Date: January 29, 2004
Subject: House Education Policy Committee Hearing, Part III

Here are the remainder of my notes on the January 27 meeting.

Glenn Gruenhagen, member of the Glencoe-Silver Lake School school board, spoke in support of standards, making points in favor of memorization and knowledge as a foundation for higher-order thinking.

Jason Sellars, a social studies teacher at Eagan High School, supports standards in general, but also pointed out various areas for improvement in, and withheld support for, the draft standards. Sellars's Advanced Placement government class was present to observe his testimony.

Ellen Delaney, curriculum director for the North St. Paul/Maplewood-Oakdale school district, and Jenni Norlin-Weaver, curriculum director for the Edina school district, reprised their objections to the standards in the Senate for the House committee. Academic Standards committee member Holly Dunsmore refuted the claim that no curriculum exists for the geography approach used by the new standards, but it was unclear whether Dunsmore was referring to supplemental materials or textbooks.

I was not able to stay at the hearing long enough to hear the remaining scheduled speakers, which included:

  • Lisa Norling, University of Minnesota professor of history, who signed the history professors' letter that is critical of the standards
  • Eunice Slager and Ellen Young, from Parents United for Public Schools
  • Dr. Jean Lubke, director of curriculum and instruction for Eden Prairie Schools
  • Michael Chapman, EdWatch
  • Wendy Swanson-Choi, Eagan parent and education activist