Judge rules against MNGOP legislators, says new social studies standards are "reasonable"

Categories: Education, MNGOP
woodard daudt.jpeg
Woodard (left) and Daudt don't believe the state's new standards reflect "what Minnesotans expect our students to learn." A judge disagrees.
An administrative law judge has ruled that despite the MNGOP's worries, the state's new social studies standards won't turn Minnesota's youth into a bunch of jihadists after all.

In her ruling, Judge Barbara Nelson called the new standards "needed and reasonable," adding that "It is inevitable that there will be disagreement between people about the content that should be included in academic standards, particularly where, as here, the subject matter involves such controversial topics as economics, history, government, and 'human' geography."

THE BACKSTORY: MNGOP leaders want Dayton to veto insufficiently patriotic social studies standards

Judge Nelson was asked to weigh in on the matter after a group of conservatives, including House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and Assistant Minority Leader Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine, wrote a letter to Governor Dayton complaining that the Department of Education's new social studies standards make "virtually no mention of the values of American patriotism."

"There is no mention of Osama Bin Laden, the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the global war on terrorism, or even the events of Sept. 11, 2001," Daudt and Woodard wrote in their December letter.

But Judge Nelson countered that the Department of Education is "legally entitled to make choices between possible approaches so long as its choice is rational." And the department's new standards meet that criteria, she ruled.

The Star Tribune details some of the specific complaints conservatives had about the new standards, which were developed via consultations with experts and public meetings:
[C]ritics complained the standards do not describe citizens' rights as "God-given." The department responded that this is a religious belief and not widely accepted in the social studies community. The argument over "American exceptionalism" followed many of the same contours, with conservatives contending the standards downplay America's strengths, while the department argued that students must learn of America's struggles as well as its strengths. The critics found persistent "liberal bias" throughout, but the department said it relied on research, not interpretations of religious texts.

The judge noted the department's response that the standards "provide a positive portrayal of America" while also asking students to study "the battles that have been won to provide greater political, economic and social equality."
Karen Effrem, president of Education Liberty Watch, told the Strib her group is considering an appeal to Judge Nelson's ruling, signaling she won't rest until Minnesota's social studies curriculum portrays America as the harmonious and God-created land she imagines it to be.

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8 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Well, my kids are getting a very good education in the public schools.  They are being taught critical thinking, and how to pick and choose between good reasoning and bad reasoning, and how to acknowledge and deal with the fact that nobody is perfect, our history is deeply mixed, and we're going to have to figure out how to go along together and get things done.

It's true that they aren't getting force-fed a lot of fairy-tale crap like George Washington and the Cherry Tree, and how Manifest Destiny made it OK to slaughter the Indians, and religious cliches about how our rights derive from somebody's God (which makes one wonder why this God allowed the British to keep those rights from us in the first place?  The secular interpretation actually makes a lot more sense, which comes as a less-than-total surprise).

Hey, if you want to teach your children crap, do it on your own time and on your own dime.  I'm looking to raise self-reliant people who can think for themselves, see the many shades of gray we all have to deal with, and help America get on with what we all need to deal with.  Time was when kids did learn nursery rhyme nonsense in school and parents did have to teach the facts on their own, but it isn't like that anymore.  We call it "Progress."

green23
green23

I guess that, according to the new definition of the word established by the conservative stoobeedoo123, that Woodard and Daudt were "lying". 

Facts have a liberal bias.

keny1
keny1

So basically the new curriculum is to breed a new generation of self-loathing, white-guilt Liberals. 

_Joe_
_Joe_

Logic and Reason FTW!!!

green23
green23

@keny1  

In your case, they apparently bred a generation of idiots who can claim that Illinois has no Republicans -- just SIX Republican Congressmen -- and not admit when they are wrong. Because, if you were wrong once, per wingnut logic, you are *always* wrong. Therefore, you can never admit it, which means that you are never really wrong at all. 

Brilliant circular logic. 

Oh, but I'm sorry. As we've already learned, disagreeing with conservatives is "silencing" them. Weird how *you* disagreeing with *other* people is okay, though.

keny1
keny1

@green23

"In your case, they apparently bred a generation of idiots who can claim that Illinois has no Republicans -- just SIX Republican Congressmen -- and not admit when they are wrong. Because, if you were wrong once, per wingnut logic, you are *always* wrong."

Again, your hypocrisy is hilarious. It is OK you YOU to blame Bush Jr. over him being wrong about Iraq (even though the CIA should be blamed, not Bush Jr.), but as you just said, "If you were wrong once, you are "always" wrong." So let's just continue to blame Bush for everything. 

I would have much more respect for you if you just admitted that you hate America, that you hate the free enterprise system, that you think this nation would be better off if we just became a socialized state. Why not just come out and admit it? 

Once Obama's agenda bankrupts this nation, and our land will be sold to China, let's see how much fun you will have working 80 hours a week for $2/hr. But look at the good side. You will get socialized medicine. 

keny1
keny1

@green23 "Everything that you just predicted above has supposed to *already* have happened by now, but it hasn't."

Wait until the effects of the ACA kicks in.................

green23
green23

@keny1@green23 

"but as you just said, "If you were wrong once, you are "always" wrong." So let's just continue to blame Bush for everything. "

You left out the operative words "per wingnut logic". I wasn't saying that I think that way; I was saying that YOU think that way. 

Reading comprehension is not your strong suit, is it?

How many years are you guys going to make predictions about imminent economic collapse? Everything that you just predicted above has supposed to *already* have happened by now, but it hasn't.

Frankly, you aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I am okay with you not respecting me. It would worry me a little if you did, in fact.

 

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