In states with an NCATE partnership, state BOE members may join the national team to conduct the visit as a single team. All members of these joint teams participate as equals in the conduct of the visit, including collection of data, reaching a consensus or voting on standards being met, and writing the team report. State BOE members on these teams should have participated in a state training session similar to the BOE training provided by NCATE. In some states, the state team members are asked by the state to write a supplementary report focusing on needs of the state. At the previsit, the BOE team chair, state co-chair, and state consultant should determine data collection and writing responsibilities for state team members to ensure they are not unduly burdened with writing two reports.
In other partnership states, the state team may be conducting a state visit concurrently with the BOE visit. The state team is charged with applying state standards and writing its own report. Although the state team meets separately from the BOE team to discuss findings and make decisions about standards being met, the two teams should share information and findings. At the previsit, the BOE chair and state chair should decide how to share data during the visit to prevent the development of reports with conflicting information. The team chairs may plan to meet at scheduled times during the visit; they may plan for the two teams to meet for this purpose. The two teams may share interviews and exhibits, but these details should be worked out during the previsit.
Many state partnership agreements require that joint State/NCATE teams collect specific information and/or make program recommendations for the state. The team chair should arrange time during an early team meeting for an orientation to the state’s requirements by the state consultants or their designees. The orientation should provide the opportunity to identify the procedures and clarify the state’s expectations. The time and contents of this session should be discussed at the previsit.
Although state consultants and state NEA and AFT representatives can help the BOE team collect data and understand state nuances, they should not be asked to write sections of the team report. State consultants and NEA and AFT representatives may read the report for clarity and provide editing assistance. NEA has developed a resource packet for state affiliate representatives that provides background on NCATE, accreditation, and the visit. Team chairs should recommend that NEA and AFT state representatives on the team review these materials prior to the visit. Copies are available from NEA or NCATE on request.