Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Accreditation, SAT scores, and differences among schools of ed

The new CAEP accreditation standards raise the bar on admission requirements for education schools. How much of an effect this will have on who gets in to ed schools depends in part on the differences in the applicant pools for different schools. While so far as I know, we have very limited hard information about differences in applicant pools, there is some survey evidence that suggests the differences are quite large.

I’ve made up a little picture to help us talk through the possible consequences of “ed school heterogeneity. The idea here is to ask what happens if the distribution of SAT scores among applicants is really a mixture of low SAT scores at some schools and high SAT scores at other schools. (The blue “all school” curve is roughly accurate. The magenta and green lines are just for illustration.) The red bar shows my guesstimate as to the SAT target required by the new accreditation standards.

CAEP SAT two school simulated targets

Here are three scenarios:

  1. All ed schools face roughly the same applicant pool, so the magenta and green curves don’t represent anything real. All ed school pools look something like the blue curve. Outcome: About ten percent of the current applicant pool is excluded everywhere.
  2. Low-SAT applicant pool schools look like the magenta curve, high-SAT schools look like the green curve. Most of the pool for the former is below accreditation-required SAT targets. Outcome: Schools with low-SAT pools are nearly wiped out; nothing happens to high-SAT pool schools.
  3. Low-SAT applicant schools skip accreditation. (Only half of schools, covering 62 percent of students, are currently accredited.) Outcome: Nothing. Schools with weak pools bag out of the process and schools with strong pools are largely unaffected. 
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3 Responses to Accreditation, SAT scores, and differences among schools of ed

  1. Peggy Farber says:

    Dick – I suspect you’ve given this to us already, but what is the ratio of low SAT schools/high SAT schools?

    • Dick Startz says:

      There is generic evidence that there are big differences across schools in SAT scores, but so far as I know there is no data at all for individual ed schools.

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