18 Dec

Monday, December 11, 2023

School board Listening session

Jesslyn Foster


First, I need to request that the term “book banning” come to an end. I need for you as a school board to stop perpetuating this problem. When you type up your minutes from each of these listening sessions and use this language you are feeding the monster & creating a more hostile and hate filled reaction from those that are not present and are not actually informed on what’s being presented here. 

This is not the topic we have been talking about For months. We have been talking about book reviewing -plain, and simple. When someone gets up here and talks about books they feel have harmful topics for young children, that does not equate to book banning nor does it equate hate does it equate hostility towards the specific people group. There has been a lot of misleading conversations coming from that ignorant term.

Now that that’s been cleared up, we can talk about the facts! There’s a lack of control and focus on the materials being forced on our children. When are we going to focus on academics again?!

• MN declined in every category, most notably a seven-spot drop in education choice. 

• Minnesota spends the 18th-most per pupil among states. In terms of return on investment for education spending, Minnesota holds the 38th position. Despite ranking 18th in per-pupil spending among states, student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has reached a 30-year low. Minnesota ranks 17th in its combined fourth-grade and eighth-grade math and reading average NAEP score. The Land of 10,000 Lakes employs 0.84 teachers for every non-teacher in its public schools.

• As numerous states across the country introduced and expanded education freedom this year, Minnesota did not. The state now ranks 45th for education choice. “Minnesota does fairly well in allowing families to choose among charter schools and district schools, but could do much more to expand education choice,” the report says, suggesting policies such as education savings accounts and reducing regulation on homeschool families.

• “Decades of mediocre results and skyrocketing spending in American education motivated parents, taxpayers, and policymakers to overhaul outdated bureaucratic systems with school choice options that fulfill our duty to give our nation’s children the highest quality education possible,” Heritage Foundation president Dr. Kevin Roberts

• Transparency Rank: #29 Minnesota state law does have a general provision for academic transparency. Under Statute 120B.20 “Parental Curriculum Review,” each school district must have a procedure in place for parents to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to their children and, if they object to the content, they can work with school personnel for alternative instruction.

In addition, Minnesota Statute 120B.11 requires school districts to provide for regular community review of the curriculum review process. While this requirement is more broad, it is still a way to ensure parents are involved in overseeing a district’s review and evaluation cycle for each subject area. Minnesota has not adopted a parent bill of rights.


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