Media Outrage Grows over Teacher Education Scandal at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
December 16, 2009
by Adam Kissel
Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor is the latest media outlet to weigh in on the teacher education scandal at University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (transcript) (video). Bill O'Reilly gets it right in his interview with John Stossel: This is not just about introducing future teachers to other cultures but about invading and judging future teachers' thoughts, values, attitudes, and beliefs and using these judgments to decide whether people are "culturally competent" enough to become teachers. As FIRE wrote in our letter to the university last month:
If the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group achieves its stated goals, the result will be political and ideological screening of applicants, remedial re-education for those with the "wrong" views and values, and withholding of degrees from those upon whom the university's political reeducation efforts proved ineffective.
Indeed, this is a "plan" with a month-by-month timeline, no mere brainstorming.
Here's a list of the people and media (that I know of) that have covered the case so far
- Diane Macedo at FoxNews.com, quoting FIRE, in an article that was for several days the #4 most e-mailed item at FoxNews.com
- Steve Jordahl for Focus on the Family's Family News in Focus (the audio is about twice as long as the news piece, including a FIRE interview)
- Katherine Kersten's two pieces in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the first of which broke the story, and the second of which focuses on FIRE's intervention
- Michele Tafoya's Michele Tafoya Show (WCCO 830, Minneapolis, MN), which interviewed me for the second of at least two pieces
- On The Edge with Thayrone at WAAM 1600 (Ann Arbor, Michigan; at least two pieces, one of which interviewed me)
- Bob Unruh for WorldNetDaily (with apt comparisons to FIRE's thought reform case at the University of Delaware—see our video)
- Peter Schmidt for the Chronicle of Higher Education
- Excellent investigative pieces on MindingTheCampus.com by KC Johnson and Mark Bauerlein (also see KC Johnson's piece on the mandatory values assessments proposed by the task force, and more analysis of his here)
- Danielle Nordine for The Minnesota Daily
- Many bloggers including Margaret Soltan for University Diaries and for Inside Higher Ed, the National Association of Scholars, and Bill Gleason for The Periodic Table (see also my colleague Peter Bonilla's "Bloggers Debate University of Minnesota's Teacher Education Redesign, But Some Miss Key Evidence")
- An interview with me broadcast on KCXL 1140 AM and KCTO 1160 AM (Kansas City, MO) and WIFL 104.3 FM (Tampa, FL)
- The December 21 issue of National Review
- The Laura Ingraham Show
For updates, stay tuned to The Torch and FIRE's case page on this outrageous political litmus test for future teachers.