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ERIC Number: EJ769783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-18
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Government Should Stay out of Accreditation
Fritschler, A. Lee
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n37 pB20 May 2007
People, especially people in Washington, are worried about the state of American higher education. Last September a report by the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education expressed grave concern about the quality and purpose of colleges and universities. The report cited statistics that implied that higher-education institutions are slipping behind their counterparts in many other industrialized nations, particularly in the rate at which students complete their degrees. It also noted that the cost of educating students in the United States exceeds, by a substantial amount, that in almost every other country. Although some of the data were used in questionable ways--the United States, for example, continues to have among the highest rates of bachelor's-degree attainment--those are nonetheless serious concerns that should not go unanswered. One remedy that the Education Department has proposed would give accrediting agencies responsibility not only to evaluate institutions for access to federal student-aid money but also to set and enforce minimum standards for "student achievement." Accrediting agencies, many of which predate federal student-aid programs by many years, have been the primary gateway between colleges and the federal government and, of course, federal funds. Here, the author argues that involving accrediting agencies or the federal government in evaluating and regulating teaching and learning is an unhealthy departure from traditional arrangements. Outside involvement in those activities runs the risk of curbing the innovation and high levels of creativity that have been the hallmarks of American higher education for decades.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States