BYU Teacher Education Program on Probation

BYU Teacher Education Program on Probation

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Brigham Young University's teacher education program has been put on probation by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

The NCATE said the school failed to document that teaching candidates have the skills needed to help children learn and failed to demonstrate that its graduates can teach students of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

BYU has not made sufficient progress in the development of a plan to track student performance, the council said.

"It was determined by our board that BYU has not done enough to help recruit diverse candidates and prepare its graduates to work with different racial and ethnic groups," NCATE President Art Wise said.

Robert Patterson, BYU dean of teacher education, said the council shifted its focus in 2001 and BYU's program, one of the first to be reviewed following the change, was caught in the transition.

"We were singled out with two failed standards out of six, both of which we had evidence to the contrary," said Patterson. "It is not that our program or (teacher) candidates were substandard, it was in the miscommunication -- not making a case to the satisfaction of the external reviewers."

Wise said some teaching institutions were facing challenges in rising to NCATE's new performance-based approach.

"We have given teaching institutions several years to build their capacity. We are confident BYU can meet all of the standards," he said.

BYU has been NCATE-accredited for more than 10 years. Even with probation status, its program continues to be accredited.

BYU's education program is the state's largest producer of Utah teachers.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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