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American Experiment comments on PELSB’s attempt to redefine “cultural competency”

Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board is writing rules to implement the state’s 2017 teacher licensing law. In the process, the board is trying to smuggle in an extremist definition of “cultural competency” training, which would shape teacher training for licensed teachers in both public schools and private schools. Through this backhanded maneuver, the board is essentially attempting to replace the far more limited (and reasonable) definition of “cultural competency” that is already in law....

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Catholic Schools and Embracing the Elusive

In most public policy discussions and debates regarding elementary and secondary education, critically important ideas are routinely downplayed to the point of dismissal because they are intrinsically elusive. And because such ideas are largely ignored, a lot of young people who could be better served and educated are not. Or, more specifically in this instance, a lot of kids who might benefit from attending a Catholic school don’t have the opportunity. [Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock]...

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Rural Schools Show Off Pride in Agriculture and Country

Schools constantly tout high speed internet, iPads and other high tech tools and training when it comes to preparing Minnesota students to compete in a global economy. But an increasing number of rural school districts now call attention to the skills their students are already putting to use to grow Minnesota's economy in an industry increasingly reliant on high tech--agriculture. Their recognition focuses on an annual ritual dubbed "Drive Your Tractor to School Day." [caption id="attachment_10818" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Pierz Healy High School[/caption] The parade of tractors plays out in districts all over the state at spring planting time. The Morrison County Record reports the...

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Survey Says: MN teachers have heard very little, if anything, about Janus case

The Supreme Court has up to another month to rule on Janus v. AFSCME, a case asking the High Court to overturn a 1977 decision that forces government employees to pay agency fees to a union. The court’s upcoming ruling could significantly impact millions of public workers, including thousands of teachers in the state of Minnesota. But as of April 2018, 70 percent of Minnesota teachers had heard not much (27 percent) or nothing (43 percent) about Janus v. AFSCME, according to a national survey by Educators for Excellence (E4E). This shows how important it is to help our teachers understand...

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Pension Funding: the Pension Problem Will Return, Again

The pension bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton supports, is expected to become law though some lawmakers are stunned at the growing expense. Pensions are supposed to be covered by employer and employee contributions that are then invested by the state, but Minnesota stopped paying the full cost of pensions in the early 2000s. Imagine if you did that with your mortgage and then tried to catch up to avoid foreclosure....

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Gov. Mark Dayton: holding his breath until he turns blue at elementary school

It is outrageous that a governor would subject children to his political temper tantrum.  Citizens must object to this injection of partisan politics in our K-12 taxpayer supported schools. Dayton can read books to children and encourage on them on their way but no governor should ever use our schools and children as partisan playthings. Shame on Gov. Mark Dayton; shame on the principal for allowing the school and children to be used.  His office number is 651. 201. 3400. Call his office and tell him to knock it off. (And to sign the tax bill already.)   Here is the story in...

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Teachers Agree: Teachers’ unions make it “harder to fire bad teachers”

One reoccurring criticism of teachers’ unions is that they protect “bad” teachers­—those “how are you still here?” teachers. But do teachers themselves share this same perception? According to a recent poll, they do. Teacher quality is a vital determinant of student achievement. There is a way to keep good teachers and remove inadequate ones. But the status quo needs to change first. And teachers are calling out the union for getting in the way. ...

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