What Education Reformers Can Learn from Kosher Certification

Jason Bedrick, Connected Principals, Apr 07, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There are plenty of examples to choose from, and you don't need the political overlay (aka, "Can we have standards without the government imposing them?"), but the use of Kosher Certification to serve as an example for what is (propbably) coming for certification in education is a good one. To be clear: we're not talking about replacing government certification with religious certification. No, rather, the idea here is that a 3rd party can certify that a product meets some or another standard. Questions to ask: could we have education certification without "the Union of Orthodox Rabbis [which created] the first private kosher certifying agency in America" to kick things off? Second, what are results like in other non-governmental certification agencies (eg., whether food is 'green', 'Halal', 'natural', 'organic', 'fat free' etc.?). Third, why not have government establish base-level certification of certification agencies? Fourth, what is the resource when a certification agency misrepresents the quality of an educational offering?

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