Proposed standards add focus on Ethnic Studies, Indigenous history

What’s happening

After years of review, new honest and inclusive social studies standards have been released. Now it’s our job to get them across the finish line.

What’s next

Before the standards can be adopted, a judge must rule in their favor. A final comment period is open until 4:30pm on Wednesday, November 29.

Submit comments online and use the toolkit below to hone your message.

Social studies toolkit

Please use and share our toolkit with tips and talking points for honest, inclusive social studies.

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Why it matters

Standards that reflect the state’s diverse racial and ethnic groups help students see themselves and their classmates in what they learn. The knowledge they gain is more relevant. The skills they hone more valuable. Their academic outcomes improve.

Opposition groups have cast this positive progress as a secret ploy to indoctrinate students—and they want to see it derailed.

Tips for crafting powerful statements in support of the standards

  • Be informed: Review the standards yourself. Summaries from outside groups (us included!) might skim past details important to you.
  • Be concise: Focus on a few main points so they hold more weight.
  • Be specific: Identify which part of the standards you’re addressing. See examples with sample language to get started.
  • Be honest: Give reasons for your views. Use your own words and share personal experiences that show the need for honest, inclusive social studies.
  • Be respectful: Offer constructive feedback. Don’t attack anyone or use inflammatory language.
  • Back yourself up: Cite evidence, research, or examples that show the value of honest, inclusive social studies education.
  • Don’t be late: Sign on early the day you plan to speak; testimony sign-up is first come, first served.

Sample language to get you started

“I am a Minnesota (teacher/parent/student) and I support the new K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies.”

  • Tip: Describe your relationship to students and schools to demonstrate what stake you have in more equitable standards.

Sample #1: “Subp. 2, (F); Subp. 4, (B) & (E); and Subp. 5 & 6 ensure students study the rich history of Minnesota’s Indigenous Relatives, deepening students’ appreciation and understanding of the geography we call home.”

Sample #2: “Subp. 6, (A) through (C), in the Ethnic Studies strand, promote cross-cultural understanding and strong positive identity development among all students. This nurtures stronger community ties inside the school and a richer understanding of our neighbors. Inequitable social studies disservice not just students from marginalized groups but students of the dominant culture, who benefit from an appreciation of their peers’ contexts.”

Sample #3: “Subp. 6, (C) ensures students ‘understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression and apply lessons from the past in order to eliminate historical and contemporary injustices.’ The standard urges students to question, evaluate, critique, communicate, and take action. Hallmarks of talented workers, in line with the respected C3 framework for standards that prepare students for college, career, and civic life used to help develop these standards.”

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