Pogemiller Interview Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.
Today's summary covers a Civic Caucus meeting with State Sen. Larry Pogemiller, Minneapolis, Senate Majority Leader. Pogemiller points out difficulties in accomplishing redesign of services while personally taking a strong position in favor of change in education.
Please read the summary first. After you've read the summary, here are questions for you. We try to relate the questions to comments by the speaker.
On a scale of (0) most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on the following:
1. _7.9 average response_____ Potential redesign of services will likely assume low priority for the Governor and Legislature in 2010.
2. _6.1 average response_____ Higher education will need to move even further toward a high-tuition-high student aid model.
3. _7.8 average response_____ K-12 education must be more open and responsive to student and societal needs, which means it must be consumer-driven, with more choice.
4. _8.6 average response_____ The fiscal and structural relationships between the state and its local governments (cities, counties, townships) needs to be re-thought.
Kent Eklund (9) (9) (9) (9)
Dewayne Dill (10) (10) (6) (3)
Al Quie (10) (10) (10) (10)
David Allan Pundt (8) (0) (10) (10)
Question 2: Higher ed could move to a consumer model, let the market set tuition rates, get unions and lobbyists out of the mix. But too many six-figure salaries depend on the status quo. Sorry incoming freshmen; you'll dig even deeper to pay for your two years of remedial classes.
Question 3: I'm supportive but skeptical. Pogemiller has teacher's unions to protect and early childhood ed is a good place to start. When we get competition in k-12 ed, we'll get better results. Strange; football coaches seem to understand this but superintendents and shop stewards don't.
Question 4: Too many Minnesotans are completely in the dark about the 'Miracle' and its tax shift to take from some areas and give to others. Why not make it voluntary? If you live in Minneapolis and want Pillager to have a new police car, send in a dollar or two. LGA is a scheme Bernie Madoff would be proud of.
Question 5: Keep up the good work. And get Pogemiller to sponsor legislation to require these conversations be used in every civics classroom in the state. The best disinfectant is sunlight.
Clarence Shallbetter (9) (8) (6) (4)
Babak Armajani (9) (10) (10) (10)
Bright Dornblaser (10) (10) (10) (10)
Chris Stedman (5) (5) (8) (10)
Wayne Jennings (8) (2) (10) (10)
Jan Hively (8) (8) (8) (6)
Glenn Dorfman (10) (10) (5) (10)
Question 5: The state should pay 100% for k-12 and all other local units of government should be on their own with total local control of the property tax. "If the local citizens want services, facilities, etc., they should pay for it directly."
Bev Bales (10) (10) (5) (10)
Charles Lutz (8) (8) (7) (9)
I am also having difficulty with calling education an "industry," and with wonky terms such as structural imbalance, re-engineering government, appetite for reform.
But it is interesting that a DFL politician would mention "consumer-driven education," but I am also suspicious of what he means by that. It is refreshing that a DFL politician would even mention consumption-based taxes, but again I am suspicious that he is actually thinking of that infernal value-added tax, not the sales tax.
On the other hand, it is not surprising at all that he cites a need to raise revenue to balance the budget; what else would you expect from the DFL. What is wrong with that proposed constitutional amendment? What is wrong with common sense? It is constantly surprising to me that a nation composed of individuals and enterprises routinely striving (struggling) to live within their means, would all of a sudden be clueless as to how to apply the same principles and procedures to government -- that you can't spend money you don't have, or can't afford to borrow and repay, no matter what the need or how noble the cause.
At some point politicians have to answer a few fundamental questions: what happens when government borrowing sops up all available credit? what happens when taxes rise to 100% of all income? what happens when 100% of the government's revenue goes to servicing debt?
Gary Hendrickx (8) (5) (8) (9)
Arvonne Fraser (8) (2) (5) (6)
Tom Swain (10) (8) (10) (10)
My observation over the past 20+ years in state government is that the usual DFL majorities are devoted to spending and refuse to do the math to determine if the State's population and business bases can afford these expenditures. With only around 5,000,000 residents and a continually declining share of major USA businesses, there is not sufficient money available in Minnesota to meet these political goals.
Robert Lambert (9) (8) (7) (10)
The major concern I have with more "choice" for K - 12 is to require charter schools to provide the same "unfunded mandates" as public schools, otherwise it is not a level playing field. If this is the only way to break the teachers union that requires districts to keep poor teachers, then I support it. I am a strong proponent in the public school system, but until the State requires a review of tenure every five years, we will not be able to make significant improvement in the quality of public education.
Regarding a different tax system, I would support a simpler tax system such as a 10% flat tax for everyone, with no loopholes. I would also support the proposed RACINO. I don't believe that is "expansion" of gambling for anyone who doesn't already have access. It would only mean that a few very wealthy Native Americans would only be millionaires rather than multi-millionaires.
Chris Brazelton (6)(_) (7)(6)
Question 2: Not enough information presented here to reach a thoughtful conclusion.
Question 3: Another area that could use some major overhauls, and another area where short term budget constraints will win out over much needed long term solutions.
Question 4: We spend an awful lot of time and energy on emotional, knee-jerk reactions of uneducated citizens and politicians who always have another election just around the corner, and
not enough on thoughtful research-driven solutions. While we are fortunate to have several outside groups studying the issues, their reports and conclusions are not disseminated
widely enough to reach critical mass. They can't get past the noise of partisan talk-radio and cable t.v. talk-at-you shows.
Dan McElroy (3) (7) (9) (9)
David Sorensen (10) (5) (5) (10)
Bill Hamm (9) (9) (5) (2)
Question 2: That is exactly what reality is looking like. Looks like a really good time to begin a drive for some Corporate contributions here. You have a lot of overly rich mega millionaires down in that Metro area, time to start laying the world's biggest guilt trip on them instead of targeting us 62% for the bite.
Question 3: Much like "Pogey" you miss the boat again on this issue. We want an education that is Student Based, Knowledge Based, and locally controlled. Yes, it is time to scrap the Socialist "Minnesota Miracle" and its lies.
Question 4: It's been re-thought enough, you should have listened to "Pogey" on this one. As I have repeatedly told you, if it comes from you metro mega minds it's dead on arrival in outstate.
You are having a difficult time pushing your progressive agenda even to one of the state's leading progressives, perhaps that will give you a few moments of inward contemplation.
Rodney Bounds (6) (5) (7) (5)
Vici Oshiro (10) (_) (_) (10)
John S. Adams (9) (_) (8) (10)
Bob White (2) (7) (9) (10)
John Milton (_) (5) (7) (10)
Mike Hanson (3) (5) (5) (3)
Paul Hauge (8) (8) (8) (8)
David Broden (5) (4) (8) (10)
Question 2:There is no need to rush to this assumption--this is clearly one option but not a done deal.
Question 3:This needs to be the direction for those who can work the decision path.
Question 4:This is a positive step but should only proceed with some strong guidelines for what needs to be uniform etc.
Kevin Edberg (7) (_) (_) (8)
I think the way Civic Caucus phrased this issue was notably less coherent than your work in so many other areas. Maybe I'm just dumb. Here are things I'm pretty sure I believe:
1) MN out-performed other economies in the US in the latter 20th century because we invested in human capacity (i.e. K-12-post 12 education); we also invested in human capacity when we invested in tolerance (educating women particularly and supporting them in fully joining the work force). Both resulted in high levels of work force readiness and entrepreneurial creativity that resulted in higher median family income than should otherwise have been predicted by a cold northern state distant from markets and previously highly dependent on farming, forestry and mining. Both of those investments carry a high characteristic of public investment in a "public good" synonymous with "the public good". Things have changed, but a key to the conversation, for me, keeps coming back to the articulation of "common wealth" and "the commonwealth".
2) The human brain is a highly complex organism, and we human beings are only beginning to understand how complex that is. Each person has an individual dominant learning style; most teachers have a dominant teaching style. This is why two students can sit in the exact same class and say teacher X was "the best teacher in the school" and another say "the worst". and both could be right. A trick in the application of educational pedagogy is to try to teach in multiple learning styles and thus customize at the point of delivery a teaching style to match each student's learning style. This capacity is not likely to be routinized in technology anytime soon, and thus the best education experience will come from having well trained, motivated masters leading the class room. There is a place for technology, but there are limits too.
3) The dynamics of the classroom are different today. We are more heterogeneous than 30 years ago, and that brings both challenges and opportunities. We also do not have a common societal view of education as the way up and out. This lack of common view manifests itself in underachievement, class room behavior issues, and a host of other things. I don't know what we do about that. In a sense, we as a society are too rich, and not hungry enough to improve ourselves. Perhaps that is the curse of the American empire: we have succeeded beyond our ability to sustain investment in our individual and shared achievement.
Carolyn Ring (8) (8) (8) (8)
Bert Press (10) (0) (0) (10)
David Dillon (10) (0) (10) (5)
Question 2: Right, let unions and the education bureaucracy continue to drive up costs and then just make the tax payers cover the cost. Now I understand why he takes such a dim view of creative thinking.
Question 4: These sound like code words. Why not just say what you think should happen?
John Rollwagen (9) (10) (10) (10)
Even on a national level, I am very disappointed with Obamaís inability to capitalize on his political capital. Personally I think both the economic crisis and the health care situation have presented amazing opportunities for meaningful and positive change which we just donít seem able to grasp politically.
Ray Ayotte (8) (5) (10) (8)
George Pillsbury (5) (8) (10) (10)
Bill Kuisle (1) (1) (10) (10)
Donald H. Anderson (10) (5) (5) (10)
Michael Martens (10) (_) (8) (8)
Roy Thompson (3) (3) (4) (8)
Terry Stone (10) (5) (10) (10)
Joe Mansky (10) (4) (10) (10)
Chuck Slocum (5) (8) (10) (10)
Robert J. Brown (8) (10) (10) (10)
Question 2: The Brandl-Weber proposal developed for Gov. Carlson was excellent on this matter, but there was no follow up.
Scott Halstead (10) (0) (10) (10)
Lyall Schwarzkopf (9) (7) (7) (9)
Dick Angevine (9) (6) (8) (10)
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The Civic Caucus is a non-partisan,
tax-exempt educational organization. The Interview Group
includes persons of varying political persuasions,
S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill
Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted
© The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919 ~  Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.