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Commissioner Confirmation/State standards

April 12, 2004

Two dates have changed:

We will let you know when both dates are rescheduled.

Senator Kelley has pulled a power play with the Commissioner's confirmation and the social studies standards. The media continues to fuel it. Here are some things you can do to fight back.

The attack against the Commissioner of Education reached new heights Sunday. The Star Tribune dedicated much of its Easter edition opinion section to opposition of her confirmation. During the past months,opponents of the social studies citizen standards have unleashed venomous, trumped up charges against the Commissioner, then they brazenly attack HER for being divisive.

As quoted in the Star Tribune, Hy Berman, one of the state's leading political historians, said, "I can't find anything quite like this in my records and notes over the years."

"We're not going to reward political hostage-taking," said the Governor. The Star Tribune reports that Pawlenty "absolutely would not deal with the confirmations as 'trade bait' on other issues."

The delays give each of us greater opportunity to let our voices be heard. The media is collaborating with the Kelley standards' crowd attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the Commissioner and the citizen standards in social studies.

The First Confirmation Hearing:
The April 1st confirmation hearing for Commissioner Yecke centered predictably on the proposed social studies standards. Sen. Kelley displayed his agenda when he allowed his surrogates to engage in petty, shrill and mean personal attacks against a qualified woman of stature who has served the state tirelessly for more than a year.

A teacher, not coincidentally from Sen. Kelley's Hopkins district and also his daughter's teacher, led the charge against the Commissioner. "She is a very divisive force," parroted the very young teacher about Commissioner.Yecke. Not surprisingly, this social studies teacher is also founder of the Alliance to Block the Confirmation of the Commissioner.

Once again, the citizen standards were denounced as a "right wing agenda," a term never defined. However, opponents have rejected the citizen standards because they emphasize the Declaration of Independence, constitutional limits on the authority of the federal government, unalienable rights of citizens, and National Sovereignty as founding principles of our nation. If these are considered "right wing," it may surprise the advocates of the Kelley standards that this is what most Americans believe in. This is what the public wants their children to learn in civics and history classes. This is not partisan ideology.

The real issue before us is this: will the unfounded and distorted public attacks on the Commissioner and the citizen standards result in a set of standards that do not teach the basic principles of our country? Or will we have standards Minnesota parents want their children to learn?

The final answer rests upon the citizens of this state and their response to the unparalleled attacks against the founding principles of our nation we hold so dear. Please do not 'sit this one out.' Contact your Senator today and ask them to support Commissioner Yecke's confirmation and the citizen committee social studies standards.

Thank you!

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