ON-Lion Letter
A July policy paper from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) in Washington, D.C., harshly critiques the federal system of accrediting institutions of higher education.  "Accreditation is giving students and parents a false sense of confidence that certified schools have passed a meaningful test when they have not," ACTA president Anne D. Neal writes in the foreword to Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policymakers Can Do About It.

"Today, accreditation is bad education policy that undermines the autonomy of our educational institutions while doing nothing to ensure academic quality," Neal continues in the report, which streamlines, updates, and expands a major investigation of accreditation that ACTA conducted in 2002.

Among other things, ACTA's new study finds, accreditation examines inputs and ignores the output that matters to parents and students:  educational quality.  Accreditation also undermines traditional strengths of American higher education:  institutional autonomy and diversity.  It contributes to ever-mounting educational costs, as well.

ACTA's suggestions for policymakers to consider include breaking the link between federal student aid and accreditation, making accrediting agencies prove their worth, and requiring colleges and universities to solicit bids for accrediting services.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports ACTA.
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