Donna M. Gollnick, senior vice president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), recently contacted School Reform News regarding an article about NCATE’s standards and diversity by contributing editor Robert Holland. (See “New Teachers Face NCATE Litmus Test on Diversity,” School Reform News, January 2002.)
Gollnick objected to Holland’s comment that “the new NCATE standards have little to say about raising student achievement.” In NCATE’s system, she said, “content knowledge and skill in teaching come first.”
The article in question provides an account of what was said at the annual conference of the National Association for Multicultural Education last November, where Gollnick addressed a pre-conference institute on “Knowledge Bases for Cultural Diversity in Teacher Education: Meeting the NCATE Standards for Diversity.”
According to the conference program, the institute “is designed to assist higher education administrators in redesigning their teacher education program to meet the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standard on diversity, with an emphasis on curriculum. Registration includes a copy of ‘Common Sense About Uncommon Knowledge’ by G. Pritchy Smith.”
Although NCATE’s standards were prepared to run as a sidebar to the January article, they were not published because of space limitations. That oversight is corrected here, where readers will note that content knowledge and skills are among several specifications in NCATE’s first standard. While the standards do call for doing much “to help all students learn,” there is no specific language about the level of student achievement.