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The Compatibility of Political Progressivism and “Something Else” Educationally

Gary Marvin Davison, an engaged educator with a perpetual edge, had a particularly pointed counterpoint in the Star Tribune (Oct. 17) about how the “insidious ideology of education professors and their acolytes” is a core reason why kids do so lousy in math, “Minnesota Low Math Scores are No Accident.”  Here’s a key paragraph: “Over the course of succeeding decades [starting early in the 20th century], education professors appropriated the name ‘progressive,’ applying the term to an array of approaches variously asserted to be ‘child-centered’ and productive of some social good; the unifying element was a creed vowing that systematically acquired...

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Why Do Minnesota Schools Still Cancel Classes for the Teachers’ Union?

It's MEA week in Minnesota, the annual fall ritual in which schools statewide cancel two  classroom days in deference to the annual meeting of the most powerful public employee union in the state, Education Minnesota. The radical union likes to bill it as a time of professional development with this year's session headlined by Eddie Moore, Jr., director of The Privilege Institute and White Privilege Conference. But coverage in the Star Tribune points to potential cracks in the teachers' union lock on time off to further its interests. Minnesota schools’ long tradition of canceling two days of classes for an annual teachers conference...

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Bde Maka Ska? Change the Name. Rewrite History. Redefine Politics.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota.   To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to info@americanexperiment.org. In George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel, 1984, the main character, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth in Oceania, a one-Party socialist state in what was once the British Isles and the Americas. The ministry does not promote truth, but rewrites history to conform to Party doctrine in what authorities portray as a never-ending war against shadowy enemies. To this end, pictures are torn down, statues destroyed, and inconvenient documents dropped down “memory...

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Test Scores Falling? Change the Test!

The Star Tribune ponders the fact that Minnesota students' math scores keep dropping: "As test scores drop, Minnesota educators seek a 'new conversation' about math." I think "new conversation" means they want to change the subject away from falling test scores. Math scores on the biggest statewide exam have plummeted for six straight years, troubling some education officials and teachers — and prompting deep discussions about how to teach math in a more holistic way. Why, exactly, do falling scores suggest a need to teach more "holistically"? Math is an objective field. Either the student comes up with the right answer, or...

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