Date: July 25, 2003
Subject: The purpose of social studies

One week before our first meeting, it appears that the "discussion" in the social studies committee will involve many complex issues, but it all really just boils down to what is the purpose of a social studies curriculum. Is it to preserve and promote the principles that made this country great? Or is it to facilitate the "evolution" of our society, toward something else?

There is a greater percentage of teachers on the committees this time, compared to the math and langauge arts committees. Commissioner Yecke wanted to put the "public" back into "public education." For this she was roundly criticized by the education establishment, which also called the validity of the committee's work into question.

The committees also include several high-powered individuals with experience in national standards groups.

We will see who is advocating for what content. Some believe that it will be a battle royale of two worldviews.

Click here for a copy of the actual changes to Minnesota statute that repealed the Profile of Learning, and establishes the new law under which the academic standards committees will operate.