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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Allowing competition among accreditation boards is vital to promote innovation in higher education’

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Published: Monday, May 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

I have at several points in my career lived on so-called Federal soft money. Under that arrangement the grantees spend as much time describing what they are going to do and describing what they have done, as they do actually doing something.

This is what's happening in both higher ed and secondary ed. The accreditation agencies feed this process which bulks up administration out of all reasonable proportion. Administration makes premium pay as a reward for negotiating the arcane jungle of accreditation. I don't know that I agree with your proposed remedy, but something needs to be done to change this waste of man-years.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is absolutely the wrong way to go. We need to make accreditation much tougher, not make it easier. It's like banking regulation, leave it to the states and they'll make the standards laxer and laxer in order to attract more business. We already have way too many schools that take student's money and leave them with no marketable skill, and no real degree, but with lots and lots of debt.

TimBehrend
Auckland NZ, 00

"Allowing competition among accreditation bodies is necessary to promote innovation in higher education."

When your assumption is that 'competition' is good and necessary by definition, then this concluding sentence is always a foregone conclusion. The author offers no other reasoning for interfering with the accreditation of tertiary institutions than his assumptions. Personally, I'd be worried about private enterprise entering into the competitive spirit by lowering standards, as happens in every other area where human greed is allowed to roll in the mud unsupervised. Companies could charge extra for that service. Maybe there should be alternative environmental monitors, too, allowing polluters to shop for the agency that will approve of their innovative, creative approaches to despoiling the earth.

malibu4x
Pleasant Grove, UT

Yes yes - let's deregulate and allow more and more shady for profit colleges to come into play to tap into the seemingly unending source of federal funds for college loans. Let's get more graduates with questionable degrees and more debt than they will be able to pay back in their lifetimes. Sounds like a win!

For some a college degree is the gateway to future success. For many it is a debt that hangs around necks like a shackle without a key. Outside of the medical field, most of the "job creation" is around technology. Most of these jobs do not require a degree, but skills that any Tom, Dick or Jane can learn on places like codecademy or via a MOOC like Coursera for FREE. Yes FREE folks. I spent years getting a MBA from a well known / pricey institution, but most of the skills I use on my job these days are self taught.

Bottom line, we need more regulation around for profit colleges, not less. We had the housing bubble. The education bubble is well underway. Kudos to Mike for trying to pump a few last breaths into it. (not)

E Sam
Provo, UT

As misguided an op-ed piece as the DN has ever published. Standards need to be tougher, and 'competition' will only allow shady schools to shop for easy creditors.

ani840
Randolph, UT

I was extremely disturbed to learn of this push to change accreditation procedures. Not that I don't think that things can be improved, but that this move is frightening in its implications.

Yes, financing of higher education needs help. Part of the reason things are in such a mess, is the lax standards afforded to for-profit schools which encourage students to go into debt while not providing them with adequate support or education wherein they can get the jobs necessary to repay the debt. The success rate of these schools is abysmal and the education is sub par.

This change would only encourage more institutions to pop up in an effort to secure federal dollars without providing adequate education.

I am heartened by the other comments on this board. Reform needs to be enacted to make higher education more accessible and affordable, but not at the price that this legislation would exact--the de-valuing of all of higher education.

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