EdWatch
105 Peavey Rd, Ste 116
Chaska, MN 55318
651-646-0646
www.edwatch.org


Repealing MN's Profile of Learning

January 31, 2003

On THURSDAY, February 6, 2003 at 8:15 AM, the Minnesota House Education Policy Committee will hear testimony on HF 2, the bill to repeal Minnesota's Goals 2000 Profile of Learning. This is an historic event, because legislators and Governor Pawlenty have come to this session with a resolve to repeal the Profile of Learning.

Even the key Senate architect and advocate of the Profile for ten years, Senator Larry Pogemiller, has acknowledged that, this year, the votes are in the Senate for repeal, as well.

WHAT WILL REPLACE the PROFILE OF LEARNING?
Senator Michele Bachmann is offering an amendment to HF 2, giving legislative direction to the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee who are being directed to create new, academic state standards by April 15th. [See Department of Children, Families and Learning Press Release of January 29th, ] Specific language is being negotiated.

Since 1994, states have been required by federal law to create state standards. While standards are not new to education, the requirements to have uniform standards statewide that are approved by the federal Department of Education and tested by aligned assessments, which are also approved by the federal government, are dramatically new.

The National Standards on Civics and Government form the core of the Profile of Learning and standards in other states. They are the only content standards that are designed at the direction of federal law, first in 1994 and reauthorized again in 2002. The National Standards on Civics and Government state that they are to be "central to the purposes of education." (p. 2).

Unfortunately, the National Standards on Civics and Government are a politicized curriculum, an undermining of the very principles of our country. (See a review of the book, Fed Ed, at Townhall.com)

The National Standards on Civics and Government state that "achievement" of these standards should be incorporated into standards in ALL related subjects, "such as history, literature, geography, economics, and the sciences." (p.V.VI) This is called "integration."

The radical National Standards on Civics and Government have been integrated into the national standards for reading, literature and other areas. That is why the study of literature and reading material under state standards often reflect a hostility to the founding figures and principles of our country. They are "integrating" the national civics standards, even into math curriculum.

How will this affect Minnesota's new state standards? It is very important for the Governor, the Commissioner and the legislative leaders to understand that without the Bachmann amendment to HF 2, we will go down the same path as the Profile of Learning. Following is an opinion column published in the issue of Pro Family News, by Senator Bachmann, describing her amendment.

---------------------------------------------------------------

SAME BOOK, DIFFERENT COVER?
Or, "No, Thanks" to a Profile Clone

By Senator Michele Bachmann

Unless solid educational guidelines are adopted by the state, repealing the Profile of Learning will not change the dumbed- down education system that hijacked Minnesota's public schools five years ago.

While state representatives are dedicated to eliminating the Profile of Learning, the federal legislation that created the Profile (which continues under "No Child Left Behind") will trump state legislative efforts to replace the Profile's attitudes, values and beliefs-based system of "learning."

If this scenario happens, many will be deceived into believing that Minnesota's proud history of true educational excellence has returned to our schools, when in fact, we have lost more control, and the disastrous Profile of Learning legacy will continue. This cosmetic "fix" will rename and reorganize the Profile, but will continue to keep local Minnesota classrooms under the "Profile clone" federal standards and testing.

As a state senator, I have offered an amendment to the legislation, HR 2, that repeals the Profile. Without the inclusion of the Bachmann amendment to the Profile Repeal bill (HR 2), the repeal will be cosmetic only, the practical effect will be that the federal government standards will continue to control Minnesota's local classrooms in the same way as the failed Profile of Learning. In other words, same book, different cover.

My legislation demands true educational excellence be incorporated into our schoolselements of learning that parents naturally expect is basic education. My amendment requires education be strictly academic, based upon objective, verifiable knowledge in traditional subject areas including reading, mathematics, history and science.

My proposed amendment also requires that students learn history that is consistent with and supportive of basic fundamental American principles as stated in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

The amendment specifies that our children are taught American values like national sovereignty, patriotism and free-market enterprise. In direct opposition to our educational system under the Profile, my legislation specifies that no specific teaching methodology be required of our schools, allowing our great teachers flexibility and support to educate their students as they and parents deem most effective.

Knowing parents have the right and responsibility of training their child in the way they should go, my legislation eliminates the promotion of any subjective, ideological, partisan or attitudinal content matter, including that promoted by the Center for Civics Education, the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, and any other organizations promoting the content of what our children are taught that directly contradicts the educational standards in the amendment.

Parents have opposed the Profile of Learning because they know true education is not about getting a job. True education is about an individual's expanding options, a major founding factor of our nation, literally essential for freedom. Likewise, the Bachmann amendment frees our students from the constraints of the work- based training system that has taken over Minnesota schools, and is part of the federal legislation.

Parents will also be free to see all tests and scores that are given to their children, a right that has been eliminated under the state's goose-step like compliance with the federal legislation. Parents and students, not the government, is to whom all public schools should be accountable under the Bachmann amendment. This amendment truly frees Minnesota's children from the binds of the federal legislation, but needs more legislative support to pass with the full bill. Under H.F. 2, elimination of the Profile, a committee is set up under the new education commissioner to prepare new standards for legislative approval by April 15th.

With the Bachmann amendment in place, the committee will have the critical basis upon which to replace the Profile of Learning, specifying the creation of a knowledge-based system of standards and tests for Minnesota, built upon the principles of our nation. Tell your legislators "No thanks" to a Profile clone.

*******

EdWatch is entirely user-supported. The continuation of our research and distribution work is entirely dependent on individual contributors. If you want to assure that our work continues, Link to -- www.edwatch.org

Please e-mail us to subscribe to this EdWatch e-mail service.

(c) EdWatch - All rights reserved.