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NCATE Gets Grant To Strengthen Its Ties With States

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The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has received a $300,000 grant to strengthen its relationship with the states.

The accrediting body announced the two-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York late last month.

The funds will be used to develop procedures to increase coordination between NCATE and the states and to help create a new performance-based licensing and accreditation partnership model with the states. (See Education Week, Oct. 14, 1992.)

NCATE officials said they will work in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification to find ways to eliminate the duplication of state and NCATE accreditation processes.

Institutions have long complained about having to undergo reviews by both the national accrediting body and their own states.

"We plan to bring decisionmakers together to discuss how the quality-control systems for the teaching profession--accreditation, program approval, licensing, and advanced certification--can complement and reinforce each other,'' said Arthur E. Wise, the president of NCATE. "We can reduce unnecessary paperwork for institutions, which have, in the past, prepared for separate state and NCATE reviews.''

Currently, the accrediting body has joint-review arrangements with 27 states.

Lower Rejection Rate

Also last month, NCATE released its biannual list of accreditation decisions.

All but four of the 52 teacher education institutions that underwent review were accredited, although seven were approved with stipulations. The rejection rate is lower than the average since NCATE began implementing tougher standards.

The rejected programs were East Tennessee State University, the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, the advanced program at the University of Indianapolis, and a fourth institution whose name was withheld under NCATE policy because it had sought accreditation for the first time.

Only East Tennessee strongly criticized the accrediting body's standards and procedures. In a written statement, Roy S. Nicks, the interim president of the university, indicated he would ask the Tennessee Board of Regents to consider whether institutions throughout the system should continue their relationships with NCATE.

Mr. Nicks said the education college had been given a larger budget, hired more faculty members, improved technology, refined the curriculum, and developed more partnerships with public schools since the site visit. "We have even more reason to believe that our programs are accreditable,'' he said.

Larry Albertson, the dean of the college of education at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, attributed the rejection of his institution to communication problems. "We feel like we have a high-quality program,'' he said. "We obviously didn't communicate well with the visiting team.''

"We are committed to the concept of NCATE,'' Mr. Albertson said, adding that another site visit has been scheduled for the spring.

Although the basic teacher training program at the University of Indianapolis was approved, the graduate-level advanced program was denied accreditation.

E. Lynne Weisenbach, the dean of the school of education, said NCATE had based its review on the old graduate program, instead of a new one that the state had not yet approved at the time of the site visit.

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