Proposed teacher licensing rule lists ‘racial consciousness’ as new standard

The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is considering a new standard called “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” — adding it to the list of seven “Standards of Effective Practice” that identify the “fundamental knowledge and skills needed to ensure Minnesota’s teachers are prepared to teach all of Minnesota’s students.”

Source: PELSB

The current standards are:

  • Student Learning
  • Learning Environments
  • Assessment
  • Planning for Instruction
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Professional Responsibilities
  • Collaboration and Leadership

Systemic racism and other CRT concepts

According to PELSB’s Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR), the rule amendment that adds “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” as Standard 8 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.”

The “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” sub-standards are dripping with Critical Race Theory — from requiring a teacher to “understand” intersectionality, processes of racialization and how “ethno-centrism,” “eurocentrism,” and “white supremacy undermine pedagogical equity” to requiring a teacher to “understand” 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.”

These sub-standards

represent the foundational knowledge and skills all teachers must embody in order to effectively teach all of Minnesota’s students.

The sub-standards within Standard 8 [“Racial Consciousness and Reflection”] are needed and reasonable and will ensure future teachers can truly serve all of Minnesota’s students, families, and schools.

PELSB cites similar content from Washington and Illinois to justify its proposed amendment, but most of what is cited from Washington is from the state’s 2009 standards that have since been updated.


If the rule is adopted, aspiring Minnesota teachers will have to include a demonstration of Standard 8’s ideologically driven content in their coursework to obtain their teaching license.

In Minnesota, all teacher candidates completing an initial licensure program and all applicants seeking an initial license via portfolio must demonstrate the “Standards of Effective Practice.”

This is not the first time PELSB has proposed licensing changes that politicize teacher training requirements.

A virtual hearing on adding the “Racial Consciousness and Reflection” standard to the “Standards of Effective Practice” will be held August 24 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The pre-hearing public comment period has quietly begun and closes June 6 at 4:30 p.m. You can submit pre-hearing comments by emailing [email protected]
Instructions on what to comment on can be found here.