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Events and News - February 2005

February 16, 2005


1. Watch for coming interview with Dr. Karen Effrem on "Live Fire" Radio Show
Probably Thursday or Friday this week, Larry Pratt will host Dr. Karen Effrem on "Live Fire" for a discussion of her staff briefings last week in Washington DC on mental health screening.  Watch for the show on these stations. Also available on the archives.


2. Conference -- Birmingham, Alabama
Eagle Forum of Alabama Leadership Conference XXIV
April 15 and 16, 2005
Speakers from EdWatch will include:

Professor Allen Quist
Michael Chapman
Michael Ostrolenk

An EdWatch products table will be available.
For details, contact (205) 879-7096     alaeagle@charter.net


3. Conference --  Reno, Nevada
The sixth annual Freedom 21 National Conference will be held July 14-16, 2005 in Reno, Nevada.
Michael Chapman will be speaking for EdWatch.
An EdWatch products table will be available.

More information here.



1. On Monday, Sen. Michele Bachmann officially announced her campaign for the 2006 race for Minnesota's 6th District Congress, a seat that will be vacated by Cong. Mark Kennedy. Kennedy has announced his 2006 run for Mark Dayton's U.S. Senate seat. The  Bachmann race brings No Child Left Behind into the election arena. Bachmann authored legislation to remove Minnesota from the massive federal education law. Bachmann also authored the 2004 legislation for a Minnesota constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman. Bachmann was a tireless opponent of the Profile of Learning since 1998, when most legislators were lining up to support it. Known for her articulate and populist opposition to the federal education system, Bachmann launched her remarkable political career by speaking out against the Profile of Learning and School-to-Work. Finally, as a Minnesota Senator, she saw the Profile repealed in 2003.


2. Tax Credit Bills in MN Legislature
Several bills have been introduced that would provide tax credits for private school tuition. Current tax credit laws may not be credited toward tuition.

SF 816 / HF 866 is authored in the Senate by Bachmann and Hann, and authored in the House by Mark Olson, Cybart, Bruce  Anderson, and Heidgerken.

SF 558 is authored in the Senate by Ortman, Scheid, Sams, Wiger, and Rest.

Both of these bills are essentially identical. In addition to extending the tax credit to tuition costs, the bills increase the number of families eligible and remove the current two-child per family limit.

A sea change is developing in education funding. Public pressure by voters for some form of school choice has intensified over the last several years. DFL authors are now beginning jump on-board education tax credit proposals, dramatically improving their potential for passing. Many who fear state and federal strings that usually come with voucher legislation are more inclined to support tax credits. Tax credits leave the money in the pockets of families, while vouchers are government checks written to families for education purposes.


3. Transformational Forums continue for Minnesota legislators
A series of private "transformational" education forums, called Capital Forum Series, are continuing for Minnesota state legislators. Last week, the Minneapolis Foundation was to host Marc Tucker, Executive Director of the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), for a private presentation and reception. On short notice, however, Tucker was pulled from the agenda, and replaced with Dr. William Ouchi, author of the book Making Schools Work: A Revolutionary Plan to Get Your Children the Education They Need.

It is likely that the controversy generated over scheduling Marc Tucker halted his appearance. Good work to those who contacted your legislators!

Tonight and next week, however, two other close Tucker associates are featured, one of them being Lauren Resnick on Feb. 23rd. (See our update.) Tucker and his NCEE push a radical transformational educational agenda.

Read our update to learn how Tucker initially got a private presentation scheduled with MN legislators and why the Senate Republicans didn't sign on.

As the invitation letter to legislators stated, the forums are about "transformational issues and trends affecting public education today that may have significant impact on into the future." According to the McGraw Hill textbook website, transformational education is all about changing society (not about educating the student ).