WASHINGTON, DC —The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) today identified for special praise several initiatives of the Higher Education Act Reauthorization passed by the House Education and Workforce Committee.
This bill would reauthorize the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which hasn’t been updated since 2008.
“The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, takes some important steps toward reforming educational accountability,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “We are encouraged to see Congress considering institutional risk-sharing and aiming to reduce some of the regulatory burden placed on colleges and universities.
“The Education and Workforce Committee’s proposed changes to statutory accreditation standards are a major step in the right direction. We embrace a new concept of accreditation that focuses on student learning gains and educational outcomes. ACTA has long been an active driver of dialogue around these issues among college trustees as well as Congressional members and staff.
“For twenty years, ACTA has challenged the perverse incentives and regulatory capture that are inevitable consequences of assigning a gatekeeping function to higher ed accreditors. America’s students and taxpayers would be better served if Congress would rethink and reform the system, through measures such as decoupling the dispersal of federal higher education funds (Title IV) from accreditation altogether, and allowing accreditors to return to their important original role as a voluntary system of peer-review and self-improvement.
“The PROSPER Act is an important first step in making reforms necessary to ensure that America’s system of higher education remains the finest in the world. We look forward to supporting the work of Congresswoman Foxx and the Committee on Education and the Workforce in preparing American students to bear the responsibilities of citizenship and to take their place in the 21st century workplace.”
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