Gov. Dayton's massive education plan has Rep. Glen Gruenhagen pining for the good ol' days, when kids from "traditional families" learned how to read by hammering phonics and grammar, instead of having to learn fancy garbage like creative writing.
Gruenhagen was one of the Republicans in a two-hour hearing yesterday who began picking at the governor's plan to use more than $400 million of the state's surplus on various education initiatives. He had some interesting ideas on how to redirect some of those funds. See also: MNGOP Rep. Glen Gruenhagen Misses the Days When Teachers Hit Students
"I see much of the money that has been misdirected...That money should be redirected toward support of the traditional family and emphasizing reading curriculums that actually have empirical evidence that work," he said.
He went on to rail against non-traditional learning methods like inventive spelling, whole language and creative writing(?) as the cause of childhood reading problems.
The legislator from Glencoe also claimed "if children were raised in a traditional two-parent family, 90 percent of child poverty would be eliminated."
No specifics on how the legislature could fund the support of "traditional family" were put forward.
As Sally Jo Sorensen over at Bluestem Prairie mentioned, this rhetoric is fairly tame by Gruenhagen's standards. A search of City Pages archives brings up all sorts of weird stuff, from eager support of sex offender castration to resolute climate change denial.
Here's video of Gruenhagen's testimony, provided by The Uptake:
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