joe nathan

Remarkably, as Minnesota families rightly are concerned about college costs, Minnesota legislators are debating whether to allow colleges and universities to inform families that they can save dollars by having high school students take courses on postsecondary campuses. The Minnesota House and Senate have taken different approaches, which they now need to reconcile.

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From stunning to sad, a 12-day trip to Japan has produced an array of emotions. The cherry blossoms are more beautiful and more numerous than I can describe. The people are extremely friendly. But none of the things I’ve done matched the power, or the mixture of emotions, of visiting Hiroshima’s Peace Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. That produced several lessons, some of which the museum’s creators may not have envisioned.

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“Simple Choices” is one of the wisest, most humble and helpful books for parents that I’ve read in a long time. It’s written by Lisa Graham Keegan, a nationally recognized educator and political leader who has had to deal with her father’s desertion of the family, discovery that she is carrying a genetic disorder and several other huge challenges. But with laughter and love, she has emerged as a kind, caring, positive parent. She has wonderful stories to tell and creative suggestions I’ve read nowhere else.

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A terrific new movie describes Cesar Chavez, a remarkable American whose influence continues to help Americans – and Minnesotans. Having seen the movie, talked with people who knew Chavez and had a tiny role in his work, I strongly recommend the picture. The movie “Cesar Chavez” was released March 28 and is rated PG-13.

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Minnesota’s state one-act play competition generally doesn’t get the attention that some sports receive. But having watched plays, and been in a few, I’d say that drama is one of the most valuable things a youngster can do.

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Listening to and learning from educators like Megan Hall, Steve Allen and Bill Wilson reminded me last week of two important things. First, they have so much to offer, not only to youngsters, but also to other educators and those learning to be educators. Second, their skills, insights, experience and knowledge are dramatically underused. More youngsters will succeed if we make better use of these and other talented educators.

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