Friday, October 31, 2003

Standing up to teachers 

The furor over the Minnesota social studies standards has increased, with four members of the drafting commission now issuing minority reports. Education Commissioner Cheri Yecke wonders why they waited until now.
Critics of the social studies standards say the proposal includes too many standards, represents a conservative bias and contains standards that are age-inappropriate.

One criticism is that Presidents Reagan and Eisenhower get multiple mentions but Kennedy and Johnson do not receive any. Another is that controversial events like the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II are omitted.

This week the state teachers union, Education Minnesota, sent a letter to Yecke listing its concerns.

Thirty history professors from the University of Minnesota also have sent a letter voicing opposition, saying that, among other weaknesses, the standards "offer a fundamentally incomplete and unbalanced portrayal'' of world history.

On Friday, a group called Minnesota Against Proposed Social Studies Standards submitted a petition containing 1,470 names to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Yecke defended the draft. The proposal does have too many standards, she said, because it always was the intent to whittle them down through the upcoming editing process. Those that are age-inappropriate can be altered or moved, she said.
Again, we note -- it's a first draft that's drawing all the attention. In another article, teachers were voicing concern over students not having "the benefit of in-depth investigations, interdisciplinary approaches and authentic assessments." This is of course rubbish and symbolic of the takeover of our schools by an ideology that will not recognize America's role in moving the democratic experiment forward. And it appears Yecke and Governor Pawlenty will stick by their guns. Said Yecke,
The majority of parents and the public want to see history standards that reflect the greatness of the country. I don't believe in the hate America agenda, and it would be inappropriate to have that agenda in our standards.
Good for her to call out these sycophants of the liberal agenda.