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Until August 16th
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Minnesota Department of Education
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Roseville, MN 55113

The following is provided by the Center for the American Experiment

Oppression & Identity

“The theme of oppression, marginalization, group identity, and absent narratives drives the draft two standards and benchmarks. Students will learn that their self-concept centers around their racial/gender group identity, and that oppression narratives, rather than facts, are the lens through which all social studies content should be viewed.”

Ethnic Studies

“MDE and the committee have added Ethnic Studies as a fifth strand of social studies. The legality behind this action is in question, considering Minnesota state statute defines social studies as the academic study of four areas — history, geography, economics, and government and citizenship. Efforts to include Ethnic Studies in the K-12 education omnibus bill passed by the legislature in June were also not successful.”

“Ethnic Studies is defined by MDE as “understanding multiple perspectives,” but the language used in draft two places an overt focus on alleged oppression and marginalization.

For example, 4th graders will look at colonization through an oppression lens.
4.5.22.1 Identify the processes and impacts of colonization and examine how discrimination and the
oppression of various racial and ethnic groups have produced resistance movements.

Middle schoolers will also focus on systemic oppression.
6.5.23.3 Identify and explain how discrimination based on race, gender, economic, and social group videntity created and continues to affect the history, health, growth, and current experience of residents of Minnesota.

High schoolers will learn that capital accumulation and oppression/racism are connected by analyzing “racial capitalism.”
9.5.24.2 Examine the characteristics of freedom movements; develop an analysis of racial capitalism, political economy, anti-Blackness, Indigenous sovereignty, illegality and indigeneity.

“There is also language within the Ethnic Studies content that is too mature for the applicable grade level. A 1st grade benchmark has students “construct meaning” of advanced concepts.
1.5.23.1 Construct meaning of the terms ethnicity, equality, liberation and systems of power and identify examples.”

August 6, 2021