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The Empire Strikes Back at Teacher Licensing Reforms

The Empire Strikes Back might just as well be showing in St. Paul, featuring legislators committed to helping Education Minnesota beat back teacher licensing reforms.  Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, DFL-New Brighton wants to dismantle reforms signed into law by then Gov. Mark Dayton to open up the teaching ranks and streamline the licensing system. Her legislation would completely undo reforms that were years in the making, according to Session Daily. The current system went into effect in 2017, creating four tiers of teacher licenses. The goal was to simplify the process, create different pathways to enter the profession, attract out-of-state teachers, and, ultimately, address...

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Unearthing Scholastic Seriousness with Back-Boned Courage in St. Paul?

The Star Tribune ran a story Friday (February 22) headlined, “St. Paul Students Push Ethnic Studies as Core Classwork.”  Featured terms included “culturally relevant curriculum that teaches history through the lens of the oppressed”; “empowering of students to ‘develop into agents for justice in their communities’”; celebrating students’ “identity and ethnicity,” and the old reliable “strengthening self-esteem.” According to reporter Anthony Lonetree, Minneapolis Public Schools offer similar electives, but not required core courses, as is proposed in St. Paul. It would be easy – too easy – to dismiss the St. Paul effort, which is led by a student group called “SPPS...

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Hard to Fathom Male and Female Graduation Rates

I went looking for certain education statistics the other day but found more interesting data along the way. It has come to be commonly understood that American girls are doing better than America boys in virtually every education (and noneducation) category, with the same holding true for young women compared to young men.  This is particularly the case regarding college graduation rates.  But until one sees most recently available numbers, I’m guessing most people don’t come close to grasping the size these gaps. The following estimated data, for the 2016-17 academic year, are from the National Center for Education Statistics and can...

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