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FIRE to HHS: No Political Litmus Tests for Social Workers

Today’s FIRE press release announces that FIRE has written the federal Department of Health and Human Services to urge it to take action against political litmus tests at America’s schools of social work.

Why is FIRE writing to HHS about schools of social work? Because every social worker in HHS’s “uniformed service” is required to have a degree from a social work school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and CSWE’s accreditation requirements contain statements requiring that students be evaluated on their commitment to social and economic justice. As FIRE has pointed out many times, vague and politically loaded terms like “social justice” open the door to punishment based on belief on our nation’s college and university campuses—an unacceptable situation in a free society.

FIRE’s press release and its letter to HHS tell the whole story. FIRE hopes that with its letter, along with those of the National Association of Scholars and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, both of whom also wrote to HHS today, the government will take steps to ensure that CSWE follows in the steps of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and eliminates political litmus tests from its accreditation criteria.

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