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Legislative update

Friday, August 13, 2021

Dear Neighbor, It’s County Fair week in Beltrami County and I hope to see you there as we enjoy one of the last big celebrations of the summer The weather will change before we know it, so let’s take in all the sunshine and warmth we can while it’s around. One of the big topics of discussion at the state level lately centers on new education standards that are being established to guide the lessons in social studies, civics, history, and government classes Minnesota children will receive for the next 10 years. The first two drafts have been issued leading up to a final draft that is expected to be established this fall for implementation in coming years. These standards will then be in place for a decade. Serious concerns have been expressed regarding each of the first two drafts and I encourage people to make their thoughts known by participating in an online survey (the link will follow) provided by the Minnesota Department of Education. The deadline to participate is 4 p.m. this Monday, Aug. 16. The first draft of the standards was released in December of last year and it was politically charged, heavily focused on identity politics and decentering “whiteness.”  The second draft was released July 30 and it continues to put political agendas ahead of academics. One place it raises some eyebrows is with a benchmark instructing our children to “Examine the benefits and consequences of power and privilege on issues associated with poverty, income, and the accumulation of wealth.”  Other concerns include: There are no references anywhere in the standards to key historical figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and no direction on how to examine key historical figures even as the far-left attempts to “cancel” even our country's greatest Presidents and leaders.There are no references to the Emancipation Proclamation, but four references to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.Capitalism and communism are presented as equal economic ideas to be examined without any context of the atrocities committed under communist regimes.If you are interested in further exploring this subject matter, a link to the full second draft is available here. An FAQ for this issue is available here. And you can participate in the standards survey by clicking here.Once again, the survey deadline is 4 p.m. this Monday. (NOTE: After you have finished answering the survey questions, text in a bar prompts you to choose the “Done” button below. But, at last check, there was no “Done” button to be found. Instead, just click on the bar which tells you to click the “Done” button. You may have to repeat this process twice. In any case, I encourage you to submit an official comment if you see fit. Our children’s education is most successful when families and parents are involved in the decision-making process. Social studies standards should focus on giving students a well-rounded education instead of acting as centers for indoctrination.Sincerely, Matt 


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