“Education secretary ousts one of the nation’s largest college accreditors from its oversight role”

The Washington Post reports:

Education Secretary John B. King Jr. on Monday rejected an appeal from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, one of the largest national accreditation agencies, to remain the gatekeeper between colleges and billions of dollars in federal financial aid.

King is siding with his staff and an independent advisory board that deemed the council incapable of rectifying years of lax oversight of troubled for-profit colleges. Advocacy groups, lawmakers and state attorneys general have accused the accrediting agency of letting schools accused of fraud or with abysmal graduation rates receive millions of dollars in federal loans and grants, despite the risks to students and taxpayers.

The council has responded to the criticism by increasing the frequency of its on-site evaluations, removing board members with conflicts of interest, bringing in new leadership and stepping up enforcement actions. Its threat to revoke the accreditation of ITT Technical Institute set in motion a chain of events that ultimately led the for-profit schools to shut down. Still, the council’s efforts have not quelled objections to its participation in the federal student aid program.

The full article is here.

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