What to know about Minnesota’s proposed licensing changes
Tomorrow (Sept. 13) at 4:30 p.m. is the deadline for public feedback on proposed licensing changes that would require aspiring educators to “demonstrate” ideologically driven content in order to obtain their Minnesota teaching license.
Administrative Law Judge Mortenson will review the comments submitted here through the Office of Administrative Hearing’s online portal along with those mailed and faxed in.
Below are some thoughts on what to share with the ALJ as he considers whether or not to approve the proposed rule changes.
Political and ideological, not academic
The proposed framing of the new Standards of Effective Practice would require teachers to demonstrate a specific worldview in order to be licensed that leaves no room for a shared academic culture of excellence or one in which students are viewed and treated as unique, individual learners. For example, the new language insists that teachers prioritize group identities with their students, encouraging concerning generalizations of cultures and ethnic groups. Teachers will also be trained on “intersectionality,” which is one of Critical Race Theory’s central ideas.
Teachers should not have to agree with or demonstrate agreement with ideological positions in order to serve in the classroom. That is compelled speech.
Verbiage changes to the Standards of Effective Practice include words without sufficient corresponding definitions — such as “power,” “privilege,” “oppressive systems,” “anti-racist,” “implicit bias,” “educational equity.” These words have varied definitions and have varied ways of being put into practice. They are also foundationally adversarial.
Additionally, there are many instances within the proposed standards where the word “understands” is used, which is hard to measure and will introduce subjectivity into deciding whether or not a teacher has adequately and completely demonstrated what is required.
Teachers should and do celebrate our state’s increasingly diverse student body, but these proposed changes would require teachers to view students as group identities and group cultures, undermining who they are as unique individuals.
American Experiment strongly encourages Judge Mortenson to reject the proposed language changes and require Gov. Walz’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board to take additional time to rewrite the current draft so that it is free from political jargon and divisive concepts.