What is the value of elementary or middle school accreditation?
It’s about stopping to take a look. How often do you plan to take time to assess the workings of your school beyond the test results?The self study process is analogous to taking variety of snapshots of your school and all its parts. How do they look? What do you like about them? What don’t you like? What would you do to improve the quality of the picture? What works? Do all the initiatives mesh? Does the school and all its parts look as good (or not) up close as you would like it to? The accreditation process enables you to stop and take a look.
It’s about knowing how good you are. In an age of assessment, a school needs more than one tool to measure its effectiveness. Test scores provide instant opportunities to judge schools, but they do not explain them. The accreditation process enables schools to determine what they need to become better for kids.
It’s about school improvement. Public schools are under constant demand to improve. The primary purpose for the NEASC accreditation process is to provide realistic opportunities for schools to develop improvement strategies and achieve success. The follow-up monitoring by the NEASC enhances the school’s opportunity to progress.
It’s about approval. What do you say when someone says to you, “How do you know your schools are good?” How do teachers feel when they read the newspaper article that tells them that public schools are not working and they are not doing their job well? How do parents feel in a society that casts doubt on the value of the public schools? What can they or you fall back on to use as an indicator of excellence and growth? The successful conclusion of the accreditation process results not only in approval but also public awareness of how good a school really is.