Minnesota Schools Given Possible Scenarios for the Fall

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) gave additional guidance for what school could look like in the fall.

The guidance recommended school districts plan for three possible scenarios: in-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with social distance and capacity limits; or distance learning only.

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Commentary: Liberal Group ‘Veterans Education Success’ Seeks to Re-Instate Obama-Era Education Policy Targeting Private Colleges

A new TV ad campaign seeks to overturn a key reform of the Trump administration. In the name of veterans, the campaign attempts to lure President Trump into breaking his word, endangering educational institutions in a difficult time.

In an ad by “Veterans Education Success,” we see servicemembers in uniform, overseas, and hugging their children, and shaking hands with President Trump. The images remind me of the strong support the President has had among active and retired military, who voted for him by 60-34 percent in 2016.

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Commentary: The CDC’s Guidelines for Back-to-School Under COVID Sound Traumatizing

When schools reopen in the US amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they will be even more restrictive than they already were. Schools have long controlled students’ movements and imposed constraints on where they can go, when, and with whom. With virus concerns, those controls will increase in quantity and intensity.

NPR recently proclaimed that “disruption from the pandemic constitutes an ‘adverse childhood experience’ for every American child.” While many children are sad to be away from their friends and activities, being home with their family members for a prolonged period of time is hardly an “adverse childhood experience” for most American children. Returning to schools with extreme virus control and social distancing measures, however, could very well be traumatic for many kids.

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Poll: 40 percent of Americans More Likely to Home-School, Enroll Children in Virtual Schools After Lockdown

A new RealClear Opinion Research poll of 2,122 registered voters found that a strong majority surveyed support school choice and 40 percent are more likely to pursue homeschooling opportunities after COVID-19 restrictions end.

Slightly more than 40 percent polled said they are more likely to home school or virtual school after lockdowns. Before the coronavirus shutdown, roughly 4 percent of K-12 students were in home education settings.

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Commentary: Educators Should Learn from Homeschoolers, Not Antagonize Them

The editors at Harvard Review must be surprised at the reaction they provoked with their magazine’s recent article, “The Risks of Homeschooling.” For an issue that concerns “roughly 3 percent to 4 percent of school-age children,” the great profusion of responses from every corner of the internet would convince a person that it is really 96 percent to 97 percent who are homeschoolers—which might currently be the case since nearly every school has closed down for the year to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus.

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Commentary: That Americans Were Poorly Educated Before Mass Government Schooling Is a Myth

Parents the world over are dealing with massive adjustments in their children’s education that they could not have anticipated just three months ago. To one degree or another, pandemic-induced school closures are creating the “mass homeschooling” that FEE’s senior education fellow Kerry McDonald predicted two months ago. Who knows, with millions of youngsters absent from government school classrooms, maybe education will become as good as it was before the government ever got involved.

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Commentary: Harvard Magazine Is Wrong When it Called for a ‘Presumptive Ban’ on Homeschooling

As a Harvard alum, longtime donor, education researcher, and homeschooling mother of four children in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I was shocked to read the article, “The Risks of Homeschooling,” by Erin O’Donnell in Harvard Magazine’s new May-June 2020 issue. Aside from its biting, one-sided portrayal of homeschooling families that mischaracterizes the vast majority of today’s homeschoolers, it is filled with misinformation and incorrect data. Here are five key points that challenge the article’s primary claim that the alleged “risks for children—and society—in homeschooling” necessitate a “presumptive ban on the practice”:

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Commentary: Education Entrepreneurs Are the Only Ones Who Can Disrupt the Status Quo

Transforming entrenched systems and industries comes through disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship. Coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation is the process by which new ideas and inventions create value and ultimately topple existing competitors. A visionary individual or group spots opportunity and develops new solutions that meet consumer demand faster, better, and more cheaply. This innovation improves our lives through efficiency and cost-effectiveness, allowing us to keep more of our hard-earned money with better service and satisfaction.

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Commentary: Now Is the Perfect Time to Cut Education Spending

Leftists love to label those who favor cutting education spending as “anti-children,” “anti-public school,” and basically, “anti-education.” That’s because leftists are the ones benefiting most from the increases in education spending that have, until recently, been mandated like clockwork.

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Commentary: Coronavirus May Lead to ‘Mass Homeschooling’

As fears of coronavirus mount around the globe, cities and countries are taking action to prevent the new respiratory virus strain from spreading. While the virus has not yet hit hard in the United States, government officials and health agencies have enacted response plans, corporations are halting travel abroad, and education leaders are grappling with what a widespread domestic outbreak of the virus could mean for schoolchildren.

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Commentary: Our Schools and the Sexualization of the Young

In “Sexualization, Pornography, and Grooming in the Schools,” Amy Contrada reports on the introduction of “comprehensive sex education (CSE) into our schools. After reading her article and following some of the links, which contain graphic content, the word that first came to mind was YUCK! (Other words popped into the brain pan as well, but it’s best to not mention them.)

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Commentary: Families Today Have More Schooling Options Than Ever, But Nowhere Near Enough

I am a glass-half-full kind of person, so while we could focus on the criticisms and some of the setbacks related to expanding educational freedom to more families, there is much more to celebrate than to lament. As National School Choice Week ends, it’s a great time to spotlight the growing variety and abundance of education options available to parents and young people.

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Commentary: ‘We’ Should Not Regulate Homeschooling

The desire to control other people’s ideas and behaviors, particularly when they challenge widely-held beliefs and customs, is one of human nature’s most nefarious tendencies. Socrates was sentenced to death for stepping out of line; Galileo almost was. But such extreme examples are outnumbered by the many more common, pernicious acts of trying to control people by limiting their individual freedom and autonomy. Sometimes these acts target individuals who dare to be different, but often they target entire groups who simply live differently. On both the political right and left, efforts to control others emerge in different flavors of limiting freedom—often with “safety” as the rationale. Whether it’s calls for Muslim registries or homeschool registries, fear of freedom is the common denominator.

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Commentary: Students’ Test Scores Unchanged After Decades of Federal Intervention in Education

Federal “Highly Qualified Teacher” mandates. Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Smaller learning communities. Improving Teacher Quality State Grants. Reading First. Early Reading First. The dozens of other federal programs authorized via No Child Left Behind. School Improvement Grants. Race to the Top. Common Core.

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Activists Want to Abolish Your Kid’s Honors Classes, Cite ‘White Toxicity’ and ‘Supremacist’ Values of High Achievement

School systems across the country are seeking to abolish honors classes, teach how math has been used to oppress people, and let truant students into gifted schools. Advocates say the moves are aimed at diminishing an achievement gap between demographic groups.

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Commentary: Five Reasons the Chicago Teachers’ Strike Is Immoral

The Chicago Public School system’s 361,314 registered students are starting their tenth day at home this morning, as their teachers union strikes for its fourteenth cumulative day. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have publicly supported the 32,000 teachers and school staff (represented by the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU, respectively) on the picket line – but there are five reasons people of faith should not join them.

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Commentary: Yes, Soros Is Influencing Your School Board and Local Government Elections

Luke Rosiak’s revelation of the Soros connection in local school board elections and policy making in the Daily Caller reminds us that school boards are not the Soros network’s first foray into obscure local political campaigns and local government policymaking.

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Commentary: The Strongest Support for School Vouchers Comes From Lower-Income Families

hen it comes to education, the word voucher tends to elicit strong reactions in three broad public opinion camps. First, there are those who feel strongly that vouchers can expand education options for families by allowing children to attend a private school using some or all of the per-pupil spending amount allocated to the local district school.

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Commentary: NEA Embraces the Woke Agenda, But Votes Down ‘Student Learning’

by Nat Malkus and RJ Martin   Last week, thousands of teachers gathered in Houston for the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual convention. During the convention, any group of 50 delegates could bring to the floor a new business item, which is a one-year, non-binding resolution directing the union to…

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Tim Ryan Wants Social-Emotional Learning in Every Public School Nationwide

  2020 hopeful Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) wants to introduce social-emotional learning standards to every public school in the country. The Ohio Star’s Beth Lear recently did a deep dive on the Ohio State Board of Education’s efforts to bring social-emotional learning to the state. “This is part of a…

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Analysis: Bernie Sanders’ Education Plan Is Rife with Deceit

by James D. Agresti   Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has unveiled a plan that he says will create “an education system that works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful.” In it, he portrays the U.S. education system as grossly underfunded and racially biased, but…

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The History and Results of Our Disastrous Public School System, Part II

by Justin Spears   There is a popular saying that “the proof is in the pudding.” In the first part of this article set, my colleague Mike Margeson spelled out the historical roots of the American schooling system. He clearly laid out the blueprint that men like Horace Mann used…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Separate PACS from Lobbying

dealmakers

Professional Educators of Tennessee will continue to lobby for public education.  However, we will never endorse political parties or candidates as an organization on behalf of our members.  We also do not have a PAC, nor do we plan to ever start one.  It would harm our effectiveness.  We must advance public education without the divisive tribalism of partisan politics, and we will only get involved in education related issues.

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