Taxpayers Need To Get Educated on Profile of Learning

Today, with gut-wrenching anguish, I resigned my position from our local school board. For the last six months, I have attempted to educate parents, teachers, administrators, and taxpayers about the state-mandated programs that will be implemented this fall; the Profile of Learning and School-to-Work. As a board member, I have been instructed to “make the programs work” and as a mother, I am fighting it every step of the way. After 16 years in the public school system, our three children are now attending private school.

Isn’t it ironic that if I do what I feel is in the best interest of the students in our district and oppose the Profile, that as a school board member, I can no longer be effective. The state has placed the local school board member in a situation where insubordination to the total compliance of the state’s rules concerning the Profile of Learning is considered to be breaking the law. Therefore, if the Profile of Learning is not in the best interest of the school district and its students, you are powerless to do anything about it.

PEOPLE WAKE UP! Parents, stop what you are doing and get down to the school. It is time to see for yourself what the state considers “High Standards.” Ask to see the packages showing the tasks that your child will now do and be assessed by. Do not rest in the notion that the school board can represent and enforce your ideals on education, morals, citizenship, or scholarship. Under this radical reform, the school board can set curriculum but what matters or what is measured is totally dictated by the state. The board has been rendered virtually powerless other than to pay bills and set policies that ENFORCE the state’s plan!

There are many things I could not say as a board member because I was under close scrutiny. I have been trying subtly to let you know you need to be concerned, gravely concerned! Even though all 347 public school districts said they were ready to implement all ten learning areas of the Profile of Learning, in order to obtain a “reward” of $14 per pupil unit, they are not. They are unprepared, unorganized, untrained, and filled with unanswered questions.

Has anyone told you that public school children will now be placed on a “career pathway” and be tracked from kindergarten? Using the Profile of Learning, they will have career days beginning in kindergarten, job interviews at third grade, apprenticeship and mentoring by seventh grade, job portfolios and resumes by tenth grade and their career choice will be directed by the state by the time they graduate. Their state assessments will dictate what jobs they take and whether or not they will be allowed to go on to vocational school or college. Are you aware that subjects like fine literature, U. S. History, and private property rights will now take second place to technical reading, globalism, and environmentalism. “Equality” is being replaced by “diversity” because equality is not broad enough to include opinions, beliefs and lifestyles. Diversity training holds that there are no longer any absolute rights or wrongs except that “intolerance” of diversity is wrong. Diversity goes by a variety of labels. “Tolerance,” “multiculturalism” and “inclusion” all refer to the new core curriculum of diversity. In the new rules requiring the implementation of the Profile of Learning words like “team,” “group,” “group project,” and “global” are used 21 times, but words like “individual responsibility” and “leadership” are never used. Words like “environment” or “environmental” are used 21 times, but words like “private property” are used only once. Words like “diversity,” “cultural,” and “multiculturalism” are used 36 times, but words like “melting pot,” “equality,” and “morality” are never used. Please note that all of these words are NOT ABOUT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT. They are all about “values.” Are you aware that not one board member in the state of Minnesota voted for this? There was no vote at all.

It is time to place our legislators’ feet to the fire. They could have stopped this incomplete, unproved, untested, bureaucratically driven, and private interest riddled program from becoming
law. But just like you and I, they never knew that a half page law would turn into over 74 pages of rules and that non-elected bureaucrats would fulfill their own interests, creating over 100 new
state jobs and charging the Minnesota taxpayer $250,000,000 over the next two years. Our own school district has locally spent far over $100,000 in the last year alone on the implementation of
the Profile which is not included in the $250,000,000 which does not include local district costs. Our school district and every other district in Minnesota must now supply the state with an
estimate of what it will cost in dollars to raise basic test scores to 80% and 90% passing by eighth grade, and ensuring a 99% passage rate by 12th grade. How in the world can a superintendent come up with a dollar amount for this? Why is money always associated with the ability to learn like there is a perfect equation out there. X$=YKnowlege. Get ready for another tax increase to fund this new formula once all the districts have put in their order for money.

Our legislators have pleaded ignorance and it is time they get “educated” on education. It is time that teachers feel free to come forward and tell us what they think about the Profile without fear
of retaliation from administration or their own union. It is time you, the taxpayer, are informed about the most radical educational experiment ever conceived BEFORE it is tried on your children. It is still estimated that over 80% of the citizens in Minnesota have little or no knowledge of the Profile of Learning.

If you are going to simply trust your school board, its teachers and administration to do the right thing and teach the right things this coming school year, then you are setting yourself up for an upset. They are under intense pressure and many times threats, and the Department of Children, Families, and Learning, has made it clear that they will do whatever it takes even to the point of removing funding to any district who does not fully comply.

The statewide Freedom of Education Rally on October 11, 1998, at 3 PM on the capital steps, sponsored by over 14 educational, political, religious, and grass roots groups, is where you need
to be if you want to make the single largest impact on our legislators and gubernatorial candidates and the rest of the United States who is watching and wondering...Why would a state that scores only a tenth of a percent from having the highest ACT test scores in the U. S. and 2nd in number of graduates, want to radically throw out their educational system eliminating courses, grades, and credits?

Our United States Constitution states that the control of education is reserved for the individual states and local school districts. Our state law states that curriculum and assessment cannot be driven by the state. Both are being seditiously broken without the knowledge of “We the People.”

Renee T. Doyle