Katherine Kersten: Battle lines drawn against U initiative

  • Article by: KATHERINE KERSTEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2009 - 6:01 PM

A Philadelphia-based organization leads the fight against thought control.

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GruesomeDec. 12, 09 6:56 PM

The silly teacher education courses I had to take in 1963-66 pale in comparison to those about to be commanded from on high. Know your subject, know your subject, know your subject, if you want to teach in Jr. or Sr. high. Know how to teach reading, phonics please no more whole language. Be able to spell and teach that and grammar. In my 37 years of teaching, far too many teachers couldn't spell, punctuate or explain their subjects in more than one way. Letters to parents were abysmal. How about we concentrate on the BASICS of reading and math for elementary teachers and the SUBJECT MATTER for the rest.

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iusemybrainDec. 12, 09 7:57 PM

As a teacher who currently teaches in the Minneapolis Public schools, and has taught in a school where I (a Caucasian woman of European ancestry) was most definitely in the minority and also a school located in a wealthy neighborhood, the awareness of white privilege was overwhelming. I encourage anyone who believes that white privilege doesn't exist to go visit a few Mpls public schools in different neighborhoods in the city. The differences that exist based upon where the school is located and who makes up their student population are staggering. The resources and support available to teachers in these different settings aren't even on the same level. Kersten's lack of awareness of the true diversity/disparity that exist in our schools hardly qualifies her to make such inflammatory statements about the supposed "thought control" that a course in cultural awareness/sensitivity may contain. As an urban teacher who has graduated from both bachelors and graduate level Education programs where these courses are already required, I feel qualified to make this statement. Courses such as this don't condemn a person for being white, they simply help to make you aware of the perspective and privileges that many white people truly don't consider and take for granted. All one has to do is look back in our history to see that this prejudice and inequality have and still exist. Kersten, I think YOU need a course in cultural and class awareness.

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jocksterDec. 12, 09 8:50 PM

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!

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ande8502Dec. 12, 09 8:57 PM

Wow it is frightening that they allow you to write for a major market newspaper. Your complete lack of perspective, along with your obvious unfamiliarity with how classrooms actually work would be funny if there weren't so many people that take you seriously. Ohhh some conservative action group called fire that nobody has ever heard of opposes a very standard agreement at a university thousands of miles away that binds university teachers to....... absolutely nothing. I wonder Katherine, when you selectively edit this junk week after week to make some misguided point that you feel matches up with conservative ideology(even though any educated person, liberal or conservative,would recognize immediately the fallacy in this article) don't you feel something deep down inside yourself telling you what you're doing is wrong, or at least not well serving to the public? Probably not

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biggertenDec. 12, 09 9:16 PM

Just what do you use your brain for? You folks get yourselves wrapped around the PC axle and never think straight again. It's a pity, really. That's where we get school administrators like the one here in Burnsville who wanted to repress the phrase "Merry Christmas" and instead dictate the use of the phrase "Nature's Seasons". Lord, please save us all from a death like this, on the reef of Norman's Woe.

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d123b123Dec. 12, 0910:25 PM

The Censorship Tribune allows those that can't handle the truth to delete it.

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d123b123Dec. 12, 0910:46 PM

Though we do have freedom of speech and freedom of the press, KK's brand of thought control is more blatant than anything going on at the U of MN campus.

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langton4Dec. 12, 0910:53 PM

must be opposed to criminal background checks with people who work with vulnerable people also. Thought police, re-education, and all of that good stuff.

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minn12Dec. 12, 0911:02 PM

of 'Political Correctness' running amok, this U of M attempt at being the 'thought police' is it. Good for FIRE for standing up to such educational fascism.

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iusemybrainDec. 12, 0911:48 PM

Apparently considering people's situation outside of my own experience when I teach makes me some crazy PC person who doesn't think straight. I thought I was being compassionate, respectful and thoughtful to the communities of students in my classroom. How dare I? For that matter, how dare the U hope to cultivate teachers that are prepared to teach anyone different from his or herself?

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