More eyes should be on teachers’ colleges

Efforts to politicize K-12 public education and turn classrooms into ideological battlegrounds have dominated headlines over the past two years, as school closures and distance learning gave parents a peek into what some teachers and school leadership were prioritizing.

But not as much attention has been given to why some educators bring their political activism into the classroom.

Enter colleges for teacher education.

A big part of the reason political activism has seeped into classrooms, writes Max Eden with the American Enterprise Institute, is because teachers were trained and socialized by ideologues — teachers’ colleges — to bring politicking in.

“There is certainly no robust evidence suggesting that requiring teachers to receive education degrees confers substantial academic benefits on students,” Eden continues. “There is, however, plenty of evidence that schools of education are bastions of far-left ideology.”

One such example is a recent report the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released titled, “The State of Education Censorship in Institutions of Higher Ed and Implications for the Field.”

While the report “fails to demonstrate evidence of censorship in higher education,” summarizes Eden, “it echoes the pro-CRT [Critical Race Theory] party line: CRT is not taught in schools and it’s a good thing that it is.”

According to the AACTE, laws insisting that schools not teach that “an individual should be discriminated against … solely or partly because of his or her race” actually “underscores the ever-present bigotry” of our education system and are how “suppressive and oppressive ideologies persist.” These laws have “criminalize[d] students” of color and “exploit[ed] White, sexually heterogeneous and gender-normative students” and restricted the ability of teachers “to live within their own identities.”

How, exactly? The report doesn’t quite make that clear. 

In Minnesota, there are 35 different teacher preparation providers that will be required to have aspiring educators “demonstrate” ideologically driven content in their coursework to obtain their teaching license should proposed rule changes by Gov. Tim Walz’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) get the nod from an administrative law judge. The ALJ’s report on the proposed amendments to the state’s licensure rule for teachers is expected any time.