Date: October 16, 2003
Subject: Loyal opposition

"OK, Mr. Smarty Pants Scholar, so are you saying that we all need to fall in lockstep with the Commissioner and her Governor (and while we're at it, the whole [bleeping] Vast Right Wing Conspiracy??"

No, in this country you are of course free to pursue any lawful course of action. In fact, there are other groups out there who are critical of the draft standards without calling for their repeal in advance of the final draft.
  • The Education Minnesota teacher's union is encouraging its members to be "part of the process." From its web site: "Education Minnesota urges teachers to attend one of the regional meetings on Minnesota’s proposed standards for social studies and history – to assure that professional educators are part of the process...The standards are controversial because they focus on heavily on detail and facts – causing some critics to fear that the[y] represent a return [to] 'rote memory' exercises."

  • Like MAPSSS, the grassroots Parents United group says that "High, rigorous standards go beyond rote memorization and recitation of facts and include critical thinking skills..." It has definite ideas about the draft standards, but also urges its members to read the draft and provide feedback to the Academic Standards Committee. It also offers to track whether member comments are integrated into the final version, and suggests sharing comments with the media and others.