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NCATE Analysis of Education Schools To Help Forge Partnerships With States

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The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has produced a state-by-state analysis of accredited teacher education institutions to help it formulate plans for forging partnerships with states.

Shari L. Francis, the director of state relations, said the analysis will be used in fashioning efforts for the agency's state initiative.

"We really did not have a clear idea of where NCATE was a major factor and where it was a minor factor,'' Arthur E. Wise, the president of the accrediting body, said.

Under partnership agreements, NCATE and individual states cooperate in the review of institutions, generally reducing the amount of preparation for campus visits by evaluators.

A partnership pact also means that the state recognizes NCATE standards. The accrediting group's mission is to establish a quality-control system for the training of teachers nationwide.

The agency has formed partnerships with 28 states.

Of the 1,279 state-approved teacher education institutions in the nation, 521, or 40.7 percent, are part of the NCATE system.

Few real patterns emerge in the analysis. For example, there is no clear correlation between a state's partnership status and the percentage of its institutions in the NCATE system unless the state mandates participation, as does Arkansas.

"I can't really say I saw some type of pattern that was significant,'' Ms. Francis said. "It just simply laid out the facts.''

Examining the data, though, persuaded Ms. Francis that Nebraska would be a prime candidate for partnership; 13 of its 15 institutions already are part of NCATE.

Moreover, she said, education deans there had been working with teachers to persuade state officials to seek a partnership.

The analysis shows that all the institutions in Arkansas, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wyoming are part of NCATE.

At the other extreme, none of the institutions in Arizona, Delaware, and Hawaii is part of NCATE.

States with the most institutions--some of which are also the most densely populated states--tend to have a relatively low proportion of institutions in the system.

Of New York's 101 institutions, for example, only eight are part of NCATE. Thirteen of California's 70 teacher education schools are in the system, while 12 of Texas' 66 are.

NCATE has found far greater acceptance among institutions in Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

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