Bruce Parker

Social Justice = Fairness?

Filed By Bruce Parker | April 15, 2007 2:49 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: education policy, gender identity, NCATE, Sexual Orientation, teachers

While attending the yearly American Educational Researchers Association (AERA) meeting in Chicago last week, I learned that the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has removed any references to social justice from its "professional standards" and replaced it with "fairness." This may seem like not a big deal, but almost all colleges of education in the country where the future teachers of America are trained are NCATE accredited or hope to be. At the same time as they were making this change they removed "sexual orientation" as an identity as well. Social justice was deemed as too radical and replaced with fairness, while their has been no real conversation about the removal of sexual orientation.

Last Monday, when Indiana's legislature decided to ensure that it was still okay to kill queer and transgender folks because of their identities, AERA was refusing to take a position on this issue citing that they only take positions on issues such as this when their is strong evidence that it is necessary and that this issue is politically complicated. Gender identity was never included. The Queer Special Interest Group of AERA that I am co-program chair of for the second year running has started a campaign to force AERA to speak out.

I want to encourage folks to contact NCATE and let them know that this issue matters. You can email NCATE at ncate@ncate.org, and you can reach their President, Arthur E. Wise at art@ncate.org. I would suggest any contact be respectful but insist that it is extremely important that "social justice" and "sexual identity" remain a part of their organization's platform.


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Hear, here! | April 15, 2007 8:06 AM

Excellent post, and it explains a lot. Professors and educators at all levels have much to offer this debate, and their silence during the initial SJR7 debate was alarming.

Just one, teeny, tiny complaint, Bruce, and please take it the right way: nothing is ever made plural by adding an apostrophe. This errant trait is becoming commonplace, unfortunately.

(Colleges, not college's)

But, an excellent post! Thank you!

Yeah, if they won't take a stance on a hate crimes bill, there's no way they'll touch SJR-7...

As for grammar errors, I noticed a couple too - but a post written at almost 3am is bound to have a few mistakes. I wouldn't be awake enough to even type! *grins* And if we started pointing out every grammar mistake on the blog, we'd be busy all day long!

Bruce Parker II | April 15, 2007 7:43 PM

Grammar suggestions always welcome.