Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 29 Senator Michel asks for your ideas!

Have any of you ever visited the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul? If you do, you might see Lexie’s father, State Senator Geoff Michel who represents Edina and West Bloomington. This week we have asked him to blog with us about an issue at the state capitol that affects schools and kids:

Hello Normandale! I hope you can help me. An issue that will be getting a lot of attention at the Capitol over the next few years is whether we should require more days in school - a longer school year - for Minnesota children. Currently, schools in Minnesota average 170 days per school year. The average in other states across the country is 180 days a year in class (that is two weeks more). Other countries, like China, have school years that are more than 200 days long! If you were a Minnesota State Senator how would you vote?

I appreciate your thoughts about this important topic. I will take them into consideration as I make my own choice. Your opinion counts!

Here are some pros and cons to consider before you cast your vote and state your reasons for your vote:

PROS (in favor of more days in school): If we want Minnesota kids to be the smartest in the world we need more time in the classroom. We are falling behind other states and countries and could learn more with more time in the classroom. Minnesota teachers are great and we could accomplish more and learn more if we spend more time with them. We could add more days without shortening summer vacation if we had fewer days off in the middle of the year.

CONS (against more days in school): The school year is already long enough.Vacations and time off from school is important for kids and families too.Minnesota schools are more productive than other states and countries and we do not need as much time in the classroom. More days in school would cost more money - we have a deficit right now because the economy is in recession and should spend our money on other priorities.

How would you vote and why?

Write a topic sentence stating your opinion. Then write a "tabletop" sentence explaining one reason for your vote. Add two specific examples or details ("legs") to support your reason.

As always, be sure to 1) write and save your comment in a word processing program first, 2) revise your work to be specific and clear, 3) correct any errors in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, 4) cut and paste your writing into the comment box on the blog, 5) add your first name and code before publishing your comment.