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NCATE To Redesign Accreditation Process

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the nation's premier accreditor of teacher colleges, today announced it will redesign the process that programs have to go through to get its nod, and will provide more options and ensure cost-effectiveness, among other changes.

The news is significant because NCATE has been often criticized for its extensive and expensive accreditation process that has scared off many teacher programs in the past &mdash some of them straight into the waiting arms of its rival accreditor TEAC, or Teacher Education Accreditation Council, which offers a less burdensome procedure for accreditation.

NCATE, which accredits just over half the nation's 1,200 teacher-preparation programs, has also been roundly criticized in recent years by teacher education experts like Arthur Levine, who suggested that the accreditor ought to be done away with and replaced by a new entity.

The new reforms are the first major news from NCATE after it recently named a new president, James Cibulka, who will spearhead the modified process and come up with a set of recommendations by spring 2009. Cibulka has signaled he intends to keep NCATE up with the changing times in K-12 and teacher education.

We'll bring you more on this tomorrow, when Cibulka will speak with reporters. Stay tuned.

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