KNOW THE LAW! Required Academic Standards

We are reblogging this post on the Minnesota Academic Standards statute. It is important to note that standards may not not “require a specific teaching methodology or curriculum”. With Minnesota schools using only Common Core curriculum, they ARE using a specific curriculum. Tell them, “No!”

Minnesota Advocates and Champions for Children

Rear view of class raising hands

Minnesota Statute 120B.021  REQUIRED ACADEMIC STANDARDS   

Part 2: How do “objective”, “measurable” and “grade-appropriate standards” written at a federal level and without a “specific teaching methodology or curriculum” consistently work within the sovereign legalities of our Minnesota and US Constitutions?

by Linda Bell

 We’re back with another in the series of knowing education law in the state of Minnesota.

Subdivision 2 governs academic standardsdevelopment, including standards adoption by the state.   Here’s how the law reads. 

(b) “Academic standards must:

(1) be clear, concise, objective,measurable, and grade-level appropriate;

(2) not require a specific teaching methodology or curriculum; and

(3) be consistent with the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Minnesota.”

The standards appear to be clear and concise but that’s where it ends.  “Clear and concise” standards are not enough to lay a foundation for…

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Minnesota Parental Curriculum Review Statute

Rear view of class raising hands

Minnesota Parental Curriculum Review Statute


A wonderful parental rights statute, the Minnesota Parental Curriculum Review is an effective and protective resource for parents and children.  Statute 120B.20 states that all parents and adult students (18 years+) have the right to see their children’s curriculum, prior to study.  Viewing curriculum extends to all forms of curricula – text and online.

If a conflict, concern or conscientious objection is noted, parents should speak to their children’s teacher in a timely manner and set up a meeting to arrange an opt out situation.  Always ask to view an alternative curriculum.  Otherwise, if none is available, the parent may choose their own curriculum and at parent’s cost.  Parents may teach the curriculum afternoons, evenings or weekends. This is true for ANY subject. There shall not be any penalty or consequence from opting out.  If your school will not allow a parent to view the curriculum, that district is out of compliance with the law.

This is your right!  Know the law and use it!!!


“Statute 120B.20”

“Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. The school board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student’s work.”

Minnesota School Steps in Without Parental Consent, Violating HIPAA, Student Lands in Hospital. The Consequences of Unregulated Data

Child in Hospital Minnesota Article

Minnesota School Steps in Without Parental Consent, Violating HIPAA, Student Lands in Hospital.

MACC is outraged with the illegalities of adopting the Common Core Standards in Minnesota and around the nation.   Parents and Citizens have taken great offense to a one-size-fits-all curriculum and over testing. We want to make it clear however that MACC is equally concerned with data flowing unregulated from state agency to agency and between schools and medical facilities. This is an instance where a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their own child has been crossed.  Thanks to JMLmom!

The Consequences of Unregulated Data

By JMLmom

When we send our children to school we all have this private notion that our children are safe. For the most part this may be true, however things are changing. FERPA (Family Education Rights Protection Act) used to protect our children and families personally identifiable information. The US Department of Education unilaterally changed that to where anyone with an educational interest can now access our children’s and our family’s information.

So what happens when we have to share our student’s medical records with the schools? The following words are from a parent who knows firsthand the devastation of what can happen when your child’s medical records are compromised due to their school’s maltreatment of the child’s information. Mind you this comes from a family with special needs children in a Minnesota School District, as many of us do.

“Many people aren’t concerned about it until they’re burned. Most people are still under the false impression that schools follow HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act). They do not. The only part of a school that *may* follow HIPAA is the medical biller, if filed electronically. All other records fall under FERPA and have no enforcement for violations. Please be aware and cautious with shared data to your school districts. They may not be as careful with your child’s data as you are.

We also provide necessary medical records directly, and have permission for contact with the Primary Care Provider only – whom I trust implicitly, and knows our history of privacy issues and schools trying to change our children’s orders without parental consent for their convenience and not our child’s benefit. This allows contact with a medical provider in an emergency, a local ER, yet a block to too much information filtering through and changes that we do not want. He also notifies us when school is making strange requests and I can have a meeting to find out what the problem is and go from there

Our school used the medical releases to contact the specialists independently and try to change medical orders without parent consent. They then contacted our DME, which they obtained info off the feeding pump, and tried getting orders changed that route. It didn’t work but did violate HIPAA for both the clinic and DME contacted. This affected many families in this group at the time as new notices had to be made and sent as a result and permissions obtained.

They then decided to change orders with no consent and harmed our child. Our child ended up very ill and required surgical repair as a result. To recover, our child missed three months of school.

With our other child, they contacted our nursing agency and falsely billed nursing hours under their waiver. This was also a HIPAA violation for both entities and Medicaid Fraud. It cost her waiver $75,000.

I was accused of mismanaging funds before we found out where they were disappearing. The school’s punishment? They had to pay it back and write a letter describing what happened and how it wouldn’t happen again. The nursing agency’s punishment? None.

This had nothing to do with specifics and everything to do with not following the law. The school didn’t want to feed our child properly. They thought a feeding tube was an inconvenience. They thought my other child’s nursing expense was our problem. So they decided they weren’t going to deal with them. It was a school attitude problem.”

We are thankful for this parent sharing their story and that their children are ok today, as it very well could have turned out with a much different outcome. This was just one family’s experience with their children’s medical information being misused. Our children’s information, whether medical or personally identifiable (PII) should be of the utmost importance of our schools to protect. And should not be used to cause a child harm. We as parents must be vigilant about making sure that we are protecting our children’s information, once it crosses the line from HIPAA to FERPA, a new ball game and new set of rules takes hold. And it is not always for the benefit of the child or family.



Prior Lake Has Common Core!!!

Prior Lake spelling book common core

Prior Lake Has Common Core!!!

Prior Lake Common Core English Language Arts Spelling Text

Some parents in Prior Lake, Minnesota have been asking if their schools teach using Common Core Standards and Common Core curriculum.  These parents are interested in their children’s best welfare.  Our sources state that the parents were told repeatedly that the schools do not teach the standards or curriculum.

Children in the Prior Lake schools are now bringing home one of their English Language Arts books,  Daily Comprehension Common Core Journal,  published by Lakeshore Learning and designed expressly for the Common Core.

Should there be any confusion,  Minnesota was “saddled” with the Common Core English Language Arts standards when then Governor Tim Pawlenty and Education Commissioner Alice Seagren signed on  the dotted line for the Race to the Top, K-12 federal grant in 2010, selling out the next generation of Minnesotans.

Did Minnesota receive a grand amount of money for signing the federal grant?  No!  Minnesota received not one dime.   However, we did receive something.  The US Department of Education “gifted” Minnesota the Common Core English Language Arts Standards for FREE just by signing.

In fact, Minnesota schools have been teaching Common Core curriculum since 2011 when St. Paul piloted the Common Core Standards English Language Arts in their schools.  The rest of the state followed shortly thereafter.  This early pilot program was funded by none other than Bill and Melinda Gates themselves.

If you’re concerned about the curriculum that you’re children are bringing home or that you cannot view the online curriculum,  consider emailing each of your school board members right away.   As we posted this morning, Minnesota law includes a Parental Curriculum Review affording parents opportunity to view the curriculum before it’s taught.

MACC through it’s affiliate school district groups are now beginning an advocacy initiative to communicate and build relationships with school board members and legislators.   We hope to see you!