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School Choice Scholarships Expand Opportunity for All Students

Mitch Pearlstein and American Experiment have led the quest for real school choice since Mitch founded the Center 27 years ago. We applaud the great work Mitch has done, and because of his efforts, the Center is hopeful Minnesota will give students and parents more voice and choice in the near future. Commentary by Reynolds-Anthony Harris in the Star Tribune shows he is hopeful, too. School choice offers many ways to help all students receive a great education. And Minnesota has the opportunity to give more young people access to the best educational setting. ...

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College Student Fees Targeted By Youngest MN Lawmaker

Student fees at Minnesota's public universities and colleges used to be something of an afterthought in the whirl of registering for classes. But over the years those fees have become a concern for many students already hit with perpetual tuition hikes. The cost of fees automatically imposed in addition to tuition for students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus has risen to $432 per semester. But the Star Tribune reports help is on the way for students who don't need or want the services funded by their fees. Fees that help pay for health and recreation centers, school newspapers, student...

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“White Privilege” Checklist on Display in U of MN Residence Hall

Students at the University of Minnesota can now determine whether or not they have “white privilege.” A display board with an 11-point checklist to identify “white privilege” was found hanging in a U of MN’s residence hall. Evan Christenson, a current student at the university and a self-declared liberal, photographed the board and told Campus Reform the display “crosses the line” and proves there’s a “double standard” concerning free speech on campus. “When it attacks the individual and not the idea, there is a problem," Christenson said. Targeting one race and victimizing the other will not result in meaningful discussions on...

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Is Gustavus College’s “Fake News” Guide Reliable or Biased?

Gustavus Adolphus is teaching students how to fight fake news. There is concern, though, that the college's library encourages students to trust media outlets from only one end of the political spectrum. According to Gustavus, the “fake news” guide helps students spot fake news, gives them tips on fact checking, and supplies a chart to tell them which news sources they should follow. But the “best” sources include some eyebrow-raising choices. While Gustavus’ library does admit “determining the ‘best’ sources to read will always have some degree of subjectivism,” its guide doesn’t give students much wiggle room to think for...

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A Teachable Moment for State Teaching Board

For years the Minnesota Board of Teaching has largely ignored licensing reforms passed by legislators. The reforms were aimed in part at easing the statewide teacher shortage by speeding up the process for licensing out-of-state teachers moving here.  The changes were also designed to attract a more diverse teaching corps to address Minnesota's embarrassing achievement gap in inner city classrooms. Teachers went to court to get the state agency to follow laws passed to streamline the licensing system. The Minnesota State Legislative Auditor last year issued a critical report on the Board of Teaching and Minnesota Department of Education's practices. Legislators...

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Former MN Teacher of the Year Gets the Boot Under Last In, First Out System

School’s out early for Thomas Rademacher, the 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Despite being awarded the state’s highest educational honor by MN's largest teachers union and honored by President Obama at the White House in 2015, Rademacher recently lost his job under the Last In, First Out (LIFO) policy. Under this layoff system, seniority trumps effectiveness. And while Rademacher’s effectiveness in the classroom won him the award, it wasn’t enough to save his job from the status quo....

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Why 4-Year-Olds Should Beat Governor Dayton Back with an Olive Branch

The Governor’s office, DFL leaders and the teachers union, Education Minnesota, have made it clear that once again, one of their top priorities remains “Universal Pre-K” in Minnesota. Unless Senators want to fund their political opponents, let’s hope Senators follow the House’s lead and fund school readiness instead. It's a respectable start. ...

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Political Correctness and “Alternative Bureaucracies”

I’ve just read the most insightful essay I’ve ever seen on a key source of political correctness in American higher education and the intellectual and other absurdities that have flooded ever after. The author is Neil Gilbert, the Milton and Gertrude Chernin Professor of Social Welfare and Social Services at the University of California, Berkeley.  His article “Institutionalized Discontent,” published last year, is one of his more than 140 articles and 32 books.  With such a history, you might think that (1) as holder of an endowed chair in social welfare and social services (sorry for the italics), Professor Gilbert might...

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Students at Gustavus: White Lab Rats?

Provocative posters were put up by a student group at Gustavus Adolphus College on Tuesday in “an effort to start a dialogue about diversity and immigration.” Except students didn’t know the posters, and their reactions to the posters, were part of a “social experiment.” And that didn't go over well. The signs said: “A notice to all white Americans. It is your civic duty to report any and all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They are criminals. America is a white nation.”...

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St. Olaf Hate Threatens Conservative Students: At Least Two Leave School

Anti-Trump hysteria has swept over St. Olaf College.  According to an article in Manitou Messenger, the student newspaper, many conservatives face a hostile environment and report they have been violently threatened because of their beliefs.  Consequently, these students “keep their heads down” in class, hid their political beliefs, and at least two are leaving the school because of such an ugly atmosphere on campus.  Drudge even picked up a story on the situation written by higher education news website The College Fix. In the Classroom “I’m fine being political with a one-on-one discussion,” Larson said, “but when everyone else is liberal in...

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