Accountability and Misplaced Trust in the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
by Arlene Adams — October 31, 2004
When colleges of education seek national accreditation for their teacher education programs, there are a variety of obstacles to their success. Not all of these obstacles are a reflection of program quality. Accrediting bodies at the national or state level have different and at times conflicting requirements. Even more damaging, evaluation systems may be scheduled to be phased in too rapidly, without clear guidelines. It is likely that the programs they are evaluating will be forced to suffer the consequences of this mismanagement. This situation is a contributing factor in the undeserved negative perceptions of teacher education programs. Colleges of education should be accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. However, the accrediting agencies should be accountable for the clarity and straightforwardness of the process. If a program fails, it should be because the program is substandard, not because the directions for documentation are unintelligible.
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