PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that 152 schools and school systems in 14 states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 19 other countries have earned accreditation or reaccreditation, the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.
“The Middle States standards for accreditation offer schools and school systems a holistic approach for evaluating and improving performance,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “Based on research and proven practices, the Middle States standards are designed to supplement student-performance data by providing a more complete measure of a school’s performance and to help schools chart a strategic and realistic course for continuous school improvement.”
MSA-CESS accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, learning services providers, and distance education institutions.
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 12 Standards for Accreditation are: mission; governance and leadership; school improvement planning; finances; facilities; school organization and staff; health and safety; educational program; assessment and evidence of student learning; student services; student life and activities, and information resources.
The accreditation process begins with a self-study that is conducted by the school and school system and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Association member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders.
The visiting team makes its recommendation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted on the accreditations at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia earlier this month.
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.
About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,700 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and nearly 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century. For more information visit www.msa-cess.com.