Katherine Kersten (www.minnpost.com).
by Steve Timmer
Jun 10, 2012, 4:30 PM

Katie lights the exploding cigar

Katherine Kersten has a problem with the Minnesota Constitution. It isn’t the section (or lack of one) that you might expect, however, based on her last op-ed piece, just last week. (She’s only supposed to come up in the rotation every four weeks or so; she must really be badgering Scott Gillespie.) Although she doesn’t cite it in her op-ed, here’s the language of Article XIII, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution with which Katie has a beef:

UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.

Kersten and her pals have made a business out of the minority achievement gap in order to whack off a big chunk of the public schools and, well, make a business out of it. The times that Katie has brayed and wailed on behalf of minority kids and how we must do something for them is as numberless as the stars.

Now, there are people saying, You know, Katie, you’re right; we need to enforce the state’s constitutional promise. Enough of this school aid shift baloney; it’s time we did right by our schools.

Not so fast, replies Madame Flutter By:

On average, black and Hispanic students perform far below their white peers, as a result of socioeconomic and family risk factors.

You forgot racism and cultural bias in testing, Katie.

Her concern is a looming lawsuit over “educational adequacy”:

“Education adequacy” lawsuits are a reflexive response by litigious elements in our society to the racial and income learning gap that bedevils schools both in Minnesota and across the nation. On average, black and Hispanic students perform far below their white peers, as a result of socioeconomic and family risk factors.

In adequacy suits, plaintiffs portray the learning gap as evidence that a state is not providing all students with the “adequate” education its Constitution requires. As a remedy, they seek billions of dollars in new K-12 funding and sometimes a school busing plan to distribute students metrowide on the basis of race.

Here’s the shorter Kersten, just in case you’re having trouble following along:

1) The achievement gap is evidence that public schools are failing.

2) More resources for public schools won’t help because minority kids perform worse because of factors unrelated to the schools.

Raise your hand if see a little logical, um, tension there. Kersten doesn’t, because she will say anything that she thinks supports what she is writing this week, betting that no one will remember what she wrote before.

It isn’t a bad bet.

Katie reveals her hypocrisy frequently, but rarely as well as she did with the instant column.

We’ll get into the weeds a little more about this one in a day or so.

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