NCATE: Encouragement of Political Litmus Tests in Higher Education

Category: Freedom of Conscience

The NCATE, a leading accreditor of education schools, agreed to drop the vague and politically loaded recommendation that education students demonstrate a belief in “social justice” in order to graduate. The standards required that candidates in an education program “demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.” The NCATE language to be changed currently states that “dispositions” are “guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice.” The standards essentially resulted in a political litmus test for teachers, as it was virtually impossible to evaluate a student’s commitment to “social justice” without evaluating his or her politics.

  • Accreditor of Education Schools Drops Controversial ‘Social Justice’ Language

    August 9, 2013

    by Paula Wasley The Chronicle of Higher Education   The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education won a key endorsement last week in its quest for continued federal approval of its accrediting power after announcing that it would drop controversial language about social justice from its accrediting standards for teacher-preparation programs. The council, which is the nation’s largest teacher-education accrediting group, has come under fire from conservative activists for the wording of a glossary appendix to standards for candidates in education programs. …   To read the full article, please click here: http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=5806hq8cdzbg75mqlg333yplwgskmzhs View this article at The Chronicle […]

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  • Paying an ideological ransom for the right to teach

    June 7, 2006

    Our education establishment is a minefield of attempts to control what students think and say. Take the harmless-sounding “dispositions theory,” for example. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) says ed schools and programs must require teachers in training to demonstrate the “dispositions necessary to help all students learn,” such as a commitment to social justice. Everyone is for social justice, but it’s odd that would-be teachers would have to convince their professors of such commitment before getting to teach. Since ed schools are essentially a liberal monoculture, conservative and moderate students concluded that their political opinions were […]

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  • A Spirited Disposition Debate

    June 6, 2006

    For months, an education school accrediting group’s use of the phrase “social justice” to describe a desirable quality in candidates to become elementary and secondary teachers has fueled a debate that has been robust and at times contentious. Monday, as critics formally challenged the accreditor’s policy before a U.S. Education Department panel, the accrediting group defended its evaluation methods and took steps to defuse the issue. The words “social justice” appear in a glossary of terms that the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education uses as an example of what programs might consider using when evaluating a teaching candidate’s […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Conscience in Education Schools

    June 6, 2006

    WASHINGTON, June 6, 2006—Would-be teachers have less to fear from political litmus tests today. Yesterday, under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and other groups, the president of a leading accreditor of education schools said that his organization would drop the vague and politically loaded recommendation that education students demonstrate a belief in “social justice” in order to graduate.   FIRE President Greg Lukianoff was present for the announcement by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) President Arthur Wise yesterday. Lukianoff was in Washington to comment to the federal Department of Education about NCATE’s […]

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  • FIRE Warns Department of Education Against Supporting Political Litmus Tests on Campus

    June 5, 2006

    WASHINGTON, June 5, 2006—Today, Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), will urge a Department of Education (DOE) committee to take action against unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination in schools of education. FIRE is also issuing a policy statement containing a summary of the key points that Lukianoff will make to the committee.   “For years the Department of Education has recognized an institution that is encouraging political litmus tests on campus,” said Lukianoff. “DOE should think carefully about the importance of the First Amendment and the essentiality of academic freedom before renewing its recognition of […]

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