by Kyle Olson | Posted Dec 30th 2009 at 7:41 am
We’re accustomed to strange political phenomena rising out of Minnesota.
We can accept the occasional Jesse Ventura or Al Franken winning statewide office, because the state’s voters obviously like to be different.
But we doubt even the most offbeat citizens of that state would approve of the new K-12 teacher education program that’s been proposed for the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.
While the rest of the nation is trying to force teachers to help our children reach their potential, the university’s College of Education and Human Development wants to make sure future teachers are more anti-American, so they can share that philosophy with their future students.
We couldn’t even begin to make something like this up.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, College of Education officials recently established the “Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group.” It’s charged with helping to devise a new system for training prospective K-12 teachers, because current teachers lack “cultural competence,” a factor officials believe contributes to the poor performance of minority students.
The task force has issued its final report, which the group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education brought to light, and officials from the College of Education are expected to review its recommendations in January.
What’s the task force’s main recommendation? That new teachers be immersed in a liberal political agenda that’s highly critical of American social norms, particularly the notion that all people can positively influence their own destiny through hard work and determination.
The task force “recommended that aspiring teachers must repudiate the notion of the ‘American Dream’ and instead “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,” according to writer Katherine Kersten of the Star Tribune.
“The report advocates making race, class and gender politics the ‘overarching framework’ for all teaching courses at the university,” Kersten wrote. “It calls for evaluating future teachers in both coursework and practice teaching, based on their willingness to fall into intellectual lockstep.”