Browsing articles in "Curriculum + Standards"
Mar 3, 2011
ELW

Alert! New PC Social Studies Standards are a Disaster!!

America is in a time of great economic and social upheaval.  Our constitutional rights are being trampled with frightening frequency and government is encroaching into ever increasingly large areas of our lives and those of our children. There is an alarming decline in the understanding by our nation’s youth and young adults of the basic workings of our government, the foundational principles of our republic and the precepts necessary to maintain our liberties purchased and preserved at such a precious cost.

Tragically, the new draft revision of the social studies standards for Minnesota’s public school students will not help to reverse any of these damaging trends.  In fact, the draft is a giant step backwards.  Even a cursory perusal shows that the politically correct, liberal, leftist elites are having a field day.  They are not just revising and tweaking, as the less than ideal legislation passed in 2003 allowed, but this is a wholesale leftist revision that should be opposed with great vigor.

The one good thing about the draft is that it refers to America as a republic instead of a democracy, which the founders explicitly rejected.  There are large parts of the draft for high school US and world history that are still “to be developed,” so things may change, but we are not confident given what is available for review.  Here are just some of the highlights (or more accurately, lowlights) of the draft:

·        The Declaration of Independence that first listed the principles of our republic such as God given unalienable rights and self-evident truth and that served as the cornerstone inspiration for our Constitution, is only mentioned twice and then, not after the fifth grade.

Continue reading »

Oct 26, 2010
ELW

Kindergarten Readiness: A Useless and Dangerous Concept

The usual big government, control our children from birth crowd constantly harp at parents and policymakers that fifty percent of Minnesota children come to school not prepared or not fully prepared for kindergarten.  They say that only a massive expansion of government money and control will solve this “crisis.”

The Scholar’s Notebook blog reported on a candidate forum in Senate District 43 held on October 18th where early childhood issues were discussed.  I attended that forum and heard incumbent Democrat Rep. John Benson dutifully chanted that exact meme that 50% of Minnesota children were not prepared for kindergarten, that it is a crisis, and that the state needs to provide more funding for early childhood programs. Continue reading »

Mar 16, 2010
ELW

Horrific Bills Continue Cradle Control

Despite the horrible economy, enormous deficits, and boiling frustration with big government on the part of the electorate, the nanny state busy bodies in the legislature, state bureaucracies, and a cabal of progressive foundations are moving full speed ahead with implementing policies and laws to make parents irrelevant, destroy private childcare, and control every aspect of children’s lives from birth to school entry.

Besides the bill we discussed in our last alert that plans to continue implementation of the quality rating system, several more bills have tried to make a comeback or a new appearance that would unite all of the different entities that try to control our children, expand the subjective, invalid kindergarten readiness assessment, cement into place the controversial Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, create a cabinet level Commissioner of Early Learning and expand the subjective early childhood screening.  Here is the list of bills with authors and a brief summary of their problems: Continue reading »

Feb 20, 2010
ELW

DFL Bills Promote Mental Health Curricula, Continue Child Care Takeover and Micromanage High School Counseling

Continuing the big government trend to spend money that neither the state nor federal governments have for ideas that are not only not at all needed, but are actually intrusive and harmful, a trio of bills will be heard in House education committees this week:

1. HF 664 (Welti)/ SF 1531 (Torres Ray) heard in the House Education Policy Committee on 2/17 at 8:30 AM – This bill as introduced required the commissioner of education to establish a model mental health curriculum for grades 7-12.  The proposed substitute amendment instead encourages districts to develop these curricula and demands that the Minnesota Department of Education provide support based on the national health education standards and a bunch of Minnesota developed benchmarks that are not even easily available for public review.

This is a bad idea for numerous reasons.  First, national and international groups like the World Health Organization, the US Surgeon General, and authors of psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual all admit that the definitions of both mental health and mental illness, especially in children and adolescents, is difficult to uniformly describe and is based on ever-changing societal and cultural norms.  Secondly, this is further psychologization of curriculum open to political indoctrination and labeling.  Thirdly, it is a diversion from academic curricula when math and reading scores are stagnant and there are large achievement gaps between poor students often from single parent families and middle class students.  Finally, neither cash-strapped districts nor the state department that is subject to further budget cuts from the governor’s proposed budget balancing plan can afford this. Continue reading »