This busybody task group is part of the university's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, which is premised on the notion that Minnesota teachers' lack of "cultural competence" contributes to the poor academic performance of minority students. The plan would require teachers to be re-educated so they will teach Minnesota minority kids that America is an oppressive, racist, sexist, homophobic country.
According to the final report of the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group last year, in order to effectively teach a diverse class of students, teachers must understand how "white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression" have impacted their thinking.
The report demands that teachers be trained to instruct students on the U.S. "myth of meritocracy," the "history of white racism" and "demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values."
This task group even has plans to browbeat into submission those who don't accept these new liberal dictates. The group calls on the university to develop "a remediation plan" for non-performing students and teachers.
Such outlandish proposals have not gone unnoticed. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) accuses these re-education plans of violating "the freedom of conscience of the university's students," and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) charges that these plans "ignore academic goals and lead to a politicized determination of who is qualified to be a teacher."
The University of Minnesota may pretend to back off from the more outrageous of these proposals, but they are totally in sync with William Ayers' "social justice" teaching and the more recent buzz word "cultural competence." The bottom line is to teach the younger generation that they are victims of an oppressive and unjust America, and that they should organize and demonstrate (a la Saul Alinsky) to take power and money away from those who have those things.
Another ominous straw in the wind is Obama's appointment of six way-out radicals to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), whose mission is to evaluate whether accrediting agencies are properly assessing the quality of colleges and universities. The appointees are the sort of Obama extremists who will be likely to try to enforce diversity mandates and social engineering on institutions seeking accreditation.
The most important thing schools should do for minority (and other) schoolchildren is to teach them how to read by phonics in the first grade. They could do this inexpensively with my "First Reader" (www.firstreader.com) -- and if the schools refuse, this book is the perfect tool for parents to teach their own children.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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