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The term accreditation refers to a process of continuous improvement wherein educational institutions are externally evaluated for both processes and measures of student performance. The accreditation process involves a cyclical review of these institutions to ensure that applicable standards are being met. In the United States, the process is more than 100 years old and can be traced to concerns about protecting public health and safety and serving the public interest. Accreditation relates to education finance and the economics of education because it involves the use of resources. Furthermore, since education is linked to economic growth, the process of accreditation is one way to provide public accountability and quality assurance. This entry describes the accreditation process for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education ...

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