I received this on a list a few days ago. I imagine
others here have seen it but thought it might be worth
--- "Lopez, Gerardo R." <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Subject: [lsj] NCATE and Social Justice
> Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 10:12:41 -0400
> From: "Lopez, Gerardo R." <email@example.com>
> To: "The lsj mailing list" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> This came out in today's Chronicle of Higher Ed.
> Does anyone have any
> idea how this impacts leadership programs? Link
> followed by article are
> attached below...
> -----Original Message-----
> An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education
> was forwarded to you
> This article, "Accreditor of Education Schools Drops
> Controversial 'Social Justice' Standard for Teacher
> Candidates" is available online at this address:
> This article will be available to non-subscribers of
> Chronicle for up to five days after it is e-mailed.
> The article is always available to Chronicle
> subscribers at this
> Tuesday, June 6, 2006
> Accreditor of Education Schools Drops Controversial
> 'Social Justice'
> Standard for Teacher Candidates
> By PAULA WASLEY <mailto:email@example.com>
> The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
> Education won a key
> endorsement on Monday in its quest for continued
> federal approval of its
> accrediting power after announcing that it would
> drop controversial
> language relating to "social justice" from its
> accrediting standards for
> teacher-preparation programs.
> The council, which is the nation's largest
> teacher-education accrediting
> organization, has come under fire from conservative
> activists for the
> wording of standards that require that candidates in
> education programs
> "demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and
> professional knowledge,
> skills, and dispositions necessary to help all
> students learn."
> The council, known as Ncate, had said that teacher
> "dispositions" should be "guided by beliefs and
> attitudes such as
> caring, fairness, honesty and responsibility, and
> social justice."
> The concept of social justice, opponents contend,
> has political
> overtones and can be used by institutions to weed
> out would-be teachers
> based on their social and political beliefs. Several
> teacher candidates,
> in fact, have complained recently about education
> professors who seemed
> more interested in students' political views than in
> their classroom
> performance (The Chronicle,
> December 16, 2005).
> On Monday, at a hearing of the U.S. Department of
> Education's National
> Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and
> Integrity, Arthur E.
> Wise, president of Ncate, called the criticisms of
> the standards
> "unwarranted" but announced that the organization
> would drop "social
> justice" from the guidelines, "lest there be any
> misunderstanding about
> our intentions."
> Mr. Wise emphasized that the phrase "social justice"
> was merely an
> example of criteria institutions may adopt when
> assessing candidates'
> dispositions, and was never intended as an
> accreditation requirement.
> Each institution, he said, was free to choose its
> own disposition
> evaluation criteria.
> "The allegation that Ncate requires thought control
> is simply wrong," he
> His announcement pre-empted testimony from members
> of groups such as the
> National Association of Scholars and the Foundation
> for Individual
> Rights in Education, who had gathered to voice
> objections to the "social
> justice" provision and request that the Department
> of Education withhold
> renewal of its recognition of Ncate until that term
> was removed.
> Stephen H. Balch, president of the National
> Association of Scholars,
> said he was "delighted" by Ncate's decision to
> strike the concept of
> "social justice" from its standards, calling the
> phrase "ideologically
> freighted" and "necessarily ambiguous."
> Similarly, Greg Lukianoff, president of the
> Foundation for Individual
> Rights in Education, applauded the change as a "step
> in the right
> "'Social justice' is simply too vague of a term and
> susceptible to
> interpretation," he said.
> But, although pleased with the modification, Anne D.
> Neal, the president
> of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, said
> rewording the
> standards was not enough.
> Higher-education institutions have "already adopted
> the standard and are
> using it in ways that lend itself to political
> litmus tests," she said
> in an interview after the hearing, noting that
> several colleges have
> incorporated the words "social justice" into mission
> statements or
> teacher-evaluation forms.
> It is, she said, "short-sighted to think that
> eliminating the words
> eliminates the problem."
> Mr. Wise countered that Ncate had already alerted
> member institutions to
> the changes and that a draft version of the revised
> standards was
> already available for public comment on the
> organization's Web site.
> In response to the modifications, the National
> Advisory Committee on
> Institutional Quality and Integrity passed a motion
> recommending that
> the department renew its recognition of Ncate for
> five more years. It
> also recommended expanding the council's authority
> to include the
> accreditation of programs offering distance
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> (c) 2006 by The
> Chronicle of Higher Education
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