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Short takes for March 4

March 4, 2011
Marshall Independent

Alternative teaching licenses

THUMBS DOWN: The governor and Legislature reached an agreement earlier this week on an alternative licensing plan for teachers - a bill designed to give our schools a bigger crop of teachers from which to choose. To this, we ask: Does Minnesota need more teachers? And if so, shouldn't those teachers' resumes include the necessary skills and education to warrant getting hired? Supporters of the bill say alternative licensing will raise educational standards and help close the achievement gap between white and minority students. But if these teachers aren't trained and educated properly how much of a dent in that gap can be realized? Shouldn't teachers be required to have degrees in the area they'll be teaching? Maybe schools will be able to get by paying these "teachers" less than they would a traditional teacher with a four-year degree and strong educational background, but that doesn't justify paving the way for just anyone to lead our children. There might be some diamond-in-the-rough-type finds out there who could turn out to be solid teachers, but to let anyone who passes a crash-course test become a teacher educate our children is somewhat of a slap in the face to today's properly-trained and certified educators who have devoted their lives to their craft.

Hendricks' moment in the sun

THUMBS UP: KARE11 kicked off a new segment called "Trippin with Perk" with anchor Eric Perkins on Wednesday night with a segment on the city of Hendricks. The segment painted a Norman Rockwell-type picture of Hendricks, and highlighted the city's roots and some of its more unique characters, one of which we have featured in our "People in Uniform" profiles section which comes out Saturday. The people of Hendricks demonstrated the pride they have in their small community and it was nice to see a big-time, metro TV?affiliate take the time to tell their stories. Wednesday's bit also maybe showed urbanites from the Twin Cities area that although tiny towns and cities in greater Minnesota might seem a bit hokey and old-fashioned to them, there are good, hard-working, fun-loving people out here in southwest Minnesota. Besides, there's nothing wrong with old-fashioned. Just ask anyone who's seen a Norman Rockwell painting.

Wrestlers at state

THUMBS UP: The Minneota and Wabasso/RRC wrestling teams were in action Thursday at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament, and although neither will be bring home a state titles this year, both schools are continuing their respective traditions of powerhouse wrestling programs. Also, starting today, a number of individual wrestlers will take the mat to begin their quest for an individual title. We congratulate both Minneota and Wabasso/RRC, as well as all the individual qualifiers, for another successful season. Your hard work and dedication to your sport has paid off.

McFarland's generosity

THUMBS UP: The late D.C. "Pat" McFarland was known as a friend of Southwest Minnesota State University and continues to contribute to SMSU posthumously, as his estate includes monetary gifts of $1 million each to the university that will support the library and to the SMSU?Foundation for Presidential Scholarships. He also contributed $1 million to the Pride in the Tiger Foundation and $200,000 to the Avera Marshall Foundation. McFarland, who died in March 2010, was a businessman and property developer in Marshall.



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