Obama administration plans executive action on accreditation reform

More details coming later this month, say officials

White House officials say the administration will release several proposals this month designed to encourage accreditors to focus more on student outcomes when evaluating schools, Michael Stratford reports for Inside Higher Ed.

There will be three plans released "this month," according to Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell: "executive action, potential regulatory reform, and legislation we feel is needed." Mitchell says the department is still working out the final details.

A battle has been brewing between the federal government and accreditors. Senators took the regulatory bodies to task in June for failing to shut down for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan also criticized accreditors over the summer for setting their standards too low.

However, some experts say that holding colleges accountable for outcomes is a more difficult task than it appears. Throughout the planning process for the recently released college scorecard, some college leaders expressed concern that the project would not be able to fairly compare institutions that vary widely in scope, mission, and size (Stratford, Inside Higher Ed, 10/20).

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