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

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

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 Opinion How I’m Keeping Ahead of Burnout: 4 Tips for Teachers
An English teacher shares her best advice for battling the long-haul blahs until spring break.
Kelly Scott
4 min read
Young woman cartoon character making step from gloomy grey rainy weather to sunny clear day.
iStock/Getty + Education Week
Teaching Profession Opinion Why Is the Nation Invested in Tearing Down Public Education?
Education professor Deborah Loewenberg Ball argues that panic over test scores keeps us from building on the strengths of our children.
Deborah Loewenberg Ball
5 min read
Illustration of school text books and wrecking ball.
F. Sheehan for Education Week / Getty
Teaching Profession Teachers Censor Themselves on Socio-Political Issues, Even Without Restrictive State Laws
A new survey from the RAND Corporation found that two-thirds of teachers limit their instruction on political and social issues in class.
4 min read
Civics teacher Aedrin Albright stands before her class at Chatham Central High School in Bear Creek, N.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The class is debating whether President Trump should be impeached. The House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has become a teachable moment in classrooms around the country as educators incorporate the events in Washington into their lesson plans.
Civics teacher Aedrin Albright stands before her class at Chatham Central High School in Bear Creek, N.C., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The class was debating whether President Trump should be impeached. A new national survey found that a majority of teachers are now limiting instruction on political and social issues in class.
Allen G. Breed/AP
Teaching Profession 10 Major Challenges for Substitute Teachers
Substitute teachers want more support to do their jobs well. One state has identified their top concerns.
4 min read
Illustration of people climbing stacks of books. There are 3 stacks of books at different heights with people helping people climb up.
iStock/Getty