NCATE: Encouragement of Political Litmus Tests in Higher Education
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.
- "Victory for Freedom of Conscience in Education Schools," June 6, 2006: Would-be teachers have less to fear from political litmus tests today. Yesterday, under pressure from FIRE and other groups, the president of NCATE, 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 Statement on NCATE’s Encouragement of Political Litmus Tests in Higher Education," June 5, 2006
- "FIRE Warns Department of Education Against Supporting Political Litmus Tests on Campus," June 5, 2006: Today, Greg Lukianoff, the president of FIRE, will urge a Department of Education committee to take action against unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination in schools of education. FIRE believes that the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is abusing its power as a governmentally-authorized accreditor of education schools to promote the use of politically loaded "dispositions." NCATE's recognition as an authorized accreditor is being reviewed today by a committee of the Department of Education, and FIRE will be in Washington to warn the committee that NCATE's endorsement of "dispositions" poses a real and grave threat to freedom of conscience at our nation's schools of education.
- "Accreditor of Education Schools Drops Controversial 'Social Justice' Language,"
by Paula Wasley, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2006
- "Group drops 'social justice' rule for teachers,"
The Detroit News, June 10, 2006
- "Paying an ideological ransom for the right to teach,"
by John Leo, USNews.com, June 7, 2006
- "A Spirited Disposition Debate,"
by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, June 6, 2006