Author: Ray Schroeder
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Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed
Secretary and Education Department officials today outline plans for looming accreditation reform negotiation, describing focus on credit transfer and credential inflation. The department described its priorities in two white papers released Wednesday — on rethinking higher ed generally and on accreditation reform. Recommendations in the brief papers are broad and don’t come with specific policy proposals attached. Department officials said some of the identified issues could be addressed through regulations or changes to current law. Others are a matter of changing the department’s current practices, Diane Auer Jones, principal deputy under secretary of education, said in an interview this week. “We want to put on the table what we think the challenge is,” she said. “But we are doing negotiated rule making. It isn’t up to us to solve every problem. We would love for people to come to the table with some of their own ideas on how to solve these problems.” Auer Jones said the department wants to give accreditors the ability to craft standards that match the institutions they accredit. It makes little sense, she said, to apply the same outcomes standards to Johns Hopkins University and a nearby community college.