May 12, 2008

Support Free Competition in Montessori Teacher Education

Oppose Renewal of MACTE Recognition

In 1994, the IMAC agency was created to establish inclusive accreditation to all types of Montessori teacher education. However, its petition for recognition by the United States Department of Education (USDE) was denied because they said there was “no need”. Unfortunately, at about the same time, the USDE recognized an exclusionary agency in the same field, known as Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). This MACTE agency is basically controlled by the American Montessori Society (AMS), which excludes and limits participation to only AMS-type Montessori teaching.

The MACTE-AMS agency is currently seeking renewal of its recognition with USDE, which IMAC opposes. We believe that this preferential recognition of MACTE is harmful to Montessori education since it discourages diversity and free competition throughout the entire Montessori community.

We believe there is no need for MACTE recognition and that the USDE regulations should be fairly applied to all. So, the USDE should not recognize one agency over another based on such issues as popularity, philosophical compatibility with conventional education and other distinctions of style and format of program operation. The preferential treatment of MACTE by government agencies, such as USDE, creates a limited and misleading public impression of Montessori teaching. It also tends to discourage diversity, innovation and free competition from among non-AMS alternatives.

We view MACTE recognition as part of this agency’s campaign to aid AMS in its effort to monopolize and control the issuance of Montessori certification in all fifty states. If successful, this campaign would effectively censor out and destroy any effective operation of non-AMS types of Montessori teaching. It would especially harm the public awareness and functioning of true natural Montessori teaching, which is represented by the International Montessori Society (IMS).

On June 9, 2008, the USDE is hearing testimony in Washington, DC on the petition for MACTE renewal. IMAC will be offering testimony opposing MACTE renewal at this hearing, which is open to the public. Contact me directly if you have questions or wish further information about USDE recognition or Montessori accreditation.

We seek your support for denying further MACTE recognition by completing and returning the form below. You may also wish to offer your own direct comments on this matter to: The Honorable Margaret Spellings, Secretary, United States Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20202

Lee Havis, Chairman of Board

International Montessori Accreditation Council (IMAC)

I/We support the IMAC position

against renewing MACTE recognition : Yes No

 

Signature

Print name

Representing Agency/school

Street

City

State

Telephone

Return to : Lee Havis, Chairman

IMAC
9525 Georgia Ave. #200
Silver Spring, MD 20910
havis@erols.com; fax: 301-589-0733 *51