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Editorial Opinion : Leave no child behind


Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Governor Tom Pawlenty announced his choice for Education Secretary two weeks ago. New administration, new Education Secretary; new Education Secretary, new plan.

Cheri Pierson Yecke, I wish you the best of luck, but pardon me for being a little less than exuberant. You see, one major reason for Secretary Yecke’s appointment was her work on the "Leave No Child Behind" legislation. Still in the process of unfolding, the legislation itself may not frighten me as much as its slogan.

Say it aloud: leave no child behind.

What kind of image does it create in your mind? Do you, too, see the child, ashamed of her clumsiness, dragging her feet as the other first graders run to the playground and quickly climb the slide? Or do you see the third grader, looking at the blurred worksheet as he cries silently because he cannot understand what he should do next and he’s too embarrassed to ask?

Perhaps your left-behind child looks "different," or talks "different." Any way you picture it, you’re bound to conjure up images of the lonely child (maybe it was you), lost in the shuffle in an elementary school in Anytown, USA. It’s a tearjerker.

The test of a truly great slogan occurs when those images remain whenever you hear or read those words. The difficulty lies in going beyond the images to understand what this directive means, for a directive it is. Make no mistake here, the bill is an "education" bill, meant for educators.

Couple this with the image of a forlorn child, and who can help but nod and say, "Absolutely! Our educational system should leave no child behind!"

Look closer. Do you notice that although we can readily understand what comes at the beginning of the slogan, recognizing what should follow the slogan doesn’t come as easily? Leave no child behind....hmmm. Behind in what? Behind whom?

If these questions had easy answers, the slogan might read differently. Leave no child behind the Japanese in mathematical skills; leave no child behind in music education; leave no child behind in physical fitness. Though educators may not accomplish those goals, we know the goal.

Visit any school in Fillmore County for any length of time and you will find amazing stories of students who face challenges each day and conquer them repeatedly, class after class, exam after exa .....
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The Commute: You go, baby

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

A year ago I vowed to get more physical exercise. I don't mind admitting I was somewhat impressed with myself for making this decision. In March, I had the chance to visit my doctor for an annual exam. His reading of my cholesterol levels moving in a ..... 
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Of People Places and Things: What would Jesus drive?

Fri, Jan 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

What would Jesus drive?   “To some, the question might seem amusing. But we take it seriously...”   So begins a recent advertisement from The Evangelical Environmental Network asking Christians to eva ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Jamie Rose Howe

Fri, Jan 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

The other day I was sitting in class minding my own business when I overheard a student proclaiming to another student, “Why aren’t you normal? Can you be normal for just one day?” My mind quickly wandered from my studies and I concentrated on these ..... 
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I’ll be home for Christmas

Fri, Jan 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I'll be home for Christmas;   You can count on me […]  I'll be home for Christmas   If only in my dreams

I’m going home for Christmas! I am finally going ..... 
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Township Roads: The mystery dog

Fri, Jan 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

A new dog has come to live with us. We think she is a Jack Russell terrier, but we’re not sure if that brand of terrier has light gray spots like this one has. Her pedigree doesn’t seem to matter to her and it doesn’t matter to us. She is just a litt ..... 
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Journal launches book project

Fri, Jan 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

The Fillmore County Journal has launched a book project that will gather the stories from area readers. The theme of the book is “Stories that Tell Who We Are”.

Fillmore County Journal writers Bonnie Flaig Prinsen and John Torgr ..... 
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