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Goldwater Teams Up with NAS to Tackle Politicized Teacher Training

October 12, 2022

America’s students deserve access to great teachers, and those teachers deserve a clear and direct path into the classroom—one free from bureaucratic barriers and relentless political indoctrination.

To that end, the Goldwater Institute is proud to join the National Association of Scholars and a coalition of partner organizations in releasing three new education policy proposals as part of a “Model Education Licensure Code.” Taken together, this suite of reforms will reduce the unnecessary obstacles facing prospective public school teachers seeking state certification while breaking the ideological monopoly currently dominating teacher preparation programs.

The new Model Education Licensure code includes 3 complementary components:

The first of these, the Licensure Certificate Act, streamlines the requirements that teacher candidates can be forced to satisfy in order to receive state certification. The act limits state requirements to a simple set of core criteria—primarily related to subject matter expertise—while prohibiting regulators from demanding that teachers invest time and resources into unnecessarily bloated degree programs.

The second, the Licensure Review Act, ensures that changes to state certification standards must be approved by state lawmakers—not simply slipped in by bureaucratic regulators eager to infuse new hurdles or political mandates.

The third and perhaps most significant, the Education Licensure Nondiscrimination Act, will ensure that state boards of education do not reward or recognize teacher preparation programs that promote racial discrimination and ideological activism. This reform will ensure that teacher preparation programs that wish to satisfy state certification requirements return their focus to instructional rigor rather than political indoctrination.

Already, states like Arizona have made enormous strides toward reducing the barriers to entry facing prospective teachers. Governor Doug Ducey, lawmakers, and fellow policy based organizations such as A for Arizona have successfully opened the doors to more qualified candidates to join the teaching profession in the Grand Canyon State.

Now, all states must work to continue freeing their would-be educators from the extraneous mandates and political echo-chambers they’re currently so often forced to endure before they are allowed to set foot in a K-12 classroom.

Especially in a time where cries of “teacher shortages” abound, there is simply no justification whatsoever to bar effective educators from the classroom unless they first submit to academically barren and politically radical programming.

These model policies will help wrest control away from the ideological gatekeepers who currently infuse our primary teacher preparation pipelines with unnecessary and politically radical programming, and help return teacher training to more academic fundamentals.

The Goldwater Institute is proud to join its coalition partners in this effort, including the California Policy Center, Californians for Equal Rights Foundation, The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, the John Locke Foundation, and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Matt Beienburg is the Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute. He also serves as director of the institute’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy. 



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