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U of M Faces Potential Lawsuit Over Barring Shapiro From Main Campus

The University of Minnesota continues to go out of its way to marginalize conservatives on campus. Perhaps the Republican-run Minnesota Legislature will find a way to make the bloated ranks of U of M administrators pay during the 2018 legislative session just underway. But a national foundation may beat them to it with a potential lawsuit over the school's foolish decision to banish Ben Shapiro, one of the most popular conservative speakers in the country, to the farm campus in St. Paul. Reports in the Star Tribune and other media note the U of M claims Shapiro represents a supposed security...

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Teachers Challenge Duluth Schools on Censoring ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘Huck Finn’

Duluth Public Schools' decision to remove two classic American novels from the district's curriculum has been ripped nationally. But now the de facto classroom censorship of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" finally seems to have struck a nerve locally, as well. The process by which administrators' reached their controversial decision has been questioned and criticized by a group of concerned citizens and educators in the Duluth News Tribune. The Arrowhead Reading Council, a professional organization that counts several current and former Duluth district teachers as members, sent a letter to School Board members and administration asking for...

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Lego Building Competition Introduces Students to Construction Careers

Equipped with 100 Lego blocks and some string, foil, and paper, elementary school students in Rochester, Minnesota recently participated in a national building block competition called the “Block Kids Building Program,” sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Chapter 346 in Rochester. The program “introduces children to the construction industry in an effort to create awareness and promote careers in the industry.” Students also learn the trade industry is meant for both men and women. ...

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Where Are U of M Duluth Champions of Banned Books Now?

The University of Minnesota Duluth Office of Diversity and Inclusion makes a big deal out of Banned Books Week each fall. In fact, the office goes so far as to actually "celebrate" the occasion, an odd choice of words to highlight what they depict as an imminent threat to society. The campus hosts an open house to publicize the campaign, inviting students and the public to "stop by anytime during this free and informal event to celebrate Banned Books Week!" This event, co-sponsored by the Duluth Public Library, is in celebration of Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read....

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Duluth Dumbs Down Its Curriculum

Sad news reported by the Star Tribune: "Duluth schools remove 'Huckleberry Finn' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from curriculum." Why are Duluth's students no longer going to be assigned the two best-known anti-racism books in American history? “The feedback that we’ve received is that it makes many students feel uncomfortable,” said Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the district. Apparently it was minority students who reported being uncomfortable. The move was hailed by Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, who said it was "long overdue." “Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Witherspoon...

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Survey Says: Local District School is Not Parents’ First Choice

Public views on K-12 education can inform future policies and should be considered to drive lasting improvement to the country’s education system. These views were recently captured in a report titled, “2017 Schooling in America: Public Opinion on K-12 Education, Parent Experiences, School Choice, and the Role of the Federal Government.” Although most Americans’ schooling experiences are with public district schools (more than eight out of 10 students attend public district schools), only about three out of 10 parents said they would choose these schools as their first preference....

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Parents and Students Confront Edina School Board on Political Indoctrination

A standing room only crowd showed up for the latest Edina School Board meeting in a show of force by parents upset over political indoctrination in their kids' classrooms first revealed last fall by American Experiment. But a technical glitch in the school district's video means those who were not there in person will never see--or at least hear--what attendees call an emotional event that captured the essence of the controversy that's attracted national attention. Nine parents and two students stood up to address the board, taking advantage of a public forum instituted following the contentious 2017 school district election. Here's what...

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Politicization of Edina Schools Continues to Receive National Attention

Another red-hot article by Katherine Kersten on the barrage of social justice in Edina Public Schools continues to spark a national discussion. Her latest piece titled “Inside a Public School Social Justice Factory” was recently published by the Weekly Standard, as my colleague Tom Steward summarizes here. Numerous online news outlets have shared the article since its publication and it has received significant attention on Twitter, as well. Tucker Carlson—a “Higher Ed Hero” and host of Tucker Carlson Tonight—tweeted out the article and elicited over 5,000 “likes,” nearly 3,000 retweets, and more than 700 comments. What’s happening in Edina is not an...

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Sixth Straight Year of Decline in Students for MN State Schools

Enrollment at Minnesota State colleges and universities continues to fall, along with revenue from tuition, resulting in more schools than not running in the red again in the 2016-17 school year. It's the sixth consecutive year for declining overall enrollment at the 37 Minnesota State post-secondary institutions. Some of the factors at work appear to be a stronger economy with more job opportunities and changing demographics that have led to fewer college-age young people. A desire to avoid crushing debt before entering the workforce and the reality that just 22 percent of jobs in Minnesota require a four-year college degree could also...

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