Dedicated Petition Link Plus Media and More Testimony

Karen R. Effrem, MD, Education Liberty Watch

Thanks to you, we are well on our way to collecting hundreds of signatures to present to the judge calling for a halt to the horrific proposed social studies standards. However, we have also received reports that some people were having trouble finding the link to the petition in our last email. So, just to be clear, the dedicated link is: http://edlibertywatch.org/social-studies-standards-petition/ There are buttons on that site to post the petition link to your followers on Facebook and Twitter. We would be grateful if you would do that as well.

We will stop collecting petition signatures at 10 AM CST on January 9th in order to be able to get the letter and signatures ready to submit. The deadline for submitting written comments to Judge Nielson at [email protected] is 4:30 PM CST on January 9th.

A link to the standards and other details may be found here. The standards of greatest concern to us may be found here. The hearing report contains some of the excellent testimony. See below for more quotes and links to other testimony to which we have received access, as well as Education Liberty Watch and Dr. Karen Effrem in the media. Thanks and please keep it up!!

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Excerpts of Hearing Testimony of Dr. Ryan MacPherson [Note- See also Dr. MacPherson’s extensive and scholarly written testimony]

“…As a college professor, I agree with Dr. Debbi Daniels, who has stated that these revised standards will not equip students for college. Minnesota statutes require that public education prepare students for college, but these new standards will fail to fulfill that legislative mandate…”

“…In summary, the current standard covering the American Revolution concisely summarizes that historic episode, whereas the proposed revision introduces error and confusion…”

“… Suffice it to say, the proposed revisions are academically inferior to the current standards. The Minnesota Department of Education has claimed in its SONAR document to have followed the pattern of several states that it identifies as “exemplary.” But the standards of those “exemplary” states in fact include Western Civilization as a key organizing principle and assign specific standards to the Renaissance and Reformation.

I also concur with Mrs. Quist, who emphasized the distinction between natural rights and so called individual rights. Natural rights are part of human nature, whereas individual rights can be created or destroyed by government. One person who understood this well was John F. Kennedy. I quote from his inaugural address, where he asserted that “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” Kennedy understood natural rights just as surely as Jefferson and Lincoln. The current standards teach this; the new revisions do not.

Moreover, I maintain that the Department of Education has failed to meet the required burden of proof to demonstrate that the proposed changes are either necessary or appropriate from a legal standpoint. The SONAR document insinuates that Minnesota will lose federal funding unless these new standards are adopted, but the Department has failed to show that the current standards fall short of federal and state requirements (other than the relatively simple matter of changing grade bands into grade-level benchmarks) or that these particular revision proposals are the most prudent means of complying with federal or state requirements.”

Hearing Testimony of Alexandra Matyja (former citizen of Communist Poland) on Page 15 of PDF)

“I believe American students should be competitive, and should rate at the top of the list compared to other countries. Sadly, currently we fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. Instead of these pro-global and anti-American standards why don’t we raise the ceiling and the floor of the current student academic achievement? Instead of touting pro-globalism, why don’t we emphasize and return to the values, morals, and principles upon which our Republic was founded? In just over 200 years, Americans have made more progress than the entire human race has done in over 5000 years. I propose that we concentrate on educating our students and developing their skills so they become more disciplined, responsible, and productive Americans, instead of more effective global citizens ”

Written Testimony of Matt Abe (member of the 2004 Social Studies Standards Committee) on page 1 of the PDF:

“I am not suggesting that American history should be cleansed of the sins of our past. One of the most healing and encouraging developments in U.S. History instruction in the past ten years is the introduction of detailed instruction on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the concurrent distinguished U.S. military service of many Japanese Americans. As a History Day judge in the Wayzata School District, I have been gratified to see that student projects about these topics portray both injustice and justice, and how even a community oppressed by racism and bigotry can remain steadfastly patriotic, even challenging the majority to live up to the American ideals of The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and our Founders.

I implore the Department of Education to teach Minnesota’s youth about the ideals of our country’s founding, and challenge them to live up to those ideals. As Ronald Reagan said, ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.’ Such instruction will also protect future generations from oppression. As Karl Marx is credited with saying, ‘Take away a people’s heritage and they are easily persuaded.'”

Media Interviews:

The Late Debate 1/4/13 (first segment) on Twin Cities Newstalk AM 1130

The Northern Alliance Radio Network with Mitch Berg 1/5/13 (at about halfway thru the first hour) on AM 1280 the Patriot

The Sue Jeffers Show 1/5/13 (Starting at 33:14) on Twin Cities Newstalk AM 1130

Minnesota Social Studies Standards: Critics Target Changes 12/19/12 by Megan Boldt St. Paul Pioneer Press


Please consider a generous donation to help maintain education freedom in Minnesota and around the country.


The Moral Liberal Guest Editor, Dr. Karen R. Effrem, is President of Education Liberty Watch. Dr. Effrem is a pediatrician, researcher, and conference speaker. Her medical degree is from Johns Hopkins University and her pediatric training from the University of Minnesota. She has provided testimony for Congress, as well as in-depth analysis of numerous pieces of major federal education, health, and early childhood legislation for congressional staff, state legislatures, and many organizations. Dr. Effrem serves on the boards of four national organizations: Education Liberty Watch, the Alliance for Human Research Protection, The International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology, and the National Physicians Center.


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