U-Minn backs down on teacher ed plan

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has promised not to enforce a “political litmus test for future teachers,” FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights) proclaims.

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is redesigning admissions and the curriculum to focus on “cultural competence.”

. . . The proposal, initiated by the college’s Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group, sought to require each future teacher to accept theories of “white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression”; “develop a positive sense of racial/cultural identity”; and “recognize that schools are socially constructed systems that are susceptible to racism … but are also critical sites for social and cultural transformation.” They were to be judged by their scores on the Intercultural Development Inventory, a test of “Intercultural Sensitivity.” In one assignment, they were to reveal a “pervasive stereotype” they personally held and then demonstrate how their experiences had “challenged” it. They also were to be assessed regarding “the extent to which they find intrinsic satisfaction” in being in “culturally diverse situations.”

In response to a letter from FIRE, General Counsel Mark B. Rotenberg promised that “[n]o University policy or practice ever will mandate any particular beliefs, or screen out people with ‘wrong beliefs’ from the University.”

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