It seems that two agencies that accredit schools of education and social work are imposing a political test by effectively requiring Americas future teachers to demonstrate a commitment to “social justice.” So says, Stephen Balch, president of the The National Association of Scholars, who has lodged a complaint with the Department of Education. The accrediting agencies are defiant. Here’s an excerpt from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s article on the subject:
Mr. Balch’s letter cites recent instances at Washington State University and at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where education students contend they have been punished after running afoul of their professors’ interpretations of social justice.
1. Mr. Balch’s letter says the Council on Social Work Education similarly encourages universities to violate students’ First Amendment rights by stipulating that institutions ensure that students work to “advance social and economic justice.”
The Education Department, says Mr. Balch, should ask the accrediting agencies to remove their standards concerning social justice, or withdraw its recognition of the agencies. Students enrolled in academic programs that are accredited by unrecognized agencies could be ineligible for federal student aid.
Arthur E. Wise, president of the teacher-education council, called Mr. Balch’s assertions “a crock of baloney.” He said that the council’s reference to social justice “is merely an example, not a requirement.” He added: “That we allow or encourage indoctrination of any sort is simply incorrect.”
As for the problems the scholars’ association mentioned at Washington State and Brooklyn College, Mr. Wise chalked them up to “aberrant behavior by an occasional professor.”