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January 19, 2003

MREdCo Applauds Pawlenty's Education Appointment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Maple River Education Coalition applauds Governor Pawlenty's appointment of Cheri Yecke as Minnesota's new education commissioner.

Yecke has served as the state of Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Education and as a member of the Virginia State Board of Education. She presently works for the U.S. Department of Education.

"We're pleased with the appointment of someone who is aware of the dangers of politicizing education," said Julie Quist, Vice President of the Maple River Education Coalition.

Yecke's cover story in the 1998 issue of "Intellectual Ammunition" referred to the U.S. History Standards as a "national embarrassment." "It spent $2.2 million to write national history standards that were the epitome of political correctness, widely repudiated and soundly rejected," wrote Yecki. The U.S. Senate rejected those standards in 1995 on a vote of 99 to 1. Those same history standards, however, are being promoted today as the national standards.

"Because Minnesota's Profile of Learning is likely to be repealed, the standards that replace the Profile are what's important now," Coalition board member Michael Chapman stated. "We need to do much better than the standards represented by the national History standards."

The Maple River Education Coalition is a nonprofit group of moms and dads across Minnesota who have opposed federal intrusion into local schools. It has been the chief opponent of the Profile of Learning and School to Work since 1998. The Coalition believes that states can create their own academic, knowledge-based standards. They are urging legislators to make education accountable to the public by opening the content of the annual tests to public scrutiny every year.

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