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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Minnesota adopts woke-centric social studies standards

"Shooting the Rapids" by Robert H. Perrizo shows French fur traders in Minnesota

Minnesota have approved "the most ideologically progressive and intellectually vapid social studies standards in America," writes Max Eden in City Journal.

The standards survived a legal challenge, but the judge reject one passage:

Ways of Knowing and Methodologies: The student will use ethnic and indigenous studies methods and sources in order to understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression and apply lessons from the past in order to eliminate historical and contemporary injustices.

"The text suggests that each student must eliminate a historical and contemporary injustice to satisfy the standard,” the judge wrote. State education bureaucrats tweaked the language, and the standards are now ready for implementation.

Minnesota's standards "center" left-wing activism and a left-wing world view, writes Eden.

First-graders must identify “examples of ethnicity, equality, liberation and systems of power,” while ninth-graders study “the construction of racialized hierarchies based on colorism and dominant European beauty standards and values.”

Chippewa elder

"The standards make zero mention of Greece, Rome, Spain, France, or even England," writes Eden. Native American-related topics are referenced 48 times. Christianity pops up in eighth grade as one of nine religions.

There's nothing about Europe till ninth grade, when students will be taught to “identify different historical perspectives about religion, slavery, feudalism and disease in Europe and the Mediterranean World, including the Ottoman Empire.”

The standards call for students to “examine dominant and non-dominant narratives” about various topics, but not to learn facts, Eden writes. "Under this pedagogical framework, Minnesota high school graduates will learn to resent things that they never even got the chance to understand."

A majority of Minnesotans have Scandinavian or German ancestry. I wonder if students are introduced to Vilhelm Moberg's The Emigrants, which features a Swedish family leaving their "empire of rocks" to travel to Minnesota. It's surprisingly sensitive about the displacement of the Native Americans. (OK, there are four books in all, but they could skip the last two, if they're not hooked on seeing what happens to the family.) There's also O.E. Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth about Norwegian immigrants, but that's set in the Dakota Territory.

Connecticut's social studies standards shortchange students, writes David Randall in Disowned Yankees, a Civics Alliance report. The standards are "bloated, vague, riddled with errors, distortions, and absences, and animated by a radical identity-politics ideology," he writes. Instead of teaching students to appreciate America’s "ongoing fight for freedom," students will be encouraged to hate America.

Rhode Island's standards, described in Taken For a RIDE, have similar defects, the Civics Alliance concludes.

1 Comment

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Feb 28

I recommend the social standards of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which cannot afford the luxury of veering too far left or right, since the army was the original American institution, before we even had a nation or a federal government, around which our states united.

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