What ever happened to the Maple River Education Coalition?
First of all, awhile back they renamed themselves EdWatch. The group was founded by the sincere and striking Renee Doyle, parent and former school board member of the Maple River Independent School District #2135 (south of Mankato, Minnesota). EdWatch evolved into a statewide grassroots network of activists that sent one of its own, Michele Bachmann, to the state Senate, toppled the process-oriented Profile of Learning, and helped to fashion knowledge-based academic standards in its place. Their effectiveness at the Capitol earned them respect from legislators and shrill name-calling from their political opponents.
Along the way, the group attracted other conservative Minnesota organizations to their cause, such as the Minnesota Family Council and the Constitution Party of Minnesota. David Thompson, talk show host on AM 1500 KSTP, recently joined their board of directors. EdWatch director Julie Quist is a frequent guest on Joyce Harley's "Education Wednesdays" show on AM 980 KKMS.
Today EdWatch is evolving again, growing and adding alliances nationwide. Proof of their progress was revealed at their first national conference, held last weekend in Bloomington. I was there and will share my observations with you over the next several days. ("Welcome" to the many folks I met at the conference on Saturday.)