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Education Elite Wrote Kelley's Standards

April 5, 2004

The mystery authors of Senator Kelley's replacement standards that passed the Senate Education Committee on March 26th have now been revealed.

Since the citizen standards endured months of harsh attack by the educational elite for being written by people who were supposedly "ideological" and "far outside the mainstream," the same scrutiny should apply to the authors of the Kelley standards.

Unfortunately, that won't happen. The standards have already passed one Senate committee, and they will likely come to the Senate floor for a full Senate vote with little opportunity for thorough public scrutiny. It appears that only the backgrounds of the citizen committee members are an issue for the Senate majority. That should be reason enough for the full Senate to reject the Kelley standards!

In the interest of helping the public get to know the Kelley standards' authors, EdWatch has created a page on our website with cursory information about the authors, links to some of their background work, and affiliations. While the information on our site can't possibly be comprehensive in such a short time, we hope that it will provide the public and legislators a glimpse of the radical ideology behind the Kelley standards.

For example, at least five of the six women professors from the University of Minnesota who authored the standards are associated with the U of M Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, Women's Studies, or Women's History. Feminist Studies and Women's History at the U of M do not reflect mainstream Minnesota thinking.

Professor Sarah Chambers, as an illustration, teaches a Comparative Women's History Workshop and is one of the Kelley standards'' authors. She writes:

Chambers also writes:

Besides being partisan and radical, these statements do not represent what most Minnesotans believe.

Authors of the citizen standards were accused of contributing to Republican causes and much was made in the media and at the Capitol about their contributions reflecting a partisan bias. What about the authors of the Kelley standards? The Minnesota political donor records available on line for the authors of the Kelley standards show partisan support strictly for DFL candidates. Roger Moe, a faithful defender of the Profile of Learning, was a favorite of the Kelley standards crowd.

The Kelley standards are also endorsed by the Minnesota Council for Social Studies (MCSS), the Minnesota branch of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) which write the national standards The MCSS has set themselves up as the final authority on what students in Minnesota should be learning in social studies. Sen. Kelley has named his standards "The MCSS standards." The philosophy of the MCSS, therefore, is very important to understand.

Michael Boucher, a key MCSS board member and one of the most vocal opponents of the citizen standards, has criticized the citizen standards this way:

At a Senate hearing, Boucher testified that EdWatch was "obsessed" with teaching national sovereignty from the Declaration of Independence when it "isn't even there." Rather than supporting the teaching of America's founding principles of freedom, as is done in the citizen standards, Boucher's philosophy is revealed in some of his writings. For example:

Boucher himself approvingly describes Kozol as "radical." As a teacher, says Boucher, Kozol considers his job "to destroy such loyalty" as love of country, ideals of the home, and appreciation of traditional values." This is a teacher that Boucher regards as his mentor.

Further, the NCSS, which wrote the federal curriculum in social studies (the foundation of the Profile of Learning), reflects this same philosophy in their national standards. The NCSS states:

The "dominant trends" that defined the western world also defined America. The NCSS also states:

The NCSS see themselves as ushering in a "new vision" for Minnesota students.

It is astonishing that parents, teachers, and the public in general who believe in love of country, ideals of the home and appreciation of traditional values are held in such contempt as to be called "out of the mainstream" by the University of Minnesota history professors and the MCSS who are forcing their radical worldview on our students. Our review barely scratches the surface of the scrutiny these authors and these groups ought to undergo. (See update)

The "education elite" believe they know what's best for everyone else. The Kelley standards' authors, for example, have no representatives from business, no parents independent of the education establishment, no school administrators, and no school board members. Of the 19 Kelley committee members, only two are from outside the metro area.

Minnesota state law requires that when developing the new social studies standards, the Commissioner must include the advice of "parents of school-age children and members of the public throughout the state, teachers throughout the state, ...school principals throughout the state...,members of local school boards...and representatives of the business community." (120B.021) The Kelley standards violate those requirements that the Senate placed on the commissioner. Clearly, Kelley applies a double standard.to his standards development.

Are the citizen committee social studies standards truly "divisive," as Sen. Kelley and his allies contend? Or perhaps the controversy represents a refreshing refusal on the part of parents and citizens to refuse to be silent while the education elites commandeer our children. It is the Kelley standards that are divisive here, because they undermine the basic American principles of liberty.

We urge you to let your Senators know that the Kelley standards must be rejected and the citizen standards, as passed by the House, be adopted.

See Details on the Kelley Standards' Authors

The standards are expected to be adopted on the senate floor sometime next week!

Please make every effort to contact your Senator by telephone or e-mail, or talk to him/her personally during the Easter break. Please tell them:

1. Pass the Citizen Committee Social Studies Standards. Oppose the radical Kelley standards. (The Kelley Social Studies Standards)

2. Support the amendment to the science standards that would require teaching the full range of scientific controversy about evolution. Zogby Poll

3. Support the confirmation of Commissioner Yecke. Commissioner Yecke's confirmation hearings are still in committee, so it will not come before the full senate for at least another week. however, the senators need to hear from you on this now. (Confirm Commissioner)

Finally, please contact others you know to join in this effort to contact their senators. We are effective when our numbers are multiplied by each person who receives this alert. After the bill passes the Senate, it moves to a conference committee between the Senate and the House which will try to reach an agreement between them. Thank you! You make a difference. Your action matters!

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