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In Surprise Move, Teacher Ed. Accreditation Group Ousts President

The board of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, now the sole national accreditor of teacher-preparation programs, made an unexpected move May 7 to replace the group's founding president, James G. Cibulka.

Christopher Koch, until recently the Illinois state superintendent of schools, will serve as CAEP's interim director while a search for a new president is launched, the organization said in a release.

The release gave no explanations for the sudden change in leadership. As I've reported, though, CAEP has had a rocky few months. It has been criticized for a disorganized piloting of its new accreditation standards. And the major association representing teachers' colleges has already signaled that it wants revisions to some of those standards. 

Cibulka, a former dean of the college of education at the University of Kentucky, was initially tapped in 2008 to lead the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, one of two predecessors to CAEP. As president, he launched several new initiatives, including a report calling on the field to increase the amount of hands-on student-teaching and the panel charged with writing the new CAEP standards. 

Cibulka was also one of the negotiators during a 2012 attempt to craft new federal regulations for teacher preparation. In that role, he had a hand in brokering compromises between two factions that, broadly speaking, supported or opposed the U.S. Department of Education's proposals. The negotiations ultimately broke down, and the Education Department released its own draft of the rules in November. 

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