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Young Communists of Minnetonka

There is a large rock outside Minnetonka High School, where painting the rock apparently is a tradition. Last week, some students painted an American flag on the rock. They also added patriotic messages on the sidewalk, like a "Don't Tread On Me" flag. That brought a response from the Minnetonka Leftist Union, a high school group. The Minnetonka Leftists proudly display the hammer and sickle of Communism as well as the fascist "A" symbol on their Twitter feed: This is the Minnetonka Leftists' tweet about the American flag: Fascists covered the rock and sprayed the sidewalk with militaristic and nationalistic symbols. A...

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Minnesota’s “Brave New World” of education

On April 26, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) announced that it has reached “collaborative agreements” with 10 school districts and charter schools which it claims discriminate against black and Native American students in disciplinary actions. The department bases its claims on the fact that black and Indian students in these schools are suspended at higher rates than their proportion in the student population. In the department’s view, such demographic discipline “disparities” must be due to teacher bias, rather than actual differences in student behavior. ...

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Coming Soon: Greater Chaos in Our Classrooms

In Fall 2017, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) sent letters to 43 school districts and charter schools across the state, announcing that they are under investigation for racial disparities in student discipline rates. Black and American Indian students in these districts are disciplined at higher rates than their proportion in the student population—and the department assumes that racist policies and practices are to blame. MDHR has declined to make public either the letters or the school districts targeted, citing ongoing investigations. At last, however, we have learned the identity of one such district: The Duluth Public Schools. The Duluth News...

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Suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg

Influential conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Suicide of the West, was released this week, and his sober essay in National Review, adapted from the book, can be found here.  His main point is that our “suicide” is not accidental or happenstance, it is a deliberate choice we are making.  Here is a summary of his important points: He says poverty is man’s natural environment, and, somehow, about 300 years ago, “we stumbled into a different world,” one that was unnatural and accidental, that he calls “the Miracle.” Today “Western civilization generally, and America particularly, is on a suicidal path. The threats...

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Teachers’ Union pressures teachers to sign renewal agreement: should you sign?

In anticipation of losing the Janus case, the union is trying to do two things: first, it wants to lock in your membership dues. Note the language in the renewal form: it authorizes dues deductions “irrespective of union membership.” What does that mean? Second, the union is trying to update its database so it has full contact information including the last four digits of your social security number, your cell phone and personal email address. The union does not need that data to represent you. ...

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Rush City’s Dennis Frandsen offers free college for his hometown’s high school seniors

As Minnesota grapples with an increasingly urgent workforce skills gap, stories like Minnesota banker Dennis Frandsen’s offer inspiration. Frandsen—whose business holdings include banks and manufacturing companies that employ 1,000 people in four states—recently offered to award the entire senior class at Rush City High School with two years of free college at Pine Technical and Community College....

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Gov. Dayton’s relentless pursuit of our small children, and union revenues: Will the GOP hold the line?

If Dayton succeeds, he shifts the culture even closer to the socialist ideal of shaping little hearts and minds with the state’s approved education, re-orients our family schedules and budgets to dependency on the state for child care, and the big bonus? It produces thousands of new public employees who will, at least under current law, be forced to pay union dues to get and keep the job. ...

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NAEP and the Imperative of Breaking Academic Sweats

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) just released its most recent results, for 2017.  How did the country’s fourth and eighth graders do in reading and math?  More-or-less the same as they’ve done over the last decade, which is not great news, especially given all the reforming going on. What about Minnesota?  How did fourth and eighth graders here do?  As in the past, better than the national average, though our students’ scores were essentially flat too, which is not great news again, as was the size of the continuing chasm in the state between white students and large numbers...

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The Frequent Fright of Student Debt

When students take out, say, $30,000 in loans, do they think that’s all they’re obliged to pay back?  Or do they properly factor in interest and realize they will wind up paying $40,000, give or take?  As I wrote recently, I have no proof, but my guess is most students, in the excitement and/or fear of it all, somehow overlook the reality of interest and focus on the smaller number. ...

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The political ideology favored by teachers’ unions is not reflective of all members

Teachers’ unions are one of the largest political campaign spenders in the country. But the members these unions represent do not get to choose who or what their hard-earned money supports. Union dues are spent on political advocacy that does not reflect the beliefs or priorities of many of its members. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop the union from advancing its own agenda....

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