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Kathy Kersten’s Better Bloggerville Welcome

Whenever I have an op-ed published in the Star Tribune I debate with myself whether I should read comments about the piece on the Strib’s blog afterwards.  Despite knowing, without a sliver of doubt, that some number of readers will suggest I’m a rotten human being in the employ of immorally rich capitalists and nasty plutocrats, I’m invariably curious enough to take a look, where the pattern routinely goes something like this: Blogger No. 1: “Pearlstein’s article is a piece of trash.” Blogger No. 2: “No, it’s not.  If there’s any trash around here, it’s all your dumb liberal ideas.” After which I’m...

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MN Dept. of Education Approves Controversial Transgender Toolkit

[caption id="attachment_7121" align="alignright" width="300"] Opponents of the toolkit wore red, supporters wore purple.[/caption] A Minnesota Department of Education council voted on and approved a “transgender toolkit” during its Wednesday evening meeting. The controversial 10-page document— “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students”— drew a crowd of more than 200 people. LGBT activists rallied around the toolkit, stating transgender and gender nonconforming students needed more support to combat “bullying and harassment” in schools. (Yet, ironically, several of their advocates talked over the end remarks made by toolkit opponents, snarkily telling them "thank you," "goodbye," "you're done," "sit...

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K-12 Gender Toolkit Puts Kids at Risk

On July 19, a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) council will vote on a “transgender toolkit,” which—if adopted—will be distributed to all public K-12 schools across our state. The toolkit pressures schools to allow “transgender or gender nonconforming” students to choose whatever bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams align with their “gender identity.” More than that, it threatens parental rights by urging school officials to report parents who are not viewed as sufficiently supportive of their child’s self-expressed “gender identity” to government authorities for “child neglect or harm.” But American Experiment's Katherine Kersten raises fundamental questions about the state's approach to the controversial...

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Brainerd Teacher Faces Suspension Over Trump Yearbook Controversy

Summer school in Brainerd has included an unusual academic exercise: An investigation into how a student's threat to behead President Trump got included in the Class of 2017's yearbook. The over-the-top anti-Trump comments in the annual attracted Secret Service attention. The school's yearbook adviser, art teacher Joe Wagner, was put on paid administrative leave, pending results of an outside investigation conducted by a Minneapolis law firm.  The report was completed in June, leading to news that Wagner will be suspended for five days and removed from his position as yearbook adviser in the the north central Minnesota school district, according to the...

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Kersten: Put children’s safety ahead of ideology

This op-ed appeared July 18, 2017 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The number of children who report being unhappy with their biological sex has exploded in the last 10 years. Parents, school officials and public leaders are all deliberating about how to deal with the challenging issues raised by kids who say they wish to live as the opposite sex — who think of themselves as transgender. So far, the focus has been on “rights-based” disputes — which bathrooms and locker rooms students should use at school, for example. But the question goes deeper. One thing is clear: The goal of all...

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MN Education Dept. to Approve Radical Transgender School Guidelines

On July 19, a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) council will vote on the adoption of a “transgender toolkit” for our state’s K-12 public schools. The tool kit pressures schools to allow transgender or gender non-conforming students to choose whatever bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams align with their “gender identity.” (pp. 9-10) Students can gain access to the facilities and teams of the opposite sex even if they are only “socially,” not “medically transitioning.”  (p. 4) But the toolkit does much more. For example, it threatens parental rights in an unprecedented way by encouraging schools to report parents who are not...

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Transgender Toolkit for MN Schools [UPDATE]

The MN Department of Education’s (MDE) School Safety Technical Assistance Council is a week away from approving its controversial transgender and gender nonconforming “resource toolkit.” The initial 29-page document that I wrote about purported to be a compilation of “best practices that schools can use” to address gender identity and focused on a contentious Title IX transgender policy imposed by the Obama administration that is no longer in effect. The second version of “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” — now 10 pages in length — still informs schools they “need to ensure”...

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The Rebellion Against Left-Wing Politics in the Schools Continues, and It Isn’t Only Edina [Updated]

We wrote here and here about left-wing indoctrination replacing education in the Edina public schools. The stories that were told by Edina students and parents were shocking. In response to those posts, parents and students have continued to blow the whistle on propaganda masquerading as instruction. An Edina High School student writes about the hysteria that gripped the school during the 2016 presidential election campaign: I felt like the school was descending into mass hysteria during the election. Some of the teachers I respected most thought it was their moral duty to come out in favor of Hillary Clinton, which absolutely disgusted...

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Hear Denisha Merriweather’s Story: Why school choice is still the best answer to Minnesota’s achievement gap

Meet Denisha Merriweather from Jacksonville, Florida. She failed third grade twice, and got into all kinds of trouble. But she caught a break: she moved in with her Godmother who found a school that figured out how to reach her. Denisha says School Choice saved her life. Why don’t Minnesota kids have the same opportunity as Florida kids? ...

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Where Does the Idea Everyone Should Go to College Come From?

The astute Howard Root had a very good column in the Business section of the Star Tribune the other day (July 10) with the forceful headline, “We’re Not Doing Students Favors by Overselling College Degrees.”  The recently retired CEO of Vascular Solutions, a medical device company he started and ran for 20 years, one of Root’s most effective points was when he noted that his firm “consistently had unfilled job openings for non-degreed technicians in machine design at salaries well above $50,000.”  But when it came to their “entry-level marketing associate program,” Vascular Solutions “received at least 50 applications from...

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