To the Editor:
“Teacher-College Group Presses for Single Accrediting Body” (March 7, 2007) quotes one individual who questions as a conflict of interest the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s financial contributions to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the professional accrediting body for teacher preparation.
Accrediting bodies are composed of the professionals they represent, and, as such, are supported wholly by their respective professions. Without the support of the profession, in the form of dues to professional member organizations, as well as fees to accredited institutions, specialized accrediting bodies such as NCATE (and those in medicine, law, engineering, social work, and other fields) likely would not exist.
AACTE itself contributes 5 percent of NCATE’s total budget. NCATE has a total of 33 member organizations, each of which contributes to quality assurance in educator preparation through the mechanism of NCATE accreditation.
Accreditation developed in the United States as the professions developed, but this country does not have a central ministry of education that promulgates standards. Thus, each profession has developed standards for the preparation of professionals, along with a mechanism to evaluate those programs of study.
Graduate School of Education
Portland State University
The writer is the chair of the board of directors for the Washington-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2007 edition of Education Week as NCATE Support Poses No Conflict for Teacher Group