We couldn’t agree more with the infographic that C.A.P.E. released recently:
We want to thank you for your patience and your cooperation during this time between our independent accreditation language passing in the ed reform bill this session and what we hope is the tail end of the rules making process.
IACS and the independent schools disagreed with some fundamental assumptions made in the rules as they were initially drafted and passed by the Iowa State Board of Education. Since we had to wait for a number of other rules to be written before ours, this has pushed the process for us much later that we had hoped for.
Although not perfect by any means, we are hopeful that the current rules will be passed and implemented very soon. This allows the DE to write guidance and determine some of the nuts and bolts of how we let them know we are independently accredited, who our contacts are, how BEDS reporting and other issues will work, etc.. Further slowing the process last week were staffing changes at the DE directly affecting the writing of our guidance. Please pray that the guidance is released quickly and that it doesn’t contradict the understanding IACS has with the Administration.
We’ll notify you as soon as we get the documentation from the Dept.! Make sure you are signed up for our email list and you’ll be among the first to know!
We have had a few schools contact us about the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) school certification. A number of our schools have had their recertification rejected because they are accredited only by the Iowa Department of Education.
Iowa State accreditation is NOT recognized by the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as a legitimate accrediting agency for private schools. Our independent accrediting agencies (those that are part of the new Independent Accreditation law passed this year) ARE accepted as legitimate options for accreditation for the purposes of recertification.
You have two options:
1. Re-certify with the program as an unaccredited school. This will require much additional information.
2. Use your accreditation through one of our recognized independent accrediting agencies. ACSI, CSI, NLSA, AdvancEd, and ISACS are all on the list.
More information can be found on the I.C.E. website.
Just FYI – The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee posted the rules the State Board of Education recently passed. We see not problem with these rules going through the Admin Rules Committee. These are the over-arching rules. Procedures, forms, and other details will be created by the Dept. of Ed very shortly.
Many have asked about the school start date issue and the rule that has been working its way through the Dept. of Ed and State Board of Education. Here is a brief update:
First, IACS has always opposed every effort to restrict local control of start dates. IACS believes that educators, elected school boards, and private schools should be able to make these types of determinations based on what’s best for students, schedules, and unique local issues. No industry group or event should be able to make education policy decisions based on attendance goals or desired profit-margins.
On August 1, the State Board of Education made the wise decision to vote down a proposed rule that the Department wrote to try to bridge the gap between how some interpret the law and educators. This rule unfairly discriminated against private schools by excluding them from the waiver process and went too far in restricting local control on this issue. You can click here for the story on the Board’s decision. We thank them for their vote!
Where do we go from here? Governor Branstad weighed in on the issue on August 5 and we agree with him that stakeholders need to be involved. IACS will not, however, support any rule or legislation that puts the wants of industry ahead of the needs of our kids or continues the disturbing trend toward erasing local control or the will of the people as exercised through the decisions of elected local school boards or the administration at their private school.
Please feel free to comment with your thoughts!