April 13, 2019

The right to speak and the right to print, without the right to know, are pretty empty. ~Congressman John Moss, during the 1966 debate over the Freedom of Information Act

The landmark Freedom of Information Act was the first time the federal government was explicitly r...

January 18, 2019

When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, growing up in a little rural community in northern Minnesota, I recall my father and uncle talking about how important it was that meetings were run with Robert’s Rules of Order, a guide conducting meetings and making group decisi...

November 21, 2018

The Duluth School Board oversees a $135 million annual budget—larger than that of the City of Duluth. In Minnesota, K-12 education is the largest chunk of the state budget, at $10 billion a year.  We’re not talking about chump change here.

With such real money, one woul...

August 16, 2018

In the beginning, God created happy talk and smiles.  

When Doug Hasler, the most recent Chief Financial Officer for the Duluth Public Schools, was hired two years ago, the school board was invited over to his new house on Woodland Avenue for ice cream and to meet his b...

June 27, 2018

Imagine your most pleasant learning experience and your long-lasting memories of teachers and schools. If you were born before 1970, that imagery would include teachers, blackboards made from slate, chalk, and erasers that would occasionally bounce off unruly students’...

May 16, 2018

While I was a school board member, teachers and school administrators frequently contacted me. The numerous problems with the Duluth Schools were becoming common knowledge, and a frequent refrain was: “We need a new Superintendent, please!”

Denfeld now graduates the lo...

April 8, 2018

Welcome to the Duluth School Board! You just got elected by managing to not make enemies with the DFL political machine or the Duluth New Tribune. So, what should you expect as an elected official in Duluth?

At your first meeting, you will be given a grand welcome and...

February 22, 2018

Think globally, act locally. If you are like me, you might decide to live that to the fullest and run for a local elected office. You are tired of complaining—you are going to do something! Want to support gay marriage, ban sugar from schools, get Johnnie on the hockey...

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