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NCATE and TEAC: Separate and Multiple

A few weeks back, the two national teacher accreditors, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Educator Accreditation Council, were asked to work together to come up with a unified accrediting system in the best interests of the teaching profession.

The first thing they agreed on, it appears, was to drop the word "unified."

The idea for a unified accrediting body came from a task force set up by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which has for a long time wanted a single accreditor. In the past, it has made no secret that that accreditor should be NCATE, which passes judgment on more than 600 colleges and which has had a long relationship with AACTE.

But TEAC, the younger organization, now accredits nearly 60 colleges, and President Frank Murray was not about to abandon ship.

In a joint press release issued weeks after the AACTE report, NCATE and TEAC sportingly agreed to work together on a "system with multiple pathways." The word "unified" had disappeared from the mix, and the word "multiple" was highlighted in the TEAC announcement on its Web site.

Murray said in a separate release that there will be no merger of the two accreditors. Instead, he said, the plan is to coordinate the work of NCATE and TEAC, unify the profession, and learn from each other, among other things.

Now I know I need to wait and see how this one plays out. Still, I can't help but feel a little fuzzy in the head right now. Wasn't creating a unified system supposed to be the point of this whole exercise?

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