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EdWatch Issues Cautious Praise for Final Academic Standards

December 19, 2003

ST. PAUL, Minn. . . . EdWatch, a statewide parent/citizen education organization, cautiously praised the final draft standards issued today by the Minnesota Academic Standards Committee (MASC).

EdWatch commends the teacher, school administrator, parent, higher education and community members of the MASC for social studies and science, for their months of hard work to produce this draft, said Julie Quist, EdWatch director. We also commend Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke for her leadership and MDE staff for their able support of the Academic Standards process - one of the most open and publicly accountable in state history.

"We will be carefully reviewing the final standards and benchmarks before we can issue a final assessment," said Karen Effrem, M.D., EdWatch board member. "The vast majority of what we have seen in the science drafts are academic, knowledge-based and scientific."

"The social studies standards committee has streamlined and modified their work in response to public comment," said Renee Doyle, an EdWatch board member. "We are hopeful that the final language of the standards and benchmarks will transmit the legacy of our nation’s heritage to Minnesota’s students and prepare them to perpetuate our country’s freedoms."

Quist encouraged citizens to review the draft standards for themselves (education.state.mn.us). "Legislators will need to hear from their constituents on these standards," she stated. '"We expect them to be thoroughly debated in the 2004 legislative session."

Comprehensive reviews of the draft science and social studies standards will be posted on the EdWatch web site when a review of the final draft is complete.

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