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Review of the Minnesota Academic Standards

March 15, 2003

Review of the Minnesota Academic Standards
By Karen R. Effrem, MD

INTRODUCTION: Overall, these standards are an incredible improvement over the Profile of Learning standards with regard to academic content, rigor, and specificity. As a mother of three, a pediatrician, and a taxpayer who has reviewed many curricula as well as policy statements, and state and federal education law, I strongly support them and the process by which they were developed. I am deeply grateful to the members of the committees that made the sacrifice to develop them so well on such a tight time schedule using such a wide variety of resources. Each standard topic and subtopic will be reviewed specifying both strengths and weaknesses.

The most important issue is the parameters of the standards. Because the other standards, especially the Civics, History, Geography and Science standards, are embedded and integrated into language arts curricula, it is necessary for the language arts standards to be aligned with Minnesota's other strong academic standards in the other subjects, as outlined in House File 2. That Profile repeal bill, which passed the House nearly unanimously, reads in part:

Reading:

Writing:
Listening and Speaking:
Literature:

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