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Teachers’ Union President Says School Choice is Racism

Randi Weingarten—the union boss of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)—took her criticism of school choice to a new low in a fiery speech she gave at AFT’s annual convention in Washington, D.C. Her baffling statements labeled anyone who supports alternatives to the traditional public school system as racist. And she claimed school choice programs are “only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.” School choice empowers families and children. But it threatens the teachers' union and Ms. Weingarten’s power....

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“I Come to Mostly Praise Higher Education, Not Bury It”

As a young guy, I had planned on making my life in higher education – or the “academy” as I liked to say – not that things worked out back then.  Nearly four decades later I can’t deny I was disappointed and often angry when things didn’t mesh.  But what I can say is that I am exceedingly pleased my career has worked out the way it has, as the sense of satisfaction I’ve derived from conceiving and then leading Center of the American Experiment for a long time has been grander, I’m confident, than any fulfillment I could have...

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Kathy Kersten’s Better Bloggerville Welcome

Whenever I have an op-ed published in the Star Tribune I debate with myself whether I should read comments about the piece on the Strib’s blog afterwards.  Despite knowing, without a sliver of doubt, that some number of readers will suggest I’m a rotten human being in the employ of immorally rich capitalists and nasty plutocrats, I’m invariably curious enough to take a look, where the pattern routinely goes something like this: Blogger No. 1: “Pearlstein’s article is a piece of trash.” Blogger No. 2: “No, it’s not.  If there’s any trash around here, it’s all your dumb liberal ideas.” After which I’m...

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MN Dept. of Education Approves Controversial Transgender Toolkit

[caption id="attachment_7121" align="alignright" width="300"] Opponents of the toolkit wore red, supporters wore purple.[/caption] A Minnesota Department of Education council voted on and approved a “transgender toolkit” during its Wednesday evening meeting. The controversial 10-page document— “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students”— drew a crowd of more than 200 people. LGBT activists rallied around the toolkit, stating transgender and gender nonconforming students needed more support to combat “bullying and harassment” in schools. (Yet, ironically, several of their advocates talked over the end remarks made by toolkit opponents, snarkily telling them "thank you," "goodbye," "you're done," "sit...

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K-12 Gender Toolkit Puts Kids at Risk

On July 19, a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) council will vote on a “transgender toolkit,” which—if adopted—will be distributed to all public K-12 schools across our state. The toolkit pressures schools to allow “transgender or gender nonconforming” students to choose whatever bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams align with their “gender identity.” More than that, it threatens parental rights by urging school officials to report parents who are not viewed as sufficiently supportive of their child’s self-expressed “gender identity” to government authorities for “child neglect or harm.” But American Experiment's Katherine Kersten raises fundamental questions about the state's approach to the controversial...

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Brainerd Teacher Faces Suspension Over Trump Yearbook Controversy

Summer school in Brainerd has included an unusual academic exercise: An investigation into how a student's threat to behead President Trump got included in the Class of 2017's yearbook. The over-the-top anti-Trump comments in the annual attracted Secret Service attention. The school's yearbook adviser, art teacher Joe Wagner, was put on paid administrative leave, pending results of an outside investigation conducted by a Minneapolis law firm.  The report was completed in June, leading to news that Wagner will be suspended for five days and removed from his position as yearbook adviser in the the north central Minnesota school district, according to the...

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Kersten: Put children’s safety ahead of ideology

This op-ed appeared July 18, 2017 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The number of children who report being unhappy with their biological sex has exploded in the last 10 years. Parents, school officials and public leaders are all deliberating about how to deal with the challenging issues raised by kids who say they wish to live as the opposite sex — who think of themselves as transgender. So far, the focus has been on “rights-based” disputes — which bathrooms and locker rooms students should use at school, for example. But the question goes deeper. One thing is clear: The goal of all...

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MN Education Dept. to Approve Radical Transgender School Guidelines

On July 19, a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) council will vote on the adoption of a “transgender toolkit” for our state’s K-12 public schools. The tool kit pressures schools to allow transgender or gender non-conforming students to choose whatever bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams align with their “gender identity.” (pp. 9-10) Students can gain access to the facilities and teams of the opposite sex even if they are only “socially,” not “medically transitioning.”  (p. 4) But the toolkit does much more. For example, it threatens parental rights in an unprecedented way by encouraging schools to report parents who are not...

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Transgender Toolkit for MN Schools [UPDATE]

The MN Department of Education’s (MDE) School Safety Technical Assistance Council is a week away from approving its controversial transgender and gender nonconforming “resource toolkit.” The initial 29-page document that I wrote about purported to be a compilation of “best practices that schools can use” to address gender identity and focused on a contentious Title IX transgender policy imposed by the Obama administration that is no longer in effect. The second version of “A Toolkit for Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students” — now 10 pages in length — still informs schools they “need to ensure”...

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The Rebellion Against Left-Wing Politics in the Schools Continues, and It Isn’t Only Edina [Updated]

We wrote here and here about left-wing indoctrination replacing education in the Edina public schools. The stories that were told by Edina students and parents were shocking. In response to those posts, parents and students have continued to blow the whistle on propaganda masquerading as instruction. An Edina High School student writes about the hysteria that gripped the school during the 2016 presidential election campaign: I felt like the school was descending into mass hysteria during the election. Some of the teachers I respected most thought it was their moral duty to come out in favor of Hillary Clinton, which absolutely disgusted...

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