Date: March 17, 2004
Subject: Mob scene in 15 Capitol

The Senate Education Committee will meet all day in the circular Room 15 Capitol to hear the science and social studies standards, and Sen. Kelley will introduce an alternative set of standards that would keep us closer to the repealed Profile of Learning. Presumably these standards are backed by the education establishment, supported by research, are impeccably multicultural, and will have zero fiscal impact in school districts, since they would use Profile-compliant curriculum already in place. You can review these alternative standards on the Senate Education Committee home page.

Although I have seen Sen. Kelley enforce orderly proceedings in his Ed Committee hearing, even rebuking laughter from those opposing the draft standards, it is shaping up to be a mob scene at 7:00 pm for the social studies hearing. There should be some good visuals and sound bites for the media, and the hearing may even extend into the 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm local news shows ("we now go live to the Capitol where our political reporter is covering a contentious hearing over Cheri Pierson Yecke's controversial proposed academic standards"). I am all for lively debate, but the aggressive behavior of certain (not all) teacher groups at past academic standards hearings more closely resembled a mob than orderly testimony, undermining some of their otherwise legitimate arguments.

Researcher Mike Chapman has published some of the best arguments for the significance of the Declaration of Independence I have ever read. His title, "Assault on America" will turn off liberals and many so-called moderates, but I challenge you to look past it to the fruits of his original-source research for some clue as to why conservatives have such a jones for the Declaration as the founding document of our nation, and why it received such a prominent role in the second draft of the social studies standards (which I still support as the last "citizen" draft).