FOXNews.com Covers FIRE’s University of Minnesota Ed School Case

By on December 9, 2009

Late last month, FIRE wrote a letter to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities about proposed changes that would implement what amounts to a political litmus test for enrollment and participation in its College of Education and Human Development’s teacher education program. FOXNews.com has now joined the coverage of the program with a front-page story entitled "University of Minnesota Under Fire for Task Force’s Discrimination-Based Teacher Education Plan." (Pun intended, we hope.)

Writer Diane Macedo’s article includes commentary both from FIRE’s Adam Kissel and from the university, as well as from an unaffiliated constitutional lawyer.

A branch of the University of Minnesota may require all education students at the school to understand and accept that they are either privileged or oppressed and that they be well-versed in issues like "white privilege," "institutional racism" and the "myth of meritocracy in the United States."

Critics are condemning the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, which proposes making race, class and gender issues the "overarching framework" of all teaching courses.

The task group, formed as part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative at the state university, aims to change how future teachers are trained, based on the assertion that the teachers’ lack of "cultural competence" contributes to minority students’ poor grades.

The group is one of seven task forces that university spokesman Dan Wolters says are examining "a whole range of issues dealing with how teachers are educated."

"This is a rather long-term comprehensive overhaul of our teaching education programs," Wolters told FoxNews.com.

But the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says the Race, Culture, Class and Gender group is going beyond addressing how teachers are educated and is trying instead to mandate their beliefs and values.

The entire story, which includes a lot of detail about the program, is worth a read. FIRE thanks FOXNews.com for bringing much-needed attention to this important situation.

Schools: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities