In my last post, I commented on the recent Department of Education summit in Washington on March 22 and went on to note that:
"It is by now clear that the Department, through its negotiated rulemaking process, is exerting great pressure on accrediting organizations to set requirements for measuring and openly reporting learning outcomes in a way that permits comparisons among peer institutions. The resistance of some higher education leaders to this pressure is not surprising, and the outcome of the resulting learning accountability debate should become apparent in the near future. The Department clearly means "business," and changes in the accreditation process appear likely."
Indeed, on May 1, the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation published a resolution in response to the Department's recent activities around accreditation, such as those at the summit and in the ongoing "negotiated rulemaking" process. The resolution outlines the potential shape of a "federalized" accreditation process and urges CHEA member organizations and institutions to be proactive in reporting learning outcomes, presumably in order to avoid federalization.