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Mitch Pearlstein

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Mitch Pearlstein

Mitch Pearlstein is Founder and President of Center of the American Experiment, a nonpartisan, tax-exempt, public policy and educational institution which brings conservative and free market ideas to bear on the hardest problems facing Minnesota and the nation.  A think tank, for short.

Before his 1990 return to the Twin Cities, Dr. Pearlstein served for two years in the U.S. Department of Education, during the Reagan and (first) Bush administrations, where he held three positions, including Director of Outreach for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.  Just prior to his federal service in Washington, Dr. Pearlstein spent four years as an editorial writer and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he focused on foreign and national affairs.

He also has been special assistant for policy and communications to Gov. Albert H. Quie of Minnesota; a research fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; assistant to University of Minnesota President C. Peter Magrath (pronounced Ma-grah); director of public information at Binghamton University; a reporter for The Sun-Bulletin, again in Binghamton; and a columnist for CityBusiness and Twin Cities Business Monthly.

Dr. Pearlstein’s most recent book is From Family Collapse to America’s Decline: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation (2011).  He is also author of Riding into the Sunrise: Al Quie and a Life of Faith, Service & Civility (2008); co-author (with Katherine A. Kersten) of Close to Home (2000); co-editor (with Wade F. Horn and David Blankenhorn) of The Fatherhood Movement: A Call to Action (1999); co-editor (with Annette Meeks) of Minnesota Policy Blueprint (1999); and editor of Certain Truths: Essays about Our Families, Children and Culture from American Experiment’s First Five Years (1995). He is currently working on a follow-up to From Family Collapse to America’s Decline, tentatively titled Drawn & Quartiled: What Will America Look Like if Massive Family Fragmentation Continues?

A former adjunct professor of public administration at Hamline University in St. Paul, he earned his Ph.D. in educational administration, with an emphasis on higher education policy, at the University of Minnesota.  He did his undergraduate work in political science at Binghamton University.  In 2006, the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota named him one of 100 “Distinguished Alumni” from the college’s first 100 years.

Dr. Pearlstein is a director of the Greater Twin Cities United Way; Minneapolis-based MicroGrants; and Veritas et Lux Preparatory School in St. Peter, MN.  He formerly served as chairman of Minnesotans for School Choice and the St. Paul-based Partnership for Choice in Education, as well as a director of the General John Vessey Jr. Leadership Academy.  He is a member of the New York-based Commission on Parenthood’s Future and the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  He was a member of the Aspen Institute’s Domestic Strategy Group; the Citizens League Higher Education Study Committee; the Steering Committee of Minnesotans for Major League Baseball; and a founder of the Washington-based Center for New Black Leadership. 

He is married to the Rev. Diane Darby McGowan, a Minneapolis Police chaplain.  They live in Minneapolis and have four adult children, four grandchildren, and currently only two dogs.

August 2013

Mitch Pearlstein's Archive

Sep 9, 2014
Please Join Us for a Reception and Signing Marking Founder & President Mitch Pearlstein’s Newest Book
Aug 25, 2014
Mitch Pearlstein on Bill Bennett Discussing New Book: Broken Bonds (8.25.14)
Aug 18, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (August 18, 2014) – Center of the American Experiment announced today that Founder and President Mitch Pearlstein’s new book, Broken Bonds: What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future, will be released by Rowman & Littlefield on August 22.
Aug 13, 2014
Family fragmentation rates in the United States are the highest in the industrial world.
Aug 13, 2014
Family fragmentation rates in the United States are the highest in the industrial world. And while the situation is less severe in Minnesota, an enormous number of people in our state are being hurt and our economy shortchanged. We will recommend what government, and more importantly, what religious institutions and the rest of civil society can and should do.
Jul 30, 2014
Minnesota's students are not being adequately prepared for 21st century jobs. All Minnesota students deserve the opportunity to choose an education that will put those jobs within their reach.
Jul 30, 2014
K-12 education in Minnesota faces many problems. Turning around such dangerous prospects will be hard under the best of circumstances. But to succeed, Minnesota must narrow not just one achievement gap but three.
Jul 30, 2014
AUDIO: K-12 education in Minnesota faces many problems. Turning around such dangerous prospects will be hard under the best of circumstances. But to succeed, Minnesota must narrow not just one achievement gap but three.
Jul 21, 2014
French economist Thomas Piketty is hot these days, contending that capitalism doesn’t lift enough boats and may lift even fewer as we sail further into the night. For the sake of argument (and only that), let’s say he’s right.
May 22, 2014
What’s more important when it comes to current matters of race in the United States? That the pathetic owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, possibly in the early stages of some kind of dementia, said absurdly racist things to his mistress?