New Kid on the Teacher Education Accreditation Block under Fire

Article excerpt

CRITICS ARE CALLING THE TEACHER Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), the new national association that accredits undergraduate and graduate programs in teacher education, a politically motivated imposter designed to overcome the public's dissatisfaction with teacher quality. The critics argue that institutions unable to meet the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which had been the sole assessor of teachereducation programs since 1954, are turning to TEAC, which evaluates programs by determining how well they meet their own standards. NCATE, a coalition of thirty-three professional associations, provides accreditation based on national standards designed for the teaching profession as a whole.

"TEAC, if in fact it does maintain the idea of allowing institutions to set their own standards and their own processes for evaluation, really could be a kind of consumer fraud," Linda DarlingHammond, an education professor at Stanford University and the executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, told the Chronicle of Higher Education. "Accreditation, to the public, means institutions have met external standards." (See pages 26-33 for an article on teacher education by DarlingHammond.)

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), an organization made up of about 420 presidents of small liberal arts colleges, spearheaded TEAC's formation. …