The Star Tribune's Rachel Stassen-Berger reports in Seifert picks Rep. Myhra as his running mate:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert picked state Rep. Pam Myhra as his running mate, the Seifert campaign confirmed.
Myhra is a low profile two-term state representative from Burnsville. Solid, not flashy, she is known as a hard worker with conservative credentials....
Among those conservative credentials is membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC Exposed notes that Myrha was an ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member in 2011.
Myhra also pushed an ALEC model bill that would have benefitted one of the private sector members. MinnPost's Beth Hawkins reported in ALEC and corporate fingerprints are all over national push for online learning:
Last week, this space carried a post recapping the strange brew of education-related measures that had survived their respective legislative committees and were headed to the floors of the state Senate and House. There is much more to be said about one of the more curious measures, House File 2127, sponsored by Burnsville Republican Pam Myhra.
A short refresher: The bill would require all Minnesota students, starting four years from now, to have taken at least one online-only course in order to graduate from high school. As first introduced, it would have allowed those courses to take place in virtual classrooms to be located anywhere and be operated by employees of for-profit companies who might or might not be licensed teachers.
As it moved through various committees, HF 2127 was amended to require all courses be taught by licensed Minnesota educators, offered by approved operators and include digital coursework done in schools. It was massaged into something Minnesota’s larger districts, most of which already offer digital courses, are now OK with, although it will pose myriad challenges in Greater Minnesota.
And where did Myhra stumble across this requirement that students MUST take an online course? Hawkins prints out in the article:
Yes, ALEC has made appearances in this space, too, but we think the best primer is the one produced by the education advocacy group Parents United. Corporations, foundations and think tanks pay thousands of dollars to join ALEC, which charges lawmakers — most of them Republicans — $50 a year to join.
The model law adopted in Tennessee was created by two ALEC committees chaired by executives from two large, for-profit corporate providers of virtual education, Connections Academy and K-12, according to Phi Delta Kappan, via Education Week.
Shortly after passage, K-12 won a no-bid contract from Union County School District to open a school that is in operation this year. Tennessee lawmakers also decided to shutter the state’s successful online education program.
Some 2,000 students applied for admission to the Tennessee Virtual Academy last fall, many of them homeschoolers. Others were recruited at meetings held in Chattanooga’s poorest neighborhoods. The school receives about $5,300 per pupil; K-12’s CEO was paid more than $2.6 million last year and its CFO $1.7 million.
There’s more. According to The New York Times, K-12 was founded by a former banker from Goldman Sachs and pundit William Bennett, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education and the author of "The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories" and bankrolled by disgraced junk bond king Mike Milken. . . .
Perhaps Seifert is on to something in getting Myhra out of the legislature into the lieutenant governor's office where she'll do no harm.
Photo: Representative Pam Myhra and an adorable fluffy dog named Emma whom she met while door knocking a neighbor in 2010. Via Facebook.
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