reviewed by Kenneth H. Beesley - 1960
Many current issues in education are more easily understood when viewed against the backdrop of the accreditation movement. William K. Selden presents a convenient, documented reference with sufficient details about the influential streams behind accreditation to assist the educator in attempting to understand this complex process carried on by an even greater complexity of associations.
Selden asks questions which need to be asked, but they also need to be answered. What standards are appropriate for higher education? How are standards to be measured or evaluated? Who is to exercise control over quality in education? What responsibility does a college or university, local or federal government, or a private organization have in policing standards, clarifying institutional objectives, or stimulating basic research on evaluation methods and techniques?
The future, with new and mushrooming problems in our society, is no more clear than the present. Is a shift from local to national planning, control, and evaluation in education, although resisted by tradition and philosophy, inevitable as a result of local apathy?
The chapter which answers these questions will not be written by Selden, but by the educational profession. Accreditation: The Struggle Over Standards in Higher Education furnishes a necessary introduction to the task at hand.
KENNETH H. BEESLEY
Teachers College, Columbia University