The Minnesota Department of Education is overhauling the standards and benchmarks for teaching civics/social studies to our children. The first working draft has been released. These standards and benchmarks are intended to set the framework for statewide classroom instruction.

The changes as proposed remove parts of the curriculum, particularly history, and increase focus on things that divide people into sub-groups: identity politics. I think we should focus on the things we hold in common, things that bind us together as a nation.

Reviewing the proposed standards reveals several concerning omissions and additions in both topics and tone.

Some examples:

  • World War I and World War II are no longer included
  • The Holocaust is missing
  • The runup to the American revolution is diluted, as is the runup to the Civil War.
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The core documents that form the bedrock of our government are minimized. These are things that define our country today and need to be understood by students, so they can interpret the world they live in.

The Center for the American Experiment has a succinct review on their web site that provides what citizens ought to know about the proposal. All parents and taxpayers owe it to themselves to review what the state's Education Department is pushing forward.

I encourage all citizens, and especially parents, to review the proposed standards and make their voices heard, whether you agree with the changes or not.

Jeff Niedenthal

Grove City