In 1985 several private school organizations which accredited their member schools, worked with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Private Education in seeking Federal recognition of their accreditation programs.
However, the Department’s General Counsel ruled there was not statutory authority for the Department to recognize any elementary – secondary accrediting agencies – including regional associations such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, etc. As a result of this, efforts to obtain recognition of private school accreditation programs ceased.
The concept resurfaced in 1992, when the same private school organizations began exploring the possibility of developing a national entity (not Federal) which would essentially serve as an “accrediting association of private school accrediting agencies.”
In September 1993, these organizations agreed to formalize the process at the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA). Sixteen associations now hold full membership status in the Council. And, in order to assure that NCPSA recognition remains credible, highly respected educators such as former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel Bell, Middles States Association of Colleges and Schools Elementary School Commission John Stoops, and others were asked to serve on the Council as at-large or “public” representatives.