Date: April 7, 2004
Subject: Our State (is) Fair

To be fair, allow me to clarify and reemphasize the fact that Michael Boucher quotes Jonathan Kozol in his thesis, along with many other authors. The quote in bold in my previous post was said by Kozol, not by Boucher. At any rate the point here is not to pick on Boucher, but to encourage you all to examine the alternative standards crew as we on the Academic Standards Committee were examined (just to be fair).

So what is this about the Senate breaking the law by endorsing the MCSS standards?

Well, to be fair, not exactly, and EdWatch didn't say so, I did, in a rare display of imprecision. According to the EdWatch update:
Minnesota state law requires that when developing the new social studies standards, the Commissioner must include the advice of "parents of school-age children and members of the public throughout the state, teachers throughout the state, ...school principals throughout the state, ...members of local school boards ...and representatives of the business community." (120B.021) The Kelley standards violate those requirements that the Senate placed on the commissioner. Clearly, Kelley applies a double standard to his standards development.
So the point is that Kelley is arguably going against the intent of the legislature by endorsing the MCSS standards, which were not subject to the public process outlined in the Profile of Learning repealer legislation.

Of course, some would argue that the Commissioner's process wasn't really public, it was "stacked" with right-wingers, even if it was within the letter of the law. So the Senate's solution is to endorse standards written by a committee with a bias that tilts the other way?

Read the entire EdWatch update here.