DC Shuttle …
Amendment Controversy Over For-Profits on Bases. The debate is intensifying on Capitol Hill over for-profit colleges’ access to military bases. Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced an amendment to eliminate a provision recently inserted into the defense policy bill that would make it easier for-profit colleges to send recruiters and other representatives onto military bases. The amendment, by Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV), passed in the Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago with the blessing of Chair John McCain (R-AZ). It would loosen existing restrictions, which were part of a 2012 executive order by President Barack Obama. The rules require schools that participate in the military’s tuition assistance program to sign a memorandum of understanding agreeing to certain terms designed to protect military members, including that a college must get permission from an installation’s education adviser. The Hill reports.
ACICS Under Fire. A new report criticizes the work of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. BuzzFeed News published an investigation into Northwestern Polytechnic University in California, accusing it of luring international students and then delivering very little. The accreditor, also criticized for accrediting the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, faces the Education Department’s accreditation advisory committee next month.
ESSA Accountability Regulations Drawing Criticism. The U.S. Department of Education released a draft rule on accountability with weights, or a range of weights, for the set of accountability indicators on which schools will be measured. The regulatory process during the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has created controversy. The Education Department is tasked with granting states and districts flexibility without undermining accountability. Republicans in Congress have accused the Education Department of federal overreach, as the agency drafts regulations under the new law. State consolidated plans, which will feature details of state accountability systems, are due in March 2017. States can push the deadline back until July 2017, and can also phase in additional accountability indicators after the 2017-18 school year.
States Sue Administration of Transgender Guidance. Eleven states filed suit in federal court against the Obama administration over its recent guidance regarding transgender bathroom use. It seems likely that the debate over transgender rights could ultimately land before the Supreme Court. The suit was filed in Texas, with Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin joining the case. Politico reports.
Report on Free Community College. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities published a report entitled “The Promises and Pitfalls of State Free Community College Plans.”
Common Core Leaked Questions. The New York Times published an article about leaked Common Core questions and the continuing debate on the standards.
Student Data Privacy. The National Association of State Boards of Education published a report on trends in student data privacy bills.
Maine Education Department Rearranged. Maine Gov.Paul LePage rearranged the top posts in the state education department last week, reports the Portland Press-Herald. The Governor’s office called it a formality, as a means to ensure the Governors leadership team has the necessary authority.
We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of May 31, 2016. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.