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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

Dec 21, 2009
By this stage, many people around town—and not a few across the country—have heard of the controversy surrounding a task force report on “Race, Culture, Class, and Gender” coming out of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota.
Dec 19, 2009
On behalf of the board of Directors of center of the American experiment, it is my honor and pleasure to introduce this remarkable anniversary publication, a fitting way of celebrating 20 years of first-rate writing – and as the following pages make clear, many other important contributions as well.
Dec 7, 2009
It’s safe to say we are two of the more conservatively inclined members of the board of directors of Greater Twin Cities United Way. It’s also safe to say we are acutely alert to the many new and immense financial pressures confronting Minnesota government.
Oct 2, 2009
I hope the following analogy works, but in the same way that writers like Bernard Malamud can make a loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese, and a bottle of inexpensive wine sound as bountiful as an evening at the new Manny’s in downtown Minneapolis, the stories here make it clear that true-blue capitalists reside in all stations and come with all-sized bank accounts.
Sep 10, 2009
Now that the chalk dust has settled, I would hope that just about everyone might agree that the problem with President Obama's speech to students on Tuesday had exclusively to do with its bungled initial staging and not with its eventual message -- which was terrific.
Aug 31, 2009
What possesses anyone to have any faith whatsoever in any of the projections coming out of the Obama administration and the rest of Washington about what assorted health care proposals may eventually cost?
Aug 17, 2009
Public officials, analysts, and others are busy – one might say feverishly – predicting what various health care plans under consideration in Washington might eventually cost. Suffice it to say numbers are very big and disagreements are very wide.
Aug 14, 2009
The confluence of Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination and the court’s recent 5-4 ruling on the New Haven firefighters’ case – on which she had ruled contrarily as an appellate judge – has provoked the country once again to consider the wisdom and fairness of certain race-conscious policies.
Jul 6, 2009
Conservatives across Minnesota and the nation have been applauding Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to balance the state's 2010-11 budget by unilaterally unallotting $2.7 billion, with some enthusiasts describing it as a "real butt-kicking" of all those dastardly liberals in St. Paul.
May 1, 2009
More than 20 years ago when I worked in the research branch of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, a higher-up came into my office one day and informed me that I would be flying to North Carolina, 10 days hence, to represent the department on a call-in show about alternative teacher certification on The Learning Channel.