Monday, August 06, 2007

A few observations as the Special Election looms...

H/T to Bluestem Prairie for finding this.

While Korb from the "King and the Korb Weekly Lovefest" goes after Linda Pfeilsticker for being vague in answering questions, the same holds true for her Republican opponent Steve Drazkowski.

Look Drazkowski's "answers" to some questions put forth by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

In order to strengthen Minnesota's economy, strategic investment in transportation infrastructure is necessary. How do you propose to fund Minnesota's transportation infrastructure to assure the safest, most cost effective transportation system that will meet the economic and quality-of-life needs of our state?

Draz states:
There is enough money for transportation projects in Minnesota, we just need be more efficient and prioritize our spending on transportation projects.

Really? Is he serious? While I do not claim to be an expert on the road infrastructure in 28B, I do travel Greater Minnesota on a pretty regular basis, and know that the roads are in need of significant repair.

Seems like Draz is following the mantra of Seifert, Urdahl, Emmer, and Shimanski.

Cut, cut, cut
Borrow, borrow, borrow
Blame, blame, blame

Phoenix Woman posts about Pawlenty playing good cop to Molnau and Seifert's bad cop regarding transportation funding.

Bluestem Prairie covers transportation issues as well! Note that Draz wants to bond for roads! Build now, pay later!

While the transportation question has caught the eye of many, Drazkowski's lack of a response on the education question is what concerns me most.

Minnesota has adopted grade-level standards that describe what all students in Minnesota should know and be able to do by the time they graduate from high school. Minnesota administers statewide tests to measure student progress against those standards and to enable the public to easily compare student achievement in different schools. Which of the following statements is closest to your opinion about testing in Minnesota?

Testing background: Many employers report that high school graduates are unprepared for the demands of the workplace. And about 30 percent of first year students in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) take at least one remedial course. To improve student achievement and increase accountability in our public education system, Minnesota, after more than a decade of debate and experimentation, adopted a set of statewide standards and a corresponding set of tests to measure students against those standards. Minnesota's efforts predated the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but the overall goal is consistent.

Steve Drazkowski: Has not yet responded.

He simply avoided the question. Students coming to MnSCU institutions unprepared for core level courses is rising. It has been rising for years and is a strain on limited resources on our college campuses.

Pfeilsticker is dead on in her response.
State testing can be appropriate for the measurement of student achievement if used to help schools address areas of concern. There can be such a thing as too much testing. Too many school days are consumed doing standardized tests which are very costly to administer. We need to minimize the number of testing days and use the test results as guides for overall curriculum development.

Why did Drazkowski dodge this question? What does he have to hide?

It's the status quo with Republican candidates, avoid the tough questions and provide bland answers with no vision for the future.

No answer on the education question and no vision on the transportation question.

Is this really what the voters in 28B want? An elected official with no vision for our future? We do not need more Dean Urdahl's, Tom Emmer's, Marty Seifert's, Ron Shimanski's, or Steve Drazkowski's. We need leaders who will lead in difficult situations, make the tough decision and not ride the party line to mediocrity.

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