Ethnic studies

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Minnesota’s new social studies standards

The proposed update to Minnesota’s standards for the teaching of social studies in the public schools includes more content about forgotten and suppressed narratives, including a new strand on ethnic studies, while retaining lessons on the pivotal events in state and national history.  

This is a welcome change for educators working to provide Minnesota students with an honest and complete education about America, including both the triumphs and the times when our nation fell short of its ideals. 

Education Minnesota supports giving Minnesota students the critical thinking tools they need to understand the role of race and racism in American history. Denying these lessons would shortchange our students on the skills they will need to live and lead in a multicultural, multiracial society. 

Perhaps the biggest change to the current standards would be the addition of a new ethnic studies strand. For questions about the ethnic studies standards and how they were developed, please contact the Minnesota Ethnic Studies Coalition at mnethnicstudies@gmail.com

The state Office of Administrative Hearings is taking public comment on the proposed standards through 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14. To provide feedback, please review the Request for Comments document posted on the MDE rulemaking webpage for the proposed K-12 academic standards in social studies. Comments must be submitted through the Office of Administrative Hearings’ e-comments system

Certain members of the Minnesota Legislature are expected to try to review, modify or block the proposed standards. Watch this page for updates on what’s happening at the Capitol and for guidance on what you can do to share your opinion with these lawmakers.