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American Experiment Scores Two of 2017’s Top Ten Op-Eds

The Star Tribune has released its list of the most-read op-eds of 2017, and the Center had two in the top ten. Katherine Kersten's blockbuster piece on political indoctrination in the Edina public schools was number two, and my column on traffic congestion in the Twin Cities was number nine. 1. “No sympathy here for that airline passenger,” by Bob Gust, a lawyer living in Bloomington. While the world rages against United Airlines, I am outraged by the selfishness of the passenger removed from a plane in the much-discussed incident — and by the lack of critical thinking among everyone else. 2. “Racial...

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A View on Higher Ed: Results show 2-year degree holders often outearn college-educated peers

This commentary originally appeared December 12, 2017 in the Duluth News Tribune. It’s common wisdom in our society that you’ve got to have a four-year college degree to get ahead. If you don’t, you’re doomed to second-best in life, the thinking goes. This stereotype is based, to a good extent, on the belief that people with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make a lot more money over a lifetime than their peers. They’re sure to have nicer homes, fancier cars, more exotic vacations, and a bigger nest egg for retirement. Right? A new study from the Twin Cities-based Center of the American...

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U of MN Refutes Memo that Calls Santa Claus & Christmas Trees “Not Appropriate”

In the name of “diversity,” a memo distributed by a U of MN employee at a lunch meeting told attendees Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and bows and wrapped gifts were “not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year.” The backlash on social media caused the U of MN to distance itself from the document and label it as an "ill-advised attempt to spark a dialogue" on religious diversity and holidays. ...

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Millennials: The School Choice Generation

A recent GenForward survey confirms support for school choice is high among Millennials across racial and ethnic lines. The bimonthly survey of Millennials is conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago. Over 1,750 young adults between the ages 18 and 34 were asked about education in the United States and responded favorably toward voucher programs and charter schools....

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Why Would Congress Punish Colleges That Decline Federal Funds? A Hillsdale Mom Makes the Case for That ‘Hillsdale Exemption’

I checked with experts on the Hill this morning: the tax bill could be amended in conference to add new provisions like the 'Hillsdale Exemption' (it's called "air dropping"). But since the Senate is using the reconciliation process to pass the bill, it could get hung up under the Bird Rule as "too prescriptive" and force another vote on the bill. That is a risk too great to take. Corrections should be made later. College-bound scholarship students are counting on Congress to take that vote. ...

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“Legacy Minnesota” Program Prepares High Schoolers for Careers in Energy Industry

The need for skilled workers in Minnesota is on the rise. Many companies are struggling to find diverse, qualified candidates who have the right knowledge and skills to enter critical workforce positions. As a result, industries are facing significant workforce shortages and are seeing a growing skills gap in their applicants. But an initiative called Legacy Minnesota wants to turn this trend around in the state’s energy industry by preparing underserved high school juniors and seniors from diverse backgrounds in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools to become the future employees that energy companies are looking for....

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Learning and Doing Math Vocationally

A frequent theme in the many interviews I’ve conducted over the last year, as well as in much of the reading I’ve done for American Experiment’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project, has been the importance of people in manufacturing, the trades, and other fields having a reasonably solid grounding in math. ...

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