Phi Beta Cons

Paul Ryan Joins Call for Accreditation Reform

Reform-minded lawmakers and policy wonks from both parties have started to take up the mantle of higher ed reform. Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the topic in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute accompanying the release of the House Budget Committee’s new report, “Expanding Opportunity in America.”

In his talk, Ryan tackled an issue that was once unheard of outside a tiny circle of higher ed reformers: breaking up the college accreditation monopoly. “We need to give students more options—in other words, we need accreditation reform,” Ryan proclaimed.

The Budget Committee even cited ACTA’s work on the subject, quoting from our 2007 report on accreditation reform:

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni sums up, “If the accrediting process were applied to automobile inspection, cars would ‘pass’ as long as they had tires, doors, and an engine—without anyone ever turning the key to see if the car actually operated.” Not only does the current accreditation process fail to truly access quality, its emphasis on high cost inputs makes it more difficult for fledgling institutions to get off the ground, shielding established schools from competition.

Over at our blog, ACTA discusses the importance of the mainstreaming of accreditation reform. With more and more friendly voices in Congress, the end of the college accreditation cartel finally seems in sight.

 

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