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  • Teachers Union Urges Resistance to DeVos & “Cruel” Education Budget

    The national teachers union American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continues to "sound the alarm” on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. In a strongly worded call to action email, AFT President Randi Weingarten labels Secretary DeVos as a “public school denier” and someone who “doesn’t care” and is “ill-prepared” to be education secretary. Weingarten then goes after the Trump-DeVos budget proposal and urges readers to join forces with the union and “oppose this cruel and catastrophic budget.” The resistance DeVos has faced confirms her biggest fight for educational choice is against well-funded unions who oppose anyone that threatens their political power.

  • Media Wants It Both Ways in U of M Coverage

    KSTP-TV’s investigative unit got a scoop recently in reporting on accusations of sexual harassment involving a University of Minnesota athletics department fundraiser. That’s what journalists do, work sources, obtain confidential documents, get it online and on the air before the competition. Kudos to KSTP-TV, where I covered a beat and ran a documentary unit earlier in my career. The U of M released the redacted report yesterday in announcing Randy Handel’s suspension and demotion. Meantime, more than 260 members of the Twin Cities media have signed a petition demanding the U of M drop an internal investigation into who leaked...

  • CBO score of House GOP healthcare bill wrong on the impact of state waivers

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their much-anticipated fiscal analysis of the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare yesterday.  The two headline data points show that the bill would leave 23 million more Americans without health insurance and reduce the budget deficit by $119 billion over ten years. Predictably, supporters of the bill received the CBO analysis with a mountain of skepticism.   CBO projections on insurance exchange enrollment have been wildly off target, at one point projecting 25 million people would be covered by Obamacare exchanges in 2017 compared to the 12.2 million people that actually enrolled. A critique...

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  • Star Tribune: As Biased As Ever?

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune has long been known as a DFL newspaper. In the last few years, some have said that its liberal bias might be less pronounced. That is, I think, dubious. Take, for instance, this morning’s article about President Trump’s budget proposal by reporter Maya Rao. The article describes Trump’s budget, highlights the fact that it doesn’t contain anything for Southwest Light Rail Transit, and then seeks reactions to the budget from six outsiders. Those sources tell us that the president’s budget will “put heavy new pressure on food shelves and the state’s health care system,” “should be...

  • Great Jobs for Grads Without a Four-Year Degree

    American Experiment recently launched a new initiative called “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree.” It’s a multi-year project to encourage parents, students and educators to consider alternatives to college. In the process, we hope to build recognition of and support for other routes to satisfying jobs and fulfilling careers via the many options available throughout Minnesota. With the Class of 2017 about to set off on their own, American Experiment’s Mitch Pearlstein shared writer Matthew Crawford’s wisdom on “Great Jobs” in a column for the Mankato Free Press. Crawford owns a motorcycle repair shop in Virginia, as well as a Ph.D. in political philosophy from...

  • No Go! Southwest Light Rail Stiffed in President’s Budget

    President Trump’s 2018 budget released today contains bad news for the Met Council’s pet light rail project. There’s no funding for the controversial $1.9 billion Southwest Light Rail Transit line in the administration’s “A New Foundation for American Greatness” budget just unveiled. The spending plan follows through on previous  announcements by federal transportation officials that only transit projects with Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) in place by October 2016 would receive funding. The proposed Southwest Light Rail line does not have such a funding agreement, leaving it ineligible for $929 million in federal construction funds under the new administration’s policy. Federal...

  • Transgender Toolkit for MN Schools Based on Controversial Obama Rule

    A controversial transgender and gender nonconforming “resource toolkit” drafted by the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) School Safety and Technical Assistance Council recently caught the attention of 67 Minnesota legislators. The 29 page document — “Toolkit to Ensure Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” — purports to be a compilation of “best practices that schools can use" to address gender identity. The toolkit is based on a controversial Title IX transgender policy imposed by the Obama administration that is no longer in effect.