Beginning a New School Year…and a “Sha Na Na”….

Thursday I dropped off a small gift for my daughter, Principal of a Middle School in the school district I live in. It was a 2017-18 computer produced calendar from the always popular Education Minnesota booth at the Minnesota State Fair. “Happy New Year” I said. Teacher workshop week was about over, and school begins […]

Dick Bernard: Three weeks after inauguration day. Letters to Judd

More on the topic of the 2017 Presidency here. (click to enlarge) The town in which we live, Woodbury MN, would be considered a prosperous suburban community just east of St. Paul. Sometimes I refer to it as “suburban 3M”, since 3Ms headquarters are nearby and many highly skilled employees live here. Politically, we’re probably […]

#1077 – Dick Bernard: Remembering Sandy Peterson, two Unions, and a Merger

Sandra Peterson died on October 24, 2015. Her death was local news in Minnesota. She deserves the kudos which are coming her way. She was a visionary leader. (click to enlarge) I knew Sandy as a union leader, first of MFT, then Education Minnesota, “back in the day”. It was to be expected that she […]

#1027 – Dick Bernard: Remembering 50 years; a Teacher Union Gathering.

Today was the annual Recognition Dinner of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota, and as I’ve done since the first one, in 2001, I always attend. And when I get home, I’m always glad I made the trip to the north suburbs of Minneapolis, to some venue in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. It was a rainy late afternoon, […]

#1015 – Dick Bernard: A Piece of Drama on an Important Issue

Mid-week, my spouse, Cathy, read an April 6 commentary on a sneaky change in Federal Pension Protection law which interested and troubled her. At the end of the commentary was an invitation to attend a meeting on Saturday, and so we went over, not knowing what to expect. First, I’d recommend getting to know, […]

#965 – Dick Bernard: The Minnesota Orchestral Association Annual Meeting

(click to enlarge) Pre-note, side comment, and recommendation: In light of current events it seems almost superfluous to write about a meeting of the Board of the Minnesota Orchestra. There is a great deal happening on the national scene, most recently the non-indictment of the policeman involved in the death of Eric Garner on Staten […]

#885 – Dick Bernard: Reflecting Union

(click on photos to enlarge. blurriness in closeups is free of charge…teachers are animated, hard to catch quiet!) Tuesday night found me in Andover MN, across the table from Robbyn, a lady whose name tag identified her as teaching at Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine. The name tag brought me face-to-face with my own history: […]

#882 – Dick Bernard: Jim Oberstar, Congressman, Citizen

Those of us in Minnesota know that Jim Oberstar died May 3, 2014, and if we’re interested in politics, we know a lot about this veteran of the United States Congress from Minnesota 8th Congressional District who was defeated by a Tea Party upstart in the 2010 election, and then retired. Here’s the biographical sketch […]

#853 – Dick Bernard: An Opportunity to Talk With (not At, or Down to) Public Education, past, present, future

This morning, while waiting for my car to be serviced, I noted the Business Section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Leafing through it I came across an article by Chuck Slocum, about two personages involved in Public Education policy in Minnesota in the early 1980s. The article is headlined: Minnesota Education Duo: 3M CEO Lew […]

#846 – Dick Bernard: Why "I Breathe Union". The invisible but real long-term consequences for America symbolized by the VW vote.

After workers at the Chattanooga TN VW plant barely voted down the United Auto Workers a few days, I sent a message to my own mailing list. Part of that Feb. 17 message was this: “The vote doesn’t surprise me at all”. (The remainder of that message is at the end of this post; a […]