January 22, 2014
Over the past few decades, the cost of college education has climbed, while the quality of education has declined. This results, in part, from a accreditation regime that endorses the status quo and limits market competition.
Heritage Foundation education expert Lindsey Burke highlights one proposal that moves higher ed in the right direction by encouraging innovation and competition. Sen. Mike Lee (R – UT) has introduced new legislation called The Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act, which would
allow states the opportunity to establish their own accreditation systems, in lieu of the existing de facto system of accreditation overseen in large part by the U.S. Department of Education. The proposal empowers states to develop their own accreditation systems to accredit colleges, individual courses within colleges, apprenticeship programs, and curricula. And any state-accredited educational institution, program, or course would then be eligible for federal funding such as student loans.
This would help, she adds, because
Credentialing courses and acquired skills, not institutions, will be a far better reflection of the competencies valued by employers, will help bring down college costs, create a more flexible higher-ed experience for students and bring down the barriers to entry for innovative start-ups.
Do you think education decisions should rest with the federal government, or should these decisions be returned to the states?