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ERIC Number: EJ766050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar-30
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Social Justice and Political Orthodoxy
Lukianoff, Greg
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n30 pB8 Mar 2007
Since 2003, the Teachers College of Columbia University has maintained a policy of evaluating students based on their "commitment to social justice." Before last summer, Columbia could blame the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the main accrediting body for schools of education, for those evaluation criteria. The council abandoned that requirement in June 2006, however, under criticism that it was recommending schools adopt a political or ideological litmus test. In the wake of the council's decision, rights groups including the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the New York Civil Rights Coalition asked Columbia if it would stand by its social-justice requirement. Teachers College responded only after FIRE took its objections public in October, and the college stated that it did not "assess or grade our students on their attitudes or beliefs." FIRE wrote the college back, "If Teachers College is arguing that while it maintains these "dispositions" on paper, it will not actually utilize them in practice, then the college should rewrite them to reflect this reality." FIRE asks only that a personal "commitment to social justice" or any other vague or politically loaded term no longer be required of Teachers College students..." In this article, the author explains why its troubling for Columbia's Teachers College to maintain their policy of evaluating students based on their "commitment to social justice." The author contends that Teachers' College's standards are disturbingly vague and subjective. As such, the author suggests that Columbia's Teachers College should reassert its confidence in the value of freedom and rewrite its policies.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York