Rebuttal to MinnPost Attacks – Your and the Republicans’ strong stand against more nanny state control of our youngest children and private childcare providers prompted MinnPost to do a series of attack pieces against Dr. Effrem and Education Liberty Watch in June. Find links to the articles and our rebuttal here.
Dr. Effrem discusses education policy including early childhood on the Late Debate with Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse on June 20th available here .
Dr. Effrem also discusses early childhood on the Sue Jeffers show on June 25th
Dr. Effrem rebuts Rep. Branden Petersen’s more moderate (liberal) views on early childhood in a post on True North titled Do We Want Liberty or “”Efficient Government” (also archived in EdLibertyWatch.org here).
I submitted a rebuttal to MinnPost after a series of attack pieces on June 7th, 9th, and 10th. An edited version of the piece was posted today (June 15th). Below is the piece that was submitted with brackets and some comments to show what was removed. Education Liberty Watch is grateful that they posted what they did.
In response to the June 7th , 9th and 10th articles by Beth Hawkins posted on MinnPost regarding early childhood issues, particularly the quality rating system (QRS), and Education Liberty Watch’s opposition to them, I am flattered that MinnPost believes that our group had such a big influence on the legislature. However, it is deeply disturbing that a) she thinks that legislators are not able to think for themselves about the merits or lack thereof of a given proposal in order to represent their constituents and b) that it is somehow sinister for individuals or groups to exercise their constitutional rights to bring information to or make their beliefs known to their elected representatives.
[It is also clearly obvious that MinnPost supports these pre-K initiatives in no uncertain terms. However, the level of journalistic bias that runs through the writing on this topic and the site’s lack of oversight are absolutely breathtaking. – This was changed to “I find the level of journalistic bias that runs through the writing on this topic and the site’s lack of oversight absolutely breathtaking”] The articles make it seem as though any opposition to these initiatives is anti-child, un-American, and has no intellectual basis whatsoever. [Rather than engage in a meaningful, substantive, respectful debate on these issues as Michael Caputo and MPR put together, MinnPost has resorted to misstatement, half-truth, and smear to try to make assertions. – This was removed.]
This bias reached its peak in the June 9th reprinting of the complete Duane Benson letter to legislators attempting to rebut our statements. His letter did not contain a single link to any evidence bolstering his point of view, the reporter did not even link our article to which Benson responded, nor was there any links to any of the extensive evidence that Education Liberty Watch has provided to legislators and the public all session. (See Evidence on Effectiveness of Quality Rating Systems, Myths and Facts About Early Childhood Education & Quality Rating Systems (QRSs), Studies on Effectiveness of Early Childhood Programs, Quotes and References Regarding the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. To her credit, she did link one of our articles: Preschool Actually Harms Reading Achievement).
This lack of reporting is also true of my extensive testimony and writing for the legislature and the Congress and international groups regarding home visiting and government mental screening of children, particularly poor and minority children. Part of that opposition to mental screening was fueled and bolstered by the tragic story of Aliah Gleason, a 13 year old African American girl forcibly institutionalized and drugged with powerful, dangerous antipsychotics at the behest of Texas school and child protection authorities after a school based mental screening as reported in Mother Jones magazine, [hardly a bastion of conservative writing. – Removed]
MPR Invites Dr. Effrem to Debate Early Childhood Quality Rating Systems Online Starting 4/18
After your great work and support to get rid of the ineffective, bureaucratic quality rating system (QRS) in the House education spending bill, the media, particularly the more liberal media took notice. Education Liberty Watch was mentioned three times in the ensuing days. Two of those mentions took place on very liberal websites, Growth and Justice and MinnPost, where there was great weeping and gnashing of teeth about the House’s very wise decision to get rid of that bad program. Dr. Effrem published a rebuttal to those stories/editorials here. The other mention occurred a couple of days ago on Politics in Minnesota as part of their report on the clash within the GOP between the big government interests of big business and the small government interests of the conservative grassroots. (More about this will be written soon)
All of this aroused the interest of Mr. Michael Caputo, moderator of Minnesota Public Radio’s online discussion and debate forum Insight Now. He has invited Dr. Effrem and Todd Otis of Ready4K, a liberal pro-government involvement in preschool proponent to debate the merits or lack thereof of quality rating systems. The debate will begin here today (4/18) with opening statements and will conclude on the 21st. Mr. Caputo said that comment would be welcome, but that people must register here. Please do join the debate!
Dr. Effrem to Speak At HD 50B Event at Moe’s in Mounds View on 4/25 at 7:00 PM
Many thanks go the House District 50B Republicans for inviting Dr. Effrem to speak on education issues in St. Paul and Washington at their event on April 25th at 7 PM at Moe’s in Mounds View. Details and directions are available here. Please join Dr. Effrem and the House district 50 B Republicans for a lively discussion!
- Sue Jeffers often discusses important education issues. View a list of podcasts
- 2/5/11 Dr. Effrem calls into Sue Jeffers show to talk about early childhood in Gov. Dayton’s education plan (here at 13:15)
- 2/19/11 Dr. Effrem is interviewed regarding MN Gov. Dayton’s education budget ( here at 26:00)
- 2/19/11 Steel on Steel Radio – Dr. Effrem discusses Race to the Top (a 20 minute sample of the whole show is available here by following the link for the February 19th show. Otherwise a subscription is required.)
- 3/5/11 Sue Jeffers interviews Dr. Effrem regarding school choice legislation that will place burdensome mandates on private schools and childcare businesses as well as the terrible draft social studies standards revisions. (Here at 24:00)
- 3/5/11 – Mitch Berg of the Northern Alliance Radio Network on AM 1280 the Patriot interviews Dr. Effrem on well-intentioned, but potentially dangerous school choice legislation and the social studies standards. (Here at 25:08).
- 3/19/11 Sue interviews Dr. Effrem on the currents state of Minnesota education legislation at the top of the hour (here)
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