Minnesota Statute 120B.021 REQUIRED ACADEMIC STANDARDS
by Linda Bell
Part 1: Can we get out of these Common Core/College & Career Ready Standards?
While an understanding of Minnesota’s Common Core and College/Career Ready academic standards, now best known as “Minnesota Standards” are important, I’d like to shine a light on a very special waiver. Statute 120B.021 includes a waiver from required standards, required curriculum, required instructional methodology and that the standards adhere to the US and Minnesota State Constitutions. Let’s take a look!
Under Subdivision 1a. Rigorous Course of Study, Waiver, “If the local school board, the school board of the school district in which the area learning center is located, or the charter school board of directors determines that the student:
- is participating in a course of study, including an advanced placement or international baccalaureate course or program; a learning opportunity outside the curriculum of the district, area learning center, or charter school; or an approved preparatory program for employment or postsecondary education that is equally or more rigorous than the corresponding state or local academic standard required by the district, area learning center, or charter school; or an approved preparatory program for employment or postsecondary education that is equally or more rigorous than the corresponding state or local academic standard required by the district, area learning center, or charter school.”
Clearly the first section recommends the Common Core-aligned courses, international baccalaureate/IB (read here: http://www.ibo.org/en/about-the-ib/the-ib-by-region/ib-americas/connecting-ib-to-the-common-core/) and advanced placement/AP (read here: http://research.collegeboard.org/publications/content/2012/05/common-core-state-standards-alignment-advanced-placement) to meet the standards requirement. STEM and STEAM also belong in this category though have yet to be included. IB is the flagship of the United Nations/UNESCO/United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization education offerings via NGOs. (read here: http://ngo-db.unesco.org/d/or/en/1100014533)
However, in the second section we find more flexibility in a learning opportunity outside the district, postsecondary education or preparatory program for employment, etc. “that is equally or more rigorous than the corresponding state or local academic standards required by the district…” A school district can waive state mandated standards if the locally developed standards “that is equally or more rigorous than the corresponding state standards.” This waiver was intended on a student by student basis, but that does not mean the district could not apply it more broadly. This waiver is meant to protect local control. But as international entanglements, like IB administered out of Geneva, Switzerland and other program “partnerships” across districts and states flourish in number, we find our Minnesota Constitution under extreme attack. There are numerous older and better standards available. Talk with your school boards and keep education local!
Part 2 covers a waiver from required or specific curriculum, instructional methodology and the Minnesota and US Constitution!
Here’s the statute.