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2002 Legislative Overview and Update

July 2002

Dear Friend:

After the Republican state convention, a political analyst on public television described MREdCo as a group having "too much influence." We've come a long way!

Consider these facts: the Profile of Learning is now in disrepute among most people in Minnesota. Small Learning Communities and School-to-Work are becoming bad names to many. The new planned economy and workforce system are running into public relations land mines. Even Baby Ed is coming in for skepticism among many informed voters, and opposition to the Profile of Learning and School-to-Work is a big election issue of 2002.

These are huge victories! We are changing the political landscape. Progress doesn't come without a price, however -- the endless work of many volunteers and the support of hundreds of others.

Your financial support is essential to this work. Without your support, educational restructuring would be sailing through our state with little opposition. With your tax-deductible contribution, we can move ahead. It is just that simple.

Dr. Shirley McCune of the U.S. Department of Education said back in 1989 at the National Governor's Conference, "What we're into is the total restructuring of society. ... What it means for education is that we no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education." Dr. McCune and many others like her continue to aggressively push that agenda, and they don't intend to back down.

Two years ago, Senator Michele Bachmann decisively won a primary election against a 28-year incumbent, and she went on to win the general election by a landslide. A powerful and well-heeled political power structure had opposed her. She was a novice to politics, but she ran a grassroots, anti-Profile of Learning campaign. Political insiders were stunned at her victories, but they began to recognize the power of this issue with the voting public.

This year, the big-money forces are again lining up to attempt to defeat Sen. Bachmann. One political insider recently estimated that $2 million dollars will be spent against her this year. That is 30 times the usual amount spent on a legislative race. She is a first term state senator who upset their apple cart two years ago, and outside advocates of radical social change are now making her their top target for defeat.

Why? For two years Sen. Bachmann has provided clear, strong leadership at the legislature.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LEGISLATURE

In the 2002 legislative session, we faced overwhelming odds. The social change agents, for example, intended to put in place a single appointed board that would function as Minnesota's Central Committee for a planned economy, aligned with the single federal Workforce Investment plan. It was called the Minnesota Economic Leadership Team (MELT). These non-elected planners wanted to bring education, big business and government together under one umbrella, all coordinated under a state-managed system. The plan was written up, published, testified to at the legislature and ready to go. Shirley McCune would have been pleased.

Unfortunately, there was little resistance to this total restructuring of our economy, workforce and schools at the Capitol. Most legislators didn't know what MELT was, how it would operate or why it was happening. The change agents were telling them this was a great step forward. Most legislators couldn't connect it with the Profile of Learning and School-to-Work system. The slick promotion language sounded good.

That all changed after precinct caucus night. We had urged those concerned with education and workforce issues to show up at their local caucuses on March 5th to pass resolutions, run for delegate spots and vote for delegates who understood the new education and workforce system. We had encouraged you to be the delegates who would endorse good candidates to run for office.

Hundreds of you showed up in force all over the state, and that changed the momentum in St. Paul! MELT was suddenly going nowhere. Legislators got the message that their constituents don't want to undermine our free economic system and make our schools into mere job training centers for entry-level jobs. What an incredible victory!

A number of other terrible initiatives were also buried last session. The Commissioner of Children, Families and Learning didn't get her expanded rule-making authority to mandate what schools must do to comply with the Profile. No headway was made on consolidating school districts into 87 countywide boundaries, another pending move to eliminate local control of schools. Profile-type standards for pre-schoolers remained stuck in committees. Funding for a major economic central-planning measure, called BICI, was removed, at least for this session. All of these were quiet but major victories that would have been impossible without the information MREdCo provided and the personal involvement of many people in their own communities.

MREdCo played a significant role in the direction of our state in 2002 In addition, our analyses, our presentations, our updates and our testimony are becoming a highly respected source of good information and documentation. This past Spring, the Minnesota Governor's Workforce Development Council (GWDC), an appointed committee established in 1995 to oversee the development of the School-to-Work and planned workforce system in Minnesota, even requested its own briefing from MREdCo. They wanted to hear it directly. Michael Chapman finished this presentation with a request for anyone to point out errors or mistakes in his facts, or to question his conclusions. There were no such comments.

A DAVID AND GOLIATH BATTLE

Though we've had tremendous success, it remains a David and Goliath battle. The money, power and influence arrayed against our freedom are huge, and most people remain unaware of how education and the workforce are being fundamentally restructured. All of the measures that stalled in 2002 will be back again in 2003. Without a continual reliance on Divine Providence and the knowledge of the power of the truth, we would have given up the fight long ago.

One indication of how big the battle is can be seen in the recent announcement of a coming Workforce Development conference in October, called "Education At Work." This St. Paul conference is bringing in several of the biggest architects behind the whole restructuring system, including Hillary Clinton's close friend Marc Tucker. Tucker claims to be the architect of the national School-to-Work system. Just to make sure that the average citizen can't be there, registration is set at $250 per person. Only government employees, wealthy businesspeople and those from private foundations will spend $250 to attend a workforce planning conference. An exhibit table runs $500.

Conference topics include "How can education align itself with the workforce needs," "Just-in-time education," "New occupations and industry clusters" (centrally-planned education for the planned economy), and "Educational partnerships with business and industry." Wouldn't you think parents have a right to know what is discussed at this planning conference with nationally renowned leaders for social change? Why are parents and other citizens being excluded?

This conference is a strategy session to jump-start Minnesota's implementation that is now mired down in controversy. If Minnesota, a prototype to the nation for education restructuring, stumbles in implementing the new education and workforce system, it will impact implementation all over the nation. The stakes here are that high!

ELECTION YEAR 2002

You have an important role to play in the future of our nation. This election year of 2002 is one of unusual transformation. We will have a new Governor setting up a new administration in January. The Department of Children, Families and Learning, for example, will be under new leadership, whether for better or for worse.

Education was the big issue at the Republican endorsing convention for Governor in June, and many other legislative candidates are waging strong campaigns using information from MREdCo. Many are running because of the education issue. They were endorsed as candidates by those who showed up at their caucuses and became delegates.

Every state House and Senate seat is up for re-election. Many incumbents have chosen not to seek re-election. Two pro-Profile Senators, Martha Robertson of Minnetonka and Sheila Kiscaden of Rochester, were denied endorsement by their own party, due primarily to their support of the Profile of Learning and School-to-Work. The Independence Party has picked them up as their candidates. In fact, Senator Martha Robertson, one of the most pro-Profile Senators in St. Paul, is their Lieutenant Governor candidate.

The stakes in this election are unusually high. Each of us needs to be involved in one or more good campaigns. This is not the time to succumb to summertime malaise. The other side isn't! Many Americans have given up their lives to preserve our freedom. Many other states now look to Minnesota for leadership.

WHAT CAN YOU DO

1. Contribute to MREdCo. We do not have corporate foundations and government grants to support us. We have always relied most of all on your financial donations to continue our work. We are making a special offer of a copy of the new, updated version of the professionally produced Guinea Pig Kids video. Michael Chapman and Senator Bachmann give a live, hard-hitting 45-minute overview of what this system is. It is a presentation you can easily share with others.

The video is yours for a contribution of $50 or more. Consider making a monthly tax-deductible commitment to our work. We have information about direct deposit if you wish to use that giving option.

Consider joining us as an Advisory Board member who gives a yearly gift of $1,000. If that is out of your reach, give just a part of that. We rely on both large and small donations.

2. Print off a flyer for our September conference. We need you to come and to bring others with you to hear this information. Our guest speaker is Phyllis Schlafly, nationally renowned for her leadership in education. Dr. Lawrence Gray from the University of Minnesota math department will critique the new math curriculum. Other well-known speakers will discuss the NEW Profile of Learning and what we can do to "just say no!" They will draw the connection between the Profile, School-to-Work and the new planned workforce system. They will also describe the "Profile of Learning for pre-schoolers."

This conference is for everybody. It is a tremendous opportunity to expand your own understanding and that of your neighbors and friends. Ask for copies of the enclosed flyers, and please advertise it in all of your areas of involvement. These conferences build the momentum for success. Use the enclosed registration form and send it in today!

3. Pre-order the new book we are publishing, Fed Ed: The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced. We have a special pre-order price of $10 and bulk order rates. This is a ground-breaking book. It is the first detailed description of the new federal curriculum. It will be a powerful tool to use in informing others. Pre-order information is enclosed. Come to the conference for a special book-signing by author Allen Quist.

4. Sign up for our e-mail updates. This timely information has proved extraordinarily valuable in equipping the public to be part of the state and national efforts to preserve our freedom. Our updates provide just what you need to pass on to your friends, your business associates, teachers and family.

5. Involve yourself in the campaigns and talk to the candidates in your area. Don't forget the U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns. The involvement of people at their caucuses made a huge difference at the Capitol in March. That effect can be multiplied many times by your involvement in campaigns of good candidates between now and November, and by getting yourself and your friends to vote in November.

6. Pray for our country, for our leaders and for the work of MREdCo. The battle we wage is much bigger than ourselves. We rely on many people for many things, but prayer is the foundation for everything we hope to accomplish.

We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for being part of this historic effort.

Sincerely,
John Scribante
President

P.S. Your generous financial help is what makes our efforts possible! Take advantage of our special $50 contribution offer.

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