Teachers in Illinois need to be more "culturally responsive," by which they mean, more likely to vote Democratic.
As if they don't already.
I was suspicious of this at first. Surely it's just clickbait, right?
Yes. The proposals are real and can be found in the Illinois Register, starting on page 176.
Permit me a quick pet peeve before we really get into it. The section is titled,
What's wrong with "teacher?" It's a perfectly good word and has meaning and value, why change it to the clunky "educator?"
Oh, that's right, "educator" has twice the syllables, so it's clearly much more sophisticated.
On with the document.
"The culturally responsive teacher and leader will:
1) Understand and value the notion that multiple lived experiences exist, that there is not one "correct" way of doing or understanding something, and that what is seen as "correct" is most often based on our lived experiences."
There is "not one ‘correct' way of doing or understanding something?"
Okay, then why do we need teachers? Why do we have tests or grades?
Do you want to be the first one to drive over the bridge designed by someone using their own unique culturally-informed way of calculating load bearing tolerances based on their lived experience?
According to this document, "the culturally responsive teacher and leader" will also:
"2) Approach their work and students with an asset-based mindset, affirming the students' backgrounds and identities."
I do so very much dislike jargon-speak. "Asset-based" thinking is basically about having an optimistic outlook, however, we are admonished by one of its major proponents, that it is not about someone who sees the glass as just being "half full."
Except, that's pretty much what it is.
The very same person (who is also the author of many books and seller of expensive programs) also explains it as,
"[a] means to look at yourself and the world through the eyes of what is working, what strengths are present, and what the potentials are. Conversely, deficit-based thinking means to look at yourself and the world in terms of what is not working, what is lacking, and the gaps between where you are and where you want to be."
Right, being a positive, glass-is-half-full type. This is not complicated, at least not as complicated as she needs it to be to sell books.
You know what we need new names for? We need new names for things that are genuinely new. If you discover a new subatomic particle, that needs a new name. If you create a new life-saving pharmaceutical, that also needs a new name, although I could do without some of them. (I'm looking at you, Cisplatin.) If you come up with a program suggesting you accentuate the positive?
That does not require you to rearrange existing words that can convey the same message perfectly well unless the only thing you're interested in doing is creating a marketable product.
Moving on to number 5.
"5) Engage in self-reflection about their own actions and interactions and what ideas motivated those actions."
Oh? What exactly are they getting at here?
"6) Explore their own intersecting identities, how they were developed, and how they impact daily experience of the world."
"Intersecting identities?" Welcome to your neo-Marxist woke ideological training seminar. Get comfortable, we'll be here a while.
Just remember, you are not an individual, you are made up of "intersecting identities," that define you, and by "define you," I mean "are defined by people who aren't you."
"7) Recognize how their identity (race/ethnicity, national origin, language, sex and gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/developmental/emotional ability, socioeconomic class, religion, etc.) affects their perspectives and beliefs about pedagogy and students."
And now we're off! Race! Ethnicity! Gender! And so on. As comprehensive as the list is, they felt the need to add "etc." so as not to disenfranchise any sub-sub-subset of the above.
This "identity" affects your "beliefs about pedagogy and students." It surely couldn't be that your beliefs about pedagogy and students are affected by you as a unique individual. That's just Eurocentric. (And yes, we'll get to the obligatory belittling of Eurocentrism a bit later.)
"8) Educate themselves about students' communities, cultures, and histories."
Okay, learning is good.
"9) Critically think about the institutions in which they find themselves, working to reform these institutions whenever and wherever necessary."
"10) Assess how their biases and perceptions affect their teaching practice and how they access tools to mitigate their own behavior (racism, sexism, homophobia, unearned privilege, Eurocentrism, etc.)"
A few things.
Racism, sexism, and homophobia are generally considered undesirable, but defining those terms is where the trouble begins. We already know everything is racist, and nearly everything else is sexist. And we are routinely scolded for being homophobic if we hold certain religious beliefs.
Under this provision, the only way you pass muster with Illinois is if you accept their ideological presumptions about ALL OF THIS.
"Unearned privilege" is where we get deep into Wokeism. They speak here primarily of "white privilege," of course, and under this proposal, teachers would be required to adopt this purely ideological framework of American society.
And of course, we have the progressive boogeyman of "Eurocentrism," which is a problem in that it emphasizes the individual, free will, unalienable rights, and enduring truths, all enemies of the progressive left.
I suppose teachers aren't really "required" to accept this. They only have to accept it if they want to work in the state of Illinois, is all.
"This Part establishes certain standards that shall apply to the issuance of all Illinois professional educator licenses endorsed in teaching, school support personnel, and administrative fields."
"Systems of Oppression –Culturally responsive teachers and leaders understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions. Educators work actively against these systems in their everyday roles in educational institutions. Performance Indicators− The culturally responsive teacher and leader will:"
Note that this is not a suggestion, none of these are. This is not "best practices," this is a requirement.
A few choice ones:
"3) Understand how the system of inequity has impacted them as an educator."
That there is a system of "inequity," is assumed, and given that the left routinely defines "equity" as equality of outcome, you are to assume that that is desirable. Impossible, of course, deeply immoral as well, and the implementation of which would require the widespread and violent application of state power, but hey, you want to work, right?
"4) Know and understand how current curriculum and approaches to teaching impact students who are not a part of the dominant culture."
This is the vocabulary of neo-Marxist Wokeism. The "dominant culture."
"5) Be aware of the effects of power and privilege and the need for social advocacy and social action to better empower diverse students and communities."
What kind of privilege? You know what kind of privilege. 😉
"7) Know and understand how a system of inequity reinforces certain truths as the norm."
I thought we want "truths" to become the norm. Oh, right, "certain" truths. Apparently, there are a lot of truths, enough to go around for everyone!
These are talking points drawn from an ideologically progressive premise by which teachers who wish to retain their license "will" be judged.
Once the teachers and their students have been sufficiently inculcated, it's time to turn them into foot soldiers for the revolution:
"Leveraging Student Activism –Culturally responsive teachers and leaders will support and create opportunities for student advocacy and representation in the content and classroom. The culturally responsive teacher and leader will:
1) Emphasize and connect with students about their identities, advocacies, and self-interest."
2) Offer guidance to students on how to develop a self-advocacy plan to inform decisions and choices."
5) Create a risk-taking space that promotes student activism and advocacy."
I've tortured you enough, but it's important to understand just how complete this indoctrination is. If you want more, you can examine that part of the document further.
Unfortunately, we're not quite done. Now let's take a brief look at what they pulled out to make room for this (starting on page 184).
"Knowledge Indicators –The competent teacher:
Understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, principles, and theories that are central to the disciplines in which licensure is sought."
Understand major concepts that are central to their discipline? What does that have to do with intersectionalities?
"Understands the processes of inquiry central to the discipline."
That's not helpful in understanding systems of inequity. Probably helpful in understanding the subject matter, but we are teaching larger truths here. All of them, even!
"Evaluates teaching resources and curriculum materials for their comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usefulness for representing particular ideas and concepts."
Accuracy? What is accuracy, really, other than a purely social construct deployed by the dominant culture to maintain systems of oppression? And, okay, accuracy, but still.
"Designs learning experiences to promote student skills in the use of technologies appropriate to the discipline."
I don't see any practical application for this since it totally ignores gender identity.
"Understands how students construct knowledge, acquire skills, and develop habits of mind."
I guess that's okay, but isn't it more helpful if they are up on the latest hit tunes in their student's native language the better to affirm their background and identity?
"Understands human development, learning theory, neural science, and the ranges of individual variation within each domain."
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down there, buckaroo! That sounds kind of hard. Can't we just understand how privilege works instead? Yes? Great.
"Understands how students' learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family, and community values."
Oh, yeah, the "individual" thing? Yeah, sorry, you are not an individual, you are an "identity," and we will assign you the community values appropriate for your group or groups as we define them.
It goes on and on like that. These are from the sections they removed in their entirety, all strike-throughs in the copy, replaced by pure Wokekist ideology.
And you already saw what they are being replaced with.
The Illinois State school board is to vote on these changes to teacher licensing requirements on December 16.