The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that 167 schools and school systems in 16 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and 42 other countries have earned accreditation or reaccreditation, the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.
“The accreditation process is a valuable tool to help schools and school systems set and achieve goals and stay focused on continuous growth and improvement,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., interim president of MSA-CESS. “The newly accredited and reaccredited schools should be commended for their commitment to excellence, and for providing their students with a high-quality education.”
Middle States accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions and learning services providers.
Middle States accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards.
The five Middle States Standards for Accreditation are: foundations; governance & organization; student well-being; resources; and teaching and learning. Additional special purpose indicators are designed for specific programs or types of schools, or for areas not fully addressed in the Standards for Accreditation. The special purpose indicators are: online learning; early childhood education; faith-based schools; Pennsylvania schools; and boarding program.
The accreditation process begins with a self-study that is conducted by the school or school system and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Middle States member schools conducts a peer review.
The peer review team makes its recommendation for accreditation or reaccreditation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted on the recommendations at its biannual meeting, held in Philadelphia, Pa., this week.
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.