Final modifications to teacher licensure rules submitted, if approved formal adoption coming later this winter/early spring

As I wrote here, Minnesota’s chief administrative law judge recently signed off on the majority of controversial amendments to the state’s licensure rule for teachers. Modifications to three disapproved rule parts are currently back before the chief ALJ, and formal adoption of the rules is anticipated later this winter or early this spring, according to communication from Gov. Tim Walz’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).

The rule changes are then expected to go into effect on July 1, 2024.

After reviewing the 86-page report from the chief ALJ early December, PELSB submitted modifications to the disapproved rule parts and a previously approved rule part mid-December. You can read the modifications below in italics.

Modifications (identified in italics)

8710.2000, subpart 4 (F)
The teacher features, highlights, and uses demonstrates the ability to feature, highlight, and use resources written and developed by traditionally marginalized voices that offer diverse perspectives on race, culture, language, gender, sexual identity, ability, religion, nationality, migrant/refugee status, socioeconomic status, housing status, and other identities traditionally silenced or omitted from curriculum by offering a wide range of curriculum materials.

8710.2000, subpart 4 (H)
Consistent with the local curriculum and state and local academic standards, the teacher creates demonstrates the ability to create opportunities for students to learn about power, privilege, intersectionality, and systemic oppression in the context of various communities and empowers learners to be agents of social change to promote equity.

8710.2000, subpart 5 (H)
The teacher encourages Consistent with the local curriculum and state and local academic standards, the teacher demonstrates the ability to nurture critical thinking about culture and race and includes knows how to include multiple perspectives and missing narratives to from the dominant culture in the by offering a range of curriculum materials.

8710.2000, subpart 7(D)
The teacher identifies demonstrates the ability to identify gaps where the current curriculum does not address multiple perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds, and incorporates curriculum to fill these gaps understands how curriculum and instruction impacts students that are not part of the dominant culture.

Source: PELSB

American Experiment believes the proposed rule changes to the Standards of Effective Practice (both those approved and modified) are bad policy, politicizing teacher training requirements by using language that is political and ideological, not academic. (Read here for a list of other specific examples.)

These proposed rule changes drew overwhelming public opposition throughout the 2022 public hearing and comment periods — from teachers, education specialists, parents, legal centers, and many others.

Here is who will be directly impacted by the rule changes to the Standards of Effective Practice:

  • Teacher preparation providers
  • Teacher candidates completing an initial licensure program through a teacher preparation program
  • Existing teachers seeking an initial Tier 3 license through the licensure via portfolio process (i.e., adult learners)

These rule changes are not a license renewal requirement, they do not determine or set standards and benchmarks, which are set by the Minnesota Department of Education, and they do not determine or set curricula, which are selected by local school boards.