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Topic: [ncsm-members] Teacher-Prep Accreditor Names Standards-Setting Panel
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Teacher-Prep Accreditor Names Standards-Setting Panel
Posted: Mar 7, 2012 2:23 PM
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From Education Week [American Education's
Newspaper of Record], Tuesday, February 28, 2012,
Volume 31, No. 22, pges 1, 10-11. See
Teacher-Prep Accreditor Names Standards-Setting Panel

By Stephen Sawchuk

An external panel that includes several prominent
critics of teacher education has been tapped to
craft the performance standards for the Council
for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation,
the new organization's leaders announced last

Among the standards under consideration: how
programs ensure that candidates know their
content; the programs' ability to recruit an
academically strong pool of candidates; their
success in training teachers to use assessment
data effectively; and the performance of their
graduates in classrooms.

"We're really going to up the ante with respect
to how programs use data," said CAEP President
James G. Cibulka. "There will be a lot of focus
on new sources of data: longitudinal databases,
teacher evaluation, the teacher-effectiveness
measures coming out of the [Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation's] Measures of Effective Teaching
Project, teacher-performance assessments.

"It's not only a question of setting new, more
rigorous standards, it's also creating
performance measures within these new databases
to measure performance more effectively than ever
before," he said.

Commission Members --- These individuals have
been confirmed as members of the CAEP Commission
on Standards and Performance Reporting. More
appointments are expected.

Camilla Benbow
Dean of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Peabody college
Gene Harris
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus, Ohio, Public Schools
Donna Wiseman
Dean, College of Education, University of Maryland
Patricia Manzanares-Gonzales
Dean, School of Education, Western New Mexico University
Susan Fuhrman
President, Teachers College, Columbia University
Rick Ginsberg
Dean, University of Kansas, School of Education
Tina Marshall Bradley
Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs, Paine College
David Steiner
Dean, Hunter College
Mary Brabeck
Dean, School of Education, New York University
Richard DeLisi
Dean and Professor, Rutgers University
Kurt Geisinger
Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska
Julie Underwood
Dean, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Susan Neuman
Professor in Educational Studies, Michigan State
University, School of Education
Francis M. "Skip" Fennell
Professor of Education, McDaniels College, Md.
Jill Lederhause
Professor of Education, Wheaton College, Ill.
Paul Lingenfelter
President, State Higher Education, Executive Officers
Terry Holliday
Commissioner of Education, Kentucky Department of Education
Christopher Koch
State Superintendent, Illinois State Board of Education
Arthur E. Levine
President, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Jennifer Stern
Executive Director, Janus Education Alliance, Denver Public Schools
Andrés Alonso
Chief Executive Officer, Baltimore Public Schools
Randi Weingarten
President, American Federation of Teachers
Rebecca Pringle
Secretary/Treasurer, National Education Association
Gail Connelly
Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals
JoAnn Bartoletti
Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals
Thomas W. Payzant
Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Jim Kohlmoos
Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education
Melissa Erickson
Parent Leader, Hillsborough, Fla., Public Schools

SOURCE: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

CAEP was created in late 2010 by the merger of
two separate accreditors, the Teacher Education
Accreditation Council, or TEAC, and the far
larger and older National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE.
Both will operate until the merger is completed
by the end of this year.

The commission tapped to write the new body's
standards will be chaired by Camilla Benbow, the
dean of education and human development at
Vanderbilt University, and Gene Harris, the
superintendent of the Columbus, Ohio, public

It is arguably a more diverse group than those
currently serving in the governance structure of
either of the preceding accrediting bodies. At
press time, CAEP officials had confirmed 28
panelists on the commission and were working to
secure several more-including individuals
representing nontraditional preparation programs
such as Teach For America and district-operated
"residency" programs.

Its members also include math and reading
scholars and two state education commissioners,
along with a more traditional roster of
And it includes among its ranks critics of
teacher education, such as David M. Steiner, the
dean of the Hunter College School of Education in
New York City, and Arthur E. Levine, a former
dean of Teachers College, Columbia University,
and now the president of the Woodrow Wilson
National Fellowship Foundation, which operates a
grant program to improve teacher preparation.

Both men wrote reports in the mid-2000s that
painted teacher education as a fragmented
enterprise; Mr. Levine's blistering 2006 analysis
even suggested that NCATE should be replaced.

Their inclusion on the commission is an
indication of how far the new body may be willing
to stretch to maintain its relevance. Accreditors
of teacher colleges, particularly NCATE, have
struggled over the years to articulate the value
of the process and to overcome a perception in
the field of being too bureaucratic.
"The issue for me is rigorous standards that
would define high-quality programs," Mr. Levine
said in an interview. "The problem with
accreditation so far is too many weak programs
and too many weak institutions get accredited.

"I'd love to see a much higher floor for
accreditation and a much clearer sense of what it
takes for continuous improvement after a program
is accredited."

Enhancing Prestige?

Establishment of the CAEP panel comes during a
period of great interest in improving teacher
preparation, from outside reviews, to National
Science Foundation-funded research projects, to
federal rulemaking on sections of the Higher
Education Act dealing with teacher preparation.
Many of those projects are weighing similar

Mr. Levine said that if the commission
successfully sets stronger standards, it could
make accreditation-currently voluntary in most
states-more respected by attracting selective
institutions that have forgone the process in the
But other observers aren't convinced.

Frederick M. Hess, a scholar at the
Washington-based American Enterprise Institute,
who has hosted-and debated with-Mr. Cibulka on
accreditation at several public forums, said that
the inclusion of critics in the mix was
"promising," but added that "it would be a tough
slog" to come to consensus on detailed standards.

"The likelihood is that they'll still wind up
with vague, aspirational, process-oriented
standards, as the alternative would likely lead
to hundreds of institutions abandoning CAEP, or
aggressively pushing back," he said.

Mr. Hess, who writes an opinion blog for - see
--, is not serving on the commission.

Assessments Awaited

Drafting the new measures is, in any event, not
likely to be an easy task. One of the major
challenges could well be the specificity of any
new set of performance standards, especially
given the general lack of solid research evidence
linking any one teacher-preparation approach to
effective teaching.

For example, it is unclear how specific the panel
will be in seeking to set guidelines for
program-entrance requirements. And the question
of which outcomes-based data might be relevant
for accreditation is an equally thorny topic.

Many teacher-educators are putting their faith in
new performance assessments, such as the one
being developed by the Council of Chief State
School Officers, the American Association of
Colleges for Teacher Education, and Stanford
University scholars, that aim to let programs
know when a teacher is ready for the classroom.
Such tests require candidates to plan and teach a
lesson, demonstrating proficiency in specific

About 25 states are in various stages of piloting
the CCSSO group's assessment, even as other
observers raise questions about its cost and
relationship to student achievement.

And "value added" methods are perpetually
controversial, even for looking at program
outcomes. Two states, Louisiana and Tennessee,
now release data on how the candidates from
teaching programs fare in the classroom, and 12
more plan to do so in the near future. (" 'Value
Added' Proves Beneficial to Teacher Prep," Feb.
22, 2012 -- see

"How the standards are written is as important as
the commitment to raising the bar," Mr. Cibulka
of CAEP said. "Our knowledge base in this field
is not as strong as we would like, but we want to
create a system that allows us to build best
practices and strengthen the knowledge base
through empirical inquiry, so the next generation
of standards can be more specific about some of
these issues."

CAEP's own board will need to certify the
performance standards before they go into effect.
The accreditor will begin reviewing some 900
programs next year.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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