IRA has been a constituent member of NCATE since 1980. As one of 33 “specialized professional associations” (SPAs), we have developed a strong and positive role within the NCATE coalition. Other members include the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the National Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards of the National Education Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National School Boards Association. Members of IRA Professional Standards and Ethics serve as advisors on the IRA-NCATE partnership and, with others, act as program reviewers.
Specialty Professional Association’s (SPA’s) like IRA have representatives that serve on one of NCATE’s four constituent boards. The current IRA representative serves on the Speciality Areas Studies Board.
IRA also has members serving on NCATE’s Board of Examiner (BOE) team. BOE members serve on teams that review institutions on-site on behalf of NCATE. This board is composed of representatives from four groups: teacher educators, teachers, state and local policymakers, and specialized. There are currently no vacancies on the BOE for IRA.
In 1987, the Council of Chief State School Officers organized the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) to promote cooperation among states as they developed individual standards for teacher preparation. This resulted in the articulation of a national, common core of skills and dispositions that should be acquired by all new teachers. (Find out about NCATE’s State Partnership Program.)
NCATE incorporated INTASC principles in its work in 1995, bringing the SPAs into the movement toward unified standards and beginning the alignment of accreditation and licensing across states. All of the SPAs have now endorsed a performance-based system in which candidates graduating from teacher education programs must be able to demonstrate not only their knowledge, but also their ability to teach the skills and dispositions children require.