Teaching Profession

NCATE’s Wise Announces He’ll Retire in ’08

By Vaishali Honawar — September 07, 2007 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Arthur E. Wise, who heads the group that accredits more than half the teacher colleges in the nation, plans to retire next June.

During his 17 years as the president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the group has seen a dramatic growth in its reputation as a force for greater quality in such programs, observers say. They point out that although a majority of states do not mandate national accreditation for teacher colleges, NCATE has forged partnerships with 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, all of which have either adopted the group’s standards or aligned them with their own.

“In the time that he’s been there, he’s been able to bring some professional consensus and consistency,” Joseph A. Aguerrebere, the president of the Arlington, Va.-based National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said of Mr. Wise. “He’s had a consistent message on how to build the profession, and you can document that he has made progress in the arena.”

A prominent education researcher, Mr. Wise left the RAND Corp. to take over NCATE in July 1990.

NCATE’s move in 2001 to outcomes-based standards—requiring institutions seeking accreditation to assess their students’ performance once they are running their own classrooms, and use the results to refine and improve the colleges’ programs—is widely seen as one of the most significant initiatives for reforming teacher education in recent years.

Mr. Wise, 65, cited that change as one of his group’s most important achievements. The policy shift, he said, required a major redesign of instruction and assessment practices at accredited institutions.

“The soundness of that move has been validated by the fact that virtually all accreditation agencies are moving in this direction,” he said.

Frank B. Murray, the president of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, the only other national accreditor and a rival to NCATE, said Mr. Wise had “positioned NCATE where the action was.”

Mr. Murray said that when he first became dean of the University of Delaware’s college of education in 1979, he was told NCATE had a low standing among accreditors. “It is a tribute to Art’s leadership that NCATE’s standing is now well above where it was,” he said. “Through his leadership, NCATE became a major influence in educational policy and the reform of teacher education, where before it had only a marginal influence.”

‘Building a Profession’

The Washington-based NCATE has come under fire over the years, however, including from colleges that opted out of its accreditation and from experts in the field like Arthur E. Levine, the former president of Teachers College, Columbia University, who recommended in a report last year that NCATE be replaced with a new accrediting body.

“I don’t know how anybody in that position can avoid criticism,” Mr. Aguerrebere said of the NCATE president. “But if you were to identify one person in the country who has contributed to the vision of building a profession, Art has to be the person.”

“He has been a strong advocate for quality,” said Mary E. Diez, the dean of the graduate program of education at the NCATE-accredited Alverno College in Milwaukee and a former member of NCATE’s board of directors.

She pointed to Mr. Wise’s work, along with that of other teacher education experts, to align the standards for teacher preparation with teacher licensing, teacher testing, and national-board certification as being extremely significant.

Mr. Wise, who said he wants to spend his retirement pursuing such favorite activities as “hiking, biking, and kayaking,” said he hopes that colleges of education recognize the importance of accreditation as a vehicle for accountability and reform.

“It remains remarkable that when you walk into a college campus,” Mr. Wise said, “all professional schools are nationally accredited with the notable exception of the college of education, which has a choice.”

No successor has been chosen.

A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession From Grade Books to Gold Medals: These Teachers Are Olympians and Paralympians
American teachers are among the athletes competing in the Paris Olympics and Paralympics.
6 min read
LaFond puts her best foot forward in the women’s triple jump at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 3, 2024.
Thea LaFond puts her best foot forward in the women’s triple jump at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 3, 2024. She's one of several current or former educators competing in the summer Olympics or Paralympics.
Bernat Armangue/AP
Teaching Profession Opinion This Initiative Seeks to Redesign How We Staff Schools
A team-based approach to school staffing gives room for educators, school leaders, and system leaders to rethink their roles.
9 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Profession Teachers' Favorite Reads This Summer
Teachers shared some of their summer book selections, with a wide variety of subject matter and genres.
2 min read
Woman reading book in hammock
Liz Yap/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession The Truth About Teachers' Summers
Teachers endure many misperceptions about their jobs. Perhaps the most egregious has to do with their summer break.
5 min read
Orange sandals by a pool.
iStock/Getty