17,000 Minnesotans provide critical feedback to the second draft of the state’s proposed Social Studies Standards
Center of the American Experiment helped 17,000 Minnesotans deliver negative feedback on the second draft of the state’s Social Studies Standards. Despite missing its own February deadline for publishing the second draft by six months, the Minnesota Department of Education provided a little more than two weeks for the public to read the 168-page document and provide feedback.
American Experiment’s website at www.RaiseOurStandardsMN.com was used to send in comments on the second draft. The 17,000 comments dwarfed the feedback for the first draft, which resulted in 6,000 comments to the committee.
Improvements were made to the second draft, according to Education Policy Fellow Catrin Wigfall. They included the elimination of derogatory references to “whiteness” and bringing in more objective facts of history, including the key facts of World Wars I and II and the Holocaust. “Those improvements were the direct result of feedback from the Raise Our Standards campaign,” she said.
“Although better, the proposed second draft standards and benchmarks still lack important historical content and include inappropriate themes that would take Minnesota education in the wrong direction,” Wigfall said. “The new draft continues to manifest a negative and even hateful attitude toward the United States and its history with a focus on systemic racism, group identity, and a zero-sum power struggle between racial groups.”
In fact, the Critical Race Theory framework can be found throughout the second draft of the social studies standards.
“The Department of Education and the committee showed a willingness to listen during the first round so we remain hopeful they will not ignore the voices of thousands of Minnesotans demanding change to the second draft.”
Even though the rule-making process continues for social studies standards, the legislature and Gov. Tim Walz passed legislation in the 2021 session that paused the implementation of any academic standards until after 2023.