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Survey Says: MN teachers have heard very little, if anything, about Janus case

The Supreme Court has up to another month to rule on Janus v. AFSCME, a case asking the High Court to overturn a 1977 decision that forces government employees to pay agency fees to a union. The court’s upcoming ruling could significantly impact millions of public workers, including thousands of teachers in the state of Minnesota. But as of April 2018, 70 percent of Minnesota teachers had heard not much (27 percent) or nothing (43 percent) about Janus v. AFSCME, according to a national survey by Educators for Excellence (E4E). This shows how important it is to help our teachers understand...

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Good News: Assaulted Para-Teacher Will Recover. Bad News: Schools are Really Dangerous for Teachers

Where is the teachers’ union? Teachers are being assaulted. At work. Where is their union? Is it calling for tough discipline, or throwing kids out of school who hurt and maim teachers? Is it demanding that police reports are filed? ...

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Pension Funding: the Pension Problem Will Return, Again

The pension bill, which Gov. Mark Dayton supports, is expected to become law though some lawmakers are stunned at the growing expense. Pensions are supposed to be covered by employer and employee contributions that are then invested by the state, but Minnesota stopped paying the full cost of pensions in the early 2000s. Imagine if you did that with your mortgage and then tried to catch up to avoid foreclosure....

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Gov. Mark Dayton: holding his breath until he turns blue at elementary school

It is outrageous that a governor would subject children to his political temper tantrum.  Citizens must object to this injection of partisan politics in our K-12 taxpayer supported schools. Dayton can read books to children and encourage on them on their way but no governor should ever use our schools and children as partisan playthings. Shame on Gov. Mark Dayton; shame on the principal for allowing the school and children to be used.  His office number is 651. 201. 3400. Call his office and tell him to knock it off. (And to sign the tax bill already.)   Here is the story in...

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Teachers Agree: Teachers’ unions make it “harder to fire bad teachers”

One reoccurring criticism of teachers’ unions is that they protect “bad” teachers­—those “how are you still here?” teachers. But do teachers themselves share this same perception? According to a recent poll, they do. Teacher quality is a vital determinant of student achievement. There is a way to keep good teachers and remove inadequate ones. But the status quo needs to change first. And teachers are calling out the union for getting in the way. ...

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One Year Alternatives to College: Educational institutions for the “digital age”

Students who want to avoid college debt, while developing highly prized job skills, are increasingly turning to a new sort of educational institution—one that bills itself as a “college alternative for the digital age.” In a year or less, these schools train students in in-demand skills that lead to well-paying high-tech jobs. Students generally leave the program debt-free. They pay a low tuition either using money they earn during apprenticeships or from earnings after they obtain a job....

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An Expansion of Educational Opportunities Formerly Hard to Envision

In searching the other day for updated, albeit mundane college data I came across, as the statistical gods sometimes allow, truly remarkable enrollment data I had never seen before.  (Before going any further, I understand if your interest in reading any more of this is tepid, but I would urge you to do so, as the numbers show that lower-income students are making more progress in at least starting college than is commonly assumed.  This is good news.)...

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True Teacher Appreciation: Restoring educators’ voice and choice

Teachers were celebrated last week during National Teacher Appreciation Week. But even though the five days of nationally honoring educators has come and gone, teachers can and should continue to be recognized and supported outside the second week of May. In order to acknowledge what they really need—and deserve—we need to listen to their voices and restore respect for their choices. A new project called Educated Teachers MN will equip teachers with resources and knowledge to help them better understand issues they have asked for more voice on—from student behavior and paperwork to union membership and pension plans. It will...

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