It is so awesome that our Senators in Washington want to help fix accreditation. You know the adage – The worst thing you can hear is “Hi, I’m from Washington and I am here to help.” Let’s not forget it was our friendly Senator from Iowa that got this whole state authorization mess started, ostensibly in an effort to stop the spread of for-profit institutions. We all know how that bit of “help” has played out.

Now, Senator Mike Lee from Utah and Mike Rubio from Florida are proposing legislation that will “overhaul accreditation,” their words not mine. As we look at their proposals, you will see it is less about an overhaul and more about a giant uninformed mess on the horizon.

First, Senator Lee is proposing the HERO Act, which his website touts will make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible. How? By allowing all 50 states and the District of Columbia to develop their own systems of accreditation. This makes state authorization look like kids’ play. He also feels this will “open the floodgates of innovation.” Yeah, states play so well together. Can you imagine the transferability issues?

School of Hard Knocks Not AccreditedAnd Senator Rubio called for a “swift overhaul of accreditation.” Again, sounds like something I have been advocating for a while. And how is the good Senator going to do this? By creating an independent accrediting body to accredit free online courses. Great, so now we have regional accrediting bodies, national accrediting bodies, state accrediting bodies and now an independent accrediting body. Tell me again how this reduces costs?

Hey Washington! If you want to help, do away with the Department of Education and allow those federal funds to stay in the states. The states that want a competitive workforce will fund their schools and students. This of course would eliminate all ties of federal funds to regional and national accreditation. Ever wonder how many institutions would be regionally accredited if their Title IV funds were not tied to this antiquated model?

Share what your thoughts are with me below. I’d like to know I’m not alone…

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