Durbin Statement On Education Department Termination Of Deadbeat Accreditor
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced its decision to terminate recognition of the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (ACICS). Durbin had called for the Department to terminate ACICS, which accredited now-defunct Corinthian, ITT Tech, and Westwood Colleges.
“ACICS repeatedly showed that it was not a reliable authority on educational quality or worthy of its responsibility as a gatekeeper of taxpayer dollars. I commend the Department of Education for today’s decision to terminate ACICS’ federal recognition. Let this be a warning to other accreditation agencies that have been complicit in the defrauding of students and the fleecing of taxpayers by major for-profit education companies.”
Today, Durbin joined Senators Elizabeth Warren and Brian Schatz in introducing the Accreditation Reform and Enhanced Accountability Act (AREAA), which would take steps to reduce student debt and protect students and taxpayers by reforming higher education accreditation and strengthening the Education Department's (ED) ability to hold accreditors accountable. AREAA would rebuild the college quality assurance system with stronger accountability to ensure that the federal government's growing investment in higher education actually helps students access a quality, affordable education.
AREAA would refocus the priority of accreditation on how colleges are serving their students, requiring accreditors to consider student outcomes as well as cleaning-up conflicts of interest between accreditors and colleges. The legislation would require accreditors to quickly respond to government investigations or lawsuits accusing schools of fraud or instability to protect students, would add more transparency around accreditation decisions, and would improve the Education Department's ability to hold poor-performing accreditors accountability.
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