Suburban school board races in Minnesota emerge as partisan battlegrounds

2021-10-27 17:03:41 –

Signs of the campaign appear in swarms, and candidates provide more sharp messages than voters would normally hear in a suburban school board race.

These are conservative voices, often as part of a multi-candidate slate, trying to flip the school board seats in next week’s elections and set what they describe as a new common-sense direction. ..

A keen challenge to racial equality policy has transformed what is sometimes a sleepy year-end election into a partisan battle across the Twin Cities metro suburbs, from South Washington County to Wayzata to White Bear Lake. At Bloomington, teacher and school administrator Natalie Mallows accused her of distributing Black Lives Matter T-shirts to staff and accepting some of the toilets, including gender.

“We’re late for the game,” Mallows said of the progressive move and the subsequent challenges facing candidates and others like themselves. “The battle has begun and we need to be prepared to intensify.”

It works dynamically in national school district elections, including: Adjacent WisconsinA heated conference room debate over pandemic measures such as masks and attention to issues such as social and racial justice spilled on ballots.

Katie Schwartz, incumbent on the South Washington County Board of Education, said she was saddened by the proposal that helping “historically underserved students” would hurt others. ..

“Not all students learn the same thing, and we need to reach all students intentionally,” she said.

This year’s campaign scene includes Take Charge Minnesota, founded earlier this year by the 1776 Project PAC, a New York-based group that opposes the teachings of critical race theory, and Kendall Qualls, a former candidate for the Minnesota State Capitol last year. Includes external influencers such as. US Congressman Dean Phillips bids to leave D-Min’s seat.

Qualls and his wife Sheila recently paved the way in Woodbury, Thursday night in Plymouth, with a presentation entitled “The Fallacy of Critical Race Theory.” In it, Sheila Qualls incorporates academic concepts outside the state’s curriculum standards and associates them with social and emotional learning, ethnic studies and culturally sensitive education.

Critical race theory, as the debate progresses, looks at society through the lens of race and defines people as privileged or oppressed. This message was picked up by an American experimental think tank center nationwide and in Minnesota. The center hosted a “campaign school” for candidates in August, during which time they shared their thoughts on this subject.

The center’s communications director, Bill Walsh, said 30 candidates were present, but he refused to name them.

Candidate slate

In South Washington County, four candidate red signs spread throughout the district. Some residents used social media to ask political newcomers about their loyalty. Three of the candidates, parent and police officer Eric Tessmer, said they attended the American Experiment Center Campaign School.

Tessmer said in his profile Patch online news site The most pressing problem facing schools in South Washington County was the policy of requiring students to cover their faces.In a video message, he said the district “abandoned too much.” [its] A core curriculum that emphasizes the policy of splitting fairness and inclusiveness. “

But when asked by email about how the district shortened the curriculum, how the fairness policy was wrong, and where the school’s funding proposal was on the ballot next week. He did not specifically identify among several other issues.

“After reviewing your question, I decided not to submit an answer or comment,” he wrote. Instead, he introduced people to the website for his campaign and candidate slate.

“In past elections, I was relieved that anyone who won would do the best for their students,” said Schwartz, backed by United Teachers in South Washington County. “This election is not.” rice field.

At Wayzata, Erin Shelton is a candidate for board operating in collaboration with two other challengers. She puts the phrase “NO CRT” behind a lawn sign, and on her website many teachers, including teachers in the Weisata district, disagree with critical race theory, but parents do so with some teachers. He states that he is looking directly at what he does.

Asked if some groups in the classroom knew Wayzata teachers who claimed to be “automatically oppressed or oppressed,” Shelton was recently hired in the district instead. He pointed out “fair efforts”. Claims to treat students unequally.

“Whether CRTs are currently prevalent in our systems, this’commitment’shows our future trajectory,” she said. “CRTs are divisive and regressive.”

Incumbent Sarah Johansen, who is aiming for a third term on Wayzata’s board of directors, counters allegations of unequal treatment by pointing out that the commitment to fairness is clearly stated.

According to Johansen, this race is very different from the previous two races, it’s lively, combative, frustrating, rewarding and there are conflicts from both sides of the political spectrum.

“It is almost impossible to separate this election from state and state political dialogue, and I have made great efforts to continue to be independent, but there are groups on both sides claiming that it is not. “She said.

Tense board

Stillwater is holding a special election on its board of directors, but it is scheduled to be renewed, and attention is focused on the operating tax that is subject to the non-voting campaign. Beverly Petrie said the district would have to cut $ 12 million in the event of a defeat. Critics say the literacy score for third graders is low. Petrie asks how to improve if budgets are cut and teachers are cut.

Emotions have risen since the district merged and closed several schools, but non-voting supporters became more passionate on the board, which opposed Mask and referred to critical race theory. I did.

“Some, not all of these people, just yell at us,” Petrie said. “It’s disappointing to see the lack of respect for the board process.”

At a recent board meeting, unvoted supporters brought a sign and slid it into a live stream camera view. The coach of Lake Elmo Elementary School talked cheerfully about the beginning of the school year. Soon, some other people in shirts saying, “Kindergarten has my heart,” stepped behind the coach to block the view of the camera signs.

A brawl broke out, police were called in, and Petry closed the meeting.

Currently, when people speak during a public session of the board, they are sitting at the table with their cameras facing their faces and no signs visible.

Anthony Loan Tree • 612-673-4109

Suburban school board races in Minnesota emerge as partisan battlegrounds Source link Suburban school board races in Minnesota emerge as partisan battlegrounds

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