ERIC Number: EJ808079
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
Seeking Higher-Ed Accountability: Ending Federal Accreditation
Neal, Anne D.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v40 n5 p24-29 Sep-Oct 2008
When Congress passed the GI Bill, it linked the accreditation process with the distribution of federal funds. As Congress saw it, accreditation would ensure accountability without subjecting institutions to harmful external controls. While accreditation began as a voluntary system, it has now become virtually mandatory. Policymakers and trustees have, for the most part, assumed that accreditation guaranteed quality. This author contends that, far from preventing harmful intrusion into higher education, the system has empowered the accrediting cartels to impose their own standards and agendas on the schools they are meant to be helping. In this article, she cites several examples of how accreditation has contributed to higher education's slide. The author also states that rather than listening to the education lobby, Congress needs to listen to the people who matter: the students, parents, and taxpayers who fund higher education. Lastly, she suggests several different measures that Congress should pursue to ensure the quality of higher education.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Accreditation (Institutions), Accountability, Educational Quality, Institutional Evaluation, Policy Analysis, Federal Regulation, Trustees, Politics of Education, Institutional Autonomy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: G I Bill