Friday, May 07, 2004

Pay No Attention to the Authors Behind the Curtain 

To the surprise of no one, the Minnesota Senate passed the secret social science standards. I think the Chutzpah Award for May has already been won. Senator David Hann tried to get the House version passed, and said
These standards were developed in secret, with no feedback from anybody," Hann said. "I don't even know that anybody has looked at them to check if they're factually accurate. They certainly haven't had the scrutiny of the standards that the citizens committee developed. which Senator Steve Kelley replied,
"We ought to pay more attention to the product, to the outcome than to the concerns about the process."
Your supporters, Senator, have bloviated mightily over the composition of the citizens' committee that openly wrote and debated the standards, whereas your standards were written in a faculty lounge at the U of M (probably under Lenin's watchful and loving gaze while they removed "truth" and "free market"). You, Senator Kelley, having lost the battle over the Profiles, support your secret standards as "not requiring much change in how teachers currently teach," when the Legislature and the public have spoken that they wanted changes from the Profiles. (We haven't forgotten your bait-and-switch SF 639.) And you dare say "hey, process schmocess! Look what we got!"???

Given all the other bills languishing in the ashes of failed leadership, the safe bet is that no standards will come out. That will leave it to school boards and your local teachers' union and parents.