A program proposed at the University of Minnesota would result in required examinations of teacher candidates on "white privilege" as well as "remedial re-education" for those who hold the "wrong" views . . .
UPDATE 12/26/o9: University backtracks after watchdog pressure
UPDATE 12/10/09: Additional report with link to university report
-- From "They must denounce exclusionary biases and embrace the vision. (Or else.)" by Katherine Kersten, Minneapolis Star Tribune 11/22/09
Do you believe in the American dream -- the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools -- at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus.
In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U's College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of "the American Dream" in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates must embrace -- and be prepared to teach our state's kids -- the task force's own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.
The task group is part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, a multiyear project to change the way future teachers are trained at the U's flagship campus. The initiative is premised, in part, on the conviction that Minnesota teachers' lack of "cultural competence" contributes to the poor academic performance of the state's minority students. Last spring, it charged the task group with coming up with recommendations to change this. In January, planners will review the recommendations and decide how to proceed.
To read the entire column above, CLICK HERE.
Response to above: "American Dream lives on at the U" Commentary by Jean K. Quam, Minneapolis Star Tribune 11/27/09
. . . The American Dream lives and thrives in the College of Education and Human Development.
We do not take a narrow view of who is an American and who can achieve the dream. We expect and require that teachers of the next half-century take a broad, balanced view of that dream.
To read the commentary above, CLICK HERE.
From "Teaching plan: America 'an oppressive hellhole'" by Bob Unruh © 2009 WorldNetDaily 11/27/09
[The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)], which promotes civil liberties on the campuses of America's colleges and universities, has dispatched a letter to University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks asking him to intervene to prevent the adoption of policies proposed in his College of Education and Human Development.
"The university's general counsel should be asked to comment as soon as possible," said the letter from Adam Kissel, an officer with FIRE. "If the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group achieves its stated goals, the result will be political and ideological screening of applicants, remedial re-education for those with the 'wrong' views and values, [and] withholding of degrees from those upon whom the university's political re-education efforts proved ineffective."
By any "nontotalitarian" standards, he wrote, the plans being made so far by the school are "severely unjust and impermissibly intrude into matters of individual conscience."
Kissel wrote that it appears that the university "intends to redesign its admissions process so that it screens out people with the 'wrong' beliefs and values – those who either do not have sufficient 'cultural competence' or those who the college judges will not be able to be converted to the 'correct' beliefs and values even after remedial re-education."
"These intentions violate the freedom of conscience of the university's students. As a public university bound by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the university is both legally and morally obligated to uphold this fundamental right," he wrote.
Among the issues discussed in the plans are requirements that teachers would be able to instruct students on the "myth of meritocracy" in the United States, "the history of demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values," and the "history of white racism."
"Here's the kicker," FIRE said in its report. "The college even realizes that its efforts to impose such a severe ideological litmus test may be unconstitutional."
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.