January 7, 2019
MnSTA Member “Action Alert”
Minnesota Science Teachers and Citizens:
Science education in Minnesota is at a crossroads. As the Science Standards Revision Committee works to produce a new set of state science standards, the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) is going to the state legislature this session in an attempt to reword statute 120B.023 thereby diluting the quantity, quality and rigor of the state science graduation requirements. Their proposed wording to the statute would still require biology and either chemistry or physics, but would reduce the current third science credit to a set of electives that does not require that “all academic standards in science” be met. This essentially removes earth and space science standards as part of the graduation requirements already in state statute 120B.024 (4) (ii.) and would allow districts to choose what science standards they will or will not teach.
If we, as science educators and citizens, want our students to receive a balanced, comprehensive background in all science disciplines, i.e., be scientifically literate, it is essential that you act now.
Below are samples of letters/emails that can be reworded or used as is and sent to your state representative and state senator. (These letters are also attached as a Word doc to this message.) Your voice must be heard or our new state science standards will be reduced in rigor and merit. Hand-picking which benchmarks will be taught in our schools harms science education for all students. A strong response from science teachers and citizens will tell the Legislature that our students deserve the best science education possible.
Please e-mail your state representative and senator as soon as possible. Be sure to include “Don’t Cut Science Education Standards” in the subject line. Thank you for your continuing efforts to provide our students with a quality, comprehensive science education.
Josh Tharaldson, MnSTA President firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana Smith, MESTA President email@example.com
Lee Schmitt, MnSTA President 2014-16 firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a sample letter template to use to create a personal letter to legislators.