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.

7/19/2004

MinnBEST supports Governor appointee

Rep. Alice Seagren, Bloomington will be appointed to the position of Education Commissioner Tuesday.

With hope for a better relationship between Educators and the Department of Education, MinnBEST gives our qualified support.

As chair of the House Education Finance Committee, Ms. Seagren did support the House passage of Commissioner Yecke's ideological standards. Yet, during the last hours of the session, Ms. Seagren stepped up and did not allow extremism to cloud her judgment and helped put together a panel of real experts to fix the Social Studies standards. She then stood up to the Maple River Coalition and other extremist groups and agreed to the current harmless set of standards.

MinnBEST is hopeful that the new commissioner will not do what the old commissioner did, such as:
1. Infer that those who disagree with her are part of a "Hate America Agenda."
2. Create an atmosphere of fear and suspicion at the Department.
3. Exclude teachers, professors and administrators from processes and refer to them derisively as the "Educational Establishment."
4. Have an anti-public school agenda
5. Call the professors at the University of Minnesota "revisionists."
6. Speak derisively about Minnesota Schools.
7. Try to divide parents and teachers for political gain.
8. Be so steeped in an extremist ideology that all facts that contradict it are summarily dismissed.
9. Use department employees to monitor the opposition to policy on State time.
10. Ignore and deride critics causing citizens to turn to their legislators in desperation.

If the new Commissioner is inclusive, reasonable and open to help from those who understand the education of Minnesota students, she will do very well.