Under Minnesota law, the state’s Department of Education promulgates standards for K-12 public schools in a number of categories. The benchmarks for each category are revised by committee every ten years. This year, the Social Studies standard is being revised. The committee undertaking the revision, as you would expect in the Tim Walz administration, is hard left.
The first draft of the new standards was published for public comment a couple of weeks ago. A policy fellow at Center of the American Experiment reviewed the draft and found that it was shocking. You can see some of the details at the web site we set up to drive opposition to the proposed new benchmarks, Raise Our Standards MN. Here are some of the things that will no longer be covered in the public school curriculum:
* World War I
* World War II
* The Holocaust
* The Civil War
* The American Revolution
* Notable Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson
You may ask, what in God’s name do the standards cover? The usual:
* Systemic racism in the U.S., rooted in our founding
* How freedom and democracy have included or excluded certain groups throughout our history
* Developing a “respectful awareness” of the LGBTQ+ community
* The Reconstruction period, specifically successful efforts to disenfranchise newly freed Black Americans and connecting this history to persistent discrimination and inequity in the present
* An analysis of the ideology of Manifest Destiny and its relationship to whiteness, Christianity, and capitalism
Also, there are an extraordinary number of benchmarks devoted to the history of Native Americans, who comprise between one and two percent of Minnesota’s population.
So, under the Walz administration and for years to come, school children will be kept in ignorance of our history, and taught to hate America.
Despite the short time available for public comments, thousands of normal Minnesotans registered their opposition to this hijacking of American history. More than 5,000 used Raise Our Standards MN to send a letter to the committee, objecting to these anti-American features of the draft standards. As it turned out, this represented more than 80 percent of the comments the committee received.
On Monday, the Standards Review Committee held an all-day virtual public meeting, ostensibly to discuss public feedback on the first draft of the proposed Social Studies revisions, more than 80 percent of which came from Raise Our Standards MN. As my colleague Catrin Wigfall reports, that did not happen. There was no substantive discussion of the objections raised by members of the public. Rather, there were absurd slurs directed at Center of the American Experiment. Catrin writes:
Instead of discussing the specific concerns the letter identified and the specific changes the letter suggested, Director of Academic Standards Doug Paulson dismissed the voices of real Minnesotans by labeling their concerns in the letter as “white supremacy language.” No parts of the letter were referenced or quoted to support what the supposed “white supremacy language” was.
This is a recording of the committee chairman making his absurd charge of “white supremacy”:
Another committee member, Danyika Leonard, suggested that the committee should just delete all the comments submitted by members of the public:
This is a classic of leftist bureaucratic arrogance: they undertake to promulgate a new set of benchmarks pursuant to a statute, they solicit public comments per the statutory requirement, and then ignore the public’s views and proceed with their far-left agenda. We see this pattern constantly.
The Raise Our Standards MN letter that more than 5,000 Minnesotans submitted is embedded below. As you will see, there is nothing in it that could rationally be described as “white supremacist.” That is just an ignorant epithet used by liberals who are out of ammo.
The Standards Review Committee was supposed to release a second draft of the proposed standards revision by February 17 for another round of public comment, but that deadline apparently is being pushed back. Regardless, there will be more opportunities for voices of sanity to be heard, and next time around we will organize a much larger public response to the Walz administration’s attempt to brainwash our children. If you want to help restore common sense to public education, you can go here to contribute to Center of the American Experiment.
This is the Raise Our Standards MN letter: