Teachers: Who Should Set Standards?

"This is the battle of the century," says Dean Lindley J. Stiles of the University of Wisconsin School of Education. And if at first it seems like an insiders' war it nonetheless affects every parent in the land.

The standards of U.S. teacher training are increasingly determined by an organization that most Americans never heard of: the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. It was organized in 1952 by a department of the National Education Association, the schoolteachers' lobby, and has since accredited 385 of the 1,100 teacher-training setups in U.S. higher education. So far, 29 states have found...

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