The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Fix Accreditation to End Protectionism in Higher Education

Spencer Kashmanian

Spencer Kashmanian writes about the need to reform accreditation requirements.

The Great California Accreditation War


NAS Director of Communications David Randall writes about the accreditation struggle in California.

In WSJ, A Case for Accreditors to Keep Out of Racial Preferences

Gail Heriot

NAS board member Gail Heriot asks Congress to keep educational accreditors from forcing racial preferences on colleges and universities.

The Feds Should Stop Relying on Accreditation

George Leef

Will the College Accreditation System Survive?

George Leef

Rich DeMillo writes for the Pope Center about the future of accreditation in colleges and universities.

Revising Teacher Education: Meaningful Change or Window Dressing?

Richard Vedder

Will the newly formed accrediting agency for education schools enact some real reforms to improve K-12 education?

The American Academy for Liberal Education and Leviathan

Steve Balch

How the federal government threatens the future of the sole voice representing traditional liberal education among accrediting agencies.

Accreditation and Educational Quality

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I discuss the recent study done by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity on higher ed accreditation. The authors conclude that college accreditation served some useful purposes back in the day when it was voluntary, but now that federal policy has made it almost mandatory (schools aren't able to accept federal student aid money unless they have been given the stamp of approval by a "recognized" accrediting body), its value is questionable. I think they're correct. Accreditation does virtually nothing to ensure educational quality, but it does impose substantial costs, more implicit than explicit. It also raises a significant barrier to entry into higher education by new and innovative providers. Until we cut the Gordian Knot and get the feds out of financing education, we ought to find a better means of keeping people from using Pell Grants to purchase bogus degrees from colleges that only offer a pretense of education. Accreditation is a poor tool for accomplishing that.

Social Justice and Censorship

Glenn Ricketts

On the release of a new FIRE video, NAS recalls our victory for freedom of conscience with an accrediting body and its biased "dispositions" requirements.

American U of Iraq Becomes the Nation's First Accredited University

Jeff Martineau

The American University of Iraq - Sulaimani has been granted accreditation and recognition of its "dedication to forming students in liberal education."

Illinois Fails ACTA Report Card

Ashley Thorne

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has released a report card on public higher education in the state of Illinois. According to the ACTA press release:

The report card, entitled For the People, surveys 10 public four-year universities that together educate more than 90 percent of students enrolled at such institutions in Illinois. It offers a Pass or Fail grade in four key areas: what a college education costs, how the universities are governed, what students are learning and whether the marketplace of ideas is vibrant.

The institutions, as it happened, failed ACTA's standards in all four areas. Download the 66-page For the People report Download the 2-page executive summary

Our Misplaced Faith in Accreditation

George Leef

Should a college lose accreditation just over a shaky financial situation? Should we use accreditation as the touchstone for eligibility for federal student aid funds? In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I take a look at a battle in North Carolina involving St. Andrews Presbyterian College. The school is in serious financial trouble, and the threatened loss of accreditation would probably kill it. I answer both questions in the negative.

Disposed to Mischief

Glenn Ricketts

NAS Renews Its Call to Make Accreditation Contingent on Fair Hiring

Today NAS urged ACCJC once again to take action to ensure that Santa Rosa Junior College is not violating Proposition 209.

NAS to APA: Stop Digging

Peter Wood

The APA proposes changes to its accreditation requirements on diversity - and digs itself further into the hole of double standards.

Out of the Valley of the Shadow: The AALE Reprieved

Steve Balch

Liberal arts accreditor AALE recently survived a narrow scrape with organizational demise. NAS president Steve Balch draws some conclusions from AALE's trip to the brink and back.

10. Just Say No to Racial Preferences

Tom Wood

Tom Wood asks the relevant question about racial preferences and contextualizes diversity research at the time of the Gratz and Grutter cases.

The Scandal of Social Work Education

Barry Latzer

A study of politicization in social work education.

Social Work’s Sins Against Conscience

Steve Balch

University social work programs rarely attract outside attention. They subsist deep down in the bowels of their host institutions, generating a decent cash flow but little in the way of intellectual excitement. They do, however, have one dubious distinction. Like no other academic program, they are politicized throughout their warp and woof. Sociology, anthropology, even education could, if fully liberated from tendentiousness, still survive as fields. It’s questionable whether this is true of social work. Launched in the spirit of progressivism, its doxology has by now absorbed almost every mental reflex of the left.