better health and prosperity, writ large, is more than passing laws and warring over angry left vs. right politics. We cannot afford that type of narrow thinking anymore, and that is more than a mere financial commentary. We simply cannot afford to be that uncreative in these historically dynamic times.
— Nate Garvis, Author of Naked Civics: Strip Away the Politics to Build a Better World

There is a pack mentality among legislators who often turn to trendy and untested ideas and the need for quick fixes. The power of money in politics, partisanship, special interest pressures, and sometimes simply ideology or even blindness to the facts all contribute to situations where so-called new ideas are really recycled old ones already proven to have failed." 
— David Schultz, Author of American Politics in the Age of Ignorance: Why Lawmakers Choose Belief over Research (read some)

Nate Garvis and Prof. David Schultz – who might not agree on what each might define as the “common good” or on the role many of our cultural institutions play in our lives (or should) – find themselves, if we’re reading them correctly, not far from each other’s positions on many of the fundamental problems facing American politics today.

Does ignorance of science, the basics of history and the social construct Schultz sees operating in the setting of repeated policy failures in an a nation that purports to be a democracy feed into the increasing anger and increasingly un-civil debate Garvis describes as the very un-creative means by which we govern ourselves in this age?

These two active Minnesota political commentators, one immersed more in the academic sphere than the maelstrom of commerce from which emerges the other (Garvis) are clearly more than a little frustrated by the tenor of the political climate in their two, relatively recent, books on the how citizenship and public policy play out in this 21st Century of rampant informational resources and public platforms where – and this is one question Schulz poses – politicians may or may not be as angry as they come off, depending on whether one is pandering to an electorate already seething over a variety of issues made worse by an unwillingness to accept science and history and fact as the basis for political judgments. Then again, those same political aspirants may well hold those values and beliefs as deeply as their audiences. But, what does that say, then about the politicians’ preparedness for public office?

That said, then, how can Nate Garvis’ own frustration over partisanship be resolved when the anger he decries may be rooted in the necessary polarization to justify the ignorance Schultz has observed?

Listeners get a chance to hear what may well be a heady conversation among us political junkies over the historical and future role of education, emotion and practical politics on voting behavior and public policymaking during this time of unceasing political turmoil, fed by either a complacent or voracious media monster, depending on which head is currently dominant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to dissect these different ideas for civic engagement – which is our mission and that of our parent, CivicMedia/Minnesota – and see where the have a meeting of the minds and where they digress. Should be both serious and fun (see Carrot Design).

GUESTS:

DAVID SCHULTZ, PhD – Professor of Public Administration and government ethics at Hamline University School of Business; Author, American Politics in the Age of Ignorance

NATE GARVIS – Founder, Civic Thought Leader at Naked Civics; Author, Naked Civics