Letter to editor stock art - old mailbox

Public education and the strength of our schools is the cornerstone of our communities. However, for the last several years it feels like public education has been the ball in a game of ping pong, each side using it as a platform to support their own interests. Please don’t let this noise sway you from supporting our schools.

The goal of public education is to prepare our future workforce. Public school kids touch every single segment of our population. We are seeing the impact of a workforce shortage and weakening our public schools will only exacerbate this problem. Without workers our economy will crumble. We cannot afford to lose even one student who could contribute to society. That does not mean lowering standards — in fact we need to raise our standards. This referendum will help us do just that.

Our school district is dedicated to helping students be their personal best. This referendum will:

  • Restore some cuts that were recently made, lower class sizes in elementary schools, and provide opportunities for choice through electives at the secondary level.
  • Protect the student experience by preventing future cuts.
  • Sustain academic support necessary to enrich instruction.
  • Invest in the future by creating a stable funding source.

I would also like to address the No. 1 question I receive regarding this referendum, and our schools in general, and that is: “Are you teaching CRT?” Otherwise known as Critical Race Theory.

The short answer is: No.

But, let me expound, it’s important to note that Critical Race Theory is just that, a theory — in the academic sense. Scholars develop and use theories in an effort to interpret and understand the world and systems around them. Theories are not typically something that can be reduced to “facts” and are informed by scholarly work and debate at the collegiate level and not appropriate for high school or below.

To be clear — Critical Race Theory is NOT part of the Minnesota state standards and NOT part of the curriculum of Eastern Carver County Schools.

Rather than focus on what we are teaching, we need to focus on HOW we teach. Giving our students voice and choice in their learning will not only keep them engaged, it also builds critical thinking skills which are imperative for success.

The failure of this referendum will bring fewer opportunities for kids and weaken our community. Let’s stand up for our future, our kids, our schools and our community!

Vote YES!

Lisa Anderson

School board member