NCATE Breaks With Tradition in Selecting RAND's Wise To Become
By Debra Viadero
In a move seen as both a coup and a departure from tradition, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education has announced that Arthur E. Wise, a nationally prominent expert on school finance and teacher professionalism, will become its new president.
The three-year appointment was praised last week by educators and leaders of national education groups. They noted that Mr. Wise's selection marked a break from tradition for ncate, which in the past has given the job to "its own kind"--faculty members from education schools.
They said Mr. Wise, who is currently director of the rand Corporation's Center for the Study of the Teaching Profession, would bring a different perspective to the post. An author and consultant to education commissions in Connecticut and New York, he has been active inefforts to upgrade the status of the teaching profession.
The appointment "suggests a direction for ncate in which the professionalization of teaching becomes the goal," said David G. Imig, executive director of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and chairman of the ncate committee charged with finding a new president.
"We expect ncate to become involved in future policy discussions about teacher education, teacher licensing, the teaching profession, and educational reform," he said.
Educators also predicted Mr. Wise would lend stature to the organization, which has been in the throes of upgrading its standards.
"The symbol is important," said Hendrik D. Gideonse, a professor of education at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the ncate board that reviews teacher-training programs. "What he represents is a co8hering together of different elements of the profession--the teacher-education and policy communities."
The president of the National Education Association, Keith Geiger, who was also involved in the selection process, added, "There's no question in my mind, with the status of the man, that he is going to make some recommendations for us that would be far-reaching."
Mr. Wise is the author of Rich Schools, Poor Schools: The Promise of Educational Opportunity, a book that helped influence the school-finance-reform movement. His 1979 book, Legislated Learning: The Bureaucratization of the American Classroom, has been credited with having anticipated the current wave of school reforms.
He will assume his new post on July 16, succeeding Richard Kunkel, who left to become dean of the school of education at Auburn University in Alabama.