EDUCATION FOR A FREE NATION
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
June 6, 2006
2006 Legislative Session
Wins and losses
International Baccalaureate (IB) expansion defeated
The $7.3 million expansion of the un-American IB curriculum was defeated. Instead, a one-time appropriation for expanding and increasing student participation in Advanced Placement alone passed. This is good for Minnesota students and good for Minnesota. Parents and constituents weighed in to oppose expanding IB to their legislators. This year, the Minnesota GOP platform for the first time includes opposition to federal and state funding and district implementation of International Baccalaureate. Schools that teach IB are agreeing to promote the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Earth Charter.
The UDHR promotes the United Nations, its actions, and its treaties (Article 26, paragraph 2), even when these actions and treaties have not been approved by, or ratified by, the United States, such as the Biodiversity Treaty, the Treaty on the Rights of the Child, Agenda 21, the Kyoto Treaty and the Treaty establishing the United Nations International Criminal Court. IB teaches students that they are "world" citizens with higher allegiance to world governance. The Earth Charter promotes world governance, radical social policies, and an earth worship environmentalism.
Preschool mental health screening defeated
Once again, efforts by Sen. Hottinger's (DFL-St. Peter) to establish statutory authority for preschool mental health screening failed. In this session, EdWatch discovered that mental health screening is already being implemented by this administration without legal authority. Nevertheless, the legislature refused to authorize it. In addition, the state GOP platform now also contains a new plank against mental health screening and socioemotional standards
In spite of the bill's defeat, the Pawlenty administration is moving forward with preschool mental health screening unabated, referencing an obsolete administrative rule, the legal authority for which was repealed in 1989. Rather than rein in obstinate bureaucrats running roughshod over our children in defiance of state law, the Governor has brought in the politically left DFL Attorney General, Mike Hatch, to insist that it's okay. Both the Department and Hatch's office are using federal special education law as an excuse to use screening as a fishing expedition to trap more children into that system, all without telling parents or obtaining proper consent.
Serious questions remain unanswered.
Why have universal mental health screening advocates at the legislature attempted for two years to expand developmental preschool screening to include mental health into state law if no further legislation is necessary? Why did Hottinger and the Department of Education staff refuse to tell committee members that the state was already implementing this? Why are parents not being notified and their permission to have their children screened for "special education" obtained as state law requires for special education screening if this mental health screening is part of special education law, as the administration now claims?
EdWatch cheers the defeat of the Hottinger preschool mental health screening bill, while crying foul over its implementation by the Governors administration. The Road Map for Mental Health System Reform in Minnesota of 2005, endorsed by the Governor, includes the goal to assure "that all children ages birth to five are screened early and continuously for the presence of health, socioemotional [mental health] or developmental needs." (p. 165, emphasis added.) The "Road Map" is apparently being implemented with or without the consent of the legislature and Minnesota parents.
Parental rights preserved in special education
The right of parents to refuse special education evaluations was preserved. This includes refusing emotional and behavioral evaluations based on criteria admitted by experts to be "subjective" that often lead to psychiatric labeling and drugging.
$15 Million for Nanny State
Key players in the House, Senate, and Governor united in the wee morning hours of May 21st to adopt significant portions of the Nanny State pushed by the DFL Senate and that the Governor proposed in his State of the State address last March. They include:
- Kindergarten Readiness Assessment -- the outrageously vague, non-academic, subjective and inaccurate "Profile of Learning for preschoolers" passed at a price tag of over $1/4 million per year. The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment is based on the Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. It also includes mental health screening. These are Profile of Learning style content and assessments for our youngest children.
- Approaches tasks with flexibility and inventiveness
- Show empathy and caring for others
- Begins to use simple strategies to solve mathematical problems
- Gains meaning by listening.
-Responds to artistic creations or events.
- Educate Parents Partnership -- Child care groups and the Department of Education now have the states permission to deliver to all parents of newborns before they leave the hospital their dubious wisdom about how we should raise our children and how we can get them into preschool and child care early. This new law was the product of a coalition of business groups, Ready4K, and the President of the University of Minnesota. Considering the players behind this unseemly invasion of family autonomy, it is doubtful that their advice will focus on creating strong, two-parent families -- the best indicator of success.
- Also passed was a 15% increase in state funds to child care providers if the providers have early childhood credentials or if they are accredited by radical groups such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Early Childhood accrediting agencies and credentialing groups almost universally promote teaching "gender identity social activism, environmentalism, and the "Anti-Bias" curriculum published by NAEYC. These include the following:
Definition of "Homophobia: A fear and hatred of gay men and lesbians backed up by institutional policies and power that discriminate against them." (p. 3) "Make copies of an outline of a body as drawn by a preschooler, and in small groups, ask children to fill in all the body parts, and to show if the person is a girl or boy." (p. 53)
"Young children have an impressive capacity for learning how to be activists if adults provide activities that are relevant and developmentally appropriate." (p. 77)
Components of the Nanny State that didn't pass were:
While we appreciate this one example of common sense leadership by the Governor, this DFL proposal, as well as those proposed and signed by the Governor, is based on the controversial Indicators. Despite numerous promises since March of 2005 to remove and revamp these Profile-for-Preschool outcomes, they remain firmly ensconced as the foundation for many elements of the Nanny State that are receiving a bipartisan push.
- Interventions by the state based on the vague, inaccurate, and subjective state outcomes (Early Childhood Indicators of Progress).
- Grants to private, religious childcare and family settings to set up a preschool curriculum based on the vague, inaccurate, and subjective state outcomes (Early Childhood Indicators of Progress).
- A rating system (QIRS) for childcare providers also passed the legislature, under the misnomer Quality Improvement and Rating System. Providers would be highly rated and accorded state grants based on their using the vague, indoctrinating, and subjective state Early Childhood Indicators of Progress outcomes, which the state defines as "quality". This proposal was fortunately vetoed by the Governor last week.
The passage of important parts of the Minnesota Nanny State sets up a system that moves Minnesota government into the childrearing drivers seat. Thats a major expansion of government. These are aggressively anti-family policies, because they expand government's destruction of family autonomy at taxpayer expense, they value preschool over parental care in important areas of childhood development, and they provide outside organizations undue influence in establishing the values, beliefs, and worldview of our children. An early childhood system also raises the cost of government over the long haul. This big government corporate welfare will force single income, two-parent families who sacrifice to raise their children at home to subsidize child care for others, forcing more moms into the workforce.
Some of our legislators and the Governor are being influenced by big business groups who view our kids as resources and by big-government ideologues like Ready4K, the Star Tribune and Public Radio. It remains for voters to speak clearly that strong families require limiting governments role in the upbringing of our children.
Do we want the state deciding what our kids will believe about homosexuality, mental health, and social activism? Are our moral beliefs bigotry? Are we subjecting our children to state indoctrination into the homosexual and other radical worldview and values? All of these are being implemented today through the early childhood system being assembled at the Capitol. Consider this when you decide for whom you will work, contribute, and vote in November.
EdWatch is entirely user-supported. The continuation of our research
and distribution work depends upon individual contributors. To assure
that our work continues,
click here. If
you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to this EdWatch e-mail service, mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "subscribe" or
"unsubscribe" in the SUBJECT of the message. Resources of
videos, books, and audiotapes are available on our shopping cart.