NCATE Nods to its Critics

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At least not rhetorically immune to its many critics, the nation's leading accrediting body of schools of education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), has announced it is making some changes to its accreditation process. Institutions seeking accreditation or renewals must now file a report containing the results of one "assessment" that measures all candidates' content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and the impact on student learning. While this new requirement may seem like a seismic shift for an organization that has been flagrantly indifferent to such matters, the list of assessments that NCATE is willing to accept strikes a more familiar tone. Among the assessments NCATE will allow are: portfolios of candidates' work, research reports, GPA, intervention plans, lesson plans, teacher work samples, case studies, and follow-up studies The paperwork leaves us shuddering...and people thought NCLB was an unfunded mandate with its reporting requirements.