Browsing articles in "State Education"
Apr 22, 2010
ELW

Horrific Common Core Standards Move Forward

The Common Core Standards have finished the public comment phase and are now undergoing final revisions.  There has been much criticism of them from individuals and groups, both parents and experts, across the country.

The following testimony was prepared for the Minnesota House Education Policy Committee informational meeting on the Common Core Standards Initiative that was held April 7th.  Due to time constraints, not all of Dr. Effrem’s testimony was given.  The audio is available here (Follow link for April 7, 2010 hearing starting at 1:29:45).

Much alarm was raised by all of the testifiers that included two outside experts  intimately involved in the development of Minnesota’s nation leading math standards, Dr. Larry Gray of the University of Minnesota and Ellen Delaney, a veteran math teacher, about the math standards.  Minnesota Department of Education staff raised some concerns about the English standards, but not enough in our view, especially when compared to the written comments of national experts.  No teachers or others involved with the development of the English standards post Minnesota’s disastrous Profile of Learning testified at the hearing. Continue reading »

Mar 19, 2010
ELW

Minnesota Legislators Resist Race to the Top

As the Common Core Standards have finally become available for public comment, resistance from all points on the political and philosophical spectrum to both Race to the Top and the imposition of national standards has increased.

Using Minnesota as an example, while the teachers’ union has consistently opposed legislation that will call for alternative teacher licensure, another of RTTT’s many components, legislators of both parties are increasingly alarmed at the unconstitutional nature of the mandates, the loss of state sovereignty, the absolute requirement of national standards, and the costs of implementation.  Led by Representative Gene Pelowski (D-Winona), a strong and consistent opponent of the No Child Left Behind law, he has been joined by Republican co-authors Mark Buesgens, Kurt Zellers, Dean Urdahl, and Dan Severson in introducing HF 3677. It is important to note the Rep. Zellers is the House minority leader who had originally signed a letter of support for the grant application in an effort to try to redeem some of the heavy tax burden sent to Washington on behalf of Minnesota’s schools and their many innovative programs. Now, however, he has become concerned with the loss of control, the mandates, and the implementation costs. Eden Prairie Republican Senator David Hann, also a long-time fierce and principled foe of unconstitutional federal interference into education, introduced the Senate bill, SF 3181. Continue reading »

Mar 19, 2010
ELW

Legislative Wrap-Up: Overall, Liberty Stands

The 2010 Minnesota legislative session will be known for what children, parents, and taxpayers were spared.  Thanks to you making your voices heard and the work of freedom-minded legislators, along with a big deficit and complex politics, Minnesota has been spared Race to the Top involvement, adoption of a dumbed down indoctrinating federal curriculum, mental health education, loss of the right to vote on levy extensions, and expansion of nanny state programs for our youngest children.  Here are some details:

Race to the Top and Common Core Standards

As described in our last alert, the Minnesota House explicitly rejected the Common Core Standards.  While only 25 House members were willing to go on record to expressly reject the entire Race to the Top program, most likely due to desire for federal funds or the mistaken idea that teacher reforms would somehow be worth the federal control, the ultimate result was that the Minnesota House rejected Race to the Top. Continue reading »

Mar 8, 2010
ELW

Senate Committee Adopts Core Standards

A valiant bipartisan effort to remove the Common Core Standards language from the Senate omnibus education policy bill was narrowly defeated on the evening of May 4th.  This language was the same that was defeated and that we warned you about in the House bill last week. It would adopt the yet to be completed national standards by expedited rulemaking authority, meaning no public hearing, all to gain 20 points in the unconstitutional, sovereignty-robbing Race to the Top program.  These national standards, especially because they are likely to become the basis for federal funding for No Child Left Behind, and as confirmed by many respected groups, such as the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Heartland Institute, will become a de facto federal government run curriculum.

Senator David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) offered the amendment in committee that would have taken out that odious standards language.  It was eloquently supported by Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield) and Senator Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista). Continue reading »