Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Maybe they can teach, but what do they think?

It happens everytime. You get a new car and suddenly you're seeing that car all over the place. A legislator files a bill about academic freedom and you begin to notice instances. You start reading a book about the trouble with our education system and connections jump out from everywhere.

So Glenn Reynolds ( posts a link to the New York Sun's article on their local Brooklyn College's School of Education this morning and it's another of those moments.

The School of Education at the CUNY campus initiated last fall a new method of judging teacher candidates based on their "dispositions," a vogue in teacher training across the country that focuses on evaluating teachers' values, apart from their classroom performance.

Driving the new policies at the college and similar ones at other education schools is a mandate set forth by the largest accrediting agency of teacher education programs in America, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. That 51-year-old agency, composed of 33 professional associations, says it accredits 600 colleges of education - about half the country's total. Thirty-nine states have adopted or adapted the council's standards as their own, according to the agency.

"It's political correctness that has insinuated into the criteria for accreditation of teacher education institutions," a noted education theorist in New York, Diane Ravitch, said. "Once that becomes the criteria for institutions as a whole, it gives free rein to those who want to impose it in their classrooms," she said. Ms. Ravitch is the author of "The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn."
Just what Horace Mann had in mind. You may want to read the rest of that article. And you may find the Education Next article on accreditation with the NCATE interesting as well.

Oh and here's the NCATE's list of their accredited schools in our backyard.

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