You Are Guilty Of Thought Crime; Go To Mental Detention

Need any more reason to get your kids the hell out of the public school system?

“America Last” is going to be a matter of academic doctrine – at least, at the U of M.

Katherine Kersten – the single best columnist working in the Twin Cities today –  takes it down:

Do you believe in the American dream — the idea that in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits? If so, that belief may soon bar you from getting a license to teach in Minnesota public schools — at least if you plan to get your teaching degree at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus.

In a report compiled last summer, the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U’s College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of “the American Dream” in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Instead, teacher candidates 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.

Now, in a sense Kersten (and the U of M) are behind the curve; the Education academy has long been a hive of Fabians who see themselves as social artists and the school system as their canvas, on which to create a whole new, “better” America, without all that “America” in it.

The task group is part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, a multiyear project to change the way future teachers are trained at the U’s flagship campus. The initiative is premised, in part, on the conviction that Minnesota teachers’ lack of “cultural competence” contributes to the poor academic performance of the state’s minority students. Last spring, it charged the task group with coming up with recommendations to change this. In January, planners will review the recommendations and decide how to proceed.

The report advocates making race, class and gender politics the “overarching framework” for all teaching courses at the U. It calls for evaluating future teachers in both coursework and practice teaching based on their willingness to fall into ideological lockstep.

In other words, education will be even less culturally diverse – in the mainline public schools – than it already is.  That’ll take some doing.

The first step toward “cultural competence,” says the task group, is for future teachers to recognize — and confess — their own bigotry. Anyone familiar with the reeducation camps of China’s Cultural Revolution will recognize the modus operandi.

Read the entire, nauseating column.

Now, on Twitter yesterday the MNPost’s David Brauer noted that Kersten doesn’t link to the report – apparently unaware that we bloggers have been bagging on the Strib for the better part of a decade over exactly the same practice; I suppose it makes sense that David Brauer (to whom I give props for having never adoped even the faintest pretense of detachment from politics in his writing) notices it with Katherine Kersten after years of the Strib treating online columns like print columns.

Here’s the U of M report in question.  I’ll tear into it tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday).

But dont’ wait up for me or anything…

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30 thoughts on “You Are Guilty Of Thought Crime; Go To Mental Detention

  1. This doesn’t surprise me. As a student in the College of Ed over there, I’ve had to read texts where the intro quote was provided by Chairman Mao and professors fully embrace Marxism/Socialism. I always find it ironic that some of the people who teach people how to teach are some of the WORST teachers I’ve ever had – not to mention that most of the things taught in teacher education today don’t actually work in the “real” world. Keep livin’ the fantasy, U of MN! Meanwhile, I’ll be teaching my own kids useful things like reading, writing, and math.

  2. ThePat,

    I’ve heard the same things from not a few other teachers and even an education professor or two.

    I’ve been thinking more and more lately about this post, from a few years back; the more I think about it, the more I think it’d not only help education, but the whole “cultural sensitivity” thing too.

  3. The report is scary in terms of being in harmony with the worst of the re-education tactics practiced in China during the cultural revolution. But in light of the presence of people like Bill Ayres in academics, hardly a surprise. The mention of Howard Zinn’s “People’s” history reminded me: watch for a Matt Damon-produced History Channel piece upcoming entitled “The People Speak.” Be sure to have an emesis basin handy if you watch it.

  4. I have many public school teacher relatives. All Republicans. They do not bring their politics into the school house. They all say the same thing….that the lefties use the schools as a forum to promote their politics. And they (the liberals) are nasty about it. My relatives are so timid about it, that they do not speak up. I, on the other hand, would not last one semester in a gov’t run school. I also know a guy who quit his job at the Univ of Minnesota for that reason. He said every staff meeting was basically a bash-bush/Democrat pep rally. Interesting story why he went there…..he has two little kids at home and got sick of working hard and not being with his family. So he took a gov’t job (and a pay cut) so he never had to work evenings or weekends or gov’t holidays, etc.

  5. Maybe you can help me fill in the gaps of Kersen’s logic here.

    The U of M wants to start a program that encourages their teachers to discuss diversity and develop an understanding of the different issues with culture, gender, race and class that affect the students that they will be teaching…

    [… section missing…]

    …therefore all teachers are required to abandon the American Dream before they are allowed to set foot in the classroom.

    I’m really anxious to hear all of your responses on this one.

  6. Not Kersten’s logic, but rather some educators’ logic, is at stake, apathyboy. To quote:

    “the Race, Culture, Class and Gender Task Group at the U’s College of Education and Human Development recommended that aspiring teachers there must repudiate the notion of “the American Dream” in order to obtain the recommendation for licensure required by the Minnesota Board of Teaching.”

    At the very least, it’s a brilliant reminder that when we submit important parts of our lives to the government, it becomes a political issue, period.

  7. How’s the koolaid today, Apathy Boy?

    The task group recommends, for example, that prospective teachers be required to prepare an “autoethnography” report. They must describe their own prejudices and stereotypes, question their “cultural” motives for wishing to become teachers, and take a “cultural intelligence” assessment designed to ferret out their latent racism, classism and other “isms.” They “earn points” for “demonstrating the ability to be self-critical.”

    The task group opens its report with a model for officially approved confessional statements: “As an Anglo teacher, I struggle to quiet voices from my own farm family, echoing as always from some unstated standard. … How can we untangle our own deeply entrenched assumptions?”

    The goal of these exercises, in the task group’s words, is to ensure that “future teachers will be able to discuss their own histories and current thinking drawing on notions of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression.”

  8. “Maybe you can help me fill in the gaps of Kersen’s logic here.”

    Zoom! Right over your head, eh A-Boy? The problem isn’t with Kersten’s logic, it’s the inevitable drooling morons that are incapable of understanding the warning she’s provided.

    No, what’s needed here is someone with the ability to fill in the gap between the ears of members of the “scary smart, reality based community”, and I’m not sure that is possible with the technology we possess.

  9. No, what’s needed here is someone with the ability to fill in the gap between the ears of members of the “scary smart, reality based community”, and I’m not sure that is possible with the technology we possess.

    At a minimum, we’ll need at least a 175 PSI compressor.

  10. A brief summary of every response I got: “AB, you must be a moron because you don’t agree with us.”

    Mitch, whenever I bring up questions in logic all I get from the peanut gallery is “Teh Liberalz R Crazee!!! GOP 4EVAR!” Should I follow your lead and take this as a sign that conservatism is dropping and liberalism is on the rise?

  11. I loved this part. They identify one barrier “How can we recruit more diverse faculty?” Their ‘solution’. “Recruit more diverse faculty.”

    These clowns couldn’t run a coffee shop let alone a reeducation camp. Better liberals please.

    One question: Do coservatives really think this: “in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits”?

    Don’t coservatives believe that evangelicals, moral traditionalists, free-martket entrepeneurs et all can not get ahead on their own merits because of liberal elites, union bosses, the MSM, and government workers have conspired to keep them down?

  12. Don’t coservatives believe that evangelicals, moral traditionalists, free-martket entrepeneurs et all can not get ahead on their own merits because of liberal elites, union bosses, the MSM, and government workers have conspired to keep them down?

    In the mainstream? Not really.

  13. Nah, RickDFL because rule #1 about Capitalism, those who produce effective results rise up because the bottom line matters, unless your hollywood. Rule #1 about guvmint, those who are unproductive and inefficient get more money to be encouraged to become more productive and efficient, repeat again, again, again.

  14. Do coservatives really think this: “in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits”?

    As long as government stays out of their way, yes. The problem is they get in their way with taxes, regulations, unions, etc.

  15. Mitch, whenever I bring up questions in logic all I get from the peanut gallery is “Teh Liberalz R Crazee!!! GOP 4EVAR!” Should I follow your lead and take this as a sign that conservatism is dropping and liberalism is on the rise?

    Comments always run the gamut, and should always be filtered through one key bit of human-computer interaction psychology; people are a lot more aggressive and obstreporous online; there are fewer social inhibitions.

    And it’s possible that reading SiTD comments might convince me conservatism is in trouble – until I go read the comments at the Daily Kos, Minnesota Progressive Project or the Strib. I feel pretty unbeatable then.

  16. “In the mainstream” Sorry still confused. Do you mean maintstream conservatives don’t believe that (just fringe conservatives) or do you mean those groups are able to get ahead “in the mainstream” but not in other parts of non-mainstream American life i.e. the media, academia, government administration ect.?

  17. One question: Do coservatives really think this: “in this country, hardworking people of every race, color and creed can get ahead on their own merits”?

    “People of color” in the various immigrant communities certainly can. That is, provided the left’s social engineers don’t get to them first . . .

    Don’t coservatives believe that evangelicals, moral traditionalists, free-martket entrepeneurs et all can not get ahead on their own merits because of liberal elites, union bosses, the MSM, and government workers have conspired to keep them down?

    As far as “free-market entrepreneurs” go, I think most people on the right could point out some pretty concrete barriers, like: 1)regressive taxation of small business owners, 2)over-regulation, 3)corporatist, propping up of favored businesses and restricting their competition, etc.

    Even so, to the extent that they may feel “kept down” in one city, county, or state, said “free-market entrepreneurs” often simply pack up and leave for a more small business-friendly locality.

    The left can only scream about the-ever-ethereal “INSTITUTIONAL RACISM!” and (my favorite): White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy!!!

  18. Ben:
    “unless your hollywood” Why pick on them? They are probably the most profitable and competitive sector of the economy.

    “The problem is they get in their way with taxes, regulations, unions, etc.” See you are another non-believer in the American dream. You just have a different set of villians.

  19. See you are another non-believer in the American dream

    How rick? Educumacate my neanderthal conservative brain.

  20. Pingback: Dispositions Back in the News « NAS Blog

  21. I don’t agree with Rick usually, but I had to smile at his point that many of these radicals couldn’t run a coffee shop, let alone a reeducation camp.

    And yet they’re trying to run our schools from the U. Pretty scary stuff, so I commend the HSLDA to those out there with kids.

  22. Ben:
    Don’t worry you are pretty normal. The ‘American Dream’ has always been more aspirational than perceived reality. Most American political movements organize around some perceived barrier or threat to that aspiration.

    Bubbasan: Delve into the memo, it is a monument to bad writting and unclear thinking. My next favorite bit, Problem: “If we want to be cutting-edge in our use of the IDI and CQ assessments, do we pass on the cost of the assessments and administration to the students? (Total $45)?” Solution: “Can Bush grant take care of this at least for say two pilot years (4 semesters) of students?” So the cost problem is solved by getting someone else to pay.

    “Pretty scary stuff” Not really. Just general human folly. This stuff is no more bizarre or dangerous than any corporate management strategy session. At least they don’t try to build synergy. Most of it is just an excessively fancy way of saying go talk to or read about some people who don’t look like / think like you – which is probably not a bad idea.

    IIRC the Ron Suskind book they use “A hope in the unseen” has a fairly conservative POV. It has a Clarance Thomas cameo and this fun little nugget
    “Zayd is the son of Chicago radicals-turned-reformers Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and instigator of some of the book’s lighter moments. He makes a determined effort to rebel against his 1960s rebel parents by blithely pursuing women and going hunting with his grandfather”

  23. “The ‘American Dream’ has always been more aspirational than perceived reality. ”

    Yeah…true ‘dat.

    Some feel that the American dream has passed them by while soaking in the sauna by the pool, others fret over an ice cold imported beer at their basement bar.

    Others feel gypped every time they are forced to watch Oprah on that old, busted 32″ CRT while the neighbors are kickin’ it in front of that new 42″ LCD flat screen.

    Did you realize the American dream was a cruel hoax while relaxing at the cabin up North, or did you receive an epiphany while towing the boat up to the lake with the $30k Ford F250?

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