Montana Board of Ed hung up on 'equity' in teacher prep standards

The Montana Board of Public Education got hung up on words like “equity” and “equality” while responding to public comments about proposed rule revisions for teacher preparation program standards on Thursday.

The Office of Public Instruction’s elimination of those words caught heat at a public hearing held last month and the submitted public comments reviewed Thursday echoed those concerns.

51 people opposed the deletion of references to “democracy,” 44 were against the removal of references to “equity” and 11 did not support the elimination of the words “ethics” or “ethical.” 19 commenters opposed removing language in reference to “social justice, diversity and democracy” compared to one who supported the deletions.

At the public hearing last month, Dennis Parman, executive director of the Montana Rural Education Association, said that Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen’s recommendations removed the word “ethics” 24 times, “ethical” 54 times and “equity” 15 times.

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Due to the high volume of comments opposed to the removal of the word “equity,” board chair Tammy Lacey suggested Thursday that the board work to define it.

“It seems to me that we could eliminate that concern and that fear by having a

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