July 21, 2005
Minnesota Nanny State Tidal Wave Held
2005 MN Legislative Report #2.
Success for Families Opposing a comprehensive new system
for all children, birth - 5
[See 2005 MN Legislative Report #1,
Mental Health Victory for Mn Families."]
held back the tidal wave of a new and expansive pre-school system that
would have put in place the building blocks for a
State for all children birth - 5 . This planned system of
curriculum standards, and screening and assessments of all children,
based on those curriculum standards, was not adopted in the 2005 MN
The chief proponent of Minnesota's Nanny State,
Ready4K, states it this way on
Small baby steps were taken by the Legislature and Governor, but bold
investments in our young children, and our future, were left for another
This a tremendous success, in spite of some real disappointments. We and the
public are up against
social planners who have massive funding at their disposal and
complete, easy media access. We are not operating on an even playing
field in our commitment to protect fundamental parental authority over
our own children. The success we had in holding back the tide in 2005
is truly inspiring, and it is due to the persistent involvement of
EdWatch and the many parents and constituents who made their views known
to lawmakers. A heartfelt thank you to all who were engaged in this
battle for our children!
A Big Disappointment:
Early Learning Foundation (MELF)
biggest disappointment in the 2005 legislative session is the passage of
the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF), an unaccountable
public-private partnership set up outside state government that will
oversee a state grant program to influence and mold the childcare
programs in Minnesota. While MELF is defined as helping low income
families, also included is an undefined, vague category of "other
challenged families." MELF's purposes also include expanding
public and nonpublic childcare "capacity" and
teaching all parents what to teach their children. The door is now open
for special interest groups to use state money to set up a state
childcare "system" for all, with a politicized agenda to train
unsuspecting parents, direct the curriculum of public and private
childcare centers, and expand
workers visiting homes.
grateful to Rep. Sykora, Buesgens, Erickson, and Heidgerken for keeping
out explicit language adopting curriculum standards, assessments, and
a childcare quality rating system based on those standards as part of
MELF's purposes. The special interest group Ready4K has already
developed a Quality Rating System, however, which they seem to have
expected to be adopted into statute in this session. The Ready4K Quality
Rating System is based in part on childcare centers implementing the
worldview curriculum standards in order to be rated
without adopting the standards, assessments and the quality rating system
within MELF, however, the very existence of MELF is major trouble for
parents and families in Minnesota. Nothing in the law prohibits
the MELF grant program from being used by bureaucrats to promote the
Quality Rating System. In fact, taxpayer funded early childhood funds
(ECFE) are currently being used in Anoka, Ramsey and Washington Counties
to train unsuspecting private childcare providers in the radical
state curriculum standards, telling providers that it will help them
become "quality rated" by Ready4K, and thereby gain them access
to state grant money. Once again, taxpayer money is being used to guide
families and private and public childcare centers into teaching content
such as gender identity, social activism, environmentalism, group
identity and diversity training to our youngest children.
positive side, in addition to reining in some of the most objectionable
parts of MELF, the final bill now subjects MELF to the state open meeting
law that governs most public agencies, giving the public access to board
meetings. MELF must also report back to the legislature on its activities
next year, and report two years later on the success of the grant
has unfortunately already travelled too far down the road of the state
teaching radical worldview content to our youngest children at taxpayer
expense. While the advocates of universal state-directed child care
expected far more for themselves from this legislative session, the
passage of MELF still provides them far too much opportunity to have
their way behind the scenes, working within the bureaucracies of federal,
state, and local governments. If the Governor and the Chair of the House
Education Finance Committee, Rep. Sykora, had been willing to oppose
MELF, it would not be with us today.
What else was
these seven items is an extraordinarily important accomplishment.
Learning type curriculum standards for 3 and 4 year olds were
not adopted into law. This de facto curriculum consists of vague,
subjective, non-academic, and psycho-socially inappropriate indicators.
It usurps parental authority for teaching values and beliefs to children
and it would have been aggressively promoted to all parents and all
childcare providers at taxpayer expense.
Learning type curriculum standards for children, birth through age
3 were not adopted into law. We can expect this de facto
curriculum, still in development by the Department of Human Services, to
be similar to those for 3 and 4 year olds. They would have been
distributed to all parents of infants and toddlers and to childcare
- 3.) A requirement that child care providers receiving any state
money would be required to base their programs and care guidelines on the
state-mandated curriculum standards was not adopted into law.
- 4.) Mandatory, universal developmental screening of all Minnesota
children at least once by the age of three was not adopted into
law. This would have extended developmental screening to all
children, whether or not they would have attended public schools.
- 5.) Aggressive state promotion of screening 3 and 4 year olds,
coordinating various groups to work together, such as childcare programs,
community organizations, public and private health care organizations,
and individual health car providers was not adopted into law.
- 6.) A system of universal preschool assessments that mirror No
Child Left Behind's (NCLB) most controversial mandate, the Adequate
Yearly Progress (AYP) was not adopted into law. The DFL Senate
plan would have set goals for the number of preschoolers "reaching
proficiency on all measures of the assessment," and the measure of
proficiency would have been the Profile-like curriculum standards. Each
year, the goal would have increased: 6,000 children meeting proficiency
in 2006; 18.000 in 2007; 30,000 in 2008; 45,000 in 2009; and 60,000 in
2010, finally getting to 100%. The Department would have reported on
progress toward these goals on a school by school basis. This AYP is
straight out of NCLB.
- 7.) A Quality Rating System (QRS) for both public and private
childcare centers (misrepresented as being "voluntary")
was not adopted as part of the education bill. Republican Sen. Bob
Kierlin carried the QRS proposal in the Senate, and it was included in
the omnibus Health and Human Services bill. It appears at this time that
the QRS was not adopted in the final Health and Human Services
bill, either. However, we are awaiting final confirmation of this
information. The QRS would have required integrating the worldview
curriculum standards into childcare programs and activities in order to
be "qualified," and it would have tied government grant
eligibility to any childcare center based on its "quality"
What else was gained
What else was not stopped
- 1.) Thanks to language authored by Representative Karen Klinzing,
parents may now use their own physician or health care provider, rather
than the school district, to have their child developmentally screened
before entering a public kindergarten program, and school districts must
inform parents of that option.
- 2.) Assessments of a child before and after participating in school
readiness programs will be limited to "cognitive" skills,
rather than including a child's values, attitudes, and beliefs.
- 1.) When children are initially screened, they will now be assigned a
child ID number for data tracking by the state and federal governments.
This ID number will collect and store personal information and testing
and screening information that will follow them throughout their lives.
- 2.) A "coordination program" will now be implemented to use
existing state programs, resources, and policies in the Departments of
education, human services, and health to cooperatively push state early
childhood initiatives. That means that existing programs, such as health,
nutrition, welfare, home visiting, public and private health care, foster
care, and shelters, will promote the state early childhood programs. That
coordination will be reviewed by the legislature next year.
Order DVD: "Nanny State Take-over"
This $14 DVD is the April 14th presentation by Dr. Karen Effrem at a
St. Paul, Minnesota Capitol luncheon. (Includes shipping and handling.)
The Minnesota Early Learning System:
Learn what bills the legislature was considering and how those bills
would have would forced a political agenda on our families and our
children! These same issues will be back with us in coming legislative
How a Political Agenda is Being Forced on Our Families & Children
Call to order your copy today: 952-361-4931
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