Monday, November 24th, 2014

The Obameter

Require all schools of education to be accredited


"Will require all schools of education to be accredited."


Updates

Education Department is working on drafts for new rules

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that his administration would "require all schools of education to be accredited."

When we asked the Education Department about the status of this promise, a spokeswoman said the issue is currently in the midst of rulemaking -- an often drawn-out process under which a federal agency proposes a new standard, then seeks input from various interest groups, refines its proposal, and ultimately makes the rule official.

The department kicked off the rulemaking process with an official notice posted on Oct. 26, 2011. Broadly, the subject of the rulemaking process concerns standards for educating future teachers. Among other topics, the process is slated to address:

• "The requirements for institutional and program report cards on the quality of teacher preparation.”

• "The requirements for state report cards on the quality of teacher preparation.”

• "The standards to ensure reliability, validity, and accuracy of the data submitted in report cards on the quality of teacher preparation.”

• "The criteria used by states to assess the performance of teacher preparation programs at higher education institutions in the State, the identification of low-performing programs … and the consequences of a State's termination of eligibility of a program.”

The rulemaking process doesn't use the word "accreditation,” but it does clearly address the question of how teacher education is regulated and overseen, which we think is close enough for our purposes. What keeps this from a Promise Kept is that the rulemaking effort is ongoing. Several electronic sessions were held earlier this year.

For this reason, we are keeping the rating at In the Works, and expect to do so for the duration of Obama's first term.

Sources:

Federal Register, "Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, Negotiator Nominations and Schedule of Committee Meetings—Teacher Preparation and TEACH Grant Programs," Oct. 26, 2011

Education Department, "Negotiated Rulemaking for Higher Education 2011 -- Team I, Teacher Preparation Issues," accessed Nov. 16, 2012

Accreditation proposal not yet advancing

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that his administration would "require all schools of education to be accredited."

We found no public references to progress on this initiative using searches of Whitehouse.gov, Google and Nexis. In addition, at least one expert in the field was unaware of any moves to advance this promise.

The Education Department is busy encouraging educational reforms under the "Race to the Top" program, which was passed as part of the economic stimulus bill approved last February. But so far there's nothing specific about requiring accreditation for all schools of education. So we rate this promise Stalled.

Sources:

Interview with Jane Leibbrand, the vice president for communications with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Jan. 11, 2010

Internet and Nexis searches that produced no results