|The Montessori School Accreditation Commission (MSAC) is a branch of the National Center for Montessori Education (NCME) and is governed by its Board of Directors. This relationship gives MSAC the economic and organizational strength as well as the knowledge base of an established association. MSAC selects its On-Site Teams and Commissioners from qualified educators throughout the Montessori community.
NCME became an independent non-profit corporation in 1983. An Executive Director and seven-person advisory board came together from five distinctive Montessori groups to formulate an active non-political organization whose charter was to establish Montessori Teacher Education Programs. The current corporate structure includes a Board of Directors, elected by NCME Accredited Teacher Education Program Directors, and a National Executive Director appointed by the Board of Directors.
With a philosophical position of appreciation for all Montessorians and the many specialists working for the well-being of children, NCME continues to support the development of programs that encourage quality education. NCME extends opportunities to exchange information and experience through a quarterly journal, the Reporter and a national conference that attracts large numbers of attendees and exhibitors from around the world.
NCME is dedicated to a policy of promoting unity and acceptance through a spirit of cooperation. NCME decided to take a serious look at school accreditation because Montessori schools were asking for recognition based on standards rather than affiliation.
MSAC is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA). NCPSA was established to recognize accrediting associations representing primarily private, early childhood, elementary, and secondary schools and to encourage their unique commitment for excellence amidst their diversity. NCPSA provides an avenue for national recognition of those accrediting associations seeking to advance quality private school education.
To achieve membership in NCPSA, an accrediting association must go through an accreditation process. MSAC has formally applied and is currently recognized as a pre-applicant. School accreditation has become an important issue and many organizations are putting together accrediting associations. The concern is that some of these associations give no more than a cursory glance at a school before issuing an accredited status; because there is no regulation on this process it has become even more necessary for the education community to police itself.
The benefits of our relationship with NCPSA are numerous. While MSAC is working at the individual school level, NCPSA is working at the level of the state legislatures, state departments of education, the federal government, the business and corporate community, and various foundations.