Judy Schaubauch and Sandra Peterson, the co-presidents of the new teachers' union, Education Minnesota, visit MPR’s Gary Eichten at the state fairgrounds. Schaubauch and Peterson discuss education issues in the news and answer questions from the fair audience.
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Good morning, and welcome to mid-day here on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary Acton today were broadcasting live from the Minnesota Public Radio booth at the Minnesota State Fair over. The noon hour will be joined by all three dfl candidates for attorney general about with the election day right around the corner. That should be a pretty Lively hour and this first hour should be pretty interesting as well. We're going to focus on education Our Guest this hour are the co-presidents of Education Minnesota. Now that name isn't familiar yet it soon will be Education. Minnesota is the name of the new merged Minnesota teachers union this week Minnesota Education Association and the Minnesota Federation of teachers officially became one Union the first such merger in the nation Education, Minnesota co-presidents Judy schabak from the mea and Sandra Peterson from the mft are here and of course we invite you to join our conversation as well. We'll be talking about the merger the start of the school year the education changes being proposed by the candidates.Education in general is our Focus this hour if your Lyft listening on the radio, we invite you to give us a call to 276 thousand is our Twin City area number to 276 thousand out side the Twin Cities one 800-242-2828 and those of you here in the audience. If you have a question for Sandra Peterson or Judy Shabbat, just step up to the microphone here and would love to hear your question, and maybe they'll have an answer. We hope anyway again the number at if you're listening on the radio to 27 6001 800-242-2828. Thanks for coming by today. I pleasure really appreciate it. Now. Is this merger going to make any difference in the classroom?Well, we certainly hope that it is one of the things that does is it allows our members to really focus on student needs and not to have that internal battle that sometimes occurred at the at the school site over who was going to represent them. And the other thing is it at the state level. We really hope that we can focus on ensuring excellence and quality in every classroom in our state that's really our goal. And we hope that we really can make a difference in the lives of kids and in the classrooms and all across the state in our Public Schools Jennifer Peterson wasn't was there a lot of Union rivalry at the local level. It seems like you folks have gotten along real well for the last many years until we've been working on this merger for eight years before that. In fact the year that we decided to merge. We had 14 bargaining elections, very divisive took a great deal of energy resources time.It was very counterproductive. Both both were members into the education process. And we said enough is enough and we began at that point eight years ago made the commitment to put together this merger, and it's very exciting little history. Why is it that we had two teachers unions begin with well The mea was in place prior to the mft in the mft really was a splinter group from the mea and they I feel like to let Sandra talk about why they broke off but I think at that point there were a group of teachers that wanted to be more a traditional labor union. They were more interested in collective bargaining. They were a more militant group if you will and they thought that the NBA was a little too white glove and just into the professional issues and and I think that was part of the impetus and you can see that in terms of where the membership of the mft is which tends to be in some of the large Urban centers in the areas that were more highly unionized. Of course that's really changed over time. And now we we have both concerns we ended our Union but we're very very concerned about professional issues that affect our teachers in the classroom. Where do you see the new Union taking teachers? In this state more toward back to that kind of put those professional issues if you will or with more of a focus on the bread-and-butter union issues because we feel that really is the underpinnings of a good profession. We have to have decent pay benefits etcetera, but we also will focus more and and this merger allows us because we're not fighting allows us to focus more on giving support to the classroom to kids do what needs to happen in those classrooms to raise the standards to the level that the public says they want and then which we know needs to be there for all students not just some of them but all of them, we really want what the public wants and that is excellent sand and good quality education person is weather. So did he shall boxes with us? They are the co-presidents of the new merged teachers union Education Minnesota and they come by this hour to talk about education here in the state of Minnesota. Join our conversation again. Those of you Milling around out here. Don't be shy the microphone is turned on but it doesn't bite if nips a little bit doesn't bite just step up with your questions always be listening on the radio. Give us a call to 276 thousand out side the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free at one 800-242-2828 this year. Some of the schools are starting while they're already in session. Is that fairly disruptive with so many school districts starting at so many different kind some early some don't get going till after Labor Day. How's that working out? Most of them are actually starting earlier and I think as we try to do more and more and in helping our students me to graduation standards, we need time in school and that there just aren't enough days. If we don't start till after Labor Day, it's very difficult. People are going going well into June many of the buildings aren't air-conditioned and it really crazy. A dilemma for school district. So this allowed school districts to make a local decision about what would work for them? So I don't know that it's particularly disruptive. I think a lot of the groups that are in various athletic conferences for example had similar starting dates so that they could coordinate their calendars. But I think it's appropriate to let the local districts make some of those decisions three extra school days. Is this year now where those needed each school had their own calendar. So I suppose already some school districts had more days to begin with was it necessary for the legislature to tell all the school districts way up to add 3 days no matter how many I had before. I think that that many times those days are gained at the expense of some days for Teacher preparation. And I think we need with the graduation standards. We need to be sure that we have days for teachers. To work together to plan together and to develop the kinds of curriculum and the kinds of things that need to happen in the district in order for them to meet these new graduation standards. So, you know at some point they may have to determine that the local districts are going to have to decide how the day should be used. I think you bring up a good point though because the three days were added on regardless of how many days is a district had and we saw some problems with that frankly many school districts already had considerably longer school years and the legislature actually eliminated the minimum number of school days. So there's some sort of mixed messages in there and I think we're going to really have to talk with legislators and with our communities to talk about what is the appropriate length of school of a school calendar and how can we make sure that we have enough time for people to accomplish what they need to but but structural calendar that really make sense. No, another big change in school. This year is the profile of learning. This is the first year that schools will be trying to implement that in the end. For those of you who aren't up on your education. Jargon yet. That's the second half really of the new graduation standard. You have your basic skills, and then they have this higher-level profile of learning. It was a lot of concern that school districts weren't going to be ready to implement the profile of learning the end the teachers weren't having enough time to get ready for a lot of confusion. So on is everything hunky-dory around the state some districts that worked on this longer than other districts, but let's say that every school District has decided they're into this and they are doing it many of them. I think are the I think you'll find around the states are at various places and terms of the implementation process and during the school year. There'll be days when teachers will be working together to implement even more of those profiles. It's a very different way of working with students in a different very different way of judging whether a student is ready to graduate and so, you know, it's going to call for time for teachers and and resources for them to be able to fully implement this the way it should be a lot of the gubernatorial candidates have talked about if not scrapping profile of learning program. Then at least making it optional for the district's what what is the union think about that be some real cynicism. I think if that happened, you know, we spend a great deal of money in terms of implementing and getting the standards started and for someone to come in and say whoops. We didn't really mean that At this point with teachers having put in that time. I think there'd be real cynicism to trying anything new we know as the public does that we want high standards Union supported high standard. So it's a public now. These profiles are not exactly meeting the needs of students and and feedback from teachers says we had to modify something then we need to look at that and we need to make changes where appropriate but to scrap them would be foolhardy. We're talking a shower with the teachers union here in the state again. If you're listening on the radio and you like to join our conversation to 276 thousand outside the Twin Cities one 800-242-2828. Meanwhile, we have a microphone here set up at our state fair Booth or broadcasting live today from the state fair and don't be shy to got a question sir. Go ahead, please. Hello. My name is Kurt two questions. Can you tell us about the structure of the Union in terms of local chapters how they're organized is a by District or any any other unit different from that and number to any dark clouds on the horizon in terms of a strike. We're all we're all reading a lot about strikes these days like your comments on those. First of all, there isn't a lot of structural change from what we currently have. We still have locals that are very autonomous. They bargain their own contracts. They make their own decisions the state organizations really there to help support them in the kinds of efforts that they undertake. So there's still that local chapter by and large. It's by School District, but in many of our rural areas, there are multiple school districts that have come together through consolidation and so they would be one local assault one local organization, even though there multiple school districts secondly dark clouds. We have 13 locals right now that are not settled. That's more than we typically have I think many of you are aware that last last January 15th where we usually have a penalty for districts that didn't settle the legislature wave that for one year and we found a much larger number of locals that had not settled by that January 15th deadline right now. We have 13 but there have been no intense to strike filed and we're hopeful that they will be able to settle this probably the largest District we have that is not told us Duluth. We have a number of collars with questions Carol your first go ahead place that we spend time educating. Those are the incarcerated Youth and at the correctional facility in Sauk Centre. We're going to privatize and I'm wondering what Judy and Sandy can do to help the local school district understand how important it is for them to cover will be billed for the cost of these incarcerated use how important it is to support that educational effort for these kids because we feel the majority their programming day. Well, that's probably not a fair question for me to answer because as you know out there miss color and hi Carol, I did teach her the correctional facility for 13 years in Red Wing before I began is an MBA officer. We do have a need to provide quality education programs for all of our kids in the state and quite frankly the kids that we have in our Correctional Facilities without the proper education will not be productive citizens. And we as an organization will continue to fight for the rights of all of our students throughout the state B. They preschool kids or adults to get the kind of high-quality education. They need to be successful talking before about the new graduation standard that applies to all the students in Minnesota. One of the things they have to pass this basic skills test before they graduate or they don't get a diploma and I guess we brought up against that reality in a couple of years here is this Minnesota actually going to deny diplomas to hundreds thousands tens of thousands of students place. We will not have hundreds and thousands we we may have some students that who take longer to get that diploma. But we do think there ought to be some standards in this is about 8th grade basic skills in math science or math reading and writing and for students to be successful in the outside world. We know they have to have at least these skills. That's a minimum amount of skills are going to be an enormous political pressure though to back off from that. If in fact there are a lot of a lot of students who won't get a diploma, you know kids who try hard and they show up for class or at least show up most of the time and they just not going to pass the test and we're going to have to have to have the public will to stay the course and we're also going to have to have the public will Put resources and into helping those students be successful find other ways for them to learn otherwise other resources for them to enrich their learning and that isn't is going to cost some some dollars perhaps for those students. The students themselves are becoming very aware of the need to have basic skills. And we're seeing a change in their attitude also scary Education, Minnesota is concerned about quality and we believe that every student the graduates from are high schools ought to have certain skills and knowledge is so that they can be successful. We owe it to them to make sure that they have those things and so I think together with communities and parents we have to ensure that those kids meet those those levels of proficiency now by the having the test that we're having earlier, hopefully we can identify problems earlier and have remedial program summer school programs additional help so that they can meet those basic. Skills, but I think it's very dangerous to talk about lowering standards. But we have to do is find ways to help these young people be successful because if they can't meet those skills, they are not going to be successful going on to secondary both secondary education or in the job World lot of the politician say and social promotion in the schools and social promotion in the school's if the kid can't pass the grade requirement stay out of stay in that grade until they can is that realistic? I guess that depends on if maybe if they provide the resources, but it seems to me if we know early on and and we're going to have test now is early certainly it from the very beginning of school. We oughta be able to ride those interventions very early and provide the extra resources early. So we don't have to worry about social promotion. You just aren't going to be able to make the grade I would think interventions or no. You just keep them there forever in third grade or fifth grade or whatever grated might be so I'm not sure we want a 15 year old and a third grade class. So, you know, I think there's going to have to be some judgement used by a team of professionals and the parents to determine what is the best for that particular student. I don't think we can make one judgment call, but I think they're talking about the general idea of social promotion without standards and and we at we need to address that head on. I just joined us here at the State Fairgrounds or if you just joined us on the radio. We're talking to shower with the co-presidents of the new merged teachers union here in the state the NBA in the mft have merge now and do a new organization called Education Minnesota and the co-presidents are with us. These are the folks who were the presidents of the two organizations before Judy Shabbat is here in the red. Sandra Peterson is in the black. Those are you listening on the radio? I'm sure that's a helpful identification. If you if you have a question just step up to our microphone. If you're listening on the radio, give us a call 227-6000 or one 802-4228 to a cleanser a I'd like to know I'd like to know if there's any idea that would have dressed teacher accreditation. I hear you testing students all the time. I'd like to know if this date has any plans to fall the state of Massachusetts in its accreditation. And how you what you guys see about that and the unions in Massachusetts, please thank you will actually Minnesota has ranked first in the nation for the past two years in on the national Commission on teaching in America's future for the quality of its teachers. We have an independent standards for that accredits are teachers and they actually were the first in the country to start moving towards a more outcome-based approach for achieving teacher licensure. We are very concerned that we continue to require high standards. That means not only knowing your subject. Also means knowing how to teach it. We have supported a full one-year internship before people get their permanent license and we are also extremely supportive of looking at pure assistance in review kinds of programs. It's one of the things that maybe breaks out of some of the traditional mold of unions in the past, but we think that when teachers are in their first three years in Minnesota, Teachers are in a probationary. For three full years and during that time they can be terminated for really no reason at all. But we need to try to make sure that they have successful experiences that we if people can't make it they leave but for those that need help that we have experienced teachers helping them and helping them to learn to develop the skill so they can be successful. We're going to face a real teacher shortage in this state for tickly and areas of math and some of the Sciences industrial Arts industrial technology special education, and they just like with students that are fear is that will reduce standards when we have a shortage rather than continue to require high standards because we know there's a direct correlation between the competency of the teacher and how well students do we are very committed to ensuring that every classroom in Minnesota have a high quality professional in that classroom teacher should be required to pass a test every couple of years ago in a subject. What they're teaching to pass a test before they enter the profession in the first place in Minnesota. So that assures that they know they're that they know their subject area and that they know that they have the skills but beyond that we do have a relicensure you don't get a license for life. You have to be relicensed every 45 years 5 years. I guess it is and you have to show that you have indeed upgraded your skills and that you are continuing to get education and then I guess this whole as Judy already talked about the peer assistance Pierre review Asher is that every teacher as well as education assistant will have a professional plan in place for their own growth and and that's going to be important. We have shortages empty classrooms right now that don't have teachers in place and there's even been some reading and districts were some of the areas that you just talked about and substitutes are virtually. I mean, it's almost like we're unable to get them teachers are take In their prep times to cover substitute teachers places, and and it's it's not a good situation and in many of our District's thanks for taking my call this morning from getting your guess comments on the issue of the rise of homeschooling in the state of Minnesota in the past. We're all aware of the fact that end in the run past. I'm homeschooling with John tomorrow early for the purpose of social or other religious issues today. I find an increase in homeschooling for the purpose of educational excellence, and I'm concerned about what that says about our teachers in our schools in general. Thank you. Well, there has been an increase in the number of children that are home-schooled and people still do that for a variety of reasons and some of it continues to be religious. We obviously have a quality control issue with home-school children as well because there isn't any assurance that the the individuals that are homeschooling have the credentials or the expertise to make sure that their students are successful. They have some Some ability to judge how well kids are doing part of this. This is socialization though, I think. Kids working with other kids and hearing different ideas and being challenged in their thinking is part of what we get in a public school setting and so there is a concern but it is nonetheless homeschooling is certainly not taking any significant proportion of the students that we educate here in the state. I just have to add that being a teacher for a number of years and having had two children of my own. There's no way I would have wanted I think they benefited from being in the in the school system in being with other students being that integration and they got a fine education. So this is midday coming to be nicer. If you are trying to decide whether to come out to the fair you couldn't pick a better day. It's just gorgeous out here and supposed to stay that way. We'll have our weather forecast in a moment. But right now again, if you have a question for the co-presidents of Education, Minnesota the new merged teachers union, give us a call. 227-6000. Side the Twin Cities one 800-242-2828 those of you in the audience got a microphone setup for you. So don't be shy just step right up reminder over the noon hour. Today. We're going to be joined by the three dfl candidates for attorney general race, which is large. Play been overshadowed by the governor's race here in Minnesota. But a pretty Lively Affair in and of itself will be up here debating the issues over the noon hour will get this more callers this hour in just a moment. Hello. This is a new house with an invitation for you to join us this week at the State Fairgrounds for Minnesota public radio's radio maker series every afternoon between have a handful of folks available to answer your questions and give their inside to the on-and-off are working to Minnesota Public Radio where to find it where at the MPR Booth the corner of Judson and Nelson every afternoon at the State Fairgrounds between one and three. Hope to see you there for Minnesota public radio's radio Maker's series. And if memory serves I think they have some folks who work on the Prairie Home Companion show out here today some back backstage people so he got to get some insight into how that program is put together. That's today at 1. Public radio's Main Street radio coverage of Royal issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening rural communities through the community leadership program. Who said it's a gorgeous day out here at the fair and the Weather Service says, it should be sunny all across the state throughout the afternoon. It's warmer than it has been highs today are expected to range from the mid-70s up in the arrowhead region to around 90° out in West Central Minnesota partly cloudy tomorrow highs 70s and 80s and temperature highs on Sunday up into the low-90s in parts of Minnesota Twin Cities Sunny through the afternoon with a high from 80 to 85 degrees right now. It's sunny and 74 in the Twin City metropolitan area. Do the schabak and Sandra Peterson or whether School presidents of Education Minnesota and lots of colors are on the line again those of you here in our audience. If you've got a question, just come on up to the mic. Don't be shy Bob your question. Please relate to the the during the school year. They have 4 days off in a few days off in the fall and two days off in the spring or teacher in Richmond or something like that and I'm interested in some new creative thinking with trying to put these days back into the curriculum. And when I have these conventions during the summer time when the teachers are off anyway in the students are off and also my second point would be all day kindergarten and then all day school for every student. Wait, what are we doing things the same old way and just going on and going on just because that's the way it was done before. How about some new creative thinking? Having some real strong feelings about that in as an organization, we support all day every day. Kindergarten we feel it is essential for all students to have that opportunity. We have the largest number of working women and in the state and so many of our children go from kindergarten to some sort of daycare and we feel that that they would be much better served and our system would be much better served in terms of providing that early childhood training and education that needs to go on by having an all day everyday kindergarten. So we've been at the legislature supporting that for the last couple of years will be there again this year. It's a it's a high-priority a strong strong legislative piece for us. We do know what makes a difference longer school days in general or that is that a good idea? Depends on depends on the age of the students and the again what you're doing with the day's young children kindergarten, you know, the full day is one thing but first graders, you know it lots of times you can have a day and then have an after school program for students that extends the day at the school. I mean that's that's another way that you can deal with it teacher conferences during the school year as opposed to having the teacher conferences during the summer when school is out and there has been a tradition in this state in October to have what was referred to as the mea convention. You know any way that what we are doing at that for that is not a business meeting or a convention the way some people think of it is a day of professional development in this year on Thursday. We will be sponsoring our conference in St. Paul and the entire conference is going to focus on ways that teachers can implement the graduation standards in the profiles. So we think it is going to be a very high-quality conference on Friday. Typically the subject. Groups have similar kinds of conferences. So the math Teachers Association has a conference the Minnesota educational media people have a conference and so forth. You need to understand that that is at a time of the year where people can actually take back and use that information when they go back to the classroom. They can go to the workshop. They can get ideas that can be used throughout the year. They also can see a wide. Ray of educational materials instructional materials that they have time to purchase some can also perhaps use we need to understand that part of teaching is professional development. If you're going to be a good teacher you have to have time to plan and learn and just like with businesses. We expect that people do some of that during their work time not during time when they're not being paid and we hope that what we will do on that day in October is to provide something that is a very high quality conference that people couldn't get anywhere else and it's free districts can send people there. There's no registration fee and the public and principles and others are also welcome to attend. But our goal is to really offer High professional development and frankly. We don't do enough of that with our teachers words in color Bob's mouth here, but I'm guessing that he would say well I'm all for Teacher conferences, they're good ideas, you develop teachers so on but why not have it in August right before the school year starts? Why do it during school time what people are doing things in August. In fact, many of our school district had sessions that started this last week many of our teachers are taking summer school classes throughout the year and again professional development is part of a teacher's responsibility. Remember the days that people have in October typically are not days they're paid for those are days that are like their vacation. It's just that it's during October rather than in August for free. They are not by and large. They are not paid for those days some districts pay people and then they're required to fill out, you know, proof of attendance and just like going to any professional conference, but most of our teachers are not paid for those days out your question, please. Teachers are paid for those days because they're paid vacation days that teachers fill out forms for us. That's not my question. Although I have the Minneapolis public schools in the late 70s and since 1980. I've been teaching at the University level. I have a 12 year old in the Minneapolis public schools. I'm not dissatisfied with his education. But this is the earlier Color Bob mentioned my son brought home his school calendar last night and we went through it and they're more. Paid staff development days this year than there were last year and I guess I just want to Echo dada's as a teacher myself. We do prepare in the we should prepare more in the summer. There's not that much to teachers get from the conventions that happened so we can get in July and August we can bring into the classroom rather than taking away from the from the students and I agree that businesses do have to have staff development, but other business shut down. Your phone is breaking up on us. Is this question Sandra Peterson? Is this something you can take a look at or a pretty well wedded to the way things are stereotype hear about everybody being off in the summer is is just that it's it's it's it's false. It's a myth. We're having numbers of schools. Particularly. I just individual schools to going to an all-year round school with breaks that are different. And I know in my district in Robbinsdale School District teacher then the Golden Valley School, which is is it sits at Olson school and it's between the two districts an interdistrict school and they have a year-round school where their teachers have brakes at different times. We're finding and his District's negotiate their own schedules. We're finding that their extended school years. There's no consistency here around the state on everybody having June or July off also with a graduate. Standards in the kinds of work that had to go on with curriculum writing. I think you're finding that that that again those teachers are very very busy and to have two days that are consistent where they can go in and hopefully they have more than that in their District because much more is needed. They have to work in X you look at other countries. They have far more than we do in terms of Staff Development. Soda business is actually in the shower with the co-presidents of Education Minnesota to Deshawn boxes with a sander Peterson. You might recognize those names probably do they have been Lee presidents of the two Minnesota teachers unions or what have been the two Minnesota teachers union the mea on the mft instead of vacation Association and the Minnesota Federation of teachers. We now just have one teachers union here in the state of Minnesota the organization that merged into a new organization called Education Minnesota and we're talking this hour about the education issues again, if you'd like to join our conversation to 276 thousand or 1 800 242-282-8007 I'll hear if you've got a question about education step up to the mic Richard your next good morning. I have a question relating to the peer-review process and to the selection of teachers and specifically there are really four groups involved with one of the administration that the school the second is the teachers union which has pure review. There are two groups though that seemed to me to be completely outside of the system and and virtually helpless as far as being able to participate in it. Those are the parents from the student and I'm particularly during this three-year trial. It seems to me that the principal has complete control over whether a teacher will remain or not remain at the school is anything being done to to help the parents and even the students participate in this teacher? Evaluation and review process as part of their peer review process send out surveys to their parents they ask for input from their students. I mean that is actually happening and that we also know that by giving assistance during those first three years teachers themselves know where they're ready to take on this whole profession. It provides the kind of support teachers need to be well prepared. So I do think we do something for those beginning teachers and and we also have places where we're after the first three years because they had a peer review program Pierce give input to the administration about whether this person is prepared to take on the full responsibility of a profession and so we have Everything from the very beginning of just providing a little mentoring to to the pool program. And by the way, everybody in the district. To be doing. Ooh everybody, I mean principals School Board superintendent everybody out of have a professional growth plan and a weed support that concept Merit pay for the better teachers that a good idea. We think all teachers at to be the better teachers are better than others and should the really good ones get more more money. Well, we do have systems where people are paid more based on various kinds of expertise that they have gained or additional responsibilities that they're taking on but again, every study that I've seen in business or an education that talks about a merit pay system inserted the old traditional way that we thought of it has not produced Excellence, but more has produced mediocrity. What we have to do in our schools is Crate more collaboration and less competition. We need people to share good ideas and not be thinking if I have a good idea I ought to just hang on to that because I might get more pay we need to find ways so that teachers and parents and administrators work together to support students and they share good ideas. They build on that a lot of times School whole school. Have incentive grants for doing particularly well in meeting a goal related to student achievement. That's a more appropriate way to incent excellence in a school. You mention the word competition in the course that leads me to my next question here. We have heard a lot recently in recent years about how competition will improve the schools that are legitimate Theory. What we've got an A plenty of competition in the state, I think it is as we begin to look at the variety of choices that we have within the public system mean we've got choices between districts. We got post-secondary add. We got alternative schools. We got so many schools with public that people could choose there's plenty of competition. But as as we look at the Future II think that that we're going to have to look very much at the Quality issue and we want all schools to be to be quality. And so I think our competition is going to be with our cells to maintain a good excellent teaching force and the Haves and the Have Nots in the future may be those with good qualified teachers and education assistance. I working in their schools. And so we have to ensure that every every every classroom has a qualified teacher and education assistance and and school related Personnel Opera. Are schools open in terms of you know, how high school is rotten how teachers work and so on? Do does it make a difference if one school seems to be better than another one to the other ones try to emulate that school or how does that work? Or is it just totally it is a digital. Is it a bogus theory in terms of public education? competing Really? There's two things you have to have competition one. You have to have an equal playing field. You have to have the same rules and that doesn't always occur people have different groups of kids that they're working with with different kinds of challenges. They have different expectations in the community that they live in and secondly competition assumes that there will be losers as well as winners. And we need to make sure that every school is of the top quality. And so rather than worrying about is my school doing better than that's cool. But we have to make sure his is that we have a some kind of a site based approach that involves a community and involve parents and both teachers and education assistance and saying, how can we do the best job that we can do for our students? How do we really develop a plan for school Improvement that meets the needs of our kids and if we focus on that then we will all be winners in and I think that ought to be what we spend. Time doing rather than worrying about is my tis our test school scores on average Five Points higher or lower than the next door school, and we have to look at the kids. We have and the kind of progress that were that were making we ought not to excuse schools that aren't making progress not expect that people make progress, but we ought to do that by focusing on how we can really develop our own School Improvement plan Darrell your question, please if she could come in on the difference between nursing in a particular candidate. We are not endorsing a candidate. We will endorse after the primary education Minnesota. It was two separate organizations until September 1st that prohibit us from from getting into the endorsement process. So we will do that after the primary results. the dfl candidate we need screen candidates. And so after that screening process everyone will know in the legislature with their support or the increased tax credits tax deductions. The education tax credit tax reduction program may be mended your fences there. Are you what what your position they're obviously we were concerned about the impact of the passage of that law and what it would mean in terms of of draining resources away or lessening our focus on what we need to do to improve our Public Schools. We continue to work with legislators dfl and Republican legislators that support our public schools in our kids and we will we do that. Sometimes we have disagreements with legislators. That's I guess to be expected in the political process, but we always go back and try to build relationships and find people that are interested. In the goals that we have and that's two ways that the government can help that our legislature in the in the government to help support our schools and support our kids and the last session was a very good session working with our legislators already at the legislators did very well in terms of providing the resources that we need to implement these higher standards and to support some of the things that we needed in the school. So and it wasn't it was an all funding your referral for education. So so I think it was fun. Not a lot of time left, but let's get at least a couple more callers on here Michael. Go ahead. Here's where I'll be 55 and able to retire from the business sector. I was wondering if it would be a good idea for me to spend the next seven years getting a teacher certificate and planning on doing substitute teaching and how would I go about getting it? You would need to go back to get your licensure as a teacher and in a particular area and you certainly could do that. I think we are going to have a huge shortage of substitute teachers in the state. We need quality people going into that. So if that's something that interests you, I'd encourage you to look into it. I don't think it'll take you seven years probably to get that licensure. But if you contact the board of teaching or the Department of Children families and learning and their licensing section, they can give you information about how to go about doing that. Can we hear about excellence in the classroom yet with the current teacher tenure law once a teacher has obtained 10 years nearly impossible and very costly for school district to remove that teacher. Would your organization support? Anybody changes that would make it easier to remove an ineffective teacher in a school district the numbers of the teachers that you're talking about. No situations are very very small and instead of taking the negative point of view around that issue. What we're doing is is supporting a peer review assistance program, which would provide early on assistance to teachers that are experiencing difficulties to help them and in fact starting at the beginning of their school career and then all the way through their career and indeed counseling them if they're having extreme difficulty, maybe they want to choose a different career that would that would be something we ought to be helping them with just as as other professions and businesses do and so we're taking the positive you that that we address this on the front end rather than that on the issue tenure which really isn't the issue at all because if people really want to to dismiss teachers they can do it. It's it takes some work. But again, it's it can be done but I still think they could with the shortages that we're facing and with the standard issue that were looking at. We need to try out early on to make those teachers that are in the classroom the best that we have and get them to stay very often. What's happening is they're being lured Away by businesses are being lured away from the education field and so my concern is for the future is will we have the will to maintain the standards? Because if we don't then we will have more concerns about about teachers that are doing an adequate job. And so I think the future will be more on how do we get teachers? How do we maintain them? How do we help them to survive? And what is a more and more difficult profession? We have a just a minute left here. It was a pole out there this week Minnesota Public Radio krtv Saint Paul Pioneer Press poll that among other things as people are you know, what did they think was wood? The most difference in proving the quality of education and buy a huge huge margin people said lower those class sizes Dean folks agree to what level what level do we need to get and how much will it cost us to get to where you guys want to go? Well, I don't have a dollar number it this obviously varies from District to District because we have some districts that already have very small class sizes and are more words first areas of the state, but we need to get our early grades down to 17 to 1 and then I graduated increase but we ought not to have elements Kenny Elementary or secondary classes that are over 30 students not only can students not get the kind of individual help. They need they cannot maintain a self an orderly environment in that kind of a situation and we will be in the legislature talking about initiatives reduce class size sweet believe as we have said before we want with the public want that's one way to get influence in our school. The public agenda group also did a survey there nationally low on non nonprofit group and they found by overwhelming numbers that they also want smaller class sizes. That is the priority for parents community members everyone. We need to be about doing it. Thank you, but discussion with our co-presidents of the new merge teachers union. Could he schabak and Sandra Peterson the co-presidents of Education Minnesota that takes care of our 1 for Midday coming to you live today from the Minnesota State Fair reminder that over the noon hour will be talking with the dfl candidates for attorney general. Also reminder the final debate before the primary election will take place Sunday, September 13th at 7 at the Fitzgerald theater in downtown St. Paul. Love to have you there for tickets. They're free. Call us at 612-290-1221 time now for The Writer's Almanac