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Rival Teacher-Prep Accreditation Group to Emphasize 'Multiple Approaches'

A new group that's seeking to compete with the existing accreditor for teacher-preparation programs is beginning its standards-writing process. And now it's looking for feedback from the public. 

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation officially launched in September. Its debut came as a bit of a surprise to some who'd worked for years on getting the teacher education community to agree to a common set of expectations—somewhat successfully. In 2010, the two teacher preparation accreditors merged into a single body, known as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP.

The new group, known as AAQEP, is made up partly of people who worked for CAEP previously or served on its panels.

AAQEP has developed a draft framework for accreditation, which includes details on the standards programs need to meet and how the peer-review process will work.

Among other things, the framework proposes that teacher-preparation programs go through the accreditation process in cohorts. The cohorts would meet periodically and "share questions, concerns, and learn from each other," the framework says.

In addition, the process for accreditation, the framework states, "encourages multiple approaches to demonstrating quality." Preparation programs would have the option to submit a proposal explaining how they would show they were meeting expectations, "analogous to a dissertation proposal," which an AAQEP panel would review. 

The approach would differ significantly from the process used by CAEP, which is more prescriptive and requires programs to collect data on teachers after they graduate and enter the field, among meeting other standards.

AAQEP will use the feedback gathered this month to create a final set of standards and processes, which it hopes to release in January 2018.


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