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MN Senate Stumbles
Minnesota's determination to drop its onerous Profile of Learning hit a bump in the road today. The Chair of the MN Senate Education Committee introduced a Senate version of the repeal of Minnesota's Goals 2000/STW standards, the Profile of Learning, S.F. 639. It is a mere facelift, a repeal in name only, and a slap in the face to Minnesotans who have been told the Senate will repeal the Profile.
The Senate has been holding hearings since last week on standards, bringing in all the Profile advocates who want to keep them essentially in place. The Senate Education Committee is controlled by the Democrats, and all authors are Democrats. In the last election cycle, Democratic dominance in the MN Senate almost disappeared, in large part over the Party's defense and support of the Profile. Republican Governor Pawlenty was elected on a promise to dismantle it.
But old habits die hard. Tomorrow a Senate Education hearing is scheduled on keeping the same old fuzzy math standards that parents have battled bitterly with the Profile. The Senate proposal mandates National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards (NCTM), National History Standards, National Civics Standards and National Science Standards.
For weeks, the public has been urging the Senate to pass the House repeal bill, H.F. 2, but the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. John Hottinger, defends his caucus's tactics of obstruction. Though the Democrats control the Senate by a narrow 35 - 32, the votes are in the Senate to pass a genuine repeal if it comes to the floor. Instead, the Senate majority have offered up a Profile clone with a fancy new name.
At a hearing last week, various witnesses were paraded up to inform Senators that, now that the teachers are trained in the Profile, they love it. The Profile is "worth keeping," stated one witness. Content based standard is "too prescriptive," Senators were informed.
"How do we tweak it?" asked Senator Kelley. "What would be the results if we eliminate the performance packages?" It would send the wrong signal, replied one of the Profile advocates. Meanwhile, callers to the Senate offices are being told that the Senate is all for getting rid of the Profile of Learning.
Senator Michele Bachmann issued this press release today:
For Immediate Release Contact: Jamie Rymer
March 3, 2003 651.296.4351
Kelley/Opatz promote Profile of Learning "Clone"
This is Like Hyping up the Profile on Steroids
"Minnesota students deserve better than an ideological clone of the Profile of Learning," Senator Michele Bachmann, Stillwater, said today. "Parents and teachers soundly rejected the Profile," Bachmann said, "incredibly, Senator Kelley wants to hold on to it."
The original Profile of Learning was based on the national standards, many of which are the basis of the "political bent" found in classroom curricula today. Sen. Kelley and Rep. Opatz have fully yielded local control of our classroom curricula to the Federal government by embracing in a wholesale fashion the politically charged national standards. "I'm amazed that legislators would agree to yield our local and state authority over our local classrooms to the federal government," Senator Bachmann said.
"For example, the national history standards were found to be so politically focused, they were almost unanimously rejected on a vote of 99 to 1 by the United States Senate. "If even Sen. Ted Kennedy agrees on the dumbed down, leftist bias of the national history standards, then I think Minnesota should reject them as well," said Bachmann.
The bill adopts the politically charged, "disaster math" standards, promulgated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, (NCTM) which were found to be discredited by over 200 Nobel prize winning laureates, and were subsequently rejected and overthrown by the state of California.
The NCTM standards are the cause of the local twin cities "math wars" reported in our local media. Parents are up in arms over the NCTM math standards, and have demanded that local school districts like Roseville and Eden Prairie offer a traditional math curricula alternative.
California also rejected the national reading standards, which advocates whole language, after student tests scores in reading fell to historically low levels.
The national civics standards promote the concept of global governance as an alternative to American sovereignty. The standards neglect to mention the second amendment, and instead focus on promoting "energetic" or big government.
The term "civic virtue" is redefined under the national civics standards as an effective denial of the Bill of Rights to individuals in favor of the good of the community.
"Let's not mess with these outside standards that handcuff our parents and teachers and dish up a double heaping dose of more of the same," concluded Bachmann. "It's time for real and positive change in Minnesota schools."
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