Minnesotans for Better Education, Standards and Testing

Minnbest is a non-partisan, broad based coalition of parents, educators and school advocacy groups who believe excellent public education is a foundation of democracy in America.

1/30/2004

Michael Boucher: Irony is too much

Several stories in the Star Tribune newspaper caught my attention today. 1-30-04

1. The Commissioner and the Republican Governor of the Great State of Minnesota endorse the shame based initiative of a school-by-school listing of ways we are failing without a word about all we do to promote, democracy, peace and citizenship.

2. Minnesota education is not only excellent and not the least bit "embarrassing" as the Commissioner has profiled it but is also an unabashed BARGAIN! We are 21st in teacher salaries and 21st in per pupil spending and we “top the charts on national math and reading tests.” The reason: teachers are subsidizing education to tune of millions per year. ( UPDATE 2-3-04 70,000+ teachers in Minnesota. Conservatively, 50,000 classroom teachers. Conservative estimate of $300.00 per year spent on classroom materials and supplies; much higher in the lower grades. $15,000,000) Bargains Galore!!

3. A Star Tribune poll shows that 45% of Minnesotans support the idea of the social studies standards. They have not read them, have no idea what they are about, but assume they are a good idea. 43% say, “The state's involvement should be restricted to setting general guidelines for what students should know.”

4. The state quarter committee today sent back the plan for more review. They pulled together a council of Coin Collectors and other experts to review the design and they found them all inadequate.

We need, at the very least, to review the Social Studies Standards as much as we do the state quarter.