Georgia Board removes word ‘diverse’ from teacher education rules – WABE

The Georgia Professional Standards Board voted unanimously to remove mention of diversity from teacher education program rules.

The board is appointed by the governor and oversees the certification of teachers, librarians, and counselors. They also set standards for teacher training programs.

For example, the new rules replace the phrase “various students” with “all students” and use the word “different” instead of “diverse”.

Board chair Brian Sirmans, associate principal in South Georgia, said the University of Georgia’s system has asked the board to simplify or drop words that have taken on multiple or unintended meanings in recent years.

“We’ve replaced them with generic terms,” ​​Sirmans said. “We continue to expect teacher preparation programs to prepare teachers well-equipped to address the learning needs of any student they may encounter.”

But some educators, like former elementary school teacher Tracey Nance, see the move as part of a broader, partisan push to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion from education.

“Our state and our students are more diverse than ever,” Nance said at a news conference after the vote. “I can’t imagine teachers walking into a classroom without understanding the importance of their students’ identities and the importance of including those identities as we teach.”

Last year, Republican lawmakers voted to restrict the teaching of race in Georgia classrooms. In a letter earlier this year, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones asked University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue for a detailed breakdown of DEI programs.

The new rules will come into effect in June.