Recognition and approval of the academic standards of an educational institution by some external, impartial body of high public esteem.

example of use

In general, states are more likely to attach high stakes to performance for teachers, schools, and districts than for students. However, in 22 states, the consequences for both students and teachers/ institutions are significant. For students, they can involve nonpromotion from grade to grade, or failure to obtain a high-school diploma. For teachers they can mean salary supplements or a decision to terminate an appointment as principal. For schools, they can mean loss of accreditation (Kellaghan, 2001: 39).