WSU responds to evaluation criticisms

October 19, 2005

The College of Education at Washington State University is considering how it may change its policies regarding the evaluation of “good character” for students in the teacher-training program.

“The matter is under review by the college,” WSU Provost Robert Bates said Tuesday.

The college has been criticized recently, including this week in an opinion piece published in U.S. News and World Report, for evaluating student character in a way that could make personal political beliefs grounds for failure in the program.

At issue is language on an official form that refers to whether or not a student “exhibits an understanding of the complexities of race, power, gender, class, sexual orientation and privilege in American society.”

The college’s dean thinks the debate about the evaluation of students has been blown out of proportion.

“I’d like to put this in perspective,” said Judy Mitchell. “We’ve evaluated 1,364 students under our current standards over the past three years and 1,330 have been recommended for teacher-certification. Of the 34 who haven’t been recommended, some are still doing their student-teaching this fall and for the others, a wide variety of issues have contributed, ranging from health problems to a change in major...

Schools: Washington State University Cases: Washington State University: Use of Dispositions Theory to Enforce Ideological Orthodoxy