Critiques Of Accreditation Start From Wrong Premise

From Real Clear Education

The many current critics of higher education accreditation tend to fall into a few categories: like Marco Rubio and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Carol Geary Schneider has little in common with Duncan, and probably couldn’t agree less with Rubio’s views on higher education — she refers to their critiques of higher education as a “steady drumbeat of assaults” on accreditation. But the head of the Association of American Colleges & Universities takes her own shots at accrediting agencies, Inside Higher Ed reports. In what she calls an “urgent message” to the agencies and to policy makers, Schneider decries as dangerous the policy proposals that political candidates like Rubio and Duncan’s U.S. Education Department are putting forward to “fix” accreditation. That’s because they define quality and value in higher education heavily if not entirely in terms of economic “return on investment” (job placement, income levels, etc.), almost completely ignoring the “quality learning” that the 1,300 member colleges and universities of Schneider’s organization strive to deliver.