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Frustration on the rise among Rochester Public Schools parents over school plans

For Rochester Public Schools (RPS), the school board approved the district's decision to transition PreK to 2nd grade from a distance learning model to a hybrid learning model (combining classroom time with at-home learning) starting January 19. Grades 3-5 will remain in distance learning only until February, where they will then transition to a hybrid learning model. But frustration over the partial return to in-person learning is rising among RPS parents, who are concerned that the district isn't doing "what's right for the children in this town" and "ignoring the public's concerns about the destruction distance learning is having on...

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To understand the new social studies standards, just look at who wrote them (Part 2)

Earlier this week I wrote about the over-sized influence of Native American groups on the first draft of academic standards for social studies. Gov. Walz stacked the committee with representatives from the education cartel (teachers and school district staff), Native Americans and people representing liberal groups fighting for their version of “equity.” We are a long way from Minnesota’s first attempt at social studies standards, created in 2003 by Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke. She put together a social studies standards committee representing teachers, parents, higher education and business. This year’s committee admittedly made a “shift in approach to standards and social...

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To understand Tim Walz’s new social studies standards, just look at who wrote them

Deciding what should be taught to students in grades K-12 is not an easy task, especially when it comes to a politically charged subject like social studies. Acknowledging the challenge, however, does not excuse the current social studies standards committee from releasing draft benchmarks and standards that lurch to the left and leave out historically important topics in favor of today’s version of political correctness....

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New study finds less suicide among students with education options

A new study suggests education options—school choice—improve children’s mental health, reports The Wall Street Journal. While other studies have found that school choice reduces arrests and that private-school students experience less bullying, this latest study “is the first to examine the link between school choice and mental health.”...

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U of M Regent Calls on New CFO Frans to Cut Bloated Bureaucracy and Criticizes His $450,000 Salary

The University of Minnesota faces a $166 million budget shortfall as a consequence of shutting down campuses, along with tens of millions of dollars in related revenue, in response to the coronavirus. So the U recently hired the ultimate DFL insider, former state budget commissioner Myron Frans, to come up with a plan to make the red ink go away somehow, someday. He's being paid handsomely to do it, roughly $450-475,000 annually with benefits and other compensation. Frans' plan hinges on the U going tens of millions of dollars more into the red, according to the Star Tribune. ...

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State leaders should seriously consider Special Education Savings Accounts to better serve Minnesota’s most vulnerable students

Governor Walz's recently updated order that elementary schools can begin in-person or hybrid learning starting January 18, 2021 is still leaving students behind. Terry Otremba, father of 13-year-old daughter Addison who is struggling under a distance learning model, was "disappointed" Walz's changes didn't mention students with special needs. Other students requiring special services aren't getting the help they need either. Special education savings accounts would fix this. ...

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MN Social Studies Standards are Under Revision: Here are top 5 areas of concern

The Minnesota Department of Education has recently released the first working draft of the state's K-12 academic standards in social studies. The public feedback and comment period about this first draft of social studies standards is currently open from now through January 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Here are top five concerns about omissions, revisions, and additions to the 2020 first draft compared with the 2011 standards and benchmarks. ...

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