Pawlenty's Race to the Top

It isn't clear whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to help students or just wants to be the next GOP nominee for President. Whatever the case, Pawlenty is re-introducing his old school legislation.
The governor's education bill would change teacher licensing, pay and tenure structure. Despite having been roundly rejected before, Pawlenty is determined to try, try again, newly claiming the provisions in his bill will make Minnesota competitive in the fed's unfortunately named, "Race to the Top" program.
Since Pawlenty has not substantially altered his failed proposal, one is forced to consider that the re-introduction of this bill is principally designed to aid Pawlenty's political race to the top office.


Cruel and Unusual

Should public school educators use paddling as a method to teach children?

Most of our nation's school districts abandoned the practice of paddling years ago, but corporal punishment remains legal in 20 states -- mostly in the South.

A Congressional subcommittee is currently holding hearings on the matter. Chairperson of the committee, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, wants to end the practice through federal legislation. "When you look that the federal government has outlawed physical punishment in prisons," she told reporters, "I think the time has come that we should do it in schools."

Should we allow teachers to paddle, spank or otherwise physically abuse children? No -- not unless we want them to learn that adults consider physical violence to be a reasonable and effective method of problem-solving.