The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is the largest accreditor of schools of education. Several years ago it added to its standards for accreditation a demand that ed schools evaluate the “disposition” of students to be teachers. Part of what NCATE said was appropriate for the “disposition” of future teachers was a commitment to “social justice.” We at NAS saw that as a transparent invitation for ed schools to impose political litmus tests on their students.
You may recall our elation in June of last year when NCATE president Arthur Wise surprised us by announcing that the mischievous term "social justice" would be removed from his organization's professional disposition standard. See our press release of 5 June 2006 for details. Now comes word that NCATE has made it official. Yesterday, NCATE published an announcement that its executive board has approved a new definition of the "Professional Dispositions," by which the teacher education programs it accredits will be evaluated, and "social justice" will no longer be among these "dispositions." The story is available at the Chronicle of Higher Education here.
This is, of course, a very significant and positive development, one that we hope will be noted carefully by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), whose own accrediting criteria still include a vague and very troublesome notion of "social justice."