On Wednesday, August 24th, the public showed up in force at the virtual hearing before Administrative Law Judge James R. Mortenson. Opposition to the proposed Minnesota teacher licensing standards was strong and overwhelming.
As many as 470 people were signed into the hearing at its peak. Approximately 70 people gave verbal comments to the judge. Only eleven commenters, representing the education establishment, supported the standards. The rest – teachers, parents, coaches, school board members, a legislator, taxpayers, and grandparents – gave heartfelt statements against them. You can listen to the day-long testimony at 4615 Rules Hearing.
The public opposition to the proposed Licensing Rule changes has been massive. Thanks to generous donors, Child Protection League was able to run 10 days of hard hitting 30 second radio ads on several stations around the state, which triggered multiple radio interviews and broad statewide exposure concerning the proposed changes, the hearing and the comment period.
Administrative Law Judge James R. Mortenson extended the public comment period to September 13, 2022. There is a five day opportunity for PELSB and others to respond to any of the comments, Office of Administrative Hearings Rulemaking eComments. After that 5 working days, Judge Mortenson will review the comments and responses and issue a report within 30 days. PELSB is allowed to submit amendments as a result of the hearing process which may or may not be accepted by Judge Mortenson.
CPL will issue a review of Judge Mortenson’s report along with next steps. Minnesota’s education establishment has become so radical that no doubt our work will continue!
Critique signed and submitted by 44 Republican member of the Minnesota House (PDF)
We are grateful for the thorough critique by House representatives that delineate where the standards contradict and directly conflict with Minnesota Statutes and point out the standard mandates are such that “only teachers who are politically aligned left of center need apply.” Led by Senate Education Committee Chair Roger Chamberlain, several Republican state Senators have also signed on to a letter opposing the standards for being in complete violation of the whole legislative purpose for which PELSB was established.
Sharra Frank Comment (PDF)
Sharra submitted her opposition by sharing her experience from the school where her children attended that has implemented many of the radical elements of are included in these new teacher licensing standards.
Several speakers were immigrants from communist countries. They warned that the proposed standards embed a totalitarian worldview. One speaker said, “Wake up, America.”
Many wanted to know who had given an appointed board the authority to force this radical political agenda on our teachers and on our children in both public and private schools.
Despite the fact the standards were being drafted since 2019, the most common questions posed to the judge were, ‘why didn’t we know?’ ‘How come we just learned about these new rules even though we have been deeply involved in our schools and school board meetings?’
Most reported that their schools and teachers, both public and private, were completely in the dark about what was about to be forced upon them.
The Standards for Effective Practice Also Apply to Relicensing
PELSB insists that the revisions apply only to candidates for an initial licensing program.
However, Minnesota Statute says something quite different. 122A.40.8 (b) states that “the annual evaluation process for teachers” “(3) must be based on professional teaching standards established in rule.” (These are the Standards for Effective Practice which are being rewritten.)
Rule 8710.0311, Tier 1 License, Subp. 4 states that a renewal must meet specific requirements. Among them are D(3), “an evaluation aligned to the district’s teacher development and evaluation model under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.40, subd. 8.“
As seen above, 122A.40, subd. 8, that evaluation is based on the Standards for Effective Practice.
Relicensing for the other Tiers use the same language.
Child Protection League’s Key Role in Raising Public Awareness
Child Protection League published our first public alert in Alpha News in mid-June: Teachers must demonstrate a Marxist worldview to obtain their teaching license! We sent multiple email alerts which were shared thousands of times. We were all over social media. We contacted 300 private and parochial schools. We contacted our legislators. We brought the issue up during countless summer speaking engagements before local parent and grass roots groups.
Finally, we ran 10 days of hard hitting 30 second radio ads on several stations around the state, which triggered multiple radio interviews and broad statewide exposure.
This was a team effort and would not have been effective without all who supported CPL by sharing the information and funding the ads.
Thank you to all who participated in and monitored the August 24th hearing! It was a powerful demonstration of public opposition. The proposed standards are available online. Begin reading on page 36.
After the closing of the hearing record there is a five-day rebuttal period, and then Judge Mortenson will issue his report. Based upon Minn. R. 1400.2100, he issues his judgment by evaluating the following three issues: whether the agency has statutory authority to adopt the proposed rules; whether the agency fulfilled all relevant legal and procedural requirements of the law; and whether the agency demonstrated the need for and reasonableness of each portion of the proposed rules with an affirmative presentation of facts.
While we cannot predict how Judge Mortenson will rule, it is clear these standards must not be allowed to stand.
Our work is not done.
DoubleSpeak Dictionary (From FAIR, Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism)
Systemic Racism [ sys·tem·ic rac·ism\ si-ˈste-mik ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm] n
1. What it sounds like: A sober acknowledgement of the injustice of slavery, Jim Crow laws, red-lining and racist social practices. n.
2. What it is: A specialized term of critical social justice ideology that conveys the
a.) racism is not primarily the actions of bigoted people but is actually
a key organizing principle of society and that
b.) racism is embedded in every
institution, every interaction, and is foundational to the United States. Related terms: critical social justice.