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Dayton Vetoes Education Bill, Continues Push for Universal Pre-K

The clock is ticking for the Legislature and Governor Dayton to agree on and pass an education bill. On Friday, Dayton vetoed a nearly $18.58 billion education proposal, making it clear he will continue his extraordinary push for a universal pre-kindergarten program because it is “important in closing educational gaps.” Minnesota struggles to close educational gaps after 13 grades. Herding all 4-year-olds into another grade will neither level the playing field between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers nor be the full game changer at-risk students need....

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Calling All Graduates! Great Jobs Without A Four-Year Degree

It's that time of year again--graduation. Graduates of the Class of 2017 have already made up their minds for the most part on what comes next. For many, perhaps even most, there was never any doubt about enrolling in a four-year college or university. But there are alternative programs that lead to well-paying jobs and fulfilling careers in high-tech health care, the trades and other fields--without piling up a mountain of debt. That's the focus of American Experiment's recently launched "Great Jobs Without A Four-Year Degree" initiative. The Center's Mitch Pearlstein will be in Staples next Tuesday to discuss what it...

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St. Paul Schools Blame Teacher for Getting Beaten Up and Disabled

These days more than ever teachers need to know school administrators have their back. But a case of a beaten-up teacher shows St. Paul Public Schools care more about political correctness than providing safety for both faculty and students. The Central High teacher battered by a student in a lunchroom attack in 2015 was in U.S. District Court Thursday hoping to keep alive his civil suit against the St. Paul Public Schools. John Ekblad alleges that the district failed to protect him from violence when he tried to intervene in a fight and was slammed onto a table and choked into unconsciousness by a...

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“Even if You Do Go to College, Learn a Trade in the Summers”

“The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman playing Benjamin Braddock, came out a scary 50 years ago, in 1967.  Yes, it featured Ann Bancroft playing Mrs. Robinson.  And yes, Katharine Ross played Ben’s true love, Elaine, who just happened to be Mrs. Robinson’s daughter.  But if you’re a truly practical person, I would like to think that before recalling any of the beautiful women who headlined Ben’s complicated summer, your first memory is of the career advice he received from a family friend first thing in the movie. Mr. McGuire: “I just want to say one word to you.  Just one word.” Benjamin: “Yes,...

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How to Rein in State Pre-K Program While Helping At-Risk Kids

It's coming down to the wire again at the state legislature with Gov. Dayton going all-out once more for expanding Pre-K funding. But American Experiment's Kim Crockett points out in the Duluth News Tribune that it may not be designed so much for the kids as for the teachers' union. The governor's office and the statewide teachers' union Education Minnesota have made it clear that, once again, one of the top DFL priorities is universal pre-kindergarten classes. What started as a private scholarship program for at-risk kids has morphed into a nursery-school pilot program at our K-12 schools. And now the...

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Gov. Dayton should take olive branch offered on pre-K

Duluth News Tribune The governor's office and the statewide teachers' union Education Minnesota have made it clear that, once again, one of the top DFL priorities is universal pre-kindergarten classes. What started as a private scholarship program for at-risk kids has morphed into a nursery-school pilot program at our K-12 schools. And now the governor wants all 4-years-olds in school. This is the issue that forced a special session last year. In order to get a K-12 education bill signed, the Legislature provided $25 million to serve 74 school districts and 3,300 preschool-aged kids under a pilot program. Children as young as...

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Center Launches Major New Education Program

Wednesday afternoon, American Experiment launched its "Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree" project with a kickoff event at the Minnesota History Center. The keynote speech was delivered by Nick Eberstadt, author of Men Without Work, and Kathy Kersten and Mitch Pearlstein laid out some of their plans for the project. [caption id="attachment_6303" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Nick Eberstadt, speaking art Wednesday's kickoff event[/caption] The event was well-attended despite heavy rain and traffic delays. Guests included educators, union representatives, corporate executives, employees of relevant state agencies, and others. The Star Tribune has a good report on the event: [T]he problem continues to grow in the state...

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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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