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Senate DFL rejects Profile Repeal

March 30, 2003

By a vote of 33 to 32, the Senate rejected a real repeal of the Profile of Learning. Following is the media advisory we released yesterday.

In the Senate debate, Senator Kelley insisted that another repeal the Profile bill would be coming up for the Senate to vote on.

Unfortunately, Sen. Kelley is referring to his own bill, S.F. 639. S.F. 639 is not a repeal. It "fixes" the Profile, using standards that were fashioned behind closed doors during the Commissioner Jax era of the Ventura administration. They build on the Profile standards. Kelley's bill is a Profile clone. If you didn't like the Profile, you will hate the Kelley "repeal" bill. Sen. Kelley thinks that he and others in the Senate can dupe the public into thinking they voted for a repeal. They cannot.

After yesterday's vote, the real repeal has been referred to a conference committee between the House and the Senate where "differences" will be worked out. But there will be other votes coming up. The real battle to repeal the Profile is now setting in.

Here is a message the House and Senate members are receiving from Profile advocates:

"Honorable Members of the House Education Policy Committee:

"I would bet that most rational people are tired of fights over the Profile of Learning. I also hope that we all agree that we want the best for Minnesota students.

"Senator Steve Kelley and Representative Joe Opatz have proposed bills that attempt to find a middle ground. They propose adding more specificity and content to the standards. They propose making use of the work done during the past years. This includes Reading and Math Benchmarks, curriculum frameworks, and revised standards proposed in 2002, none of which were widely distributed.

"This approach is respectful and fiscally responsible. Those who want to improve what we have and to stop the fights should not be silenced by those unwilling to compromise.

"Sincerely,..."

Variations of this letter are arriving. You get the message. The Kelley bill, they say, is "middle ground." They are "tired of fighting." They are "respectful" and "fiscally responsible." Those who want a repeal are "unwilling to compromise."

You must speak up. The standards that are ultimately adopted will set the standard for success. Homeschools and private schools will come under their definition of success. This system will dramatically define teaching and learning for the future. Please take this to heart. We are on the battlefield of a major battle for our children.

Your letters to the editor are needed. In every venue, speak to your neighbors and to your elected representatives.

These are the Senators who voted to repeal the Profile last year, but yesterday changed their minds:

Rod Skoe (SD-2) 651-296-4196
Thomas Bakk (SD-6) 651-296-8881
Keith Langseth(SD-9) 651-296-3205
Dallas Sams (SD-11) 651-297-8063
Gary Kubly (SD-20) 651-296-5094
Jim Vickerman (SD-22) 651-296-5650
Steve Murphy (SD-28) 651-296-4264
Charles Wiger (SD-55) 651-296-6820
Sharon Marko (SD-57) 651-297-8060

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March 27, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Senate DFL Rejects Profile Repeal

ST. PAUL, Minn.. . . .The Minnesota DFL rejected a repeal of the controversial Profile of Learning education system in a party line vote this morning on the Senate floor. Instead of accepting the House Profile repeal, the DFL Senate majority sent it to a conference committee with a single vote margin. All Republican Senators voted to support the House repeal measure that had been added to the Pledge of Allegiance bill.

Elizabeth Jenson of the Maple River Education Coalition (MREdCo) thanked the Republicans for supporting the House measure. "This is what last year's election was about," she stated. "The Governor ran on this repeal, and so did legislators from across the state."

Senator Steve Murphy, Senate author of the Pledge bill, moved to send the measure to conference committee instead of passing it. Murphy was one of six DFL Senators who voted with the Republicans to repeal the Profile last year, when it also failed by one vote.

"For five years the public has opposed the Profile of Learning," stated Senator Michele Bachmann of Stillwater in a plea to her DFL colleagues to pass the House repeal. "The last election was a referendum against the Profile. The Profile is a failure. Do the work and bidding of the people. This is the vote that will count. This is it."

"I don't support the Profile," responded Senator Murphy, "but let the Committee do its work." Murphy was referring to the Senate Education Committee's work on its own Profile bill. Senator Kelley has presented a proposal he claims is a repeal but that is being roundly criticized as being simply a revision of the Profile of Learning.

Many question the sincerity of last year's vote in light today's action. "Last year, a repeal of the Profile of Learning faced a certain veto by Governor Ventura," stated Julie Quist, Vice President of MREdCo. "This year, Governor Pawlenty says he will sign a repeal. Last year it was symbolic. Today it was real. The Kelley bill is a fraud. This was the vote to get rid of the Profile.

MREdCo pointed out that some Senators are telling their constituents they oppose the Profile, but they voted to protect it today.

"There is a difference between being reincarnated, re-worked, and repealed," argued Senator Betsy Wergin. "This bill before us is a repeal. It is the one we need to get it done."

The Maple River Education Coalition is a grassroots group of parents, teachers, and citizens who support knowledge-based academic education and oppose the Profile of Learning and School- to-Work.

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