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Hear Denisha Merriweather’s Story: Why school choice is still the best answer to Minnesota’s achievement gap

Meet Denisha Merriweather from Jacksonville, Florida. She failed third grade twice, and got into all kinds of trouble. But she caught a break: she moved in with her Godmother who found a school that figured out how to reach her. Denisha says School Choice saved her life. Why don’t Minnesota kids have the same opportunity as Florida kids? ...

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Where Does the Idea Everyone Should Go to College Come From?

The astute Howard Root had a very good column in the Business section of the Star Tribune the other day (July 10) with the forceful headline, “We’re Not Doing Students Favors by Overselling College Degrees.”  The recently retired CEO of Vascular Solutions, a medical device company he started and ran for 20 years, one of Root’s most effective points was when he noted that his firm “consistently had unfilled job openings for non-degreed technicians in machine design at salaries well above $50,000.”  But when it came to their “entry-level marketing associate program,” Vascular Solutions “received at least 50 applications from...

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Edina Parents and Students Rebel Against Politics in Classroom

American Experiment's recent post on left-wing politics permeating the halls and classrooms of Edina High School following the 2016 election has gotten a strong reaction. In it, John Hinderaker revealed that 80 Edina High School teachers crossed the line, signing what amounted to a left-wing political manifesto following the election of Donald Trump as president. Since then, parents and students at Edina High School have stepped forward to provide more evidence of the extent to which leftist ideology has invaded the Edina school system, even down to the kindergarten level. Dozens of parents, students and residents have responded via email and Facebook with instances...

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Innovative Dunwoody program helping women and minorities find great jobs

Minnesota’s shortage of skilled workers is causing employers in many fields to scramble to find new sources of talent, including women and minorities. Dunwoody College of Technology is a great place to look. Female and minority students now make up 14 percent and 19 percent, respectively, of Dunwoody’s student body. The college’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) has played a central role in attracting these young people to technical occupations of a kind many haven’t traditionally sought out. Recently, the Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony profiled Dunwoody’s YCAP Program, which was named after the late Leon Rankin, a 1960s Dunwoody grad and one...

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Kersten gets message out that terrific careers don’t require a costly four-year degree: Op-ed reaches 28 community newspapers

The Center’s Great Jobs project aims, above all, to get the message to young people and parents that many terrific careers don’t require a costly four-year college degree. In recent weeks, 28 suburban and exurban newspapers have run an op-ed by Katherine Kersten that makes that point concisely. Katherine points out that many families would likely approach their teenagers’ post-secondary planning differently if they knew two key facts: Here’s the first: about 49 percent of young Minnesotans enter a four-year college after high school, but only 22 percent of jobs in our state require a bachelor’s degree or more. In other words, there...

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AchieveMpls helps students find great jobs that don’t require a four-year degree

Lots of Minnesota companies are looking high and low for skilled welders. They have an ally in AchieveMpls. The mission of AchieveMpls—the strategic non-profit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools—is to ensure the district’s graduates are ready to pursue their best career and post-secondary options. When a student shows an interest in an occupation like welding, its staff connects him or her with professionals in the field, and then assists the student in identifying—and applying to—the optimal training program. In the past, the emphasis has been on getting a two or four-year college degree. But in 2016, AchieveMpls launched an innovative program...

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Why No Erasing of Blaine’s Name Too?

Activists across the country have been protesting venerable names inscribed on college buildings, as well as the identities of old soldiers on sculpted horseback in village squares, and even the olden name of a lake in Minneapolis, as they view those names and identities as unacceptable symbols and reminders of America’s often ugly racial history.  Think, for example, of South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun, a 19th Century slavery proponent whose name has not only been condemned, but erased from places such as the largest lake in a beautiful chain of them, as witness the newly named Mde Maka Ska. Despite their...

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Edina Teachers Take Sides In Partisan Politics

Zephyrus is "the official news site of Edina High School." Students supply most of the content, but on November 22, 2016, 80 teachers--a remarkable number--signed an editorial addressed to the student body. The context for the editorial was the presidential election that had concluded two weeks earlier. Over the last week, in the wake of a disturbing example of racial hate speech at our school and a historically divisive election, you've heard and read a lot of calls for unity for the school and the nation. This letter is not one of them. The editorial's theme is that "[u]nity is not a...

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