School Civics Standards For This Decade

By Rep. Michelle Fischbach

Rep._Michelle_Fischbach.jpgLast week, one of the Executive Orders signed by Joe Biden was to disband the 1776 Commission. President Trump created the 1776 Commission to counter the "reckless 're-education' attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one." Sadly, it seems a similar effort may be underway in Minnesota.

As we advocate for School Choice this week, we need to be watchdogs of what is being taught in our public schools for the families and children who don't have options for educational opportunity. That's why we'd like to call attention to the Minnesota Department of Education's decennial review of social studies standards.

In the first draft of revisions, there are several key pieces of our world, nation and state’s history that may be dropped from our schools' social studies curricula. These missing benchmarks include major events in the American Revolution, causes of the Civil War and the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and the rise and effects of communism and socialism. The draft also suggests eliminating lessons on why and when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and would instead ask how "people show patriotism."

Some items that made their way into the proposed standards are how freedom and democracy have included or excluded different groups, how "to recognize unfairness on the individual level and injustice at the institutional level," and "developing a respectful awareness about how ideas and norms about gender have changed over time."

The Center for the American Experiment is following this issue closely; read several more articles about the proposed changes and background on the Standards Committee at this link.   

The Standards Review Committee met on January 11 to review public comments received to that point. They are currently working on the second draft of the standards, so there is still time to make your voice heard. You can submit your respectful comments directly to the Education Commissioner and the Standard Committee Chairman: [email protected] and [email protected].

Twenty years ago, parents and concerned citizens stood up to "Profiles in Learning" by using phone trees.  You can make a difference, but only if you take this small action.