CAEP flies high on selectivity

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Teacher prep's accrediting body, CAEP, issued a draft of its new standards for comment today. And in something of a bombshell -- in a good way! -- it has come out solidly in favor of raising the bar of admission to teacher preparation programs.

CAEP is proposing that accredited programs ensure that candidates average a 3.0 GPA before entry AND that their candidates' average standardized test scores put them in the top-third of the college-going population. Considering that only 24 percent of the undergraduate and graduate programs we're examining in the Teacher Prep Review are drawing from the top half of the college-going population, this is, as we said, a bombshell.

Neither of the two accrediting bodies that merged to form CAEP in 2010 even had a standard on selectivity before now. With 12 states actually requiring national accreditation for state approval -- and many other states looking to accreditors for guidance -- their prior silence on this issue has been deafening.

CAEP is now in good company: a diverse group of organizations ranging from McKinsey and Company to the AFT, from the National Council on Education and the Economy to the Council of Chief State School Officers (not to mention us) are now all singing from the same songbook when it comes to selectivity in teacher prep. And with an increasing number of governors also calling for higher admissions standards, it's beginning to look like we might see real movement on how we select teacher candidates. Bravo to CAEP for taking a tough but necessary stand.