Wednesday, May 23, 2007

NCATE Ends Its Advocacy of Social Justice Dispositional Assessment

I took the Amtrak to Washington to attend a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. The Advisory Committee was reviewing petitions to extend recognition of various accreditation associations such as the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Association, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences.

Among the accrediting organizations requesting extension was the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE submitted a petition for renewal of recognitioin and expansion of the scope of its recognition so that it could accredit distance learning programs.

Last spring (2005) there was a controversy at Brooklyn College concerning NCATE's approach to dispositional assessment concerning a student named Goldwyn and his professor, Priyar Parmar. In addition, Steven Head of San Jose State has filed suit at San Jose State University concerning SJSU's treatment of his candidacy in its teacher education program because of NCATE's and SJSU's approach to dispositional assessment.

At the Advisory Board meeting Arthur Wise, head of NCATE, indicated that NCATE has dropped social justice from its accrediting criteria. Naturally, Steve Balch, head of NAS, Anne Neal, head of ACTA and Greg Lukianoff, head of FIRE as well as myself were delighted.

In my remarks to the committee I described Steven Head's case and the fact that he said that all conservatives had been driven out of SJSU's teacher ed program. I indicated that NCATE's entire approach to using dispositions is inappropriate because the dispositions that they use have not been validated and that they sent me on a wild goose chase when I asked for evidence that their approach had been validated. Dispositions are too easily used as pretexts for politically motivated retaliation to be used in assessing students unless there are objective instruments and measures. I also said that NCATE has overseen the decline of American education, that students with median SAT scores cannot do basic math or write because of teaching approaches that NCATE advocates and that NCATE is the nexus of educational decline, that they are a bunch of losers and should be declined accreditation recognition altogether.

No comments: