Any student of Montana history knows the boom/bust cycle of our economy. Each cycle created a boom in the economy followed by the bust when the resource was depleted. Montanans were inevitably saddled with the clean-up too. One such boom cycle, the copper era, was rife with corruption by the Copper Kings. They fought over the placement of the state capital, used personally owned newspapers to push their agendas, and bribed their way into office paying legislators for votes. The Corrupt Policies Act placed a 100-year ban on this corruption. Despite the best efforts of Steve Bullock, SCOTUS struck our law for Citizen’s United. This unleashed unlimited amounts of corporate and individual spending into our state. One campaign has used the loss of our rules to self-fund: Greg Gianforte. To date, he has loaned himself 7.7 million dollars. His corporate donors include charter schools, oil and gas, and real estate.
Recently a school superintendent in Nebraska berated teachers (to tears) in a high-poverty high-immigrant elementary school because their school’s test scores were hurting the district’s score. Berating teachers for not solving what is a social problem, not an educational problem, is unfair and has led to unequal achievement between poor and affluent children.
Large amounts of recent peer-reviewed research are available that prove the cognitive and behavioral damage to young children’s developing brains from toxic stress. Toxic stress is much more likely in children living in poverty than more affluent children, which accounts for the achievement gap between poor and affluent children.
The Harvard Center on the Developing Child has developed a summary and index of this research. Pertinent items include: brain architecture, toxic stress, neglect and gene & environment interaction.
Despite this research, Nebraska teachers are held accountable under a racist and xenophobic AQuESTT system, where schools are ranked
I work as a sports official (freelance vendor) for a variety of local schools and associations, including RUSD and the Metro Classic Conference, in which both St. Catherine’s and Lutheran High compete. While some of my brethren have elected to sit out the fall/winter sports seasons, I have chosen to participate in high-risk volleyball this fall.
The Journal Times editorial of Sept. 30 makes salient points on the COVID-19 dangers of busing and travel issues. Obviously, in these troubled times, eliminating all risk is not possible. So it becomes an issue of managing the risk — lowering it to a level of acceptable. And perhaps as a further indicator of these fractious times, everyone seems to have a different take on acceptable risk. A lot of it is location-based — urban vs. rural. (And too much is political-based, sadly.)
While your editorial pointed out many of the minuses our local