Rocky Mountain High Jinks

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

Just when you thought that America’s public education system couldn’t do anything worse, something else happens to expose their unrelenting attempts to politicize the educational process.

For example, in Denver the powers that be have just come up with a new teacher evaluation system that awards ratings to teachers to choose to emphasize certain points in class.

If teachers want to earn the rank of “distinguished,” which is the highest honor they can receive, they are advised to do the following:

• Encourage students to “challenge and question the dominant culture”
• Encourage students to take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice
• Use visuals and artifacts to represent various cultures/world groups

News of the new evaluation system prompted Pam Benigno, director of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, to ask in a news release if this meant that 4th graders would be taking field trips to Occupy Denver for extra credit.

Of course, this is not the first time that those associated with public school teaching have had to function within the confines of a litmus test.

A few years ago, it was revealed that the University of Minnesota College of Education required students to demonstrate “cultural competence” before graduating with a teaching degree, according to

This meant that prospective teachers had to “accept theories of white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression, develop a positive sense of racial/cultural identity, and recognize that school are socially constructed systems that are susceptible to racism . . . but are also critical sites for social and cultural transformation.”

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Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.

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