Modernized Classrooms?

By Andrew Richter

Ok folks, welcome to the Twilight Zone or District 281…..take your pick. This is an email sent by the superintendent to families of kids who entered kindergarten last September.

Dear Class of 2030 Families;
I hope this message finds you well.
Robbinsdale Area Schools (District 281) is conducting an Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select an architect firm to help the district modernize school buildings to support the Unified District Vision (UDV). Schools buildings must support modern instructional styles and ensure each child receives a high-quality education in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment where they feel appreciated.

Huh? We need to pay an architect firm to provide a welcoming classroom? What the hell does that mean?

As such, I would like to personally invite our Class of 2030 families to an important upcoming event about the future of our district. Five architect firms will make a presentation from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 9, at our Education Service Center, 4148 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope. The public is invited to attend. Input forms will be provided so you may present your thoughts to District 281 about how you interpret the presentations. Please note: the presentations will be recorded and posted online for later viewing, along with a link to a Google Form for feedback.

I have a suggestion: vouchers so people can get the hell out of there!

We need your input to help select the architect firm that best meets the needs of the seven cities that make up District 281. The firm we choose will work with all community members who wish to see our buildings modernized and made ready to educate all of our children to their greatest potential. Facility changes are being made to provide for the next several decades of educating children.

I’m sorry but what is wrong with the classrooms now? I went to District 281. Can someone tell me what classrooms are inviting and welcoming and which ones aren’t?

The architect firm to be used by the district will be selected by a 12-member committee whose members were selected from community members and RAS district staff. The selection will be based on the RFP submittal from the architect firm, presentations by the firms on November 9, and input from community members.
We hope to see you Nov. 9!
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Robbinsdale Area Schools

Wow I’ll tell you this superintendent is earning his $200,000……..


November 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Gas Tax or the BST?

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew discuss the gas tax in the state of Minnesota. How much is it? Who gets a piece of it? How is it spent? What roads are maintained with gas tax money? Where does Minnesota rank among the other 49 states? Who pays for what roads? Does the Metro get more than Greater Minnesota? How much money goes to roads and bridges verses transit and to bike paths? Being idea folks, we may have come up with a solution to all of this, because that’s what we do.

November 11, 2017 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- It’s (Not) A Conspiracy

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew talk about an international group that goes directly to cities to get them to implement policies that promote sustainability. That group is called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Before 500 of you DM us to go find our tinfoil hats, suspend your belief for just a moment. This isn’t the Bilderberg Group or the Trilateral Commission. It doesn’t have the secrecy around it that lends itself to all the rumors that these other groups have. ICLEI has its own website that states what they stand for, who their member cities are (and yes, there are members in MN), and what actions they are taking to try and pass these measures. Take a listen and find out how this group has worked its way into how local governments operate, even if they are not a member city and what you can do about it.

November 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

Up and At ‘Em Show- Episode 304- A Mayor Can Experiment

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Jason and Andrew were on the Up and At ‘Em Podcast with Jack and Ben yesterday. On Episode 304- A Mayor Can Experiment, we discuss the history of how local government is organized, how the progressives hijacked the system, and what we see as opportunities to fix it. We give a ton of useful information, and as usual on this podcast… hilarity ensues. We also discuss a confusing photo recently posted to our Instagram account: @commsolutionsmn

October 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- Guest Jeff Johnson

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In this episode Jason and Andrew interview Hennepin County Commissioner and MN Governor hopeful, Jeff Johnson. We ask him about all things Hennepin County and then get into the governor’s race. We don’t, however, ask all the normal questions you’ll hear everywhere else. We talk about how state government affects local government and what can be done to grant more local control to cities, counties, and school districts. We also give a little bit of local news in a new segment we like to call: The Local Lowdown.

October 25, 2017 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

The Community Solutions Podcast- Who Has Purchased Your City?

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In this episode Jason and Andrew look into Campaign Finance Reports. It’s how you can get an idea who has contributed to someone’s election, what views a candidate may hold, or who is expecting representation after the election. Is it really the people? Is it unions and political organizations? How and where do you find these reports , and once you do… how do you read them? This is an important tool in nonpartisan elections, as it may tell you where someone’s political affections really are and what beliefs they might hold. You’ll want to listen to this one and and look up the people that have run for election in your area.

October 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

Community Solutions Podcast- When Wild Mayors Attack

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In this episode, Jason and Andrew sit down for a follow-up discussion with New Brighton Council Member Gina Bauman and city council hopeful, Sue Erickson. This is an important podcast no matter where you live, because this is really what goes on in so many city councils, especially when the existing power structure gets challenged. We start out talking about some existing city issues and the upcoming election, which tells us a lot about the existing climate in the city, but then Gina drops a bombshell. Mayor Val Johnson tries to set up her own Diversity Task Force without even consulting the rest of the city council until this point. She already has hand-selected her task force members. Long story short, Council Member Bauman calls her on it and Mayor Johnson becomes unhinged. You need to hear her tell the story first, but you will still want to see it for yourself. You can see the work session video here.  Ever since the city was called out on violating state statute on changing election years from odd to even, Mayor Johnson has taken off the gloves. There’s no room for bullies on a city council. New Brighton needs a mayor with some humility.

October 11, 2017 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

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