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The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support the field testing of its certification system.

The grant will support the work of the field-test network, a group of 27 contractors representing 112 school districts throughout the nation. The Knight Foundation money will be targeted primarily in eight locations near newspapers the Knight brothers owned: Broward County, Fla.; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C.; Cleveland; Detroit; Minneapolis; and three consortia of districts working with the University of South Carolina, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Wayne County (Mich.) Regional Education Service Agency.

Districts in the field-test network, which was established in June 1992, employ 165,000 teachers. They are reviewing drafts of national board standards, creating models of professional-development programs, and preparing to take part in field testing the proposed assessment packages.

The national organization that monitors agencies that accredit colleges and universities this month voted to disband.

The Council on Postsecondary Accreditation voted at a meeting in San Francisco to cease functioning at the end of the year. In the meantime, council members plan to explore the creation of a new body that better suits the needs of its members, according to Ken Perrin, the council's president.

The 19-year-old council, which counts 60 accrediting bodies among its members, suffered a blow when several regional accreditors decided to drop out and explore the formation of a new organization. Membership in the council ranges from accreditors of small, specialized institutions to regional bodies that accredit larger institutions.

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