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Teachers Union Urges Resistance to DeVos & “Cruel” Education Budget

The national teachers union American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continues to "sound the alarm” on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. In a strongly worded call to action email, AFT President Randi Weingarten labels Secretary DeVos as a “public school denier” and someone who “doesn’t care” and is “ill-prepared” to be education secretary. Weingarten then goes after the Trump-DeVos budget proposal and urges readers to join forces with the union and “oppose this cruel and catastrophic budget.” The resistance DeVos has faced confirms her biggest fight for educational choice is against well-funded unions who oppose anyone that threatens their political power....

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Great Jobs for Grads Without a Four-Year Degree

American Experiment recently launched a new initiative called "Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree." It's a multi-year project to encourage parents, students and educators to consider alternatives to college. In the process, we hope to build recognition of and support for other routes to satisfying jobs and fulfilling careers via the many options available throughout Minnesota. With the Class of 2017 about to set off on their own, American Experiment's Mitch Pearlstein shared writer Matthew Crawford's wisdom on "Great Jobs" in a column for the Mankato Free Press. Crawford owns a motorcycle repair shop in Virginia, as well as a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the...

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Transgender Toolkit for MN Schools Based on Controversial Obama Rule

A controversial transgender and gender nonconforming “resource toolkit” drafted by the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) School Safety Technical Assistance Council recently caught the attention of 67 Minnesota legislators. The 29 page document — “Toolkit to Ensure Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” — purports to be a compilation of “best practices that schools can use" to address gender identity. The toolkit is based on a controversial Title IX transgender policy imposed by the Obama administration that is no longer in effect. ...

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Dayton sacrifices children on the altar of government unions, again

Dayton has tanked Opportunity Scholarships and from what I hear this morning, is threatening to veto a very, very generous spending package for K-12 schools because the bill did not fund his signature pilot program that adds a new grade for four-year-olds. I had hoped all that spending could be ransom money to save our kids. ...

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MN High School Yearbook on Trump: “I would like to behead him” [Updated]

The Brainerd High School Warriors are on the warpath against Donald Trump. Several aggressive comments in the newly released Class of 2017 yearbook target Trump, including one saying "I would like to behead him." But when word gets out about the inflammatory comments included in the Class of 2017's yearbook, it may be parents going on the warpath. Brainerd is the county seat of Crow Wing County, which voted overwhelmingly for Trump by 32 percent with a whopping 92 percent voter turnout. (Click image to enlarge) The 2017 yearbook edition just out features a section on Donald Trump's election. Under a heading of...

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K-12 Education Omnibus & Educator Licensing Bills: VETOED

Spending on K-12 education was due to increase automatically by about $800 million next biennium; the GOP bill increased spending by an additional $300 million (to $1.1 billion) bringing the K-12 budget for the next biennium to a whopping $18.58 billion. But it wasn’t enough. Dayton vetoed the bill. The House and Senate also passed a bill to overhaul Minnesota’s overly confusing and complex teacher licensing system. Despite passing both chambers with bipartisan support, the governor vetoed this proposal, as well....

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MN Teacher Licensing Bill Passed by House & Senate, Headed to Dayton

A bill to overhaul Minnesota’s teacher licensing system is headed to Governor Dayton’s desk. The Legislature passed the bill on a 76-54 vote in the House and a 36-31 vote in the Senate. Whether Dayton will sign the proposal or not remains unclear. But why wouldn’t the governor sign the bill? The current teacher licensing system is overly confusing and complex. State leaders are confident streamlining the licensing process will help attract and retain effective educators. And with a troublesome teacher shortage hitting Minnesota hard, fixing a broken licensure system is a long overdue step toward solving the complicated shortage...

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Lesson Learned! School Board Stands Up to Near-Mob of Protesters

Another school board meeting, another angry near-mob of protesters. But judging from the outcome, members of the Richfield School Board has learned a lesson from the intimidation tactics employed recently against the Minneapolis Park Board and Minneapolis School Board. Dozens of members of the so-called Social Justice Education Movement shouted down board members, surrounding the board as members considered firing an employee for work-related issues. The crowd claimed Jessi Martinez was sacked for seeking to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt last winter in the Star Tribune account of the showdown. More than 70 protesters from the Social Justice Education Movement yelled “shame...

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Dayton is vetoing good education legislation. We need your help.

Dayton is pushing hard to gain more ground on expanding K-12 to become E-12, and making it normal for three and four-year-old tots to be in our schools. It is very easy to send an email to Gov. Dayton and legislators using the action alert. Your voice is critical in showing we have a strong network of supporters across the state....

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St. Paul Teacher Seeks to Hold District, and Students, Accountable for Assault

The lawsuit states Benner believed the district's racial equity policy was not holding African American students accountable for behavior issues as opposed to students of other races, and that policy was causing African American students to act out more. The lawsuit quotes Benner's statement at the school board meeting as saying, "Dr. King would be very disappointed because here we are 51 years later and the concept of the matter at hand is skin color."...

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