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Et Cetera ...

April 14, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

School moves forward

Well, the folks at Armstrong-Ringsted knew the day was coming, but it was a tough night Monday when the school board accepted three resignations and terminated 11 teaching contracts. That amounts to 50 percent of the teaching staff.

The reason for this is the school's decision to whole-grade share with Sentral and North Kossuth schools next year. While the sting of laying off staff is real, so is the brighter future for the schools now that they are moving ahead with their plans.

All three districts are to be commended for thinking first of their students and how best to offer them quality educations.

ACE is a great event

Kudos to the Area Career Exploration event held this week at Fairmont Area Schools. The gathering offers sophomores from area school the chance to interact with local businesses and take surveys on what types of jobs may best fit their skills and interests.

In addition, ACE this year became a local job fair for Fairmont Area seniors, local college students and busloads of students from Minnesota State-Mankato.

We congratulate ACE organizers for putting together what is an extraordinary event right here in Fairmont.

Needed reforms stall

We are disappointed to see that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's proposed education reforms have been shelved for the year because of resistance in the Democrat-controlled state Senate.

Branstad would like to link teacher pay to performance, require teachers to meet stricter academic standards, change student testing and not advance students who don't reach reading benchmarks.

Iowa has fallen from its place as a national leader in education and is stagnating in this regard. Branstad must continue to push for reforms to overcome teacher union opposition reflected politically in the Democratic Party. Iowans need to help apply the pressure.

Company expanding

We congratulate Express Diagnostics of Blue Earth for its growing success. The maker of drug tests for law enforcement and others has been very busy, prompting the company to boost payroll from 34 a year ago to 82 today.

It's amazing what can happen even in sleepy rural Minnesota when a solid business vision creates a quality, popular product, made by dedicated workers. We wish the company continued good fortune.



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