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Edina Parents and Students Rebel Against Politics in Classroom

American Experiment's recent post on left-wing politics permeating the halls and classrooms of Edina High School following the 2016 election has gotten a strong reaction. In it, John Hinderaker revealed that 80 Edina High School teachers crossed the line, signing what amounted to a left-wing political manifesto following the election of Donald Trump as president. Since then, parents and students at Edina High School have stepped forward to provide more evidence of the extent to which leftist ideology has invaded the Edina school system, even down to the kindergarten level. Dozens of parents, students and residents have responded via email and Facebook with instances...

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Innovative Dunwoody program helping women and minorities find great jobs

Minnesota’s shortage of skilled workers is causing employers in many fields to scramble to find new sources of talent, including women and minorities. Dunwoody College of Technology is a great place to look. Female and minority students now make up 14 percent and 19 percent, respectively, of Dunwoody’s student body. The college’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) has played a central role in attracting these young people to technical occupations of a kind many haven’t traditionally sought out. Recently, the Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony profiled Dunwoody’s YCAP Program, which was named after the late Leon Rankin, a 1960s Dunwoody grad and one...

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Kersten gets message out that terrific careers don’t require a costly four-year degree: Op-ed reaches 28 community newspapers

The Center’s Great Jobs project aims, above all, to get the message to young people and parents that many terrific careers don’t require a costly four-year college degree. In recent weeks, 28 suburban and exurban newspapers have run an op-ed by Katherine Kersten that makes that point concisely. Katherine points out that many families would likely approach their teenagers’ post-secondary planning differently if they knew two key facts: Here’s the first: about 49 percent of young Minnesotans enter a four-year college after high school, but only 22 percent of jobs in our state require a bachelor’s degree or more. In other words, there...

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AchieveMpls helps students find great jobs that don’t require a four-year degree

Lots of Minnesota companies are looking high and low for skilled welders. They have an ally in AchieveMpls. The mission of AchieveMpls—the strategic non-profit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools—is to ensure the district’s graduates are ready to pursue their best career and post-secondary options. When a student shows an interest in an occupation like welding, its staff connects him or her with professionals in the field, and then assists the student in identifying—and applying to—the optimal training program. In the past, the emphasis has been on getting a two or four-year college degree. But in 2016, AchieveMpls launched an innovative program...

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Why No Erasing of Blaine’s Name Too?

Activists across the country have been protesting venerable names inscribed on college buildings, as well as the identities of old soldiers on sculpted horseback in village squares, and even the olden name of a lake in Minneapolis, as they view those names and identities as unacceptable symbols and reminders of America’s often ugly racial history.  Think, for example, of South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun, a 19th Century slavery proponent whose name has not only been condemned, but erased from places such as the largest lake in a beautiful chain of them, as witness the newly named Mde Maka Ska. Despite their...

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Edina Teachers Take Sides In Partisan Politics

Zephyrus is "the official news site of Edina High School." Students supply most of the content, but on November 22, 2016, 80 teachers--a remarkable number--signed an editorial addressed to the student body. The context for the editorial was the presidential election that had concluded two weeks earlier. Over the last week, in the wake of a disturbing example of racial hate speech at our school and a historically divisive election, you've heard and read a lot of calls for unity for the school and the nation. This letter is not one of them. The editorial's theme is that "[u]nity is not a...

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How Many Truly Need a Four-Year College Degree?

Every day brings more news about the challenges businesses expect to face filling jobs as baby boomers continue marching toward retirement. Some of those opportunities require a traditional four-year college degree, but not as many as you might expect. That's just one of the takeaways from American Experiment's initiative focusing on great jobs that do not require a four-year degree. The Center's Kathy Kersten recently wrote a column on the program for the Bloomington Sun Current and sister publications. Many families would probably approach their teenagers’ post-secondary planning differently if they knew two key facts. Here’s the first: about 49 percent of...

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The Educational Value of Beautiful and Physically Demanding Things

What follows is propelled by Center of the American Experiment’s multi-year project “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree: Good News for Students, Parents, and Employers.” As a rule, I stay miles away from proposing that high schools expand their curricula to address assorted lists of societal problems.  I’ve been in meetings, for instance, when participants have said it’s essential that students take a required course regarding the personal and societal benefits of marriage.  An avid proponent of marriage as I may be, I’ve argued against these suggestions on two grounds: Such additions would further clutter what frequently are overstuffed curricula already. ...

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