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Duluth Teachers File Complaint Over “Huck Finn” and “Mockingbird” Ban

Duluth public school teachers deserve extra credit. A year after the administration banned "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Huckleberry Finn" from the curriculum, faculty members refuse to back down or cave to political correctness. Seventeen teachers have just signed a letter to the administration, curriculum director and school board, criticizing the district's ham-handed decision. The impact of this decision and the process behind it is significant. English teachers are angry and demoralized. The district is about to spend a lot of money to implement a book that is not engaging and simply makes a lateral move from discussing the historical oppression...

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Busing Redux?

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 Issue of Thinking Minnesota, now the second largest magazine in Minnesota. To receive a free trial issue send your name and address to [email protected] On July 25, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling with far-reaching and troubling consequences for K-12 education in our state. The court held that a lawsuit titled Cruz-Guzman vs. State of Minnesota, whose plaintiffs seek court-ordered metro-wide racial balancing in the Twin Cities region’s public schools, can go forward. The case will now return to district court, where plaintiffs will push for a sweeping plan to sort metro-area students—including those in suburban districts and...

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“Just Missing” Online Learning Projections

In a 2008 book, three of the most insightful and innovative people I know in education wrote, “by 2019, about 50 percent of high school courses will be delivered online.” Or as Maxwell Smart might say if “Get Smart” were somehow in its 54th season on NBC, “Missed by that much.” The book was Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns.  The three truly impressive authors (check them out online) were Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Minnesota’s Curtis W. Johnson.  Three pages after their projection that about half of high school courses across the country...

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We celebrated School Choice last week, now let’s work on expanding it

Minnesota pioneered a model for the rest of the country to follow in 1991 when it passed the nation’s first charter school law, but the state cannot live on past success. We continue to have one of the worst education achievement gaps in the country, and we need more breakthrough in our provision of education services to address our educational challenges. Expanding education tax credits so they can be used toward private school tuition would be an excellent start....

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Minnesota teachers are judged solely by the color of their skin; asked to change curriculum for black students.

While we are still thinking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to bring a startling development to your attention: public school teachers are being subjected to on-the-job mental abuse and bullying. Teachers are being told they are white supremacists by people who judge them solely on the basis of their skin color. They are forced to listen to crude language (so they could better understand black culture), and then blamed, as whites, for the achievement gap. The kicker? Teachers are being asked to change the "white curriculum" to accommodate black students. Who does this serve? Certainly not teachers...

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Duluth School Board Pays Out $55,000 to Citizen Watchdog

Schools exist to disseminate knowledge and information, right? Apparently the Duluth School Board didn't get the lesson plan. This week the board of Minnesota's 22nd largest district by enrollment reached a settlement with a former board member turned citizen watchdog who'd sought  information on Duluth school's controversial Red Plan, according to the News Tribune. The Duluth School Board on Monday unanimously approved a $55,000 settlement with former member Art Johnston, ending Johnston's quest for data involving the district's long-range facilities plan and other matters. "What you as a district would get would be dismissal of this lawsuit," said Trevor Helmers, the attorney representing...

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$1,300 To Take A Class in Eco-Feminism? No Wonder Gen Z Is Opting for Trade School Instead of College

Apparently, the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth has an online “ecofeminism” course in which students can learn about topics like “the oppression of nature.” The course costs nearly $1,300 for three course credits, but it is unclear how this course will equip students who take it with the real-world skills needed to compete in an increasingly global and specialized economy. It is no wonder Generation Z is skipping college in droves. Liberal Arts universities are becoming increasingly divorced from the things that made them useful in the first place. For most young people, education is not an end in and of itself. The point...

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