Unmasking Minnesota’s teacher certification standards

The newly adopted Standards for Effective Practice are a smokescreen for indoctrination into the beliefs of cultural Marxism. 

In April of 2023 Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) released their new teacher licensing standards. (Adobe Stock)

In April of 2023 Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) released their new teacher licensing standards. They adopted these standards even though the overwhelming majority of those who spoke at the public hearings testified against them. This means to be eligible to teach in Minnesota K-12 public schools, a teacher must demonstrate understanding of these certification standards, willingness to teach them in all their classes, and promote them in all the activities they supervise.

If you or I buy a food product, we will see a label that identifies every substance that is in that product. This article will identify the ingredients in these new licensing standards. First some basic definitions:


The worldview promoted by Karl Marx which asserts that all people are divided into two classes — the exploited class (proletariat) versus the ruling class (bourgeoisie). All Marxism is atheistic and accordingly holds that morality does not exist. Consequently, Marxists see themselves as being free to engage in immoral behavior of any kind. Don’t expect Marxists to reveal their intentions, tell the truth, or value basic human rights including the right to life.

Cultural Marxism

The revision of Marxism formulated by Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci who said that economics is not the most important feature of history and life, but rather culture is the controlling factor of history and life. Gramsci also said that for the Marxist revolution to succeed, they must control the media and education. Dr. James Lindsay stated that cultural Marxism is actually a religious cult. Most Marxists today are cultural Marxists.

These new PELSB standards play an important role in the Marxist takeover of education in Minnesota. (See the book by James Lindsay: The Marxification of Education.) We now turn to the question before us: What ingredients are in the PELSB standards? They include:


These new standards appeal to equity four times — not surprising, since equity is the foundation of all Marxist ideology. An example of one such statement is the following:

” … the teacher demonstrates the ability to create opportunities for students to learn about power, privilege, intersectionality, and systemic oppression in the context of various communities and empowers learners to be agents of social change to promote equity.”

Equity is not the same as “equality.” “Equality” means equal opportunity, but “equity” means equal outcomes. “Equity” requires that the outcomes of various groups must in aggregate be the same. For example, if a school consists of 40% white students and 40% students of color, then not more than 40% of those on the “A” honor roll can be white and not less than 40% of students on the “A” honor roll can be students of color.

Equity assumes that every disparate outcome between the “exploited” groups and the “oppressor” groups is caused by exploitation by the “oppressor” groups, and that those disparities are the only evidence needed to justify overthrowing all cultural norms and existing government. “Equity” requires socialism. “Equity” also requires discrimination against whites and Asians to “level the playing field.”

White supremacy

This is the position that all whites are inherently racist. It alleges that whites are more successful than nonwhites because they are constantly exploiting nonwhites. The new standards state:

“The teacher understands how ethnocentrism, eurocentrism, deficit-based teaching, and white supremacy undermine pedagogical equity.”

White supremacy assumes that all people are divided into two racial groups: whites (the oppressor class) and nonwhites (the oppressed class). As mentioned, cultural Marxists insist that all racial disparities are the result of discrimination by whites against nonwhites. Consequently, the standards make repeated use of  words like “bias,” “discrimination,” and “prejudice.”

But is racial discrimination the actual cause of racial disparities in education achievement?  Notice in the numbers below, it’s Asians who score the highest on academic achievement, not whites. If “white supremacy” was true, then whites would score the highest on these tests. But it’s Asians who do so. Also notice the strong correlation between academic achievement and single parenthood, which demonstrates that two-parent homes, as compared to single-parent homes — not discrimination — is the biggest factor in racial achievement gaps.

U.S. Average Children SAT Score v. U.S. Percent of Single-Parent Families

Black: 428 v. 51%

Hispanic: 457 v. 28%

White: 534 v. 18%

Asian: 598 v. 10%

As is obvious from these numbers, as the percentage of single-parent homes increases, so also the performance on academic achievement tests decreases.

If government agencies really want to solve the problem of educational disparities, therefore, they would adopt family-friendly policies instead of the anti-family policies that now predominate.

State academic standards 

The licensing standards say:

“The teacher creates or adapts lessons, unit plans, learning experiences, and aligned assessments based on Minnesota’s academic standards.”

This sounds innocent, but it’s not — the reason being that the Minnesota Department of Education is loading up its academic standards with cultural Marxism. This means teachers must include Marxist principles in all their classes. In this way, all the doctrines of cultural Marxism will be taught to students, and these doctrines will permeate all classes and activities.

Affirming homosexuality and transgenderism 

Why is transgenderism so important to cultural Marxists? No one can actually change genders. If a person is conceived a male, every cell in that person’s brain will always be male. Every cell in that person’s body will always be male. A person can impersonate the other gender, but he or she cannot change genders.

If transgenderism is so irrational, why the Marxist preoccupation with it? The answer is that transgenderism is the ultimate act of rebellion against God. He himself made each of us male or female. People who are in rebellion against God won’t accept the reality that God designed persons from conception to be male or female — they want to be the ones to decide their gender. They have succumbed to the oldest temptation known to man, namely: “You will be like God.”

Homosexuality, too, depends on creation. When God created a woman, He brought her to the man and they became one flesh. God’s plan is for sexual union between one man and one woman in marriage. Anything else is morally wrong.


The new PELSB standards are a total fraud. PELSB claims they are “standards for effective practice.“ But they have nothing to offer for “effective practice.” They will do the opposite by distracting from academic instruction and censoring anything that contradicts the Marxist worldview. Indoctrinating kids into becoming social activists for a Marxist takeover will take precedence over real learning every time. The newly adopted Standards for Effective Practice are a smokescreen for indoctrination into the beliefs of cultural Marxism.

For that reason, no school at any level can, with a good conscience, comply with promoting the PELSB standards. The public trust does not include indoctrinating students into an atheistic ideology that rejects the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and all other statements of genuine morality and that also intends to eliminate Christianity and our freedom as individuals and a nation. These new PELSB standards are evil.

Colleges that maintain their academic integrity should promote their own teacher certification program. They should inform the public that they remain true to their mission of devotion to academic excellence. Private schools at all levels need to demonstrate that they remain cities set on a hill. Those that do so will be recognized as schools set apart for all that is profitable, beautiful, and good.


Allen Quist

Allen Quist is a former 3-term Minnesota state legislator and retired professor of Christian apologetics and political science at Bethany Lutheran College, and has authored ten books on education and Christian apologetics.