Minnesotans for Better Education, Standards and Testing

Minnbest is a non-partisan, broad based coalition of parents, educators and school advocacy groups who believe excellent public education is a foundation of democracy in America.


All Good things....

It is with some wistfulness that I announce the end of the MinnBEST web log.

I will always remember this last 18 months as one of the most exciting times of my life. During last year’s legislative session, I slept about 4 hours a night and gained 20 pounds, but it was worth it. Through hard work, amazing organization and great allies, we won the battles. I realized a lot about myself beyond how much little sleep I need. This fight has made me an even better teacher and citizen. It moved me from advocating only for my students, to an advocate for them, my profession (calling) and discipline.

This has never been a blog per se. Good blogs are conversations. I only began the blog format as a no-cost way to communicate with the coalition that didn’t clog up the email box. I never aspired to be a “Blogger” nor am I willing to spend the time to get really good at it.

There are still battles to fight as the old alliances have largely been absorbed into Parents United. As a non-partisan coalition, Parents United has done a marvelous job and I cannot begin to express my gratitude, admiration and awe of how hard they work and how much they accomplish. Through Parents United for Public Schools, the voices of ordinary Minnesotans will be amplified above the shriek of those who wish to destroy our schools.

It is not without trepidation that I move from non-partisan issue advocate to partisan hack, but the time is right and the need is great. The blog is at a crossroads. Either step up and become a good blogger, or get out. If I were to continue, I would commit to making this blog truly excellent, but there are other projects that will have a larger impact. Also, on this blog, I feel compelled to speak only for the coalition and the coalition is moving to other projects. So, since I cannot maintain this blog and do all that needs to be done, the blog has to go. I will be reading and commenting on others, but now free of speaking for the coalition.

Even the Maple River Coalition has moved on. They are now fighting against International Baccalaureate, a program that I find more hype than substance, but it is amusing to see the tortured reasoning of the MRC calling it Anti-Christian.

They are also stepping up the fight against NCLB. I hope they succeed!

I will leave the blog up through the summer to get all the articles safely stored away. The regular site http://www.minnbest.org/ will stay up until Spring 2006.

I want to thank some people who have inspired and/or challenged me in this odyssey.

D- The first meeting in the Union hall. “Write a five minute speech!” We brought them to their feet in St. Paul. Starting from scratch on the standards. You are awesome!

Paul- The “well funded” website and the tireless work. 5 AM and looking for breakfast to celebrate.

Carrie- If she hadn’t thrown that pencil, I would not have met a true master teacher. Your talent is only rivaled by your skills in debate and organization.

Amy- Uber-Researcher! You are going to make a great lawyer. A fantastic Law professor?

W and D-working under the radar and teaching me so much. Your heroism is an inspiration.

The other members of the Vast Coalition- To work with a group that is so talented, smart and savvy is an incredible privilege.

Some on the other side have been helpful and even gracious (sometimes).

Matt Abe, the scholar. I think our kids would get along well. I was inspired by the story of your father and I appreciate your openness in search of what is and may be true. It was from your site I pushed the button that made me a blogger.

King Banion – while there is little that we agree on and he did ban me for a while, from him I learned blogger etiquette and what fisking is. He is ironically challenged, but he is a decent writer and has become more moderate this year (that last part will not make him happy).

Michael L. Boucher Jr.

Previously MinnBEST website manager