Action alert: Proposed rule injects divisive concepts into teaching licensure requirements

ACTION: Tomorrow (July 29) at 9:30am PELSB’s Board Meeting will address the R4615 Rulemaking Project, which includes adding in the “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” standard. You can attend the meeting virtually and share public comment. Learn more here.


Since American Experiment first drew attention to PELSB’s proposed teacher licensing requirements that are heavily politicized, word is spreading about the ideologically driven content Minnesota teachers will have to demonstrate if the “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” standard is adopted.

PELSB is the state’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and is made up of board members appointed by Gov. Tim Walz.

Tasked with overseeing the Minnesota teacher certification process, PELSB’s latest proposed rule changes relating to licensing and academic standards are dripping with Critical Race Theory, gender ideology, and other identity politics. (This is not the first time PELSB has proposed licensing changes that politicize teacher training requirements.)

The rule amendment adds “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” as part of the “fundamental knowledge and skills needed to ensure Minnesota’s teachers are prepared to teach all of Minnesota’s students.”

According to PELSB, this addition is necessary because “a teacher must have a foundational understanding of how race and racism are embedded in our institutions and everyday life” in order to “understand and implement culturally-responsive pedagogy.”

If adopted, aspiring Minnesota teachers will have to include a demonstration of the Racial Consciousness and Reflection sub-standards in their licensure program coursework to obtain their teaching license.

These include:

  • Understanding how “ethno-centrism, eurocentrism, deficit-based teaching, and white supremacy undermine pedagogical equity.”
  • Understanding that “knowledge creation, ways of knowing, and teaching are social and cultural practices shaped by race and ethnicity, often resulting in racially disparate advantages and disadvantages.”
  • Understanding “multiple theories of race and ethnicity,” including intersectionality.
  • Complying with “multiple identity formation.”
  • Focusing on implicit bias, systemic racism, “white privilege.”
  • “Empower[ing] learners to be agents of social change to promote equity.”

Not only are the themes of these sub-standards concerning, but they hardly seem measurable.

Pass this along to educators, school leaders, and anyone in the general public who may be interested in voicing concern over the direction PELSB is trying to take the state’s licensure requirements. Given that most private schools employ licensed teachers, this will impact them too.

On August 24, a virtual hearing before the PELSB board and an Administrative Law Judge will begin at 9:00am. Comments on the proposed rules can be emailed or shared during the hearing itself. Learn more here.