Mar 22, 2009
ELW

Nanny State On The March: Protect Your Children & Parents’ Rights

Despite serious economic problems, huge deficits, high taxes and too much regulation, Minnesota state government is looking to expand its control in the raising and education of young children, take over private  childcare, decrease parental choice, and spend more money it does not have on invasive and ineffective programs.  Here are the bills of serious concern as well as a brief update on the budget situation and ideas of how you can be involved to protect both your freedom and your money.

1. More Government Control Over Early Childhood Care and Education – When EdWatch Action first reviewed the early childhood language presented in the education omnibus policy bills (HF 1026/SF 1218 and SF 1253 – education policy bill), we thought it  was another typical example of the Democrats’ big-government tendencies.  Imagine our shock and horror when we found out that this language came from the state Department of Education, supposedly run by Republicans.  Here are some of the many problems with this bill: Continue reading »

Feb 25, 2009
ELW

2010-2011 Budget Reduction Recommendations

Education

1. Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and Intervention Program – (Ed. pp, 254 & 261-262)

Current – $ 573,000 Governor – $574,000 EdWatch – $0

This assessment should be completely eliminated, not increased or even held harmless. It uses very vague and subjective criteria based on very vague, subjective, and politically correct outcomes, The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. This ridiculous assessment gives fuel to the Nanny State falsely claiming that 50% of Minnesota children are not ready for kindergarten.

2. Preschool Screening – (Ed. pp. 254 & 263-266)

Current – $6,576,000 Governor $7.427, 000 EdWatch – $0

This could be off-loaded to health care providers as part of school physicals and Medicaid already does this screening as part of federal EPSDT for poor children. This is the source for the very subjective statewide mental health screening that Minnesota does apparently to comply with federal special education mandates that each state identify enough children with socioemotional problems to obtain federal funding. Continue reading »

Feb 11, 2009
ELW

2009 EdWatch Education Policy and Budget Priorities: Strong Families and Academic Excellence

As the new Congress and President and all fifty states begin to address their budget priorities during this serious economic recession, EdWatch believes the following principles are building blocks for educational success as well as prudent fiscal management.

STRONG FAMILIES

Studies demonstrate a high positive correlation between strong families and academic success, including even erasing the achievement gap. The family is the most basic unit of government, and intact families are the most effective social programs. Therefore, rather than implementing invasive, ineffective, and expensive government preschool, home visiting, and child mental health programs, legislation should address policies that strengthen families, such as: Continue reading »

Feb 9, 2009
ELW

Action on Radical Early Childhood Bills

“Most citizens would recognize the anti-bias curriculum as a highly politicized curriculum which seeks to impose a particular ideological world-view upon children. Most taxpayers would simply be astounded that tax dollars are routinely being spent toward the state-by-state implementation of these apparently politicized standards.” (Mark Kindt, former Ohio and West Virginia Democrat Assistant Attorney General.)

With a simple committee amendment, House Democrats reintroduced for the state’s youngest children what amounts to the old, rejected Minnesota K-12 education system called the Profile of Learning.  Our last alert described how HF 40 and HF 246 would impose a statewide quality rating system (QRS) on both public and private childcare programs.  With this amendment, every child in the program that receives state money will be taught the controversial Early Childhood Indicators of Progress and assessed using the subjective, invalid Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.

Despite assurances from the authors that participation is “voluntary,” the goal of these bills is to eventually impose a radical non-academic government-driven curriculum and assessments on all children and childcare programs in the state. It will ultimately drive programs out of business that don’t comply with these preposterous outcomes.  The word “voluntary” appears nowhere in either bill.  Rep. Nora Slawik (D-Maplewood), committee chairwoman and author of HF 246, made it clear that childcare providers will feel “pressured to get rated” by the state. Continue reading »