The Best of Our Knowledge
5:19 am
Mon July 9, 2007

The Best of Our Knowledge # 877

Albany, NY – NATIONAL SUMMIT ON HIGHER EDUCATION
A TEST OF LEADERSHIP Pt. 2 - ACCREDITATION -
Final regulations are not likely to be published until later this fall.
But it's already shaping up to be a long hot summer. The U.S.
Department of Education looks to be in a knock-down drag-out
fight with Congress over the issue of accreditation and accountability
...and renewal of the Higher Education Act has become the battle
ground. The Department of Education wants to reform the current
system of accreditation to better emphasize student learning and
achievement. The DOE looks on accreditation changes as an
important tool to encourage improvements and ensure quality.
On the other hand, the Senate Education Committee has voted to
abandon a plan requiring accreditors ensure that colleges do not
discriminate against for-profit college in their policies on the transfer
of academic credit. Adding fuel to the already heated debate is
Senator Lamar Alexander who just happens to be a former university
president, and a former education secretary. Alexander claims the
legislation as proposed would double the number of federal regulations
that colleges must comply with, instead of reducing the regulatory
burden. To try and get a better understanding how these proposals
and issues can directly impact anyone headed to college, TBOOK
spoke with John Ebersole, the President of Excelsior College.
Glenn Busby reports. (12:52)

GUEST COMMENTARY
COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION - A NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT -
It's apparent from our first story today about accreditation, that
tensions between the Dept. Of Ed, the higher education community,
and Congress are simmering over. Joining the list of college
administrators against government encroachment into the area of
accreditation is Dr. Daniel Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan is President of St.
Lawrence University in Canton, New York. At the recent St. Lawrence commencement ceremony, Sullivan called a report issued by the
Commission on the Future of Higher Education a national
embarrassment. President Sullivan also said Secretary Spellings is
engaged in an attempt to replace the national system of voluntary
peer-reviewed accreditation where performance is measured against
each college or university's mission, goals, and objectives, with a one-size
fits all federal government-constructed form of accreditation where
institutional assessment...will be based on standardized test results.
Here is his guest commentary.
Dr. Daniel Sullivan comments. (3:56)